Catalyst System Efficiency Below Threshold (Bank 1)
What does that mean?
Basically this means that the oxygen sensor downstream (after) the catalytic
converter on bank 1 is detecting that the converter is not working as
efficiently as it should be (according to specs). It is part of the vehicle
You will likely not notice any drivability problems, although there may be
A code P0420 may mean that one or more of the following has happened:
a.. Leaded fuel was used where unleaded was called for
b.. An oxygen sensor is not reading (functioning) properly
c.. The engine coolant temperature sensor is not working properly
d.. Damaged exhaust manifold / catalytic converter / exhaust pipe
e.. Retarded spark timing
The simplest thing to do is to reset the code and see if it comes back.
Next step is to measure the voltage at the oxygen sensor on Bank 1 (the rear
sensor, or the sensor after the converter). The voltage should be low and
steady (~200mV, depends on the vehicle). If the voltage varies (e.g. 100mV
to 600mV) then it's time to replace the catalytic converter. In fact, it
would be a good idea to test each oxygen O2 sensor while you're at it.
One thing to note is that many vehicle manufacturers offer a longer warranty
on emissions-related parts. So if you have a newer car but it's out of it's
bumper-to-bumper warranty, there still may be warranty on this type of
problem. Many manufacturers give a five year, unlimited mileage warranty on
these items. It's worth checking into.
The best place for your hard to find part needs
"Father Guido" <FG@SNL.com> wrote in message
> I got an OBDII for Christmas and just got to try it out on my
> daughters '98 V6 Contour. The code comes up as P0420, which the book
> translates as "Catalyst System Effcieincy Below Threshold (Bank 1)".
> I assume something to do with the catalytic converter, but then again
> maybe not. Anyone have any experience with this code and what we
> should check next.
> Thanks in advance,