P0420 Trouble code and dealer resolution

Discussion in 'General Motoring' started by Danno, Oct 22, 2007.

  1. Danno

    Danno Guest

    A week or so ago me check engine light came on. Code was P0420, an
    issue with the catalytic converter. I brought it to the local Subaru
    expert in town. They advised that the catalytic converter was bad and
    needed to be replaced (though at this point I don't know what they did
    to diagnose). Took it to the dealer to presumably have the catalytic
    converter replaced under warranty.

    When I picked up the car, they had not replaced the converter. They
    reset the code, road tested, and the light did not come back on. They
    advised that this is how Subaru tells them to handle the problem. They
    did say that if the light came back on, they would replace the
    catalytic converter.

    Sooooo... my question is whether or not this is reasonable and/or
    standard procedure. If it is, I won't worry too much about it for
    now !

    Thanks,
    Dan
     
    Danno, Oct 22, 2007
    #1
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  2. Danno

    bigjim Guest

    Sounds reasonable to me. I had a code for a low fuel level or
    something one time. Dealer reset it and it hasnt been back for three
    years. Seems like these codes can get triggered for no reason.
    Unless your warranty is near its end I wouldnt worry. If there is a
    real problem the code will be triggered again and you'll get new
    converter.
     
    bigjim, Oct 22, 2007
    #2
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  3. I'd say the dealership is being prudent at this point (good for
    them!)What is the mileage and condition of the car?

    Carl
     
    Carl 1 Lucky Texan, Oct 22, 2007
    #3
  4. Danno

    Danno Guest

    Thanks for the replies. The mileage is 74K so I have about 6K left on
    the 80K emissions warranty. Condition of the car is pretty good. It is
    an 04 Outback that I bought with relatively high miles, but I have
    taken care of it and I drive relatively few miles (5k per yr).

    I also had a coupon for a free service clinic while there so all was
    not lost.
     
    Danno, Oct 23, 2007
    #4
  5. To me, it seems more likely the front O2 sensor could be 'beginning' to
    get 'lazy' than a bad converter. A good tech should be able to scope the
    sensors. the front one usually goes first(more heat and untreated
    gasses), it's readings are compared to the rear one - after the
    converter - and any out of range readings would mean the cat 'system' is
    broken. So a )420 code does not really point to JUST the coverter. Just
    before the light came on had you had any odd service or use of the car?
    Driven to a different altitude, used a gas additive or needed a
    jumpstart, etc. ? Could just be a one-off glitch. If the cat. conv.
    system IS bad, the light will come back.

    Carl
     
    Carl 1 Lucky Texan, Oct 23, 2007
    #5
  6. Danno

    Frank Guest

    I would want to make sure that car passed your local emissions
    inspection. I know of a dealer - non-Subaru - that disconnected a light
    because he could not find source of why it came on.
     
    Frank, Oct 23, 2007
    #6
  7. That light should be 'tested' before starting, along with the oil, abs, etc.

    Carl
     
    Carl 1 Lucky Texan, Oct 24, 2007
    #7
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