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Hey,

I searched the entire forum and only one post showed up for someone having this same issue & their car had more han 75k miles and was also the 1.6l not the 2.0l. Got a CEL today. Ran the code and it's P0420: "Catalyst System Efficiency Below Threshold (Bank 1)". This is usually an issue with the cat or o2 sensors.

Good news is my car still is under 5 year/60k powertrain warranty. Strange thing is my car only has 27k miles and nothing should be failing on this car, especially the cat or an o2 sensor. I guess whatever is wrong will at least be replaced under warranty I hope. I don't notice any issues w/the car other then the CEL.

I wanted to make this post to share what my issue eventually is and my progress getting this fixed to help someone else in the future.

-G
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Update #1 : O2 sensor is not covered by Powertrain warranty. In fact, I'm surprised how little the powertrain warranty covers after reading the warranty in detail. It basically ONLY covers the engine/transmission itself and any gaskets attached to it. All sensors and such are not covered. Also, there's a 6/80k warranty on emissions but this only covers the catalytic converter and the ECU.

Ford also charges you $100 to diagnose the issue. If the issue doesn't fall under the warranty that's active, you have to pay the $100. I'm still waiting to hear back from them about what the issue is but I'm guessing the issue will be the o2 sensor. So my next question is -- if I replace the o2 sensor myself and the light comes back, do I get my $100 diagnostic fee back from Ford? I guess we'll see how this pans out.
 

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You have that backwards. You should say “I’m not surprised how little it covers”. I guess what I’m saying is I’m not surprised that Ford doesn’t cover the part that’s bad.

Good luck and let us know the outcome.
 

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O2 sensor faults are usually never the sensor itself. Catalyst efficiency below minimum threshold means it's not seeing the calculated oxygen content post catalysts. I'd be looking for exhaust leaks, and possibly vacuum leaks depending on what the fuel trims looked like.Unless of course the catalysts itself is bad, but you would have had other fueling issues prior to damage it.
 

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Update #2 : Dealership called and told me the cat itself is bad. I asked why they thought it failed so early and they just told me the cat was coming apart from the inside. It must be a defective part from the manufacturer.

At least this is covered under the emissions warranty so I don't pay anything for diagnosis/part/labor.

I'll report back if the issue comes back after the cat is replaced.
 

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I'm getting this P0420 code between 1 and 10 days. I was told it was the fuel. I've tried different gas stations and octanes but nothing works. The local dealership says they can't figure it out because it is an American Ford and they can't fix it under warranty for that reason. I'll pay for the parts and labor to fix it seems, I have no choice. Other than that I really love this vehicle. Does anyone know what can be causing this?
 

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Anyone have any updates on their issues? The fuel treatment cleared up the code temporarily but now it’s back.


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Post #5 gave an update for the OP's problem, Bad Cat.

Not always the case but possible. Leaks are usually more so the issue as Exittonly mentioned.

I would remove the two panels under the car that cover the engine bay and just behind it and inspect your exhaust system from the exhaust manifold to the joint just after the 2nd catalytic converters. Look for black soot like this. This indicates an exhaust leak. It can be at a joint like this one, a pinhole in the middle of a pipe, or weld joint at the manifold, down-pipe, cat, etc.
View attachment 76250 View attachment 76250
 

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@14theroad
I meant to address the post for the other member with the same code.
I should’ve quoted.

I will be checking the exhaust for leaks hopefully today. My vehicle exhaust smells rich but only during cold starts.

Thank you for the reply!


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@14theroad
I meant to address the post for the other member with the same code.
I should’ve quoted.

I will be checking the exhaust for leaks hopefully today. My vehicle exhaust smells rich but only during cold starts.

Thank you for the reply!


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Understood.

For the rich smell, i could just be normal startup behavior. Your emissions system runs on an Open loop at startup when cold (cold referring to engine temp). This means the vehicles ECU/PCM defaults to a fixed A/F and timing table while the various sensors go through a self check and warm up for a bit. Typically 30 seconds to a minute. After that, the system goes to closed loop and the ECU/PCM start using the data from the sensors to adjust timing and fuel accordingly.

Something else you may want to do is to check your spark plugs to see if any of them have any abnormal wear. Abnormal in this case would be described as, one plug doesn't look the same as the others. If one plug is pretty different from the rest or smells different (like fuel), that could contribute to a burn rich smell at start up since the car is running on a fixed table and unable to compensate for an anomaly that could otherwise be hidden by corrections from the ECM/PCM.

If the problem has been around for a while (evident from the plug condition) and has gotten worse, it may have gotten to the point that the ECU/PCM can't compensate so now its tripping the P0420 because it can't pull enough fuel to bring the expected readings from the rear O2 sensor within spec. However, It's not running bad enough to trip any other codes.

How's the gas mileage been?
 

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Gas mileage has dropped. Currently it is only one test away from emissions ready. I was able to pass the inspection that way.

I do have the RS intake cover on with an AEM filter. The dealer thinks it could be too much air flow.

edit/update: Passed with one test pending!
Now I can take my time learning about this problem more.

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I got new up and down stream oxygen sensors, plus some other harness looking part from Ford USA and changed them when I got back to Europe. That was not the problem. It threw the P0420 a day and a half later. The guy at Ford USA believes it is the catalytic converter. Ford Macedonia won't honor the warranty, so I'm taking it to Ford in Kosovo on the 17th and hopefully they will honor the warranty. A new cat costs about 900 bucks. I'll live with the light until I can get it to a shop that will fix it under warranty.
 
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