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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
2007 Kio Rio
Getting code for several months:
P0420 Catalyst System Efficiency below Threshold - Bank 1.
Car is getting less and less power over time.
Takes a long time to get up to speed.

If I do the heat test with an infrared tester, what should the front-back difference be to indicate a bad cat?
I assume that if the front is almost the same as back its plugged?

Before paying up to $1800 to replace the converter on the manifold I wanted to see if there are any other common problems that could cause this problem.
Front (manifold ) converter: $1800 replacement/ $1657 for part only
Rear (Under car) converter: $1474 replacement/ $1379 for part only

Replacement part only from my parts place:
$679 / $248

Also...
I have an elm320 ODBii tester that displays data on my smart phone but I get no data for the O2 sensors.
Is that normal (Kia ECM not sending that data) or could there be a problem with my ECM
 

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2008 SpectraSX, 2014 Optima LX,2006 Jeep Liberty, Linux Mint Mate
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What's the mileage/kms on your car?

You must be looking at dealer prices....There are other "options" that are much more reasonable...

Here's an after market Cat on ebay (front)
Exhaust Manifold w Catalytic Converter Gasket for 06 08 Accent Rio 1 6L DOHC | eBay

and a rear one for $98.
2007 Fits Kia Rio Exhaust Catalytic Converter 4CYL 1 6L Rear | eBay

Here is a "generic" explanation of good/bad converter temps...

I don't know how stringent Ontario is on emissions (if they require yearly emissions testing before upgrading your license plates).. but punching out the front cat should give you your power back.... Do a test for back pressure at the "bung" hole where the front O2 sensor is mounted...If it's above 3PSI (US measurement) you have a blocked cat...

The O2 sensors will still send data even if the Cats are blocked.. You get NO readings or readings that do not change? The first one should vary and the second one should be fairly constant (showing the Cats are doing their job)...

Even the O2 sensors can be fairly reasonable on the after market
O2 02 Oxygen Sensor for Hyundai Kia | eBay

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the info.
I am actually in New Brunswick
I did get some prices at various places.
Manifold converter prices were $549, $679, $805, $1197, $1657
Under car cat prices were: $248, $271, $403, $429, $1379

I called a repair place down the street and they said they would remove the second cat to see of the power comes back.
I guess I could do that myself if I can get the bolts off with my basic tools.
What would I look for at Canadian Tire to check the pressure at the O2 hole?

From the research I have done I am assuming that the major lack of power cannot be an O2 sensor problem alone but it may need to be changes as well.

Unfortunately I cannot see the O2 data on my ELM327 software.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
More info

Forgot to mention.
When I clear the cat efficiency code, it doesnt clear (or comes back instantly)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
2 more things

A few more things that may help troubleshoot???

I noticed opening the hood about 10 mins after driving home from work
Seemed to be giving off a lot more heat than I remember.
1. I could not open the hood with bare hands- too hot- just above the manifold cat. Its a very hot day but not that hot
2. The plastic guard under the manifold cat is partly melted away under the outlet cat pipe.
Could that indicate the manifold cat is the bad one?

Would removing the manifold cat 02 sensor help troubleshoot? I figured if that cat is plugged, the o2 sensor hole being opened up may give me a bit more power in which case would help validate a manifold cat issue?
 

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If the manifold cat is running hotter than normal you may have a bad O2 sensor and the ECM is running in an "open loop" mode giving it a "rich" fuel mixture causing it to over heat.

The Manifold cat seams to be working somewhat (getting very hot with a rich fuel mixture) and overheating caused by the rich fuel can/will damage the cat.

You could unbolt the exhaust pipe just below the manifold cat and see if the power comes back. This would confirm that the secondary cat was bad..
I'd tend to believe the manifold cat and the O2 sensor that is bolted into it are both bad....You didn't give us the mileage on the car and this WOULD help us..
Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #7
More Info

Again thanks for the help
The mileage is about 110,000 km
The problem started last year just after they replaced a few plugs and coils

Last night I checked codes again and now getting code for lean on bank 1
 

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OK with 66k miles on the engine the cats should not normally be bad..
Try looking at what they did... Pull and check the plugs to see if they are the correct ones and the correct gap... NGK or Denso for plugs...Stay away from Bosch...
Look for dirty MAF (mass air flow)sensor (common problem) , a bad O2 sensor (may have been damaged when you had coil and plug problems), air leak at throttle body (gasket)..
Use only MAF spray cleaner and DO NOT TOUCH the MAF sensor with ANYTHING as they are very delicate and will break easily...
Just some things to look at...
Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #9
In Shop

I dropped it off at a muffler shop next to work.
They will (today or tomorrow) drop the out pipe of the manifold cat to see what happens.
I told them not to do anything else.
If the power returns, I will check the plugs etc myself.
 

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Tell us how it goes. The 1st O2 sensor is the important one. It tells the ECU if you are running rich, lean, if timing is ok etc. The 2nd one only checks to see if there is a differance between the readings of 1 and 2.

I don't know how strict your laws are up there, but where I am the only check for external defects (wipers, e-brake, lights, blinkers etc). Then they take the car on a short run to see if it has obvious mechanical issues, and preform a 30mph to zero within a certain distance test.

After that they just plug it into the OBD II port and see if the computer sees any issues. If the ECU says all the emissions are good, so does Texas.

I run a header that converges into a turbo. 1st O2 sensor is in header. Runs through down pipe to a blank cat. A converter that looks like a converter but has nothing in it, with the 2nd O2 sensor hooked onto a spacer. (Search O2 sensor spacer on eBay) Then a high flow muffler.

No cats, 2 sensors, no codes.

My vehicle is not for road use. Any information given here is for informational purposes only. My vehicle is currently being used as a testing platform for many aftermarket products. In now way do I condone breaking any local, provential, or national laws.

Hope that might help. Cheers!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The scoop

OK so heres the verdict...
I had it in the shop today and both cats are plugged.
I looked inside the manifold cat and could see the busted up honeycomb which blew pieces into the other cat and plugged it too.
I will get them replaced and go from there.
The guy at the shop said that should never have happened at my low mileage and Kia should cover it.
He said to run it by the Kia dealer but I don't expect any good news.
Otherwise its gonna cost me about $1000 for both cats.
The guy also said he would run a straight pipe for the 2nd cat if I want.
 

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You could do it for a little more than Half that by buying them on ebay and having a local muffler shop install "your" parts...Even with a labor charge of $100 I'd bet that it would come in around $600 (US).
It's your money...
Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #14
The verdict

The front (manifold) cat is plugged (I looked inside).
I could see the broken up honeycomb.
Bad news is that the peices went into the under car cat and wrecked it as well.
The muffler guy said he called local Kia dealer to see if they would cover it as that should not have hapenned. The warranty showing in my manual says 90 months for makor emission components.
They said I would need proof of all service work done.
I can proove oil changes but not plugs which should have been changed twice.
The only time plugs were changed is when the car died last year and another Kia dealer changed 2 plugs and 2 coils.
From their tone on the phone, I felt it would be a waste of time to gather up the proof and wait for a decision which I think would be no anyway.
So I ordered the front cat $529 and I am getting the second cat gutted as there is no 02 sensor after that cat.
Ill replace the plugs myself.
 
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