99 Corolla Catalytic Converter Code P0420


I had the check engine light to come on about 6 weeks ago. I took it to my
Toyota dealer and he said it was Code P0420 catalytic converter but it wasn't
a big issue since it was running fine. He turned the check engine light off &
now it is back on. He advised to use a local muffler shop to fix it
eventually. The car is running fine and I only travel maybe 10 miles a day
back and forth to work. How big of a worry should this be? Money is tight
right now but I need to keep the car running (it's paid off). Anyone have any
idea if I should rush to fix it or if I have a little time to save up some
money?
Reply to
loaferman
Driving the vehicle with a bad catalytic converter will not harm the vehicle and will not cause drivability problems unless the converter is clogged internally, which is probably not the case since you say that the car is running fine.
There is no reason mechanically to be in a big hurry, however, your car is obviously putting out more pollutants than it should be so you're not doing air quality a big favor. You will need to have the vehicle repaired, or at least have the check engine light off, before you take the vehicle in for an emissions test.
Reply to
Ray O
I just have my CAT converter plus 2 O2 sensors replaced at my local exhaust shop which costs me ~$500(I ordered 2 O2 sensor online which saved me another $50-$100 compared to purchasing at exhaust shop) and it passed PA inspection. Inspection has to be done every year at PA.
Reply to
wenmang
It seems to me that a lot of people have issue with P0420. Should CAT maybe plus O2 sensors last lifetime of cars, at least theoretically speaking?
Reply to
wenmang
In theory, the catalyst in a catalytic converter should last for a vehicle's lifetime but I think that they are a weak point in that vintage Corollas, which is why I suggested that it might be bad in your car. I would hold on to my catalytic converter receipts because I would not be surprised if a recall came up on those in the next year or two.
I do not consider O2 sensors to be a lifetime item. In fact, I seem to recall that they require replacement in some vehicles every 60,000 miles.
Reply to
Ray O
Thanks Ray. My 2000 Corolla finally passed PA inspection(that is good news, isn't?), and I am going to see what happen to my 2001 Corolla which had P0420 code in July.
Reply to
wenmang
As long as the OBD II system does not have any trouble codes stored in memory and the system shows as "ready," the vehicle should pass the emissions part of the test.
Reply to
Ray O

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