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I’m going to break two of my normal tool tendencies with this one. This is a crow’s foot (which I normally think is a pretty pointless invention), and it’s from Harbor Freight (who I have trouble trusting). But I make these exceptions because this tool, especially at Harbor Freight’s admittedly excellent prices, will save you a contortionist’s act whenever you need to install or remove an oxygen (air-fuel ratio) sensor.

Manufacturers seem to compete amongst themselves to place these in the least convenient places possible, with the wiring arranged so that removal is nigh-on guaranteed to twist or crush the conductors to breaking. Some types of O2 sensor sockets are just deep-wells with a slot, and will (repeat WILL) torque the wires right in two.

The crow’s foot version sidesteps that problem neatly and pairs well with a flex-head socket, since manufacturers like to place their sensors on top of the exhaust pipes, forcing you to reach up top where rigid wrenches and ratchets can’t get. This $4 Harbor Freight crow’s foot will settle their hash. There’s another version made by Performance Tool and retailed by Northern Tool available for a little extra ($7.50) if Harbor Freight makes you nervous.

O2 Sensor Crow’s Foot [Harbor Freight]
O2 Sensor Crow’s Foot [Northern Tool]

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10 Responses to O2 Sensor Cuss Guard

  1. Greg Friend says:

    If you buy your replacement O2 sensor at AutoZone they will rent you this tool for $25 or so and then refund your money when you bring it back.

  2. Toolaremia says:

    Crow’s foot is the only way to torque several bolts on my cars. What do you use?

    This crow’s foot could be exceptionally handy for me. The primary O2 sensor on my Dodge Ram is in a position where the slotted-deepwell won’t work. No way to get a ratchet on it, nor any way to get an open-end wrench onto it. But this crow’s foot could give me the clearance – and leverage – I need. Thanks!

    BTW, I love Harbor Fright [sic]. Sadly, many of their tools are better than what Craftsman offers now… 🙁

    The parking lot of a HF is also the only place I’ve ever seen a running Trabant. =-)

  3. Windy Wilson says:

    Trabants run?

  4. Mitch says:

    I don’t trust HF either. But those prices! I don’t have strong principles. I’ll have to look for this tool. Thanks. And write up whatever you were doing on your supercharger.

  5. MattC says:

    I have had conflicting experiences with Harbor Freight. I bought a “no-name” brand 18V Cordless drill that paled in comparison to my old B&D firestorm 14.4V. I bought a cordless rotary (dremel type) tool that I use on a consistent basis and love it. I have also bought several speciality hand tools for various one time projects that have served their purpose well. That being said,I still peruse the HF mailers.

  6. Mike47 says:

    My experience with HF suggests it’s sorta like Kaiser for medical care. Some people have good luck, and others have bad. So when it really matters, be careful what you depend on for performance.

  7. Discobubba says:

    I think with this sort of tool its simple enough and inexpensive that a HF one should be fine. If your using it for what its intended I can’t think of too many problems it would give ya.

    I bought one of these a while ago hoping I could use it in conjunction with an 7mm Allen Wrench while doing the Upper Strut Mounting & bearing on VW. It worked fine for the top nut but was too thick to fit in for the inner nut. Landed up Dremeling a window in an old socket to make a ghetto version of the official tool.

  8. Just borrow one from your local auto parts store. Unless you plan on changing a lot of O2 sensors, you can just borrow it.

    The biggest problem I have had with O2 sensors is that they get stuck on. Needing heat to help loosen it up even with this special tool.

  9. Shopmonger says:

    HF has some great tools. and this would be one i would be ok with. Yes if i ran a pro shop again, i would buy one form Craftsman or Mac or Snap-on

    But for the weekend guy wanting to make on O2 change, looks great to me…..

    ShopMonger

  10. Eponymous Ben says:

    I’ve used one of these in the closed confines of a Miata, and I love it. It’s strong enough to use a 1/2″ breaker bar on, and doesn’t flex. It fits places that I’d never get a split-walled socket.

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