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Ron Z.
Ron Z., - Chevy Tech -
Category: Chevy
Satisfied Customers: 17782
Experience:  18+yrs experience. State Inspector and Chevy Diagnostics
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Chevrolet K1500 silverado pickup: I have a 1998 chevy K1500

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I have a 1998 chevy K1500 siverado pickup with a 350 5.7L vortec engine,i just put a new engine in 25,000 miles ago.the "service engine soon" light came on about 3 weeks ago,i changed the oil,oil filter,fuel filter,put new spark plugs in,pcv valve,air filter and the light is still on.i had a OBDll scanner put on it and a code (P0420=catalyst system efficiency below threshold"bank 1".meaning the catalytic converters are bad/need replaced. here is my Question?can i keep driving my truck without doing harm to the engine,will the engine stop running.i need about one more month till i have the money to have this problem fixed.let me know what you think.
Hello! Welcome to the site! Thanks for coming! I'm Ron Z. I'm here to provide as much information and insight as I can, to best answer your question.

The P0420 is a very straight forward code pointing to a failing Converter for Bank1. This is the converter on the passenger's side of the vehicle (that actually comes from a pipe on the driver's side). So there is no need to replace both Converters for this code, just that one. As for driving the vehicle- yes, it's perfectly safe to drive. When this code first sets, it's basically just saying that the Converter just isn't "cleaning" the exhaust enough to meet the vehicle's emissions specs. It takes quite some time for the converter to actually "completely" fail and become clogged to the point it causes problems. So, driving another month or so should not be a problem at all. It'll be much longer than that before you start noticing any engine performance symptoms. You have plenty of time.

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