OBD2 Codes

Nissan P0420 – Meaning, Causes, Symptoms, & Fixes

P0420 catalyst system efficiency below threshold bank 1
Reading Time: 2 minutes

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Nissan Code P0420 Definition

Catalyst system efficiency below threshold (Bank 1).

What Does P0420 Mean For Your Nissan?

The function of the catalytic converter is to break down harmful pollutants that are created by your Nissan during the combustion cycle and convert them into harmless gases. Code P0420 indicates that the catalytic converter is not functioning efficiently, therefore increasing the output of harmful pollutants by your Nissan.

Nissan P0420 Symptoms

  • Check Engine Light is on
  • Lack of power from the engine
  • Decreased fuel economy
  • Rotten egg or sulfur smell

Nissan P0420 Causes

  • Faulty oxygen sensor
  • Worn and internally failing catalytic converter
  • Leak in exhaust system

Nissan Code P0420 Severity – Moderate

While P0420 does not pose a danger to the driver and may not produce any symptoms with issues related to drivability, it can cause severe damage to other components of your Nissan if not addressed in a timely manner. It is recommended that you address P0420 as soon as possible to keep the cost of the repair to a minimum.

Nissan Code P0420 Common Diagnosis Mistakes

Do not overlook other codes that are paired along with P0420. Nissan codes P0300, P0301, P0302, P0303, P0304, P0305, P0306, P0307, P0308, P0174, and P0171 can give false data readings that create conditions which trigger code P0420. If any other codes are present, they should be addressed first.

Nissan P0420 Diagnosis

Tools Needed to Diagnose:
  1.  Scan your Nissan to verify P0420 is the only code present. If other codes are present, they must be addressed first.
  2. Examine the exhaust system for damage and leaks. Pay close attention to the exhaust manifold, gaskets, and exhaust pipes pre-catalytic converter. If any leaks are found, repair the leak, clear the code, and complete several drive cycles to verify that was the fix.
  3. With the Nissan running and at normal operating temperature, use the digital multimeter to check the voltage reading of the downstream O2 sensor. The downstream O2 sensor produces a relatively steady voltage reading of approximately 0.45V if the catalytic converter is functioning properly. If the voltage of the downstream O2 sensor is constantly jumping between 0.1V and 0.9V, the catalyst is worn and the catalytic converter needs to be replaced.

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5 Comments

  1. After checking the air filter found to be in bad shape cleaned MA’s air and new filter downstream o2 is Happy

    1. I change my air filter and the code p0420 showed up in the scanner….
      There is no other code…
      What may I do to fix this…

      1. Weird

  2. Po420 code bank 1. Is that down stream or upstream?

  3. Would the p0420 code have anything to do with my nissan running hot?? It runs hot because my fans dont come on. But as soon as i start driving an gaining speed again the temp goes back down. I was told from a friend who looked at it for me….that there IS power running to my fans,they just wont come on so i more tham likely need to replace the fans.

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