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#2440732 - 11/21/11 10:26 AM Re: P0420 Code... CAT or O2 sensors? [Re: MysticGold04]
Trav Offline


Registered: 11/20/06
Posts: 12242
Loc: MA, Mittelfranken.de
Take a look at this, i would try to rule out as many things as possible before spending any money.

http://www.easterncatalytic.com/education/EC570_MA_11_10_TT_final.pdf
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#2440745 - 11/21/11 10:45 AM Re: P0420 Code... CAT or O2 sensors? [Re: MysticGold04]
Vikas Offline


Registered: 07/22/05
Posts: 9579
Loc: NorthEast
You probably have many months of driving before the P0420 code is going to start coming more often. Wait until that happens. Even if your ScanGauge were to give you front and rear O2 readings, it will be still difficult to check the health of the converter. You can either watch the readings or watch the road, I prefer you do the later :-) You really want a graphing scanner or better an oscilloscope. Your 2004 is most like NOT an CAN capable vehicle, so the refresh rate is going to be slow.

- Vikas

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#2441334 - 11/21/11 09:30 PM Re: P0420 Code... CAT or O2 sensors? [Re: MysticGold04]
wiswind Offline


Registered: 11/03/04
Posts: 1011
Loc: Wisconsin
I looked the catalytic converter for 2004, 2.4L Highlander up on toyotapartszone and the list price for OEM (Toyota) is $585 for vehicles manufactured up to 08 of 2003 (their price is about $512) and from 08 of 2003 and newer, the list price is $392 (their price is $343).
You would need to enter your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) in order to find out which part is for your vehicle.
There are other websites for genuine Toyota parts.....I used the one I mention because they USED TO have very detailed diagrams, which don't seem to be there now.
I have not seen such detailed diagrams outside of a dealership parts computer.

I went aftermarket on a vehicle (FORD) where the OEM was listed at $1600 and the best price that I could find was $1200.
If these prices are correct (you only need 1 of these), then you are not saving much by going with a QUALITY aftermarket.

I have the 1MZFE V6 in my 2003 Sienna, and it has the "pre-cat's" that were mentioned.
There are TSBs from TOYOTA about problems with the P0420 for my vehicle (remember, different motor) and it could be cat, oxygen sensor or even the ECM (computer), with the computer being $$$$
It was not a computer problem that could be solved with a reflash, the unit had to be replaced.
This leads me to believe that the sysetem is running pretty close to the limits that the computer permits.

That said, I would wait and see if the code comes back.....and go from there.
It would be great if you could find a shop where they apply brains and the right equipment to the job, but so many places just throw parts at it until the problem goes away....often causing you to make return trips and spend more money than necessary.

Also, the statement about the Air/Fuel sensors, aka wideband oxygen sensors, those before catalytic converter sensors are quite expensive.
After reading the TSB about the P0420 for my vehicle....and reading other posts in a couple of forums, I am even more driven to stick with OEM (or the same Denso cross for OEM)for these particular parts.

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#2442833 - 11/23/11 01:21 PM Re: P0420 Code... CAT or O2 sensors? [Re: MysticGold04]
dailydriver Online   content


Registered: 03/14/06
Posts: 7835
Loc: Bucks County, Pa.
Does Cali check for I/M Readyness codes, and fail you if there is more than one (or ANY) incomplete??
_________________________
2000 Z28 1SC 6 speed 175K miles
Red Line 0W-40/Sustina 0W-20 (20/80 mix)
Fram Ultra filter
Amsoil SVO 75W-140/3.8 oz. XL-3
Red Line D4 in the T56

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#2545161 - 02/22/12 03:05 PM Re: P0420 Code... CAT or O2 sensors? [Re: MysticGold04]
MysticGold04 Offline


Registered: 01/12/05
Posts: 1148
Loc: CA
Ok.. the wife just got back from Reno this past weekend and said the engine light came on again.. this is the first time it has come back since I reset it earlier in this thread. My guess is it had been several thousand miles.

I need to scan the code again with my scangauge and I'm willing to bet dollars or doughnuts that it is again a P0420.
_________________________
'04 Highlander 2AZ 169,043 Maxlife 5w30
'06 Focus 5MT 2.0 104,100 Maxlife 5w20/Rislone
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#2545275 - 02/22/12 04:56 PM Re: P0420 Code... CAT or O2 sensors? [Re: MysticGold04]
LeakySeals Offline


Registered: 02/18/11
Posts: 5070
Loc: MA
Been through it. Your CEL is set to 95% (cats almost perfect) Pull the rear 02 out and add a spark plug anti fouler. youtube it. That will give you many more years.
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#2545889 - 02/23/12 10:53 AM Re: P0420 Code... CAT or O2 sensors? [Re: MysticGold04]
Vikas Offline


Registered: 07/22/05
Posts: 9579
Loc: NorthEast
But he is in CA and I am under impression that emission stations are all state owned and do a thorough job and extender could be visible. Also in CA, the car is actually put on the dyno and tested for emissions. Google for anti fouler usage in California and see if others have done it in the past. In most other states, they hook up the scanner and that is all they do for emission test but NOT in California.

To OP:- The P0420 (and/or P0430) code would eventually start appearing more often. Since it is on the borderline, you will be getting the code randomly. You will think it has to do with the gas, ambient temperature and convince yourself that changing the gas station has fixed it. You could go for hundreds of miles until it trips again. Believe me, I had driven my vehicle(s) with scanner connected all the time and taken it on long trips and have reset the code while driving. I was getting good at erasing the code one handed without taking my eyes off the road. My fingers had memorized the key code sequence needed for that task.

It is given that by the time your next inspection is due, it will trip pretty much within 20 miles of resetting it.

Find a shop which specializes in emission and has tools such as scope to graph the sensor output and scanners to look at Mode 6 tests results. Sometimes, borderline Mode 6 test results would be able predict if the code is eminent or not.

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#2545947 - 02/23/12 12:08 PM Re: P0420 Code... CAT or O2 sensors? [Re: MysticGold04]
bdcardinal Offline


Registered: 06/03/05
Posts: 7623
Loc: Santa Barbara, CA
Emissions stations in CA are not state owned. They are all independent, but the process to get the smog license is a PITA.
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1995 Ford Mustang GT

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Opinions expressed are my own.

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#2551946 - 02/28/12 11:44 PM Re: P0420 Code... CAT or O2 sensors? [Re: MysticGold04]
MysticGold04 Offline


Registered: 01/12/05
Posts: 1148
Loc: CA
I'm going to scan the last smog check and post it. Then you guys tell me what you think about it. ok?
_________________________
'04 Highlander 2AZ 169,043 Maxlife 5w30
'06 Focus 5MT 2.0 104,100 Maxlife 5w20/Rislone
"God is Great, Beer is Good, and People are Crazy." USA

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#2551963 - 02/29/12 12:36 AM Re: P0420 Code... CAT or O2 sensors? [Re: MysticGold04]
mrcoolguy Offline


Registered: 12/14/11
Posts: 193
Loc: Los Angeles
My car throws P0420 and P0430 codes...but thats because my car doesn't have any cats wink
_________________________
05 Civic I4 116K M1 EP 0W20
03 Civic 84K M1 AFE 0W20
97 Avalon V6 150K M1 0W40
00 Camry I4 110K M1 EP 5W30

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#2552746 - 02/29/12 07:09 PM Re: P0420 Code... CAT or O2 sensors? [Re: mrcoolguy]
dailydriver Online   content


Registered: 03/14/06
Posts: 7835
Loc: Bucks County, Pa.
Originally Posted By: mrcoolguy
My car throws P0420 and P0430 codes...but thats because my car doesn't have any cats wink


There are tuners (actual people, NOT hand held devives) using EFI Live and such who can write those codes out of your ECM (if you are speaking of your f body).

But that will not do you any good in draconian Cali, since they also do gestapo-like visual inspections for actual, real, functional catcons and hooked-up rear O2s, as well as on-dyno sniffer tests. frown
_________________________
2000 Z28 1SC 6 speed 175K miles
Red Line 0W-40/Sustina 0W-20 (20/80 mix)
Fram Ultra filter
Amsoil SVO 75W-140/3.8 oz. XL-3
Red Line D4 in the T56

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#2552793 - 02/29/12 07:44 PM Re: P0420 Code... CAT or O2 sensors? [Re: dailydriver]
mrcoolguy Offline


Registered: 12/14/11
Posts: 193
Loc: Los Angeles
Quote:


There are tuners (actual people, NOT hand held devives) using EFI Live and such who can write those codes out of your ECM (if you are speaking of your f body).

But that will not do you any good in draconian Cali, since they also do gestapo-like visual inspections for actual, real, functional catcons and hooked-up rear O2s, as well as on-dyno sniffer tests. frown


Yeah, I am going to get some goodies first ( LS6 intake, heads, cam, LT headers and ORY pipe before I get a tune). I will have to pay for it to be street legal LOL laugh [censored] Cali ... frown
_________________________
05 Civic I4 116K M1 EP 0W20
03 Civic 84K M1 AFE 0W20
97 Avalon V6 150K M1 0W40
00 Camry I4 110K M1 EP 5W30

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#2557755 - 03/05/12 12:00 PM Re: P0420 Code... CAT or O2 sensors? [Re: MysticGold04]
MysticGold04 Offline


Registered: 01/12/05
Posts: 1148
Loc: CA
Ok.. I want to try to diagnose this myself if possible. I should have some time this week to pull the code.

I am just wondering... I have a scangauge II, but it is not the updated version with the XGauge capability. Do/can any of you who have one of these scanners look at the O2 sensor data with it? I will spend the $25 to upgrade mine if that is possible. Or, I could try to sell that and get a more advanced scanner for around $200 that will read the O2 data. I called a local shop and they told me labor just to find out who/what the culprit is would be $100... I can easily change out the sensors myself - hoping this is the issue!
_________________________
'04 Highlander 2AZ 169,043 Maxlife 5w30
'06 Focus 5MT 2.0 104,100 Maxlife 5w20/Rislone
"God is Great, Beer is Good, and People are Crazy." USA

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#2557846 - 03/05/12 01:12 PM Re: P0420 Code... CAT or O2 sensors? [Re: MysticGold04]
JamesBond Offline


Registered: 12/13/06
Posts: 482
Loc: midwest
I've posted this info in other threads re. P0420 codes and will offer my 2 cents about what has worked for me. Your cat and secondary O2 sensor probably do not work as well as they did when new causing an occasional check engine light. Before I replaced either part I would dump a bottle of techron, or regane in the tank, warm up the car and put the trans in 2 and do some alternating high throttle and coasting between 30 and 50 mph up and down a country road or some such safe place. After 8-10 reps of this I would hit the highway for 10 miles or so then come back and repeat the process. The goal of this would be to get the exhaust system and cat plenty hot in order to burn off any deposits in the cat or on the O2 sensor. It also couldn't hurt to do the plugs and clean the throttle first if they haven't been done. Then reset the light if it doesn't go out on its own.

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#2557895 - 03/05/12 02:04 PM Re: P0420 Code... CAT or O2 sensors? [Re: MysticGold04]
Vikas Offline


Registered: 07/22/05
Posts: 9579
Loc: NorthEast
The answer was posted here multiple times.

The cheapest scanner to verify weak catalytic converter costs $14.50 assuming you already own an Android platform such as a Smartphone or Tablet. It will just confirm the diagnosis of your converter falling off the the so called 95% efficiency cliff with 99% accuracy. There is a 1% chance that your primacy O2 sensor could be bad.

LicenceToKill:-
Can you tell me how long it has been since you used your method to get rid of P0420?

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