how can you tell if a catalytic converter is bad? - Nissan Frontier Forum
 
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#1 (permalink) Old 10-21-2010, 01:44 PM
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how can you tell if a catalytic converter is bad?

'02 crew cab SE

I've been getting the P0430 code lately, which i've read is the front left cat. So I took the cat off and everything appears to be ok just by looking at it. Exhaust is still flowing through it, the screens on both ends are intact, nothing rattles inside.

I wonder if its just a bad O2 sensor? I've already replaced the rear sensor. Maybe I should replace the front one as well?
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#2 (permalink) Old 10-21-2010, 02:12 PM
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Replacing the sensor after the CAT is kinda useless. You need to address the sensor infront of the CAT.

You should also replace sensors in pairs from left to right. Replace both fronts or both rears but don't jump around. A sensor may be going out and if you replace one but not the other, it can throw off the signal and the motor will dump more/less fuel to make up for it. This happens when the sensors from each bank are not reading close to one another.

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#3 (permalink) Old 10-21-2010, 03:20 PM
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Did you see any white powder residue?

Probably does just need a cat. We do them all the time on 1st gens

Last edited by BigA's4x4; 10-21-2010 at 03:20 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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#4 (permalink) Old 10-21-2010, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by dubie2003 View Post
Replacing the sensor after the CAT is kinda useless. You need to address the sensor infront of the CAT.

You should also replace sensors in pairs from left to right. Replace both fronts or both rears but don't jump around. A sensor may be going out and if you replace one but not the other, it can throw off the signal and the motor will dump more/less fuel to make up for it. This happens when the sensors from each bank are not reading close to one another.
the bold isn't really correct. if he is getting at cat inefficiency code that reading comes from the sensor after the cat seeing what gases are left after exhaust passes through the cat to keep an eye on weather its working or not. so generally that code normally should show the cat is bad or that the sensor isn't getting good readings and needs replacing. a sensor before the cat going bad would more likely throw codes stating engine too rich or engine too lean as it starts to taking poorer and poorer readings and you could notice a worsening of performance.

that said i to agree that if your going to change out O2 sensors you may aswell do them all if you have the money for it.

OP have you noticed a change in exhaust smell? like a rotten eggs smell maybe? that can be a sign of a bad cat and just the vehicles age depending on mileage kind of points in the direction of the cat. the coating of platinum on the ceramic honeycomb in a cat is only a in the area of a micron thick

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#5 (permalink) Old 10-21-2010, 07:11 PM
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ok so after looking at it again, I did notice some white powder falling out when I tilted it up. Guess I do need a new one.

The only aftermarket one I can find around here is a magnaflow direct-fit. Is this ok to use? If I remember correctly I think I've read on here in the past that magnaflow converters will cause SES lights. Is this true?

Magnaflow's part number is 93223. Here is a link to it online.
MagnaFlow 93223 - MagnaFlow Direct-Fit Catalytic Converters - Overview - SummitRacing.com

Oreilly's has the same one for about the same price.
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#6 (permalink) Old 10-21-2010, 07:24 PM
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OP have you noticed a change in exhaust smell? like a rotten eggs smell maybe? that can be a sign of a bad cat and just the vehicles age depending on mileage kind of points in the direction of the cat. the coating of platinum on the ceramic honeycomb in a cat is only a in the area of a micron thick
the smell is the sulfur breaking down inside the cat. that's a dead give away that you need a new cat. it's the exact same smell as hard water or the odorant added to natural gas.
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#7 (permalink) Old 10-21-2010, 08:11 PM
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i haven't noticed any unusual smell.
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