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Catalytic Converter ECL 96 obw????


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11 replies to this topic

#1 MischivousSlpwlkr

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Posted 30 May 2006 - 11:52 AM

This is my second thread on this board. In my first one you guys were great in helping me buy a new soobie. Your all so unusually nice for messageboard people. Thanks again!

Anyway, the new car has been great, but I'm having some problems with it.

Its a '96 OBW with a 2.2L. The other day I was on the highway and the ECL came on. I brought it to my dad's friends place to borrow his scanner and the catalytic converter code came up. He said it could be either the CC or the O2 sensors. He reset it and it stayed off for a few hours, but came on again. I'm about to drive it xcountry home to colorado from my parents place in NY. The good news is that once in Colorado I won't have to worry about passing emissions inspections. The bad news is that my ECL is on. So, what I'm wondering is:

Is this a problem?

Will this make the car go into limp home mode?

Is there anyway to ignore or workaround this code so that my light goes off, so that if another serious problem arises I will know about it (and not just ignore a constantly on ECL)?

What should I do?



Oh yeah, and my a/c doesn't do anything...any thoughts on that?

Thanks guys!

#2 Legacy777

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Posted 30 May 2006 - 12:00 PM

If it's the second O2 sensor code, it won't do anything to affect drivability.

That second O2 sensor is there to tell you whether the cat is working properly. So as you mentioned, the problem is either the O2 sensor or catalytic converter. If your cat was bad, you'd probably be experiencing other issues.

Can you elaborate on your "a/c doesn't do anything"

#3 fastwgn286

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Posted 30 May 2006 - 03:14 PM

This is my second thread on this board. In my first one you guys were great in helping me buy a new soobie. Your all so unusually nice for messageboard people. Thanks again!


we aim to please....

you should be fine for the reasons above. if you worry about the CEL, just put some black electrical tape on it and drive on.

#4 Wayne Boncyk

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Posted 30 May 2006 - 03:28 PM

Actually, in my experience, a "worn out" or contaminated cat will also throw a code (the dreaded P0420) that triggers the light, but it won't change driveability much. Only if a cat gets plugged, or if it gets so hot that the catalyst matrix melts into a lump of slag, will it restrict exhaust flow and cause the engine to behave badly. The recommended thing to do first is (as has been said here) replace the O2 sensors and see if the problem goes away. That's much cheaper than a cat replacement. BTW - I recently replaced the cats on my '96 OBW; after about 215K miles they just didn't have enough left I guess. Anyway, as part of my acquiring replacement parts for my Outback I picked up more than one Front cat for the old beast. Bottom line is that I have a perfectly useable, used Front cat off of a '97 Outback (about 110K miles on it) available for anyone who might be so inclined. It is my understanding that I can't offer to sell it to anyone, but I suppose I can entertain offers to buy! :banana: Anyone interested can send me a PM.

#5 johnceggleston

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Posted 30 May 2006 - 04:34 PM

i've never dealt with a cat before. is there a restriction against selling used cats???

Actually, in my experience, a "worn out" or contaminated cat will also throw a code (the dreaded P0420) that triggers the light, but it won't change driveability much. Only if a cat gets plugged, or if it gets so hot that the catalyst matrix melts into a lump of slag, will it restrict exhaust flow and cause the engine to behave badly. The recommended thing to do first is (as has been said here) replace the O2 sensors and see if the problem goes away. That's much cheaper than a cat replacement. BTW - I recently replaced the cats on my '96 OBW; after about 215K miles they just didn't have enough left I guess. Anyway, as part of my acquiring replacement parts for my Outback I picked up more than one Front cat for the old beast. Bottom line is that I have a perfectly useable, used Front cat off of a '97 Outback (about 110K miles on it) available for anyone who might be so inclined. It is my understanding that I can't offer to sell it to anyone, but I suppose I can entertain offers to buy! :banana: Anyone interested can send me a PM.



#6 ShawnW

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Posted 30 May 2006 - 04:42 PM

i've never dealt with a cat before. is there a restriction against selling used cats???


Yes its a federal law, but if you give it to him and sell something else to him (thin air maybe) then who's to complain. Not that I am encouraging this.

#7 johnceggleston

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Posted 30 May 2006 - 04:52 PM

is the law against selling or using? if i own 2 legacys and wreck one can i move the parts around?

Yes its a federal law, but if you give it to him and sell something else to him (thin air maybe) then who's to complain. Not that I am encouraging this.



#8 MischivousSlpwlkr

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Posted 30 May 2006 - 05:01 PM

Yeah, it was the PO420 code.

My a/c blows warm air....the heat and fan seem to work just fine....

#9 fastwgn286

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Posted 30 May 2006 - 05:36 PM

if you have emissions tests in your state, then absolutely no used cats. period. but, realistically, no one's gonna bother to check unless they have to stick the exhaust pipe into the machine (or whatever they do for emissions)

#10 fastwgn286

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Posted 30 May 2006 - 05:37 PM

a/c button pushed in (it should light up, too)? otherwise, you probably need a recharge or something worse....

#11 Hotshot

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Posted 30 May 2006 - 05:41 PM

The check engine light was on for a while in my 97 OBW with 200k miles, and when they checked it at the dealer, they also said it was the CC starting to go. They also said that untill it plugged up, it really wasnt any big deal, and it would be fine to hold out on replacing the 1000$ unit untill it completely failed.

#12 a97obw

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Posted 31 May 2006 - 12:50 PM

Wayne,

Check your PM.

Thanks!




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