Check Engine Code P0420

P0420 code "catalyst system efficiency below threshold bank 2" is a code that your cars computer will set when it sees that the catalytic converter is not working efficiently. This can be either because the CAT (Catalytic Converter) is not working properly, but it is more often set because of something besides the CAT.

What Causes This Code?

  • Engine Misfire
  • High Engine Oil or Coolant Consumption (Being burned in the cylinders)
  • Rich or Lean Fuel Mixture
  • Oxygen Sensor

Less Common Causes

  • Retarded Spark Timing
  • Leaded Gasoline Used
  • Leaking Exhaust System
  • Malfunctioning CAT
  • Weak or Poor Spark
  • Coolant Temperature Sensor

To troubleshoot, repair and maintain your vehicle, you'll need diagnostic and repair information that is specific to your car or truck. For this I personally use and recommend ALLDATAdiy. With full manuals for over 30,000 vehicles online, you will find an exact match for your vehicle's year, make and model.

Besides being cheaper than a factory manual, they also offer step by step repair instructions and detailed diagrams beyond what is found in most printed manuals. Click here for a sample of their diagnostic and repair information.

How to Fix Code P0420

The first thing to do when trying to diagnose this code is to diagnose any other code that might be present. It is unlikely that this code will be set by itself.

If there are no other trouble codes, then check your engine oil and coolant levels first. If they are low, it indicates that they are either leaking externally or being burned in the engine. The next step to check are the oxygen sensors. If they are not working properly, they can also cause this type of code.

If it has been a while since your vehicle has had a tune up, then you might want to consider giving it one. Especially if you have noticed it running rough or the check engine light flashing. Engine misfires are sometimes a cause of this problem and by giving your car a tune up you will reduce the likelyhood that your engine will have a misfire.

If you still have any unresolved vehicle problems or questions, you can ask an auto mechanic online. For expert answers specific to your vehicle's make and model, I recommend JustAnswer Car. They have a large pool of certified mechanics to answer your questions for a small fee and you can also browse their answers to other users for free.

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