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CEL 2000 legacy


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3 replies to this topic

#1 timintc

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Posted 21 August 2005 - 05:35 PM

2000 legacy wagon 97K CEL came on today i thougth oh boy another knock sensor well went immediately to Auto Zone the reading they got was, Catalyst below threshold bank #1, i figured O2 sensor, anyone else with this problem ever? btw I unhooked the battery and cleared the code, made sure all the spark plug wires were seated properly, then hooked the battery back up and took it for a short drive without the CEL coming back on, if anyone has any input id greatly appreciate it.

#2 Cougar

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Posted 21 August 2005 - 06:12 PM

Here is an explination I found at one site:

P0420 OBD Trouble Code

Technical Description

Catalyst System Efficiency Below Threshold (Bank 1)

What does that mean?

Basically this means that the oxygen sensor downstream (after) the catalytic converter on bank 1 is detecting that the converter is not working as efficiently as it should be (according to specs). It is part of the vehicle emissions system.

Symptoms

You will likely not notice any drivability problems, although there may be symptoms.

Causes

A code P0420 may mean that one or more of the following has happened:

  • Leaded fuel was used where unleaded was called for
  • An oxygen sensor is not reading (functioning) properly
  • The engine coolant temperature sensor is not working properly
  • Damaged exhaust manifold / catalytic converter / exhaust pipe
  • Retarded spark timing
Possible Solutions

The simplest thing to do is to reset the code and see if it comes back.

Next step is to measure the voltage at the oxygen sensor on Bank 1 (the rear sensor, or the sensor after the converter). The voltage should be low and steady (~200mV, depends on the vehicle). If the voltage varies (e.g. 100mV to 600mV) then it's time to replace the catalytic converter. In fact, it would be a good idea to test each oxygen O2 sensor while you're at it.

One thing to note is that many vehicle manufacturers offer a longer warranty on emissions-related parts. So if you have a newer car but it's out of it's bumper-to-bumper warranty, there still may be warranty on this type of problem. Many manufacturers give a five year, unlimited mileage warranty on these items. It's worth checking into.

P0420 OBD Trouble Code

Technical Description

Catalyst System Efficiency Below Threshold (Bank 1)

What does that mean?

Basically this means that the oxygen sensor downstream (after) the catalytic converter on bank 1 is detecting that the converter is not working as efficiently as it should be (according to specs). It is part of the vehicle emissions system.

Symptoms

You will likely not notice any drivability problems, although there may be symptoms.

Causes

A code P0420 may mean that one or more of the following has happened:

  • Leaded fuel was used where unleaded was called for
  • An oxygen sensor is not reading (functioning) properly
  • The engine coolant temperature sensor is not working properly
  • Damaged exhaust manifold / catalytic converter / exhaust pipe
  • Retarded spark timing
Possible Solutions

The simplest thing to do is to reset the code and see if it comes back.

Next step is to measure the voltage at the oxygen sensor on Bank 1 (the rear sensor, or the sensor after the converter). The voltage should be low and steady (~200mV, depends on the vehicle). If the voltage varies (e.g. 100mV to 600mV) then it's time to replace the catalytic converter. In fact, it would be a good idea to test each oxygen O2 sensor while you're at it.

One thing to note is that many vehicle manufacturers offer a longer warranty on emissions-related parts. So if you have a newer car but it's out of it's bumper-to-bumper warranty, there still may be warranty on this type of problem. Many manufacturers give a five year, unlimited mileage warranty on these items. It's worth checking into.

#3 mattocs

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Posted 21 August 2005 - 07:08 PM

Very good information. Someone outta bookmark this and share it when others have this problem...as it comes up quite a bit.

#4 timintc

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Posted 21 August 2005 - 08:00 PM

wow did that ever answer my question thanks loads, that is what makes this such a great site, i did clear the code and after a few short trips it has not come back so i will keep my fingers crossed, all that 02 sensor and catylitic converter talk is scary.




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