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Check engine light w/ burning smell

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Old 04-28-2013, 02:06 PM   #1
Mainmoe02 [OP] Mainmoe02 is offline
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Check engine light w/ burning smell

My check engine light just came on (p0420 OBDII code) on my 2001 tacoma. its a 3.4L v6. I've been smelling a burning smell as of the past week or so. It's a burning scent but can't tell where it's comming from. I don't see any oil leaks or any smoke.

As for the code it may be my Cat Converter or an 02 sensor?

From reading online I've also read that the reason the cat converter went out is because the motor is leaking oil internally and it's clogging the catalytic converter.

Does anyone have any experience with these types of issues?
I'm hoping I don't have to spend Thousands to fix this.

I know when the Cats go bad they smell like "rotten eggs" but the smell I'm getting is burning smell.

Also, I've read that going with an aftermarket catalytic converter is a waste although its much cheaper. I've read I should go with an OEM catalytic converter but its way more $. Let me know what you think.

THANKS!!!!!!!
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Old 04-28-2013, 03:00 PM   #2
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Have you done a visual inspection under your truck? I have had customers come in with a burning smell only to find out something got caught on their exhaust and melted on it. That would not result in a P0420 code however. I have found that a lot of P0420 codes are a result of a malfunctioning O2 sensor after the catalytic converter. It tends to be 50/50 between a bad sensor or a bad catalytic. Consider cleaning the sensor and retesting, or replacing the sensor and retesting.
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Old 04-28-2013, 03:03 PM   #3
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^this

I had this code come up on my truck. I didn't do anything and just cleared the code. It's been 8 months and it still hasn't come back.
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Old 04-28-2013, 03:25 PM   #4
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Thanks for the advice, I'll definently do a visual inspection. I'm gonna go try to clean the sensors now. The first one is easy to get to, the 2nd has something in its way. Do y'all happen to know pricing on the sensors? I guess I could look it up but wanted to see what others are paying.

Also, is there only one Catalytic converter? I looked under there and it looks like there are 2. When I looked the part up on Toyota.com they said the 3.4L only has one cat.

I just cleared the code. Hopefully it won't come back! But I still need to find out what that burning smell could be.

Thanks!
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Old 04-28-2013, 03:38 PM   #5
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p0420

I have this error code too. I wouldn't ignore it. I did smell that burning/rotten egg smell for a week, then it went away. Im now getting fluttering while accelerating, so I having the truck's converters inspected. Theres 2 converters on the 01, ended up ordering a flowmasters rear cat for $200. Ill most likely have to get the front one as well.

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Originally Posted by Mainmoe02 View Post
Also, is there only one Catalytic converter? I looked under there and it looks like there are 2. When I looked the part up on Toyota.com they said the 3.4L only has one cat.

I just cleared the code. Hopefully it won't come back! But I still need to find out what that burning smell could be.

Thanks!
I thought this too until I started digging around the web.

http://www.flowmastermufflers.com/?p...&subcategory3=


Only reason why i picked up Flowmasters is because i just recently got the American thunder kit with a super 50. Sounds really nice I might add.
http://www.flowmastermufflers.com/?p...&subcategory3=

Im not quite sure what labor will be, seeing you need to put the truck up on jacks and remove 5 bolts(3 connecting to the headers, and 2 to the rear exhause before the rear o2 sensor) and the top o2 sensor.
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Old 04-28-2013, 03:45 PM   #6
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It just dawned on me, I wonder if there is anyway a failed pvc valve can lead to problems with the catalytic converters. Maybe that could be the underlining cause to my converters failing.
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Old 04-29-2013, 10:08 AM   #7
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If a failed PCV valve was a problem, depending on HOW it failed, it would let more than the expected crankcase vapors into the intake, but you would most likely have a code that would involve either a MAF code, or a trim code.
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