I have a 2004 Vibe, base model that all of a sudden started sputtering
last night flashing SES light and quit. It restarted and smoothed out after
a while and when I got home I checked the codes, showing P0420 which is a
generic code "Catalyst System Efficiency Below Threshold (Bank 1)".
Any more info or ideas as to what this could be? This has been a very
trouble-free car until now (76,000 kms).
It' an Equus 3100 Code Reader, can read secondary codes. I reset it and
after a few minutes it shows it "pending". That is the only code it shows.
I could understand the flooded with fuel thing as it was spitting and
sputtering, had the pedal to the floor to get out of traffic on the highway.
Also, was very wet here last night with big puddles and I went through one a
while before this happened.
I know I read a procedure to check the O2 sensors but do you think I
could find it?? Not a chance. Would you be able to point me to that please.
Many Thanks.. Steve
A agree the catalyst could be bad but that won't cause rough engine
performance. It could be a result of poor engine performance. O2 sensors
should be checked. If the tester can graph them it is a way of checking. For
information on how they work read here:
Thanks for the replies, helps me quite a bit. I took the car to the
dealer today and on the way, put the scanner on and it showed a P0420 code.
When the dealer scanned it, nothing showed, not even in the history!. He
even showed it to me..weird.
Has anyone ever had a problem with the scanner I have..3100 Equus? The
car drives fine but that sudden missing and engine shutting right down still
concerns me. Is there a better scantool I can get or what do you guys/gals
think of the AutoTap system with my laptop? Is it worth it?
Again, thanks for the replies and ideas, MUCH appreciated and keep them
coming if you can.
Going by what you've written, I would say it sounds like you
accidentally had your scan tool actually CLEAR the codes. That may be
why the dealer found nothing because you wiped it. Scanners should
read and optionally clear, but the clear process should be very
deliberate. As to Autotap. Looks like a great product but I couldn't
justify the cost vs. how I would actually use it. I started looking
at it years ago and kept telling myself I needed it. Then the
analytical side of me kicked in and said, no I don't. I think if you
are a pro mechanic, or even can do most work on your own vehicles, or
if you are a serious tuner/racer, then Autotap type stuff is THE way
to go. If not, a unit that can read codes (primary and pending) and
clear them for a good price is the way to go. I bought one at Walmart
for like $70 I think. It's the Innova 3030 (might say something
different on packaging but the unit is that). Do a Google for it see
if it meets your needs.
I forgot to mention that after I got the car back, I plugged my scanner
into it and the code P0420 was there right away. Kinda makes you go Hmmmmm
doesn't it. I showed the mechanic, still no code on his.
The scantool I'm using is an Innova 3100 made my Equus. I'll drive it
for a bit and see if it sets a hard light, light isn't on as of yet.
Not long ago I had a P0430 on my LS1 engine. Same code but for bank
2. Turned out to actually be a failed catalyst. It was replaced
under warranty, as the warranty on that is much longer than the main
36 monts/36K miles. Replaced a about 2 - 3 months ago and no more
SES, which pretty much proves that the catalyst was the problem.
That being said, there are things that can kill a catalyst. Hopefully
those things generate codes of their own but, not always. I still
wonder if some Sta-bil I used caused my problem. I followed the
directions for mix. Mixed it in a half full tank then filled on top
of it etc. And the product is said to be safe for emissions systems.
Yet.... I still wonder.
Hi All ..
Further to my 2004 Vibe giving the P0420 code, it finally set hard so I
took it back to the dealer and it actually IS the catalytic converter. This
is all under warranty.
Seems they are doing a survey of what brand of gasoline we use as well
and there seems to be some supporting data that PetroCan gas (in Canada) is
the one people are using that have premature catalytic converter failures.
I should also mention the dealer didn't charge me for the first time
when they couldn't see the code. New converter is coming from the US and
apparently this is happening more often now although he said I'm the first
Vibe in the area to have this happen.
Thanks for all your input and I'll keep posted any developments.
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