Question about 2002 Chrysler Town & Country

3 Answers

Engine light has been on for 4 weeks. Diagnostic test today said it was the catalytic converter. Can this really be the cause of the engine light on? Mechanic wants to replace the converter for $1800 - I'm hesitating to approve this repair. Car is running good except for this engine light. Had a fuel filter replaced 6 months ago and I get oil changes on time. I have 90,000 miles on the car and will be driving 2200 miles in one month. I don't want to have a problem on the road, especially driving over the Rockies. Any advice?

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A catalytic converter is a device that uses a catalyst to convert three harmful compounds in car exhaust into harmless compounds.
The three harmful compounds are:

  • Hydrocarbons (in the form of unburned gasoline)
  • Carbon monoxide (formed by the combustion of gasoline)
  • Nitrogen oxides (created when the heat in the engine forces nitrogen in the air to combine with oxygen)
Carbon monoxide is a poison for any air-breathing animal. Nitrogen oxides lead to smog and acid rain, and hydrocarbons produce smog. In a catalytic converter, the catalyst (in the form of platinum and palladium) is coated onto a ceramic honeycomb or ceramic beads that are housed in a muffler-like package attached to the exhaust pipe. The catalyst helps to convert carbon monoxide into carbon dioxide. It converts the hydrocarbons into carbon dioxide and water. It also converts the nitrogen oxides back into nitrogen and oxygen.

Every modern car now comes with a catalytic converter. Few car owners think about them until, of course, there is a problem and a repair has to be made. In this article, we take a look at what your catalytic converter actually does.

The internal combustion engine is a mechanism that propels the car by burning fuel combined with air. The spark from the spark plug sets the small explosion off and the process is repeated literally millions of times during the life of your car. Of course, each little combustion event produces gases. These are sent down the exhaust system and out the back of the vehicle.

The gases expelled by your car are not good for the environment. Anyone driving into a city in the 1980s knew that gathering pollutant was known as smog. Smog is extremely unhealthy to both the environment and people. Los Angeles had such a bad smog problem that a study once revealed driving in rush hour traffic for an hour with the window down was the equivalent of smoking two packs of cigarettes!

The catalytic converter on your car is designed to deal with these gases. It is usually found just behind the exhaust manifold on the engine. As the gases come out of the engine proper, they pass through the converter before heading out the back of the vehicle. As they pass through, the gases are treated in a manner that effectively renders them much less damaging to the environment.

There treatment process actually isn't what one would think. The catalytic converter has materials in it, specifically palladium, mixed with other chemicals. As the polluted gas passes over the chemicals, it is separated into inert components that are found in nature. For instance, carbon monoxide is a nasty gas found in the exhaust. Running it through the catalytic converter converts it into carbon dioxide and water, two elements that aren't dangerous.

Most people don't think about their catalytic converter unless there is a problem. There is nothing wrong with that, but just keep in mind what a difference it has made when you drive around your city and can actually see long distances.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/2551701 Personally, I would get a second opinion, about the re & re of this particular part. It has valuable metals inside that cause the chemical reaction that creates the inert gases. I would call around and find a place that buys used old catal;ytic converters, to try and recoup a few of tyhe dollars that you are going to out lay for the "repair" Always remember to get a second opinion and second diagnostic, when someone tells you that they can fix thier own diagnosis for $1800.00... a little word to the wise my friend. NOT ALL MECHANICS ARE YOUR FRIEND TRYING TO DO YOU THE BEST DEAL THAT THEY CAN.. and NOT ALL MECHANICS ARE OUT TO RIP YOU OFF. .. Use a lot of common sense, and use the local B.B.B. to find out the opinions of the locals who have dealt with the mechanic you aretalking to. I would replace the catalytic converter, if the money was thier to allow me to do his. The catalytic converter is not THAT IMPORTANT TO THE GOOD OPERATION of the vehicle... it is just a polution control device and if money is tight, I would put it off until I could get a better deal. To replace the converter is not a big deal. You will need a 9/16 wrench (or 15mil) a couple of the correct muffler clamps, a jack stand, a jack, and 1 hour. You can do the repair yourself in your drive way. It is very easy and straight forward.

Posted on Apr 08, 2011

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You have an oxygen sensor before the catalytic converter, and this monitors your fuel to air mixture back to your computer. The oxygen sensor after the catalytic monitors how much unburned fuel the catalytic has cleaned up. The second oxygen sensor has detected too much emmisions, and has set the light on. Yes, Catalytics do go bad. I would get a good second opinion.

Posted on Apr 08, 2011

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1800 sounds excessive.It is very possible it is bad and you dont notice any symptoms.Have you priced the repair at an indipendant muffler shop or a chain store such as midas?Dealer parts prices for converters are very expensive because of the precious medals inside.I would seek an aftermarket replacement.

Posted on Apr 08, 2011

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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



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My check engine light came on with P0422 and P0455 codes. Any suggestions as to the cause.


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.*&#$%

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4-faulty catalytic converter.

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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



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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



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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.!@##

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