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CATALYTIC CONVERTERS   Description | Quality | OBDII Testing | Efficiency | Diagnostic Testing | Inspection | TSB's | Converter Failures

CATALYTIC CONVERTER BASICS PO420
DIAGNOSTICS & TESTING

A P0420 (Catalyst System Bank 1 Efficiency Below Threshold) or a P0430 (Bank 2), are indicators that the converter may not be functioning properly, but are not the end of the diagnosis. There are a number of steps that must be taken to assure that the root cause of the failure is found and repaired.


• Test drive the vehicle and note any driveability issues that may indicate fuel or spark delivery problems such as hesitation, stumbling, spark knock, or misfire.
• Check the tail pipe upon start-up. Look for any signs of smoke that would indicate an engine failure such as Oil burning (blue), internal Coolant leak (white) or rich running condition (black).
• Listen carefully for any signs of vacuum or exhaust leaks.
• Complete visual inspection of ignition, fuel and intake components.
• Scan Tool test. Avoid clearing codes until ‘Freeze Frame’ information can be retrieved.


This is a snap shot of what was going on with the vehicle when the code was set such as Temperature, vehicle speed, load, throttle position etc. Using this information you can duplicate the conditions that set the code in the first place.
Along with current codes, also look for any history or pending codes. Any Fuel trim related issues will have a direct affect on the converters ability to function properly.

These include but are not limited to:

MISFIRE: P0300-P0314
O2 SENSOR CIRCUIT: P0130-P0147, P0150-P0167
HO2S HEATER CONTROL CIRCUIT:
P0030-P0038, P0040, P0043, P0044, P0050-P0064
AIR FLOW CIRCUIT: P0100-P0140
FUEL SYSTEM: P0170-P0175
INJECTOR CIRCUIT: P0200, P0261-P0296



• Check the OBD II Readiness Indicators (Monitors) to ensure all have been run to completion. One or more that read incomplete may indicate that the codes were cleared recently and you may not have a complete picture of the status of the engine and all its components.


• Check Short and Long Term Fuel Trim data (STFT /LTFT). STFT
is directly related to the switch rate of the O2 Sensor 1 and is an indicator of current fuel control. LTFT is an indicator of the PCM’s Fuel trim History and is a good way to determine if the vehicle has
a history of running lean or rich. Either one of which could cause premature failure of the converter. LTFT is given in percentage. A lean running engine displays a Positive % because the PCM will be adding fuel to compensate while a Negative % tells us the computer is trying to overcome a rich running engine.
MagnaFlow Direct-Fit Converter Diagram

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