Toyota RAV4 Forums banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Long and short of it according to the code reader it says catalytic converter is reaching the end of its usability or something like that. My question is where or which location is the cat in? is it in the down pipe from the engine or is it on the exhaust system? My Rav just hit 200k miles still runs like a top but I would like to fix this. My car does not get emission checks either. Any help would be great!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,095 Posts
Yep it's a P0420 code "Catalyst System Efficiency Below Threshold" as measured by the downstream O2 sensor. Very common on cars with 200K+ miles.

Happened to a friend's 2003 Civic with 211K. The "normal" remedy would be replacement of the catalytic converter. Very expensive. I found one eBay for $115 or the AP stores have them for $350-400. Turned out the wonderful folks at Sears had installed a new one 9 months ago for $597 + labor!! So rather than go fight them over some defect I installed this hack just two days ago:
and the code hasn't come back up. Only difference was my 42009s were steel not aluminum. It works by adding a small reservoir so the sensor can't measure the rapid air/fuel ratio changes the ECM uses to assess catalyst efficiency.

Two other possible remedies:
1) Drive the car revving up in a low gear for a few miles to "wake up" the old converter by heating it up real good. We tried that before I realized the converter wasn't very old.
2) do the same thing with one of the Cat Clean products added to the gasoline.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,400 Posts
My question is where or which location is the cat in? is it in the down pipe from the engine or is it on the exhaust system?
The cat is part of the exhaust manifold located in the engine area.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,095 Posts
The cat is part of the exhaust manifold located in the engine area.
I'm not specifically familiar with his year RAV4 but on the 2003 Civic where the cat is varies with model with some having it in the manifold at the engine and this one, an EX, in the exhaust pipe under the car. The way to tell for sure is the location of the first (upstream) O2 sensor since it is always before the cat.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you so much! I was wondering can the cartridge be removed? I had a old pos Chevy and I could open that chamber to replace it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,400 Posts
Thank you so much! I was wondering can the cartridge be removed? I had a old pos Chevy and I could open that chamber to replace it.
You need a new cat since it is not serviceable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So next question is which cat do you guys recommend. I want to make it as easy as possible for my dad to replace it. I bought the cleaner and will use all the other tips but long term I want to properly fix the problem.. It would be nice to get a straight pipe or one that's easy to open up down the road.
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top