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Old 07-22-2014, 08:58 AM   #1
TheOtherBart OP
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OBD Trouble Code 0430

I'm a long way from home in my Chevy Express 3500 based motorhome with a potential problem I'm looking for some advice on. The last two driving legs I noticed my mileage dropping off, from mid-9's to low 8's (towing my Jeep). Then on the last leg the Service Engine Soon light came on. According to my ScanGage it's a P0430 code. Looking online it appears to be something about the catalytic converter, but potential causes range from the converter itself to an O2 sensor to injector leaks.

So where do I start trying to narrow things down? I very much don't want to end up in the shop if there's anything I can do myself with basic tools. Is there any potential damage to be done if I keep going and just deal with it when I get home in a couple of weeks?
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Old 07-22-2014, 09:18 AM   #2
emerson.biguns
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Swap O2 sensors.

If that doesn't work, aftermarket Cat replacement?

Good info in this thread.





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Old 07-22-2014, 09:48 AM   #3
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Swap O2 sensors.

If that doesn't work, aftermarket Cat replacement?

Good info in this thread.





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I just crawled under and took a look, it appears that access should be pretty decent. Let's talk worst case scenarios, since I'm away from home what's the worst that can happen if I break/strip/otherwise mangle these sensors in the process? Any downside to disconnecting the wires and using a box end wrench on the sensors or do I really need the special socket? Also I understand that you may have to drive a while to know whether the code is going to reoccur on the other side, am I going to hurt anything if I swap the sensors and drive a couple hundred miles tomorrow?
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Old 07-22-2014, 09:52 AM   #4
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not going to hurt anything running with the o2 sensor removed. might run like crap.

If you can turn it with a wrench, you don't need the socket. Many sensors are positioned in locations where a wrench won't fit, so socket wrench & extension & socket does the job. A normal socket won't work, solely because you can't get the wire out of the way. The wires don't normally connect right at the end of the o2 sensor. They connect in a dongle a few inches away. Operating temperature would melt alot of things.

The special sockets are cheap and readily available in your auto parts store. You need to examine the location and see whether you can go with a normal socket or an offset socket.

I highly doubt it's the cat...unless you ran over boulders recently.
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Old 07-22-2014, 03:18 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by DriveShaft View Post
not going to hurt anything running with the o2 sensor removed. might run like crap.

If you can turn it with a wrench, you don't need the socket. Many sensors are positioned in locations where a wrench won't fit, so socket wrench & extension & socket does the job. A normal socket won't work, solely because you can't get the wire out of the way. The wires don't normally connect right at the end of the o2 sensor. They connect in a dongle a few inches away. Operating temperature would melt alot of things.

The special sockets are cheap and readily available in your auto parts store. You need to examine the location and see whether you can go with a normal socket or an offset socket.

I highly doubt it's the cat...unless you ran over boulders recently.
I didn't figure a cat would go bad in <60,000 miles, hopefully I can swap the O2 sensors without a lot of drama and find something out that way.

So I'm assuming the sensors will be easier to remove with the exhaust hot, but I don't want to be trying to wrestle with wiring connectors right up against a hot pipe. So my plan is to unplug both, start the engine and let it get hot (probably running like crap), then hopefully remove and swap with minimum difficulty. Then by the time I get to the next destination the computer should tell me something.
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Old 07-22-2014, 03:20 PM   #6
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Where are you and do you need help?
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Old 07-22-2014, 03:46 PM   #7
DriveShaft
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So I'm assuming the sensors will be easier to remove with the exhaust hot, but I don't want to be trying to wrestle with wiring connectors right up against a hot pipe.
I usually let it all cool down. I take a small propane torch to the port threading on the pipe to get more dramatic differential between port heat expansion vs sensor expansion. Much less annoying than crawling under a hot exhaust. you're only looking for a few seconds of localized heat so the thermal mass of the sensor doesn't catch up to the port.

DriveShaft screwed with this post 07-22-2014 at 04:12 PM
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Old 07-22-2014, 06:43 PM   #8
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Where are you and do you need help?
I'm in Kissimmee FL at the KOA, but actually I think I should be fine. I'm going to tackle the sensor swap first thing in the morning before checkout, then if all goes well I'll get a new code by the end of the day. It's questions like that that make this place so awesome.
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Old 07-22-2014, 06:45 PM   #9
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I usually let it all cool down. I take a small propane torch to the port threading on the pipe to get more dramatic differential between port heat expansion vs sensor expansion. Much less annoying than crawling under a hot exhaust. you're only looking for a few seconds of localized heat so the thermal mass of the sensor doesn't catch up to the port.
Unfortunately I don't have a torch on board, but I do have a pair of gloves.
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Old 07-22-2014, 06:46 PM   #10
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Could be something easier. Grab a bottle of MAF sensor cleaner from anywhere from walmart to pep boys and give it a spray (In your air intake, couple screws and it comes out). A slight coat of dust on the sensor can throw the P0430 code and kill your mileage and cause the check engine light.
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DomEOD screwed with this post 07-22-2014 at 06:53 PM
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Old 07-22-2014, 06:58 PM   #11
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not going to hurt anything running with the o2 sensor removed. might run like crap.
Not entirely true. Removing it without disconnecting it will trick the ECM into thinking it is in a lean condition, and will enrichen the mix to compensate and to prevent damage. You'll foul plugs and get shitty mileage, and likely plug the cat with soot if you drive it like that for a while.

A box end wrench should work if you can get to the sensor and can fit the wrench over the plug. I had to cut the wires on an 04 s10.
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Old 07-22-2014, 07:14 PM   #12
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Clear it and see if it comes back on. It's a bank 2 cat efficiency code. What year and how many miles on your truck thing? The emissions warranty is 8 years or 80k miles. That will cover a cat.
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Old 07-23-2014, 12:12 AM   #13
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Clear it and see if it comes back on. It's a bank 2 cat efficiency code. What year and how many miles on your truck thing? The emissions warranty is 8 years or 80k miles. That will cover a cat.
It's a 2000 chassis with <60,000 miles, so outside the eight year window.
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Old 07-23-2014, 12:14 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by DomEOD View Post
Could be something easier. Grab a bottle of MAF sensor cleaner from anywhere from walmart to pep boys and give it a spray (In your air intake, couple screws and it comes out). A slight coat of dust on the sensor can throw the P0430 code and kill your mileage and cause the check engine light.
Seems like that would cause a problem on both banks wouldn't it? I'm only getting the 0430 Bank 2 code, not the 0420 Bank 1.
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Old 07-23-2014, 05:51 AM   #15
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Well so much for Plan A, liberal application of WD40 and letting it get hot while I ate breakfast didn't do squat, those suckers are not budging. I'm going to clear the codes and drive on to the next stop, we'll see what happens. There's a Camping World close to where we're stopping, I'm trying to find out how bad they'll tear my head off to replace them. Once I have that number then I'll decide whether to keep banging on it myself. It looks to me like it's good and rusted against the bung.
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