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Old 12-03-2009, 08:54 AM   #1
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Catalytic Converter Suggestions

Greetings,

I just returned from Advance Auto with the dreaded P0420 check engine code. I know a pretty good mechanic, and he looked it over and said it is in fact the cat converter. He'll sell me an aftermarket one for like 350, but it won't turn the light off or pass inspection...goddamn California emissions standards. He recommends the stock converter for 1100 plus labor. I'd really like to avoid this 1250 dollar bath if I can...any suggestions, I'm pretty handy and resourceful.

Thanks.
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Old 12-03-2009, 09:01 AM   #2
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Check out rockauto.com. They have CATs alot cheaper, but I don't know if they will clear the code. They simply bolt in and you could have this done in less than an hour easy. Toyotas (imports for that matter) are known for not "liking" aftermarket CAT's.

P0420 can be caused by other things too.
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Old 12-05-2009, 11:31 AM   #3
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How'd you diagnosis that it's definitely the cat? I just had this code myself, for me it was a simple exhaust leak between the cat and the rear O2 sensor. I spent a LONG time looking at all the different tacoma forums and reading all the P0420 code threads I could find, and nobody ever said it had to be an OEM replacement cat, so I question the need for OEM. If you know for sure its the cat, sure, replace it. But the FSM does say for the 0420 code to check exhaust leaks first, check rear O2 sensor 2nd, front O2 sensor 3rd, and to save checking/replacing the cat until last.
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Old 12-08-2009, 04:52 AM   #4
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Yea, I'm starting to question that it is for sure that cat. I ripped the whole exhaust apart and both cats looked fine when I shined a light through them. It is possible that the cats are running fine, and they're just not up to the ridiculous California emissions standards? I'm thinking I may replace the O2 sensor and see what that does for my fuel economy and check engine.
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Old 12-08-2009, 05:17 AM   #5
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Replace the front sensor first.
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Old 12-10-2009, 12:15 PM   #6
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Thanks for all the advice...I did decide to change the first O2 sensor, and the truck seems to be running better. Fuel economy is improved, but the CEL is still reading P0420. Do I have to get somebody to shut the light off, or does this mean that my problem is still lurking?

Thanks
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Old 12-10-2009, 12:46 PM   #7
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You can shut the CEL off by pulling the NEG battery cable off for a minute or so. If the CEL comes back on then there is definitely an issue somewhere. Does the exhaust smell of sulfur (rotten eggs)?
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Old 12-11-2009, 06:29 AM   #8
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Thanks, I'll try that...no sulfur smell, and no real loss of power. The only really noticeable symptom is the small loss of fuel economy.
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Old 12-11-2009, 06:32 AM   #9
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That loss of MPG can be attributed to the front sensor. The no sulfur smell is a good thing. Pulling the NEG BAT wire will also reset the driving characteristics the ECU has learned. This may effect your MPG for a tank or two also.
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Old 12-11-2009, 06:55 AM   #10
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Alright, I'll pull the NEG wire and let 'er digest this whole thing for a couple days...thanks again.
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Old 12-27-2009, 02:51 PM   #11
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BOTH cats are bad ?

My California Emissions Tacoma has a pre-cat and cat that my Toyota service department wants to replace. I have a check engine light on. $1000 for each CAT and $500 for labor. I do NOT live in California. This is serious money!

The after market 49 state catalytic converters are about $200 each.

If I replace both cats (aftermarket) with 49 state products AND 49 state O/2 sensors will the code go away? Or will the computer still throw the same code.

I'd rather NOT spend $2500 on the emissions unless I have too.

Thanks guys.
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Old 12-27-2009, 03:02 PM   #12
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What code are you getting?
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Old 12-27-2009, 03:07 PM   #13
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Bro, I’m in the same boat what part of cali are you in.... if you buy the $1100++++ from Toyota you can put it on yourself if I recall correctly it's only held by like 4 blots or so.... if not call around see if you can find any of the universal magnaflow weld on they should run anywhere from $200 and up installed best of luck let me know if you get a good deal I need to get one aswell……
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Old 12-27-2009, 03:10 PM   #14
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oh, I almost forgot try to get it chage soonother wise you'll throwout something call air ration something and thats about$200-$350 installed but if that happens go on ebay and buy it for way under $200 and you can put it in yourself pretty easy it looks like and o2 sensor
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Old 12-27-2009, 03:14 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jesus View Post
oh, I almost forgot try to get it chage soonother wise you'll throwout something call air ration something and thats about$200-$350 installed but if that happens go on ebay and buy it for way under $200 and you can put it in yourself pretty easy it looks like and o2 sensor
It's called an Air/Fuel Ratio Sensor (AFR Sensor). They are cheaper than that and a bad CAT wouldn't cause them to go bad.
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Old 12-27-2009, 03:17 PM   #16
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The 49 state pre cat and cat will get me past the emissions check and then I'll add a URD sim to get rid of the check engine light?

California PreCat $1000 - Cat $1000. I don't think this truck was ever in California?

Thanks for the advice
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Old 01-21-2010, 05:35 AM   #17
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Alrightly, get ready for this one...I replaced what I thought was the "first O2 sensor" (before the cats) and could not get the CEL to stay off, so I started thinking about the "2nd O2 Sensor" (after the cats). After doing some more research, I found out that the first sensor is in fact an "Air Flow Sensor" and does not affect the "Catalyst Efficiency" that the 420 code was complaining about. The sensor after the cats is the true O2 sensor, as I understand it.

Upon inspecting the second sensor, I realized that it was not nutted into place! It was just sitting on the studs that come off the pipe. I went to NAPA and spend 42 cents on 2 metric nuts, torqued them down and have been CEL free for 500 miles now. And I was this close to putting up 600 bucks for an aftermarket cat and computer override...which wouldn't have even turned the light off!

Hahaha, this has been quite a process, but I hope some of the other problems out there can be fixed with this simple solution.

Thanks for all the help in during this whole raggamaroll.
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Old 01-21-2010, 05:40 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonCAldridge View Post
Alrightly, get ready for this one...I replaced what I thought was the "first O2 sensor" (before the cats) and could not get the CEL to stay off, so I started thinking about the "2nd O2 Sensor" (after the cats). After doing some more research, I found out that the first sensor is in fact an "Air Flow Sensor" and does not affect the "Catalyst Efficiency" that the 420 code was complaining about. The sensor after the cats is the true O2 sensor, as I understand it.

Upon inspecting the second sensor, I realized that it was not nutted into place! It was just sitting on the studs that come off the pipe. I went to NAPA and spend 42 cents on 2 metric nuts, torqued them down and have been CEL free for 500 miles now. And I was this close to putting up 600 bucks for an aftermarket cat and computer override...which wouldn't have even turned the light off!

Hahaha, this has been quite a process, but I hope some of the other problems out there can be fixed with this simple solution.

Thanks for all the help in during this whole raggamaroll.
The AFR sensor can have an affect on the P0420 code. It has been proven here and on other boards. Regardless, glad to see the problem was resolved.
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Old 01-21-2010, 06:00 AM   #19
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Man,
I am getting the sensor replaced today.
My good friend got me a price of $899.00 for the toyota cat.
I said lets try the sensor first and see if that works.
Rock auto has the denso factory cats if I really need one.

We replace the cat about a year ago after some dirt bag removed the factory cat for me and we replaced it with an aftermarket one which has been fine for a year.

The sensors have about 100K expected life from what I have read.
So we are at 92K and I think it is worth the chance to change it first.

Last resort is a O2 sim.
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Old 06-20-2014, 04:27 PM   #20
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420 code and Actron scanner 9580A

Hello, I am new to this site in search of information, hate to burst into your post, but I have a problem. I am dealing with a 2002 3.4 eng. Have any of you guys or know of anyone who has checked, with a scanner, what the voltage was on O2 sensor 1 and 2 ? Mine are reading 3.265 on 1 and .425 on sensor 2 and they hold there, no change whatsoever. I am really interested in what this means to a mechanic. Everything I have read on the 420 code, these 2 voltages are supposed to be within .5V of each other. And that they should go up and down with speed, temperature of the cats, acceleration, etc. I am trying to find if I have a bad 02 sensor or a bad cat. Thanks, Brady
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