Smog problem - Should this vehicle have an O2 sensor ? 1985 Subaru GL wagon 1.8L 5 speed


Asked by Feb 17, 2015 at 01:27 PM

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Vehicle easily passed smog test two years ago; now fails due to quite high NOx.  Catalytic convertor replaced one year ago. EGR is 2 years old and functions normally.  Engine idle is remarkably smooth, but exhaust system now runs unusually hot at highway RPM; timing at idle is correct.  There is no O2 sensor.  Question: should there be an O2 sensor on this vehicle?

5 Answers


Yes, it's OBD I. Excessive NOX is usually caused by the engine running too hot or too lean. HTH. -Jim


Here's a picture of the oxygen sensor for your Subaru


Thanks!!! Clarification from 3Vern: Right now O2 sensor is missing from vehicle - if it ever had one. Subaru company district engineer says it never had an O2 sensor. My question : Is he correct? (Vehicle = 1985 Subaru GL wagon 1.8L 5 speed) Second question : Jim - what are the abreviations OBD and HTH ?

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
65,025 shows a listing for all 3 of the 1.8L engines that were available for your '85 Subaru GL. So I'd say yes, it's supposed to have one. The abbreviation OBD stand for OnBoard Diagnosis. The abbreviation HTH stands for hope this helps. Do you have a "check engine" or "service engine soon" light? If so, that's a sure sign that you're supposed to have one. The oxygen sensor "sniffs" the exhaust gases and then the computer adjusts the air to fuel mixture to maintain a 14 to 1 ratio. This is done constantly while you're driving. The 14 to 1 ratio maintains fuel economy, performance, and emissions all within optimum levels. HTH. -Jim


Thanks again!!! More clarification from 3Vern: There is no 'check engine' or 'service engine soon' light. I initially assumed the O2 sensor was not reinstalled when the catalytic convertor was replaced one year ago. But then I could not find an appropriate electrical plug anywhere in the wiring harness to plugin a wire from an O2 sensor - does anyone have a wiring diagram or is one available somewhere online? (vehicle: 1985 Subaru GL wagon 1.8L 5 speed - not the turbo) - 3Vern

Your Answer

Add photo

Related Questions

  • What Subaru engines are compatible to fit in my 1987 Sub. GL wagon, 1.8L 5 speed? 1 answer

    Engine reaching the end of its life soon, rest of car is in great shape, hoping to keep it around if I can get a good deal on a compatible engine and stick it in!

    1987 Subaru GL


    Maintenance & Repair

  • 1999 Miata 1.8L engine w 5 speed trans. vs 1999 Miata 1.8L engine w 6 speed trans. 1 answer

    I blew up my 1999 1.8L engine w 5 speed. Always aware of the needed one more gear while driving my car. In my replacement engine search, I found a Japanes low miles 1999 1.8L engine with 6 speed tra...

    1999 Mazda MX-5 Miata


    Maintenance & Repair

  • 1995 Subaru Impreza all wheel drive 5 speed 4 answers

    My 95 Subaru Impreza all wheel drive 5 speed has power everything works it just doesn't turn over but if I pop start it it will start when I turn the ignition I hear a clicking sound underneath th...

    1995 Subaru Impreza L Wagon


    Maintenance & Repair

  • Why does Subaru have a reputation for building reliable cars? 204 answers

    I recently became aware that my 2001 Forester has a leaking head gasket and a bad wheel bearing. Although the vehicle is 12 years old, it has only 95,000 miles and has been meticulously cared for (I ...

    2001 Subaru Forester S


    Maintenance & Repair

  • How long do Subaru Legacys last? 58 answers

    What is a typical lifespan for Subaru Legacy wagons? I have a 1996 Subaru Legacy Brighton with 132,000 miles (bought it used, with 18k already on it). I've kept it maintained over the years. Two di...

    1996 Subaru Legacy 4 Dr Brighton AWD Wagon




Search Maintenance & Repair Questions

Maintenance & Repair Experts

#1 Tom Demyan
Tom Demyan
Reputation 166,000
#2 dandyoun
Reputation 90,540
#3 tenspeed
Reputation 73,340
View All