Have a P0141 Heated Oxygen Sensor Circuit Malfunction (bak 1, sensoe 2). I do not know for how long I've been running the car with that particular code since the CEL has been on for a year with P0446 but didn't want to go with a defective 02 sensor for too long so started thinking about doing it right away. I'm less of a car noob everyday.
The hardest part of the job was to remove the old sensor from the exhaust. My car is a '98 Camry 5sfe with 290 000 Kilometers, non california model.
Things you will need :
1.A Torch : It will be MUCH easier to remove it by heating the base (where the sensor screws in) a lot. I started working on the car without a torch, just by idling until exhaust was hot and tried to unscrew, then gave up and went out to buy one, old sensor was out half an hour later.
2.02 sensor socket : You could easily go without one. You could use an open 22 millimeter wrench or a vise grip. The 02 sensor socket damaged the old sensor, and my self pride along the way. I bough a pair of big Vise Grip and a torch to remedy the problem, worked like a CHARM. The socket was useful to gently screw the new sensor back in though, so it was good to have one anyway
3.Ratchet wrench : I don't know wich size, it wasn't specified, but it's the biggest one in my kit.
4.Vise Grip wrench : I used it to unscrew the old screwed up sensor. I think this would work better than an open 22 millimeter wrench since you don't care about damaging it at that point, although you're obviously not gonna use a vise grip to put the new one back in.
5.Lube : heat/fire resistant penetrating oil
6.And of course, beer. To ease off the possible frustration of the first step.
7.Not shown on picture (sorry) : New 02 sensor, paid 293$ CDN at dealer. I think people in U.S.A. get them for cheaper though.
The process :
1 : Lube/heat/repeat until the old sensor comes off. What you want to do is heat around the base, and the base itself to expand the threads. Don't heat the sensor itself, that'll do no good. Believe me, I didn't have a torch when I started and this would've been impossible for me. I'm not a big guy so muscle comes in the form of neighbours or roomates. So fuck it, get a torch. I used a vise grip to break it free and unscrew it because the 02 sensor socket damaged the sensor's "bolt"
2. I removed the front driver seat. A lot of people say you can access the connector from underneath it, through the hole in the carpet where the air ducts are, but I don't like working on things I can't see, so I went the noob way. Haynes manual says not to disconnect the seatbelt safety system connector, or your airbag light could come on, so I called several local Toyota dealers and spoke to techs that told me it was not a problem as long as the ignition key wasn't in. Now that I think of it, I forgot to disconnect the battery. There's a black plastic clip holding the wire underneath the seat, stick your fingernail in the crack on the backside of it and it will clip open so you can let the wire free, then Disconnect it. Remove the 4 bolts holding down the seat and take it out. Here's what that connector looks like :
3.Pull the carpet back starting from behind the pedals, it comes off easily, you have to carefully pull the center console's plastic "flap" towards you to slide the carpet out of it until you can see the connector and work on it properly. It's disconnected on this picture, the female part of the connector was held on to the floor by some kind of clip that you don't need to undo anyway. I pulled the rubber pigtail inside of the car (it is actually pulled in on the following picture), then snaked it back out along with the connector. The old sensor was out! I thought about completely destroying it with a hammer and the torch while laughing out hysterically but held on to myself.
4. Carefully screw the new sensor in, I used the 02 sensor Socket and my ratchet for that. I didn't screw it in too tight. Until the metal ring at the base of it was seating and it was harder to turn, I locked it in securely and was done. Slide the connector through the hole in the floor and snake the rubber pigtail back in the car then reconnect and properly seat the rubber pigtail against the hole. Easy, but hard to explain, you would understand just by looking at it though. Replace carpet properly. Again be careflul not to rip it up, just slide it back underneath the plastic flap of the center console.
5. Screw the seat back int and disconnect your battery to reset computer and codes. I used a sensor I got on ebay to do that.
You're done, I will report back in about a week to let you know if P0141 came back.
If you got any questions or comments you are welcome. I'm still pretty much a noob at cars by the way, so any tips or additions are also welcome.
EDIT : The code DID NOT come back.