2004 Higlander catalytic converter wont reset to pass CA. Smog. No code available

Asked by Jun 28, 2016 at 11:19 PM about the 2004 Toyota Highlander Base

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I already drove my 2004 Highlander for more than 600
miles to reset the cat after I had the oxygen sensor
replaced with P2238 code. I got 2 days left in June 2016
to pass the smog. After that, I will have to get 3days
moving pass from DMV to continue driving it around until
cat reset. It's already a whole month drive cycle project
for me. Do I really have to replace the Cat? I'm getting
desperate. I returned so many times to Smog place and
mechanic who replaced the oxygen sensor. Both of them
keep on saying Drive more! I also ordered my own code
reader from Amazon. I'll appreciate any help. Thanks!

3 Answers

13,485

Don't drive more there clueless your DTC code is about the 02 sensor not functioning you can drive for ever and it will NOT self heal! First, make sure the HEGO(S) FUNCTIONING CHECK IT for an AC square wave output or read live time date on STFT and LTFT these are fuel trims. If its fast and functional clear the PCM of KAM (keep alive memory) drive the vehicle a few miles and read DTCS again if any. I know California won't allow auto store to read codes due to State legislation. GOOD, thing you purchased a reader.

Thanks Mark, I gave up after doing another Toyota drive cycle today. I dropped it back to the car shop (not a dealer) who replaced the o2 sensor. We'll see what he'll say. I'll post another update after. I guess I will have to go DMV to get a 3 days extention permit.

Update: I finally passed the CA smog today. It turned out my 2004 Highlander with 185k miles really have a bad CAT. It was a Bad, bad decision I made to keep on returning to that 1st repair shop. Nothing was done for week in a shop even when I gave them a list of things to replace or check (sparkplugs, wires, back 02 sensor, trans fluid, vaccum leak,STFT/LTFT check) I dont know anything about cars. All of these things to check are from internet & youtube. I guess, its a lessons learned. IF your car problem is related to emmissions, bring your car to Repair shop that also do SMOG Test. After $2,100 with NEW Cat, 2 02 sensors,sparkplugs & trans fluid & readiness test drive,I finally got my sticker!

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