Mom's 2002 Outback keeps throwing the code p0420. I'm told this means "catalytic converter".
History (within the last six months): 2002 Outback, odometer 165,000, purchased from used Subaru sales/repair business.
- Engine bearing went out. Highway breakdown within 1000 miles of purchase.
- Short block replaced.
- Check engine p0420. Shop replaced cat saying maybe the engine failure ruined the cat.
- Check engine p0420. Shop says 2002 Outbacks have this problem, not 2001, not 2003. Shop says we could 1) try various fuel additives, 2) replace cat with genuine Subaru part for around $1000, or 3) replace cat with a high performance cat Magnaflow for $500.
- Installed Magnaflow
- Check engine p0420. Shop says again its just this year for some reason. Options: 1) replace magnaflow with Subaru cat, and receive $500 credit, 2) swap 2002 computer out with a 2001 Outback, since its really the computer that is having the problem, or 3) keep trying different additives.
When I mentioned o=o2 sensor, the shop said there's another code for that, so that isn't the problem.
So what to do? Is this 2002 Outback cat problem a well known problem? Because I'm not finding a lot of talk about it. How exactly does information about the catalytic converter flow to the computer? How are o2 sensors related? How to get this check engine light to go away so my poor mother can drive in peace?