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Jan Andersson
Jan Andersson, ASE Master Tech
Category: Nissan
Satisfied Customers: 834
Experience:  20 years of automotive repair & modification, USA, Asian, Euro, old & new cars.
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Murano: p0420..its the o2 sensor and I dont need to replace the cat

Resolved Question:

I am getting a p0420 bank 1 cat code on my 03 murano. Is it possible it's the o2 sensor and I don't need to replace the cat? F/u ? If you recommend replacing the cat, is it necessary to replace the 02 sensors? I have 120K miles and my car runs perfectly getting 20.2 mpg!
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Nissan
Expert:  Jan Andersson replied 5 years ago.




The O2 sensor is reporting that the cat is not cleaning the exhaust gases as well as it should. Two possibilities: the cat performance is really reduced, or the O2 sensor is getting old and inaccurate. Out of the two, the O2 sensor usually dies first, it has a lot shorter lifespan than a catalytic converter. It could still be sending a signal, just not a correct signal or not fast enough.


I always recommend replacing the sensor first, then if the code returns later, we have a reason to suspect the catalytic converter.


Then when the converter needs to be replaced, it is common practice to replace the O2 sensor too. But by then, you will already have that new O2 sensor in there, so no need to replace it again.


This approach helps you in two ways. First, you start with the MUCH cheaper component. That may be ALL you needed. Then, if after a while you do need the cat replaced, your bill will be lower because you don't need the O2 replaced again. The overall cost of both is spread out to a longer period of time, most likely not hitting the same paycheck :)

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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Jay can I get away with using a Bosch 02 sensor. I've been told by many mechanics I have to get new cats from Nissan, no way around that, but what about the 02 sensor, can it be Bosch? Also, is this an easy job for a non mechanic like myself, as I saw a skematic online that made it look like front sensors might actually be accessable.... what do you think?

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