Question about 2002 Subaru Outback

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Just had the catalytic converter replaced, but the check engine light is back on. Ideas? Not gas cap and the Oxygen sensors were replaced. Also, I see aftermarket catalytic onverters exist for this model (2002 Outback LL Bean); are they safe to use in the East? They sure cost a lot less. Will they pass a tailpipe exam?

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O2 sensors
change to super unlead only

Posted on Jul 29, 2009

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My 2000 Cadillac Deville engine light on. Engine code PO420


Catalyst System Efficiency Below Threshold (Bank 1)

A code PO420 may mean that one or more of the following has happened:
  • Leaded fuel was used where unleaded was called for
  • An oxygen sensor is not reading (functioning) properly
  • The engine coolant temperature sensor is not working properly
  • Damaged or leaking exhaust manifold / catalytic converter / exhaust pipe
  • Retarded spark timing
  • The oxygen sensors in front and behind the converter are reporting too similar of reading

  • Check for exhaust leaks at the manifold, pipes, catalytic converter. Repair as required.
  • Use a scope to diagnose the oxygen sensor operation (Tip: The oxygen sensor in front of the catalytic converter normally has a fluctuating waveform. The waveform of the sensor behind the converter should be more steady).
  • Inspect the downstream heated oxygen sensor (HO2), replace if necessary
  • Replace the catalytic converter

May 11, 2011 | 2000 Cadillac DeVille

Tip

My Engine Check Light Is Illuminated


There's nobody on Fixya who can give you a definitive answer as to why your engine check light is on. It just isn't possible, and nobody will tell you to replace parts because some of the parts can be pricey.

If you can understand a number of the causes that lead to a check light coming on, it will go some way in helping you decide what may be the fault:

The Oxygen Sensor
Often referred to as a Lambda sensor.
An oxygen sensor is fitted on the exhaust system before the catalytic converter. It monitors the unburned oxygen from the exhaust and detects how much fuel is being burned at any given time.
A faulty oxygen sensor means it's not providing the right data to the computer and will cause a drop in miles per gallon. Some cars may have more than one oxygen sensor.

Cause
Over time, the sensor becomes coated by burnt carbon waste from the exhaust and loses its ability to alter the oxygen / fuel mixture for different driving speeds and conditions. A faulty oxygen sensor also increases exhaust emissions.

A failed oxygen sensor can eventually cause the catalytic converter to burn out. The smell of a burnt catalytic converter is likened to the smell of 'tom cat p**s'. A replacement catalytic converter doesn't come cheap.

Mass Air Flow Sensor
The mass airflow sensor tells the car's computer to add the correct amount of fuel based on the amount of air being drawn into the engine for combustion. A faulty mass air flow sensor also affects mpg, increases emissions, and can cause the car to stall.

Cause
Mass airflow sensors can fail over time because of an improperly installed air filter - or an air filter that has never been changed. You should replace the air filter at least once a year to help prevent the airflow sensor from failing.

Spark Plugs
Yes, faulty spark plugs can cause the engine check light to come on - that's because misfiring plugs cause a problem elsewhere in the fuel/air management.
You may feel a 'jolting' when accelerating. Spark plugs fail and there's not much you can do to prevent that from happening.

Fuel Filler Cap
Probably knows as the gas cap in the USA?
Incredibly, an untightened or cracked filler cap can cause problems. Some modern cars even have an error code that suggests a faulty fuel cap.

EGR
The Exhaust Gas Recirculation valve.
In internal combustion engines, exhaust gas recirculation is a nitrogen oxide emissions reduction technique used in petrol/gasoline and diesel engines. An EGR works by recirculating a portion of an engine's exhaust gas back to the engine cylinders. It reroutes some of the exhaust gases which are emitted by the engine into the combustion chambers. This effectively reduces temperatures in the combustion chambers.
Cause
The exhaust gases from the engine can cause the egr plunger (or 'butterfly valve' - which is a small circular disk inside the throttle body) to stick open or closed, leading to differing symptoms such as engine knock when fuel is ignited too early or rough running. It is the engine timing which is affected.

Most EGRs can be removed and cleaned out. Most EGRs are expensive to replace.

Camshaft and/or Crankshaft Sensor
More often than not when these fail the engine will not start, but this isn't always the case nowadays. Some vehicles have a 'limp home' mode. Replacement of the faulty sensor is the only cure.

There's other sensors too. Your car is a veritable network of data being transmitted from/to a whole host of interconnected sensors.

For the home mechanic the most expensive - and frustrating - way of fixing something is to replace one part after the other in the hope that the problem is solved.

Your first course of action should be to have a diagnostic test carried out. Identify the fault first. It's well worth paying a mobile mechanic to carry out a diagnostic test first.

on Feb 08, 2016 | Cars & Trucks

2 Answers

P0422 general evap failure i tested gas cap and it failed replaced gas cap and repaired a vac hose to the purge soilniod light comes back on within 10 min of clearing it


P0422 Buick - Catalyst below threshold.

Catalytic converter is clogged or out of medium.

Replace it.


ACTUAL DIAGNOSTIC:

Fault Code Definition
Code P0422 indicates that the Bank 1 Main Catalytic Converter's emissions efficiency has fallen below the minimum allowable limit. This threshold is tracked by a Catalyst Monitoring Oxygen Sensor located on or near the outlet of the Catalytic Converter.

Symptoms

* Check Engine Light will illuminate
* In many cases, no abnormal symptoms may be noticed

Common Problems That Trigger the P0422 Code

* Defective Catalytic Converter
* Engine misfires have damaged the Catalytic Converter
* Internal engine damage resulting in high oil consumption and/or a leaking Head gasket has damaged the Catalytic Converter

Common Misdiagnoses

* Oxygen Sensors are replaced when the real problem is a damaged Catalyst
* Catalyst is replaced when the real problem is internal engine damage, which is producing elevated emissions levels
* Catalyst is replaced when a misfiring engine is the real problem



Thanks for using FixYa - a 4 THUMBS rating is appreciated for answering your FREE question.

Sep 28, 2010 | 1999 Buick Regal

3 Answers

CHECK ENGINE LIGHT STAYS ON. WAS TOLD IT WAS THE 02 SENSOR/VALVE. WHERE DO I FIND THIS? GMC SIERRA 1500


You should have 5, O2 sensors on your Sirera. What are the DTC codes, each codes will indicate which O2 sensor needs to be addressed, or is this an answer with someone guess what the check engine light is saying.
Thye check engine light could be from a bad O2 sensor to just a bad or loose gas cap to a transmission issues.
Thank you for using fixya and note that Auto Zone and most larger auto parts store will scan DTC codes free of charge.

Jun 07, 2010 | 2006 GMC Sierra 1500 2WD

2 Answers

Changed both o2 sensors and front catalytic converter 2001 v6 tacoma 4wd dbl cab check engine light came back on initial scanner diagnosis catalytic efficiency bank 1 any ideas? could it be back converter


if the converter was bad the engine would loose power . alot of times the check engine light will come on for the emmitions check youre gas cap some vehicles will send a signal to the computer if the co is not right and by changing the gas cap solved the problem .

Nov 14, 2009 | 2001 Toyota Tacoma

1 Answer

My 2002 Cadillac Service Engine Light came on, code scanned for Catalytic converter. I replaced the converter after 2 weeks light came back on as well as alerts foe check gas cap, and check coolant level....


the code for gas cap? is also a code for small leak in evap system which includes the fuel /vent lines and canister check that the lines weren't damaged when cat was put in also check coolant sensor in reservoir connections runs by exhaust system

Nov 01, 2009 | 2002 Cadillac Deville

2 Answers

My daughter has a 02 Ford Taurus and the engine light came on. We were told the problem code was a 420 but they could not diagnose the problem. They turned the light off but soon it came back on. Any...


What was the letter in front of the 0420 (i.e. P or B) if it was a P then the code is for a catalytic effenciency code. this usually caused by a lazy or an O2 sensor that is going out, or the catalytic converter itself is going out. The only way to really find the problem is to hook it up to a diagnostic code reader and monitor the O2 sensors for their flucuations and see if one is not lazy or not reading at all, if the sensors are flucuating then i would lean towards a catalytic converter. Hope this helps you out.

Oct 20, 2009 | 2002 Ford Taurus

1 Answer

PO420


Not just a faulty catalytic converter will trigger this code. Many other issues can trigger this code.

  • Leaded fuel was used where unleaded was called for
  • An oxygen sensor is not reading (functioning) properly
  • The engine coolant temperature sensor is not working properly
  • Damaged or leaking exhaust manifold / catalytic converter / exhaust pipe
  • Delayed spark timing
  • The oxygen sensors in front and behind the converter are reporting too similar of readings
Possible solutions:
  • Check for exhaust leaks at the manifold, pipes, catalytic converter.
  • Replace Coolant Temperature Sensor
  • Use a scope to diagnose the oxygen sensor operation (Tip: The oxygen sensor in front of the catalytic converter normally has a fluctuating waveform. The waveform of the sensor behind the converter should be more steady).
  • Inspect the downstream heated oxygen sensor (HO2)
  • Replace the catalytic converter
  • Have timing adjusted


Aug 25, 2009 | 2002 Toyota Camry

1 Answer

1996 VW Jetta has an engine code of P1586 Engine


P0422 - Catalyst below threshold.

Catalytic converter is clogged or out of medium.

Replace it.


ACTUAL DIAGNOSTIC:

Fault Code Definition
Code P0422 indicates that the Bank 1 Main Catalytic Converter's emissions efficiency has fallen below the minimum allowable limit. This threshold is tracked by a Catalyst Monitoring Oxygen Sensor located on or near the outlet of the Catalytic Converter.

Symptoms

* Check Engine Light will illuminate
* In many cases, no abnormal symptoms may be noticed

Common Problems That Trigger the P0422 Code

* Defective Catalytic Converter
* Engine misfires have damaged the Catalytic Converter
* Internal engine damage resulting in high oil consumption and/or a leaking Head gasket has damaged the Catalytic Converter

Common Misdiagnoses

* Oxygen Sensors are replaced when the real problem is a damaged Catalyst
* Catalyst is replaced when the real problem is internal engine damage, which is producing elevated emissions levels
* Catalyst is replaced when a misfiring engine is the real problem



Thanks for using FixYa - a 4 THUMBS rating is appreciated for answering your FREE question.#$%^&

Jul 30, 2009 | 1996 Volkswagen Passat

1 Answer

Engine code p0421


Catalyst System Efficiency Below Threshold (Bank 1)

The catalytic converter has an oxygen sensor in front and behind it. When the vehicle is warm and running in closed loop mode, the upstream oxygen sensor waveform reading should fluctuate. The downstream O2 sensor reading should be fairly steady. Typically the P0420 code triggers the Check Engine Light if the readings of the two sensors are similar. This is indicative of (among other things) a converter that is not working as efficiently as it should be (according to specs). It is part of the vehicle emissions system.

A code P0420 may mean that one or more of the following has happened:

* Leaded fuel was used where unleaded was called for
* An oxygen sensor is not reading (functioning) properly
* The engine coolant temperature sensor is not working properly
* Damaged or leaking exhaust manifold
/ catalytic converter / exhaust pipe
* Retarded spark timing
* The oxygen sensors in front and behind the converter are reporting too similar of readings


To Do list

* Check for exhaust leaks at the manifold, pipes, catalytic converter. Repair as required.
* Use a scope to diagnose the oxygen sensor operation (Tip: The oxygen sensor in front of the catalytic converter normally has a fluctuating waveform. The waveform of the sensor behind the converter should be more steady).
* Inspect the downstream heated oxygen sensor (HO2), replace if necessary
* Replace the catalytic converter

Jan 04, 2009 | 2001 Hyundai Sonata

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