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Jay
Jay, Nissan Technician
Category: Nissan
Satisfied Customers: 20228
Experience:  20+yrs experience with Nissan & Infiniti Trained & Certified.Currently still working for Dealer
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My girlfriends 2005 Xterra was showing p0420 & p0430 codes

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My girlfriends 2005 Xterra was showing p0420 & p0430 codes (catalyst efficency...bank 1 & 2), before we cleared them. Vehicle would idle fine and drive a short distance before missing and finaly dying. It's exhausting black smoke which tells me its running rich, does this also tell me the cats are ok since the exhaust isn't being obstructed? The intrmitency makes me want to lean towards an electrical issue. Any information that you can provide would be great, Thank you.

Hello and thank you for using JustAnswer.com

 

How many miles are on the truck?

 

Let me know, thanks Jay!

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Aprox 97k

Darn, I was hoping you had less mileage. When you have a Catt Converter code, the 02 sensors have detected that the Catt Converter is no longer functioning properly and should be checked. If you use a scan tool to monitor and graph 02 sensor operation you should be able to see if the Catt Converters are working properly or not. If not, they will need to be changed. Failure to ignore changing them can allow them to eventually get broken up and the debris could enter the engine contaminating the engine to the point you will start burning oil and then you will eventually need a new engine. So I would not ignore that code. As for the black smoke, you would need to check your air and fuel mixture readings. If the truck is running rich, that could be the cause of the Catt Converter failure. You can get black smoke when the car is running rich. So that also should be checked.

 

If you have any more questions on this, please feel free to ask. Thanks Jay!

Jay and 6 other Nissan Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
One last Question, if it does turn out to be the Cats, is there a way to isolate which one, and would it be a DIY sort of thing for a guy with moderate mechanical ability? (I work on wind turbines) Could you point me in the direction of some more info on the repair if possible?
I just thought of this. It may be possible you have a IPDM issue. I have seen I IPDM's fail and not send proper voltage to the fuel pump and ignition coils. When the IPDM goes bad, it can cause the running rich issue which can cause Catt Converter codes. Another trick I have found is if I swap the Ecm relay with the fog light relay the truck may start. This works 50% of the time. If this works, then you know you need a IPDM and Catt Converters.

Here is a image of the Ecm relay location in the IPDM. The IPDM is located under the hood on the passenger side back by the fire wall.graphic

If you have any more questions on this, please feel free to ask. Thanks Jay!
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I swapped the relays and it started right up, due to the itermitent nature of the issue, I'm reluctant to call it fixed, I can't take it anywhere at the moment since I'm technicaly working, so I'm going to fire it up an let it idle a bit to see if anything happens as it warms up. Man if this is it, Your a life saver, or at least a piggy bank saver! I'll let you know how it goes.
You got it. Thanks Jay!
Jay and 6 other Nissan Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I think that did it! Just ran it a few miles and no trouble. I'll update if things change, thanks again! Here's another $15 for the effort!