P1281: Cat Efficiency Below Threshold (Bank I)
I recently bought a Dodge Durango from a private party and took it in for an emissions test in Califonia and it failed the functional test. Didn't know that having a check engine light is an immediate failure else I would not have spent the $45 for the test. The mechanic said that he would have to spend 3 hours to do more additional testing which would cost $90 to pinpoint the exact problem. He told me that without testing he could only assume that the cat and o2 sensors need replacing which would cost anywhere between $700 to $1000. I felt like I was being ripped off. So to sum it up again. The emissions report fault says "P1281 Cat Efficiency Below Threshold (Bank I). Mechanic is confident that replacing the cat and o2 sensors will fix the problem. But the P1281 error is for the thermostat, right? Maybe I need both the new thermostat AND cat/o2 replaced?
By the way it's a year 2000 V8 Magnum 5.9L engine if it matters.
That is right P1281 is Engine is Cold Too Long Engine coolant temperature remains below normal operating temperatures during vehicle travel (Thermostat). Is that the only code you got ? did you use the on board reading codes with your key to read the codes ? If you only have the P1281 you need to change your thermostat but that has nothing to do with cat efficiency. I f the O2 sensors are not working you will get a different code.
That is the only code that was on the emissions test result. I haven't connected it to a computer since I don't have access to one. Tomorrow I intend on taking it to an Autozone and have them check. Just recently (after posting this) I decided to try to clear the computer just for the hell of it. The check engine light isn't coming on anymore but I haven't driven it yet either. I'll post more when I know more. I'm thinking that I'll probably be on the safe side and replace the tstat just for the hell of it. $45 is a lot for a smog test just to fail it again for the same reason. :(
I have a 2002 Durango and I can read the codes in my dashboard where the odometer is. If this can be done on your Durango then you should see how in your owners manual. On mine I put the ignition key in and flip it three times to on and leave it on on with out starting it and the reading starts where the odo is.
The key trick will work on his 2000 also. On, off, on, off, on... the codes will be displayed on the odometer in Pxxxx form. After the codes are finished being listed or if there are no codes it will read PDONE If the CEL isn't on there won't be any codes displayed
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