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New used car blues


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#26 xdeadeye1

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Posted 21 November 2017 - 09:08 PM

I called the previous owner,, he said he took it to a guy who put a machine on it and the codes pointed to a bad catalytic converter.

 

He said that it was the second one put on the car.  He bought one from rock auto 3 years ago.  it was a wagner with a lifetime warranty..  But he didn't want to fool with it.

 

So maybe it is running bad/rich and causing cat converters to go bad?   idk.

 

But to me this might be a good sign that its not the tranny.  He said he never had problems with tranny.



#27 Fairtax4me

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Posted 21 November 2017 - 11:01 PM

Won't get a catalyst code right away. It's a two trip code, and takes a very certain set of criteria just to run the test cycle for the catalyst monitor. It has to run and fail on consecutive drives before the code will set. Generally the car has to be driven 15-20 minutes at a constant speed before the test will run, then the test takes several minutes to complete and any major change in throttle angle or vehicle speed will reset the test.

#28 1 Lucky Texan

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 08:45 AM

I called the previous owner,, he said he took it to a guy who put a machine on it and the codes pointed to a bad catalytic converter.

 

He said that it was the second one put on the car.  He bought one from rock auto 3 years ago.  it was a wagner with a lifetime warranty..  But he didn't want to fool with it.

 

So maybe it is running bad/rich and causing cat converters to go bad?   idk.

 

But to me this might be a good sign that its not the tranny.  He said he never had problems with tranny.

 

 

probably got P0420, it has the words 'catalytic converter' as part of its definition, but the CC is rarely the problem. It can be thrown with something as simple as an exhaust leak. many people have been sold new converters and the code comes back.



#29 sirtokesalot

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 09:06 AM

I called the previous owner,, he said he took it to a guy who put a machine on it and the codes pointed to a bad catalytic converter.

 

He said that it was the second one put on the car.  He bought one from rock auto 3 years ago.  it was a wagner with a lifetime warranty..  But he didn't want to fool with it.

 

So maybe it is running bad/rich and causing cat converters to go bad?   idk.

 

But to me this might be a good sign that its not the tranny.  He said he never had problems with tranny.

 he put an aftermarket cat on it. aftermarket cats suck your lucky it lasted 3 years it needs a replacement.



#30 xdeadeye1

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Posted 03 December 2017 - 11:46 PM

Some good news.

 

I got the part Fairtax gave me the link for and i removed the O2 sensor,,in the front. 

 

I took it for a drive ,   it was a bit loud, but the car ran pretty well and shifted!   So im happy.

 

The shop where i take it for exhaust work is about 10-15 miles away.      IM planning on buying another cat converter and having them install it.

 

Question:   Do you think it will be ok to drive it that far with that O2 sensor out of its spot.?   Would it cause a heat problem?     Currently the sensor is just hanging straight down, with the metal part of the sensor resting on the side of the cat converter.



#31 1 Lucky Texan

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Posted 04 December 2017 - 09:06 AM

the way it's been behaving, I doubt that will be any worse.

Just don't let stuff bounce/whip around. Wrap it with some tape or plastic and tape or ziptie it out of the way.

#32 Fairtax4me

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Posted 04 December 2017 - 09:54 AM

Unless you know that sensor is new/recently replaced, just unplug it and toss it. Put a new O2 sensor on with the new cats.

Is the side of the transmission covered in grease? If there's anything that could catch on fire because of hot exhaust blowing on it then you really shouldn't drive it.

#33 xdeadeye1

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 10:32 AM

Thanks for your feed back.   

 

Im still taking it out to the exhaust guy.

 

HOWEVER     Im wondering if i wouldnt be better off with just a piece of pipe to replace the cat.

 

I dont have an inspection i have to do.  So I dont HAVE to have the cat.

 

So,, I guess my question.  What is the draw back of deleting the cat converters..?   WOuld i have a CEL light on all the time due to the missing O2 sensors?

 

I dont want to have to replace another cat converter in 3 years.  



#34 golucky66

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 12:46 PM

You need O2 sensors to run the vehicle

And in 99 Subaru went to a front air fuel ratio sensor which is much more critical to being apart of the system

Also, the rear O2 actually has some minor corrections to fuel trims. So without a cat and not tuned for it, the fuel management will be a little off. Possibly resulting in poor(er) fuel economy and more emissions (not that you care at that point)

Edited by golucky66, 06 December 2017 - 12:47 PM.


#35 Gloyale

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 01:11 PM


Also, the rear O2 actually has some minor corrections to fuel trims. So without a cat and not tuned for it, the fuel management will be a little off. Possibly resulting in poor(er) fuel economy and more emissions (not that you care at that point)

 

The rear sensor does not have an effect on the fuel trim.  Only the front one.

 

Rear sensor is for monitor of cat efficiency.



#36 golucky66

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 01:41 PM

The rear O2 does have a slight bearing on fuel trims. I've heard about it in multiple training classes and from messing with scan tool data.

If you have a capable scan tool. There's a data line along the lines of "Fuel correction #3" that's actually the rear O2 weighing in ever so slightly on the fuel trims.
I'm only talking 2-3% max here. But it does.

#37 golucky66

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 01:49 PM

I'm not saying that that's the rear O2s only job. Because it's primary job is to monitor the cat.

#38 1 Lucky Texan

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 01:49 PM

a 2000 model probably doesn't use post-cat data for a:f . I THINK that came in on Subarus around '06 or so ???

#39 xdeadeye1

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 02:13 PM

well i went and ordered an After market cat from ebay.  See how it does.  



#40 golucky66

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 02:16 PM

a 2000 model probably doesn't use post-cat data for a:f . I THINK that came in on Subarus around '06 or so ???


I know it has it on my 04 turbo Baja. But maybe you're right on a 2000.
Thanks for the insight. I'll have to look into that next time I work on a 2003 or older.

#41 xdeadeye1

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 02:30 PM

I know im a pain in the rump roast. Sorry.  A new O2 sensor upstream for an Automatic is 57 bucks on Rockauto..  and its denso.

wtf.  Ill get it if you really think i need one.



#42 1 Lucky Texan

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 02:40 PM

I know money is tight but, I have never kicked myself for mistakenly putting a new part on an OLD car while troubleshooting. Sure, ideally I'd train myself to learn how to scope the 02 and make sure the waveform is really slow or w'ever - but the extra time/tools/knowlede sometimes makes it faster/easier to put in a $60 part. The absolute WORSE thing that happens if I 'guess' wrong is, I got a new part instead of a 10-15 year old part, wasted a little time, some money - and eliminated one of the items on the list of possible problems!


not ideal but, you see how that works. Again, live data from a smart phone, and ELM327 BT adapter running an app like Torque can sometimes be helpful troubleshooting.

Edited by 1 Lucky Texan, 06 December 2017 - 02:46 PM.


#43 Bushwick

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 05:43 PM

Once the pipe is down, ask them to let you look in it. The cat substrate looks like the screen on house window, though the holes are several inches deep.  Most cats have two separate stacks like so:

EC731_FIG_1.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If the front stack is damaged, it'll stay put until the back stack goes, hence you need to look at both sides of the cat (inlet/exit). I've seen the substrate melt on one half (looks like stretched taffy) and remain intact on other, and sometimes it'll break free, etc. 

 

Several things to be aware of:

 

1. Your engine oil is probably heavily contaminated. Should change it after the new cat.

 

2. If the guy you bought it from replaced the cat once before, that suggests something isn't right. A full tune-up (plugs, wires, filters, etc. and maybe look into the ignition coil as it might have a weak output) is a must and be sure to do the timing belt. Any codes that eventually appear, be SURE to investigate, as they might point to the neglected issue if a tune up doesn't solve it.

 

3. IF the cat(s) substrate broke out, it'll either end up in the muffler or possibly get lodged in the actual exhaust pipe somewhere. This can actually cause excessive back pressure and again, down on power.

 

4. Universal cats are OK. Just be sure to use the correct one meant for the engine.

 

5. TAKE YOUR OLD CAT WITH YOU!!! IF IT'S STILL IN ONE PIECE, A JUNK YARD WILL GIVE YOU CASH FOR IT. A METAL CORE YARD WILL GIVE YOU MORE.


Edited by Bushwick, 06 December 2017 - 05:45 PM.


#44 msmithmmx

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 11:44 AM

I know im a pain in the rump roast. Sorry. A new O2 sensor upstream for an Automatic is 57 bucks on Rockauto.. and its denso.
wtf. Ill get it if you really think i need one.


How did things turn out?

#45 xdeadeye1

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Posted 24 January 2018 - 10:45 AM

Update:

 

I took out the O2 sensor.  It drove ok.  So I ordered an aftermarket Catalytic converter,  and took the car to a local shop.  On fairtax's advice I also ordered a new O2 sensor for the front of the cat pipe.

 

The car runs fine and that shifting issue was indeed the converter clog.     This converter that clogged was an aftermarket converter with a life warranty.  I think it was walker.  (I called the previous owner, who said he had to put it on about 3 years ago.

 

I am still throwing a code.     I have a cheap code reader and it wasn't telling me what the code is, so I took it to autozone and had them read it.   I had them print it out. Now I cant find it.   But I'm 95% sure it was a P0420.

 

This is on my 2000 outback wagon.  2.5 / 4EAT 

 

------------

New issues.

Coolant leak.    I still havnt put it up in the air, it's been cold.  Plus my jack needed fixed and I have a replacement now.

But its a coolant leak, my overflow bottle needs topped off at times.  I don't see any leaks on the top half.  I see some steam, it drips on the down pipe,  on the drivers side toward the rear of the engine.

 

I took it to a local shop.  I wanted them to tell me what is leaking.   They couldn't find a leak. I told them it does when its running.  idk.     I left with no diagnosis as to what is leaking.  But I think its probably that left side head. I have read that the 2.5 leaks external when there is a head gasket problem. Unlike my 96.

 

So yeah, this leak and now this code,, which COULD be the reason the cat converters are failing on this car in the past. 

 

lastly, and this isn't really a problem,  but this 2000 model is very different from my 1996, in that it seems to easily want to shift into overdrive quickly,  and then it seems to stay there a tad too long.  like ,, "hey it should have downshifted before now"   that kind of thing.

 

Thanks for any advice / replies.



#46 1 Lucky Texan

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Posted 24 January 2018 - 11:37 AM

coupla ideas

get a pressure test kit - some parts store will 'loan' them out. If you still can't find the leak, clean the car up at the car wash, put some dye in the coolant, drive around for a while, use the UV light to search for a leak.

maybe consider using some Subaru Coolant Conditioner, its a repackaged leak stop and some folks reduce/cure drips and small leaks with it.

#47 xdeadeye1

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Posted 28 January 2018 - 09:49 PM

ill check into a pressure test kit,, but even if I do it,, I don't think I will be able to see where its coming from , because:

 

I got under the car today and wheeled under it.  Seems the leak is coming from the rear of the drivers side.   The accumulation of wetness is dripping down off the steering knuckle / rack.  

The crossover beam covers most of the drivers side head and I really cant see the head gasket area on the drivers side.

 

I took it for a drive and put some stress on it,  up and down some hills at higher speed.  GOt home parked, lifted hood.  Steam is coming up from near the firewall, but from down below where I think its dripping on exhaust, or just because its 200 degree water seeping out somewhere.    But its definitely coming up by the tranny fluid check stick.

 

I can do the conditioner, but if its the head gasket I don't think it will help much.   So then if you also think its head gasket,,, would you :

 

A  pull the drivers side head and change the gasket? leaving the engine in the car, but loosening the motor mounts and the manifolds.

or

 

B. do both sides this way.

 

C.  Pull the whole engine?

 

OR       put some kind of head gasket seal   fix in a bottle into the coolant and then refill the system later.


Edited by xdeadeye1, 28 January 2018 - 09:52 PM.


#48 1 Lucky Texan

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Posted 29 January 2018 - 08:52 AM

18 year old car?

yeah, I'd try the conditioner

 

do you know if the car was overheated by a previous owner? how severely and how often it was overheated? it's possible to install new HGs and have a rod bearing go 3 weeks later if the car saw extreme heat.

I know plenty of other people would just go to the headgaskets and that's fine, seems clear from your diagnosis that is what it needs, but the conditioner is only 6 oz or so in the entire volume of the coolant, it was made/selected for exactly the reason of externally seeping headgaskets, it happens to work on other small leaks, it could be flushed from the cooling system anytime you want and, if no other treatment has been used by previous owners and you install 1 bottle only per directions, I've never read of it causing a problem.

If anything, it might get you thru winter and plan on new headgaskets when the weather is better. It's cheap too.

 

I havent wrenched very deep but, if I were gonna do headgaskets, I'd do both sides. If I wasn't confident the engine hadn't been overheated, I might drive it while doing the HGs on an engine from a wreck - better chance it wasn't overheating when it crashed.

 

 

just some thoughts, hope one of the experienced guys will chime in.


Edited by 1 Lucky Texan, 31 January 2018 - 11:16 AM.


#49 xdeadeye1

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Posted 29 January 2018 - 04:17 PM

i know the car was wrecked,, and the guy rebuilt it on a salvage title.  You really cant tell its been wrecked.  It has 117k miles.

 

I asked the seller,, (who i kinda trust)  He was up front about most everythynig.   He told me he did the head gaskets back at 60 k miles when he was doing the  re build,,  along with the timing belt.

 

He told me he replaced the head bolts, but found out after the fact, that he didnt need to.   

 

Im losing about a half galon of coolant in a week. Thats why i wondered about the whole "block sealer stuff" vs conditioner.



#50 xdeadeye1

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Posted 31 January 2018 - 11:15 AM

i guess ill park it till i have time and weather to do the head fix.

 

I dont have faith in a bottle of anything.. 

 

Bothers me i cant see where its leaking.         

 

have to assume its the head.

 

So ill start that whole business with a new thread at some point.    I think right now the next thing for me to solve is the p0420 code. 

 

I think whatever is going on is the reason this cars last Cat converter went bad.






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