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The PCM copares switch rates between the front O2 sensors and the downstream catalyst moniters. The catylist moniters are often mistaken as O2 sensors, and they are, but that is not their job, or what they are called. By comparing the switch rates between the front (before cat) and rear (downstream of cat) the PCM knows if the cat is affecting the exaust, and how much it is affecting the exaust. If it sees little or no effect o the exaust gases that have passed through the cat, then it decides that the cat is not working anymore, ad sets a P0420, or a P0430, depending on which bank it is. To check this yourself, you will need to bring up data stream on your scanner, watch the upstream and downstream O2 parameters and see if they are following each other closely. If the cat is working right, you should see a fairly rapid switch rate, probably 5 or 6 times a minute on the front O2, but almost a flat line just above .5 volts on the rear. If the rear is switching often you proabably need a catalytic converter.
check for damaged parts loose connections oxygen sensors and catalyst convertor

If everything looks intact and that is your only code, you probably have a failing catalytic converter.

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โˆ™ 2012-08-06 11:35:23
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Q: What to check code P0420 says catalyst efficiency below threshold bank1?
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