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How to fix a P0420 code for Honda Accord LX ?

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The code PO420 you have is Catalyst System efficiency is below threshold bank one. Usually replacing the O2 sensor that's the front most in the exhaust system will cure your problem,

Your Check Engine light is on and you find a P0420 code for a catalytic converter fault. Does that really mean your converter has reached the end of the road and needs to be replaced? A new converter can cost $600 to $1000 or more if a new car dealer or repair shop does the job, or maybe half that amount if you do it yourself. It's an expensive fix that may or may not be necessary. The problem, in most cases, is an emissions issue, not a performance issue that affects the way the engine runs.

A P0420 diagnostic trouble code is a "generic" fault code that is set when the Onboard Diagnostic II (OBD II) system sees a drop in converter efficiency. The OBD II system monitors catalyst efficiency by comparing the switching activity of the upstream and downstream oxygen sensors in the exhaust. The upstream O2 sensor in theexhaust manifold reflects the condition of the exhaust gases as they exit the engine. The downstream O2 sensor in or behind the catalytic converter reflects the condition of the exhaust after it passes through he converter.

The catalytic converter is like an after-burner. It oxidizes (burns) any residual fuel vapors (unburned hydrocarbons or HC) in the exhaust. It also burns any carbon monoxide (CO) in the exhaust. The exhaust must meet federal emission standards, and if a problem exists that causes emissions to exceed the federal limits by 150%, the OBD II system is supposed to catch the fault, set a code and turn on the Check Engine light.

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Posted on Oct 01, 2010

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