Catalyst System Efficiency Below Threshold (Bank 1)

Description:

How does a P0420 code trigger the check engine light? This code will trigger the check engine light as follows:
1996-newer (OBD-II) vehicles use oxygen sensors and a catalytic converter to reduce emissions. There is one O2 (oxygen) sensor in front of the catalytic converter (called upstream), and one behind it (downstream). When the engine is warmed up and running normally the upstream oxygen sensor reading fluctuates and the downstream one is fairly steady. In the case where both readings are fairly steady, a P0420 check engine light code is set.

Possible Causes:

Oxygen (O2) sensor not working correctly
Damaged or leaking exhuast (pipe, manifold, catalytic converter)
Damaged catalytic converter

Diagnostic Help:

To diagnose a P0420 trouble code we begin by checking for exhaust leaks under the vehicle. Then use an oscilliscope to check the waveforms of both upstream and downstream O2 sensors. The front reading should vary, the rear should be steady. Replace as necessary. Check the rear Heated O2 Sensor. Check the catalytic converter, replace if necessary. If necessary, check for wiring and component concerns. See our article “Automotive Circuit Testing 101”, if you need more assistance with this. Remember to refer to an model-specific repair manual for proper instruction.

Misfire Detection Monitor – Cylinder 12 Misfire

Description:

How does a P0312 code trigger the check engine light? This code will trigger the check engine light as follows:

The misfire detection monitor, a software strategy built into the computer, is designed to detect an engine misfire. The computer can also normally identify the specific cylinder in which the misfire has occurred. A misfire is nothing more than a lack of combustion, which can be caused by poor fuel quality or metering, low compression, lack of spark or unmetered air entering the engine. There are other possible, less obvious causes as well, such as uncommanded Exhaust Gas Recirculatin (EGR), flow. When the misfire monitor detects a misfire, it will trigger the check engine light with the specific cylinder number as the last digit in the P030X code. For instance cylinder 1 misfire is P0301, cylinder 2 is P0302 etc. In this case we are left with a P0312 in the computer memory.

Possible Causes:

Fuel injectors, related wiring, sensors and computer issues
Running out of gas, or poor fuel quality
Evaporative emissions system (EVAP) concerns: fuel vapors leaking into engine
Incorrect Fuel Pressure
EGR system concerns: leaking EGR valve or restricted ports
Base engine concerns: low compression, valve train problems and timing issues
Ignition system concerns including, but not limited to:
Faulty spark plugs
Faulty coil or related wiring
Ignition module or related wiring issues
Ignition related sensor faults or wiring issues

Diagnostic Help:

To diagnose a P0312 trouble code we begin by checking for proper fuel and ignition system operation, and then follow up with the less likely causes listed above, such as EGR and EVAP system problems. New style coil on plug applications have a high failure rate, and can be concluded faulty by swapping to another cylinder and checking to see if the misfire moves to that cylinder. This is a quick check if a capable scan tool or oscilloscope is not available. Always make sure the basic maintenance is done first and that things such as the fuel filter, air filter, spark plugs and spark plug wires are in good working order, as these are all possible candidates for a problem. If necessary, check for wiring and component concerns. See our article “Automotive Circuit Testing 101”, if you need more assistance with this. If concern is determined to be intermittent, check out our article on intermittent diagnosis and wiggle test connectors and wiring, attempting to duplicate concern. You may also use the “Get Help” link if you need specifications or have any other related questions. Remember to refer to an appropriate manual for specific instruction.

Misfire Detection Monitor – Cylinder 11 Misfire

Description:

How does a P0311 code trigger the check engine light? This code will trigger the check engine light as follows:

The misfire detection monitor, a software strategy built into the computer, is designed to detect an engine misfire. The computer can also normally identify the specific cylinder in which the misfire has occurred. A misfire is nothing more than a lack of combustion, which can be caused by poor fuel quality or metering, low compression, lack of spark or unmetered air entering the engine. There are other possible, less obvious causes as well, such as uncommanded Exhaust Gas Recirculatin (EGR), flow. When the misfire monitor detects a misfire, it will trigger the check engine light with the specific cylinder number as the last digit in the P030X code. For instance cylinder 1 misfire is P0301, cylinder 2 is P0302 etc. In this case we are left with a P0311 in the computer memory.

Possible Causes:

Fuel injectors, related wiring, sensors and computer issues
Running out of gas, or poor fuel quality
Evaporative emissions system (EVAP) concerns: fuel vapors leaking into engine
Incorrect Fuel Pressure
EGR system concerns: leaking EGR valve or restricted ports
Base engine concerns: low compression, valve train problems and timing issues
Ignition system concerns including, but not limited to:
Faulty spark plugs
Faulty coil or related wiring
Ignition module or related wiring issues
Ignition related sensor faults or wiring issues

Diagnostic Help:

To diagnose a P0311 trouble code we begin by checking for proper fuel and ignition system operation, and then follow up with the less likely causes listed above, such as EGR and EVAP system problems. New style coil on plug applications have a high failure rate, and can be concluded faulty by swapping to another cylinder and checking to see if the misfire moves to that cylinder. This is a quick check if a capable scan tool or oscilloscope is not available. Always make sure the basic maintenance is done first and that things such as the fuel filter, air filter, spark plugs and spark plug wires are in good working order, as these are all possible candidates for a problem. If necessary, check for wiring and component concerns. See our article “Automotive Circuit Testing 101”, if you need more assistance with this. If concern is determined to be intermittent, check out our article on intermittent diagnosis and wiggle test connectors and wiring, attempting to duplicate concern. You may also use the “Get Help” link if you need specifications or have any other related questions. Remember to refer to an appropriate manual for specific instruction.

Misfire Detection Monitor – Cylinder 10 Misfire

Description:

How does a P0310 code trigger the check engine light? This code will trigger the check engine light as follows:

The misfire detection monitor, a software strategy built into the computer, is designed to detect an engine misfire. The computer can also normally identify the specific cylinder in which the misfire has occurred. A misfire is nothing more than a lack of combustion, which can be caused by poor fuel quality or metering, low compression, lack of spark or unmetered air entering the engine. There are other possible, less obvious causes as well, such as uncommanded Exhaust Gas Recirculatin (EGR), flow. When the misfire monitor detects a misfire, it will trigger the check engine light with the specific cylinder number as the last digit in the P030X code. For instance cylinder 1 misfire is P0301, cylinder 2 is P0302 etc. In this case we are left with a P0310 in the computer memory.

Possible Causes:

Fuel injectors, related wiring, sensors and computer issues
Running out of gas, or poor fuel quality
Evaporative emissions system (EVAP) concerns: fuel vapors leaking into engine
Incorrect Fuel Pressure
EGR system concerns: leaking EGR valve or restricted ports
Base engine concerns: low compression, valve train problems and timing issues
Ignition system concerns including, but not limited to:
Faulty spark plugs
Faulty coil or related wiring
Ignition module or related wiring issues
Ignition related sensor faults or wiring issues

Diagnostic Help:

To diagnose a P0310 trouble code we begin by checking for proper fuel and ignition system operation, and then follow up with the less likely causes listed above, such as EGR and EVAP system problems. New style coil on plug applications have a high failure rate, and can be concluded faulty by swapping to another cylinder and checking to see if the misfire moves to that cylinder. This is a quick check if a capable scan tool or oscilloscope is not available. Always make sure the basic maintenance is done first and that things such as the fuel filter, air filter, spark plugs and spark plug wires are in good working order, as these are all possible candidates for a problem. If necessary, check for wiring and component concerns. See our article “Automotive Circuit Testing 101”, if you need more assistance with this. If concern is determined to be intermittent, check out our article on intermittent diagnosis and wiggle test connectors and wiring, attempting to duplicate concern. You may also use the “Get Help” link if you need specifications or have any other related questions. Remember to refer to an appropriate manual for specific instruction.

Misfire Detection Monitor – Cylinder 9 Misfire

Description:

How does a P0309 code trigger the check engine light? This code will trigger the check engine light as follows:

The misfire detection monitor, a software strategy built into the computer, is designed to detect an engine misfire. The computer can also normally identify the specific cylinder in which the misfire has occurred. A misfire is nothing more than a lack of combustion, which can be caused by poor fuel quality or metering, low compression, lack of spark or unmetered air entering the engine. There are other possible, less obvious causes as well, such as uncommanded Exhaust Gas Recirculatin (EGR), flow. When the misfire monitor detects a misfire, it will trigger the check engine light with the specific cylinder number as the last digit in the P030X code. For instance cylinder 1 misfire is P0301, cylinder 2 is P0302 etc. In this case we are left with a P0309 in the computer memory.

Possible Causes:

Fuel injectors, related wiring, sensors and computer issues
Running out of gas, or poor fuel quality
Evaporative emissions system (EVAP) concerns: fuel vapors leaking into engine
Incorrect Fuel Pressure
EGR system concerns: leaking EGR valve or restricted ports
Base engine concerns: low compression, valve train problems and timing issues
Ignition system concerns including, but not limited to:
Faulty spark plugs
Faulty coil or related wiring
Ignition module or related wiring issues
Ignition related sensor faults or wiring issues

Diagnostic Help:

To diagnose a P0309 trouble code we begin by checking for proper fuel and ignition system operation, and then follow up with the less likely causes listed above, such as EGR and EVAP system problems. New style coil on plug applications have a high failure rate, and can be concluded faulty by swapping to another cylinder and checking to see if the misfire moves to that cylinder. This is a quick check if a capable scan tool or oscilloscope is not available. Always make sure the basic maintenance is done first and that things such as the fuel filter, air filter, spark plugs and spark plug wires are in good working order, as these are all possible candidates for a problem. If necessary, check for wiring and component concerns. See our article Automotive Circuit Testing 101, if you need more assistance with this. If concern is determined to be intermittent, check out our article on intermittent diagnosis and wiggle test connectors and wiring, attempting to duplicate concern. You may also use the “Get Help” link if you need specifications or have any other related questions. Remember to refer to an appropriate manual for specific instruction.

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