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Check Engine Light on...got the code P0420, what should I look for?

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Old 10-27-2010, 04:44 PM
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Check Engine Light on...got the code P0420, what should I look for?

So the check engine light came on, so I used my Actron Scanner and found the car is throwing a P0420 code...

From the site:
"Code P0420 indicates that the exhaust gas exiting the catalytic converter is too similar to the exhaust gas entering the converter. A faulty or overloaded converter due to an unbalanced air/fuel mixture can cause this condition."

Anyone else have this code with our cars? What should I look for?

Thanks!
Old 10-27-2010, 04:58 PM
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By the Way, my car just passed the 90k mark....could it be the cats?
Old 10-27-2010, 11:22 PM
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P0420 is for catalytic converter efficiency

Either the CAT is bad or the O2 sensor - my money is on the O2 sensor.
Old 10-28-2010, 06:10 PM
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The scanner checks the o2 sensor and it says it passes the test fine....weird...either way I reset the ecu so im waiting to see if it comes back up
Old 10-28-2010, 06:11 PM
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Also, how bad is it to drive around if the o2 sensor is out? Could it mess up my car?
Old 10-28-2010, 08:03 PM
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Scanner is saying that the sensor reading / resistance is within range, not that it's reading correctly. A lot cheaper to replace sensor than the cat.

Driving with a bad sensor is going to effect emissions and probably fuel consumption. That code is for Bank 1 (driver I think), you could swap sensors and see if the problem follows... then you'll have a better answer.
Old 11-03-2010, 06:54 PM
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Thanks LMG....how hard is it to change the sensors? Can I do it with basic tools?

Also, I would basically have to buy 2 new sensors and if its not the sensors then im stuck with the ones i bought...

Should I just replace the Cat? I was thinking of going hi-flow cat either way....
Old 11-04-2010, 01:11 PM
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Leaks can cause this fault also. The O2 sensors before the cats control the A/F mixture.
The O2's after the cats verify converter operation.

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350z, actron, car, check, code, codes, converter, drive, efficiency, engine, light, md, obd, p0420, safe, scanner, stillen
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