P0420 code from check engine light 2000 Mazda Protege?

Got this code and it says something abt catalytic
converter system. God I hope not cause that's expensive
to replace?
Do cat system even wear out?
Car has 140k on it and was bought new.
Reply to
me
It can be expensive depending on the car. On yours, probably only a couple hundred. If your protege is anything like most Mazdas, the entire exhaust system is flanged, which makes replacing it yourself easy, as sections bolt up to each other, rather than being welded or clamped. As you don't say what the code actually says, or any symptoms the car is having, further diagnosis here is impossible.
Yes cats can become saturated and stop converting gasses. They can also break and block exhaust flow. Those are really the only to failure modes for a cat. Either way means it needs to be replaced.
--Jason
Reply to
Jason Howe
Well here is what P0420 code means when Googled
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OK..... is it possible it may be something cheaper such as O2 sensor? And should I go ahead and change that out first anyway?
I'm unemployed and money is tight right now...hence the dumb questions
Reply to
me
At 140k you are at the threshold of the cat. They do burn out. You need the computer scanned for other codes. The 02 sensors are monitored closely be the computer and the state of them determined. Absent of other codes you very likely have a bad catalytic converter.
Reply to
Woody
For the air we breathe it is important to get this fixed but as far as car function the only difference you should notice is the red light glowing at you. Were it mine I wouldn't worry about it until I was back on my feet again or until I was coming up on an emissions inspection.
Steve B.
Reply to
Steve B.
careful on the mazda if it is a cat efficiency error it could be a lower then spec cold start idle or a 02 sensor out of range and of course

Reply to
philthy
it means the the computer ramps up idle in cold start when the ambiant temp is at the predetermined value and does so that the cat, gets warmed up faster
reducing emissions output

Reply to
philthy

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