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nolte

Tacoma Problem

22 posts in this topic

I just bought a new (to me) 2003 Tacoma and after about 500 miles the check engine light came on. I brought it in and the diagnosis is an error p0420 catalytic converter sensor. The Yota dealership estimate for repairs was $2,100.

Has anyone else ever seen this problem or had a different fix needed from that error code?

Thanks

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what engine is it the 2.7L or the 3.4L and how many miles?

my guess is O2 sensor or the CAT but this could also be caused by an exhaust leak.

Have you tried just purchasing an o2 sensor and seeing if that does the trick? My o2 sensor went out at about 75k on my 02 Tacoma.

If you try a new o2, also clear the code by disconnecting the negative battery terminal, pulling the EFI fuse, or just erasing it with a scanner, autozone will scan it and erase it for free.

If you keep getting the code, take it to the dealer and have them warranty the Catalytic converters, I think the warranty for Cats stand for 8years/80k.

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I'm interested in the mileage as well.

Many OBD II vehicles have a memory backup for the PCM, so disconnecting the battery or PCM fuse will not turn the MIL lamp off or clear the codes. You have to use a scan tool to read and erase the codes.

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This is the 3.4L and it has 84,000 miles.

I haven't replaced any O2 sensors yet or authorized any repairs. I had brought it in to have the frame inspected because of the recall issues they have been having with them. I wanted to have it documented so that is covered on the extended warranty for the frame.

I'm pretty dissappointed in the situation. I was hoping to get a solid and dependable little vehicle for up at the cabin. If I wanted to keep dinking around with issues I could have just kept fixing up my old S-10.

Thanks for the help guys and I appreciate any other suggestions.

Do you have any idea how the warranty on the Cats work? I'm barely over the 80 threshold but under on years.

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This is the 3.4L and it has 84,000 miles.

I had brought it in to have the frame inspected because of the recall issues they have been having with them. I wanted to have it documented so that is covered on the extended warranty for the frame.

I thought the frame issue covered trucks from 1995 to 2000?

I am not sure what else to suggest, especially on the Cat.

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did you buy it from a toyota dealer?

If it is indeed the cat there are good aftermarket alternatives usually for much less.

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The frame issues were originally from 95 to 2000, but now the 01-04 are also having the same issues. From what I've gathered, there is no buyback option on these only rust preventative coating if it is still OK, or a frame replacement if found to be severly damaged.

I did not buy the vehicle from a toyota dealer, but I did buy it from a larger dealer that has nearly every other make. I looked for a long time and couldn't find any that were what I wanted from a toyota dealer. In fact, I had to drive a ways just to find one that had everything I wanted.

Thanks again for all the help

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First thing to do is get the code cleared and see if it comes back on. Sometimes it's a fluke.

If it does come back on, there's a couple of common options. The O2 sensor after the cat could be malfuntioning or the convertor itself is toast. What does this mean to you? Nothing really. Your truck might be emitting a tiny bit too much emissions.

Do NOT put an aftermarket O2 sensor or covertor in it and expect it to last more than a year.

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did they tell you what was wrong or did they just tell you what code they got?

when I worked for a fleet lease company I saw this over and over. they would wow you with a fancy code but not give you a real diagnosis. just because it has a code doesnt mean you start tossing parts at it.

it also looks like you are just over the 80k mile warranty on the emissions componants.

before you ok any repairs please tell us what they said is the problem.

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The toyota dealership pulled a code that was P0420 Catalyst efficiency below threshold. I brougth the truck into the dealer where I bought it and they pulled the same code. The also took it to a different toyota dealership and came up with the same diagnosis. They said they had checked the O2 sensor and said both were fine.

Right now the dealer where I bought it is offering to pay 1/2 the cost to replace it. Unless I'm the unluckiest guy ever, I'm pretty sure the person who sold it just cleared the code and then traded it in. The dealer probably never drove it enough for the light to come back on.

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I would say that you could be on track with that theory.

At least the dealer is offering to work with you. Half off is still better than paying out of pocket for the whole amount. I would be curious to see what the price of replacing the cat is at the toyota dealer VS the dealer your working with.

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Wow - $2,100 for a cat?!?! Am I just that out of touch or is that expensive? I thought that only Volkswagons had insane repair costs for such minor work.

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You're out of touch! grin

There are many that are more and many that are less. Its just luck of the draw on which one you end up with.

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The truck has been at two different toyota dealerships. One had quoted me a price of $2,100 and the other $2,050. The dealer where I bought it was not a toyota dealer, but was going to buy a new toyota cat system and install it.

If I remember right, the cost of the cat system was somewhere around $1,500 to $1,700 for a brand new one from toyota. I don't remember the exact amount because I was nauseas from the initial $ amount. My part of the amount from them would be $1,000.

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that cat must have a lot of platinum in it. yikes!

personally, i'd get the sawzall out and straight pipe it for that kinda ching

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thats not going to fix anything. he would still get the code.

have you checked to see if it available used or aftermarket? and price the labor at an independent?

I agree with Jer, half is a great offer. you are just outside the warranty and they will be able to recover some of the cost through Toyota.

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i'm completely aware that my fix isn't going to "fix" the problem, just a cheaper alternative! how about checking into a salvage yard or something like that? I myself don't have the 2100 bucks just to dump on a catalytic converter. heck, i bought a 3800 series 2 v-6, and had it installed, w/supercharger, for half that price! and the engine only had 27,000 miles.

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I wouldnt hesitate one second to install an aftermarket cat if the rest of the exhaust system is solid. Walker makes a good one (under a hundred bucks) and we probably have 25 or thirty on our company vehicles right now. Several are 4 or more years old and perform just fine. Even if you pay to have it welded in you'll be way ahead of the game dollarwise, even if you had to replace it again in 4 or 5 years.

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Cat failure is rare for tacomas. I'd start by cleaning your MAF and checking your O2 sensor in front of the cat again. Maybe hop on a toyota truck forum and do a quick search. You can reset your EC by disconnecting your neg terminal for 30 minutes. If the CE light appears pull code and reference it online. If you can source a used cat from a yard you will save a ton of $ and should be good to put a cat-back on with the savings.

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After quick search looks more likely to be rear O2 sensor. It would be worh replacing yourself before shelling out big $, its easy. If your truck has a SC the cat would more apt to melt.

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If you can source a used cat from a yard you will save a ton of $ and should be good to put a cat-back on with the savings.

Its against the law to sell or install used cat converters. The following is straight off the EPA web site.

"EPA considers it a violation of the policy to install a used converter from a salvage yard or sell it for reuse unless it has been properly tested and labeled. Similarly, it is a violation to install an untested used converter brought in by a customer, even if the customer insists that the used converter came off his/her vehicle.

Salvage or junk yards also would be considered liable for causing tampering if they sell

converters that have not been tested or do not meet the requirements outlined in the policy and if the converters are subsequently installed by parties named in the Clean Air Act as prohibited from tampering."

By the sound of it, he has had three different places (2 were Toyota dealerships) look at it, and all 3 came up with the same conclusion. Cat failure may be rare, but being he doesn't know the history of its care, its not impossible. The post is over a month and a half old now, maybe its been fixed. Its always nice to hear the outcomes of the things we discuss. Any results Nolte?

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$2100 for a Cat? That is absolutly insane! I had a cat go bad on my old 97 Chevy and had both cats replaced and an entire dual exhaust installed for $450 about 5 years ago. I would take it to an exhaust shop and get a quote from them, or just drive it with the light on!

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