what would cause a 2006 subaru impreza with only 32,000 miles on it to need a new catalytic converter?

Asked by Dec 18, 2014 at 06:10 PM about the 2006 Subaru Impreza

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Purchased from first owner recently.  The service engine soon light came on after having it
for just a few days.  I took it to the dealer and the code that came up they say indicates
that the catalytic converter needs replacing.  Everyone is surprised at this because there
is only 32,000 miles on this car.

5 Answers

11,705

Did you find out what code they pulled? There is no true code to my knowledge that indicates a bad catalytic converter. Is the vehicle running Okay? Any loss of power on acceleration or up hills?

5,445

There's a chance that the first owner ran the car when it was running bad, like fouling plugs, whatever to cause carbon to plug up the little honeycombs inside the converter. I doubt anyone would pull the converter and check inside to see if it could get away with just a cleaning.

98,575

I would be suspicious of that. I would run some seafoam through the engines intake then add a can to the fuel tank, find a clear stretch of road and wind it up, what we call "Blowing out the carbon" if you see stuff blowing out the tailpipe keep doing this until it quits. You can find more information on blowing out the carbon on you tube. Watch the tach closely, you don't want to over rev and blow the engine. If you have never done this maybe some of your friends have done it and can show you the in's and out's on doing this. After it is all cleaned out have the codes cleared and drive as you normally would to see if the check engine light stays off. If it comes back on with the same code then it could be a bad catalyst.

The code they pulled is P0420 and I recently had the fuel induction service done to it, which I was hoping would do the trick, but the "check engine" light is back on. :(

520

P0420 represents catalytic converter is operating below threshold. A lot of problems I have experienced is that the 10 to 20 % ethanol added to gasoline is causing issues with catalytic converters because of lower flash point of ethanol and also if turboed. It's worse because of higher exhaust temperatures. If turboed, always run high grade fuel and run it. You don't have to 100 mph. Just getting on interstate and running up to speed and let out. Do that a few times here and there. Don't have to do it all the time

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