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Old 10-28-2019, 10:02 PM   #1
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Catalytic Converters error code- what should I do please?

I got the P0420 code,

The car is running okay.

The guy at the auto parts store suggested Cataclean. It is only $25 so it seems worth a try.

But if it doesn’t work should I try an independent shop or go to the dealer?

My car is a 2012 at about 164k miles.

Thanks.


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Old 11-06-2019, 07:55 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjm240 View Post
I got the P0420 code,

The car is running okay.

The guy at the auto parts store suggested Cataclean. It is only $25 so it seems worth a try.

But if it doesn’t work should I try an independent shop or go to the dealer?

My car is a 2012 at about 164k miles.

Thanks.
I too have the same question. I got the P0420, Bank 1, efficiency below threshold. I have 223K. Seems to run fine but at time the engine shivers a little. Hopefully someone rings in.
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Old 11-06-2019, 09:17 PM   #3
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The way to check for this is to use a scanner and monitor the oxygen sensor and watch what it's doing. If it's moving up and down it's working, and is properly your converter. If the sensor numbers don't move around for the oxygen sensor and basically sit still the sensor is bad.

So basically the only way to really diagnose this is with a scanner that can read live data.

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Old 11-06-2019, 10:46 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by zacautomotive View Post
The way to check for this is to use a scanner and monitor the oxygen sensor and watch what it's doing. If it's moving up and down it's working, and is properly your converter. If the sensor numbers don't move around for the oxygen sensor and basically sit still the sensor is bad.

So basically the only way to really diagnose this is with a scanner that can read live data.

Sent from my LG-LS997 using FF Mobile
I have an ELM327 OBDII Bluetooth Scanner and I have an app that allows me to read live data so I'm going to give it a try in the morning. Fingers crossed that it's a sensor and not the catalytic converter. The Focus has a ton of miles on it, 223K, but it seems like it was really taken care of quite well. So I hope it is just a sensor.
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Old 11-07-2019, 07:28 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjm240 View Post
I got the P0420 code,

The car is running okay.

The guy at the auto parts store suggested Cataclean. It is only $25 so it seems worth a try.

But if it doesn’t work should I try an independent shop or go to the dealer?

My car is a 2012 at about 164k miles.

Thanks.
Bad cat(s)
Bad O2 sensor(s)
Exhaust leak

I would check the output voltages of the upstream and downstream O2 sensors. Upstream should cycle ~ 0.1vdc to ~ 0.9vdc. Downstream should settle out at ~ 0.5 vdc.

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Old 11-07-2019, 11:45 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by mjm240 View Post
The guy at the auto parts store suggested Cataclean. It is only $25 so it seems worth a try.
You should attempt to diagnose the sensors (replies above). If you're just going to throw parts/money at it, I'd replace the upstream sensor ($52 at Rock Auto) before the $25 cat thing. At your miles, the sensors are likely shot.
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Old 11-08-2019, 02:25 AM   #7
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You should attempt to diagnose the sensors (replies above). If you're just going to throw parts/money at it, I'd replace the upstream sensor ($52 at Rock Auto) before the $25 cat thing. At your miles, the sensors are likely shot.
The original thread starter had 164K and was contemplating throwing a $25 bottle of cataclean in his car. I have 223K and wasn't thinking about dumping that into my tank. I've been terribly busy but tomorrow I'm taking the day off and I'll be testing the o2 sensors. Also, every once in awhile if I'm in lets say "overdrive" and I push the gas down decently hard but not hard enough to downshift, the Focus can make a throaty sound which I'm not heard in a 4 cylinder engine before. It was kinda cool but not if it's going to make my check engine light come on. I will diagnose more tomorrow. Thanks everyone!
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Old 11-08-2019, 04:53 PM   #8
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Cataclean is simply a lot of xylene and acetone, it cannot fix a converter past a few minutes while it is running in the fuel, it lower emissions hugely then but CANNOT fix the cat past the result of running it. The pics on the Holley website of a clean to the metal cat after using it are accurate if you know they soaked the cat in the stuff for hours, that WILL clean off the soot but you don't have that option running it in the fuel. Read the MSDS, it clearly tells you.
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Old 11-08-2019, 06:28 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigreddog View Post
The original thread starter had 164K and was contemplating throwing a $25 bottle of cataclean in his car. I have 223K and wasn't thinking about dumping that into my tank. I've been terribly busy but tomorrow I'm taking the day off and I'll be testing the o2 sensors. Also, every once in awhile if I'm in lets say "overdrive" and I push the gas down decently hard but not hard enough to downshift, the Focus can make a throaty sound which I'm not heard in a 4 cylinder engine before. It was kinda cool but not if it's going to make my check engine light come on. I will diagnose more tomorrow. Thanks everyone!
You never stated what year/model/engine/trans you have?

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Old 11-08-2019, 07:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amc49 View Post
Cataclean is simply a lot of xylene and acetone, it cannot fix a converter past a few minutes while it is running in the fuel, it lower emissions hugely then but CANNOT fix the cat past the result of running it. The pics on the Holley website of a clean to the metal cat after using it are accurate if you know they soaked the cat in the stuff for hours, that WILL clean off the soot but you don't have that option running it in the fuel. Read the MSDS, it clearly tells you.
I understand. I never was planning on running a bottle of this stuff through my car. The thread starter was thinking about it, not me.
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