2001 Pathfinder - Catalytic Converters - Nissan Forum

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#1 Old Dec 5th, 2007, 01:45 PM
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2001 Pathfinder - Catalytic Converters

I just had my 2001 Pathy SE (100k miles) in to the dealer to check the SES light (due to upcoming inspection). Was told that both front catalytic converters need to be replaced to the tune of about $2500. I've had the SES problems before with the O2 sensors. My question is has anybody had this repair done and is it worth it on a truck 7 years old? Also, they want to reprogram the ecm after the repair.... is it possible to have the repair done elsewhere, then take it back to the dealer for the reprogram? Thanks.
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#2 Old Dec 5th, 2007, 02:07 PM
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You can buy after market converters online and have your local muffler shop install them for a fraction of that price. To reset your ECU, just disconnect your battery overnight.

That's why they call it the $tealership.

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#3 Old Dec 5th, 2007, 02:32 PM
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Got the stealing part right.... I was told that there were no aftermarket cats available. However, in talking with another non-dealership mechanic and he said that they haven't had much luck with the aftermarket b/c the ses light would come back on. Is he full of it too? Also, I was told I needed a reprogram of the ecu (revision upgrade) to get the timing, etc calibrated... not just a reset. Is that necessary? Thanks for the advice.
#4 Old Dec 6th, 2007, 07:26 AM
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The last time I was at my local Nissan dealer buying sensors, I asked if there is a ecu upgrade for our 01 and was told no. As long as you replace your converter and reset the ecu by disconnecting the battery, there is no reason the light would come back on, unless the mechanic did something wrong. The converter is a part which wears out over time, like tires and shocks. You replace them and move on.

Here are some bolt on converters you could install yourself. The generic models do not have the factory flanges and will need to be welded. Either way should work fine.

http://www.catalyticconverterwarehouse.com/RenderScriptTemplate.epc?_cmd=epccat_vehicleown&co okieID=28T0HUPHW28T0HUSPB&makeid=NISSAN%40%40NISSA N%40%40&yearid=2001%40%402001&mode=OEG&modelid=PAT HFINDER@@PATHFINDER

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#5 Old Dec 6th, 2007, 11:24 AM
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Great, I'll check them out. I appreciate the help.
#6 Old Jan 2nd, 2008, 01:33 PM
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Hey DFleming32,

I have a 2001 Infiniti QX4(same vehicle as yours) and it failed it's Emissions Inspection in MA. Sadly, I'm at 84k miles and outside of the 8-year/80k mile federal emissions warranty.

$2.5k sounds very high. I've gotten quotes of $1.8k to replace both cats.

Curious, has the dealership reprogrammed the ecm to see if that would fix the problem? I've called a number of places and have been told everything from the cats need to be replaced to that the ecm just needs to be reprogrammed. I actually have a TSB in my hand that talks about not replacing the cats but to reprogram the ecm first. Supposedly, the ecm is very sensitive and can produce the P0420 and P0430 codes in error.

Note, every place I've called also won't work with aftermarket cats as their failure rates are really high.

I plan to take my car in within the next week and will let you know if the ecm reprogram worked or if I need to replace my cats.

edit - forgot to mention, my SES never went off. The issue was only caught from the inspection and the OBDII scan.

Last edited by Mojobaggins; Jan 2nd, 2008 at 01:37 PM.
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#7 Old Jan 2nd, 2008, 03:46 PM
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I have a similar problem.

01 pathfinder mfg 10/00
code p0420

a couple months ago there was an error for the upstream o2 sensor on this side, the code cleared itself. I have a new oxygen sensor but i'm not quite sure i can get to it. its a bit tight.

any suggestions.
#8 Old Jan 6th, 2008, 12:44 AM
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Bulletin #NTB02-087a addresses CEL issues in 2001 Pathfinders that have triggered a P0420 or P0430 DTC (three-way catalyst efficiency). The bulletin says to check the current ECM program of the vehicle and compare to the list on the bulletin (You will need a CONSULT II diagnostic scan tool or capable generic scan tool in order to access the ECM program number). If the vehicle's current ECM program matches those listed in the bulletin, then you are instructed to reprogram to the latest ECM program for the vehicle and NOT to replace the converters. If the vehicle's ECM program part number does not match those listed in the TSB, it instructs to disregard the TSB and continue diagnostics per the factory service manual procedure.

Often, in the latter case, I find that replacing the corresponding three way catalyst to the code(s) is required, if there are no exhaust leaks and the engine is not running too lean or rich. The way to check the catalyst efficiency is to monitor the front and rear O2 sensor readings while driving. The front sensor is pre-cat and the rear is post cat. An efficient catalytic converter will have an approx. 2:1 ratio of the front to rear sensor cycles.

The purpose of the updated ECM program is that the parameters for judging the catalyst efficiency have been widened in the new program. Disconnecting the battery cable does not "reset" the ECM. It may turn the CEL light off, but the code will remain until it is erased with a code reader or scan tool or the ECM sees approx. 50 trip cycles without a failure. "Resetting" the ECM is entirely differant than reprograming.

Last edited by smj999smj; Jan 6th, 2008 at 12:47 AM.
#9 Old Jan 6th, 2008, 11:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smj999smj View Post
Bulletin #NTB02-087a addresses CEL issues in 2001 Pathfinders that have triggered a P0420 or P0430 DTC (three-way catalyst efficiency). The bulletin says to check the current ECM program of the vehicle and compare to the list on the bulletin (You will need a CONSULT II diagnostic scan tool or capable generic scan tool in order to access the ECM program number). If the vehicle's current ECM program matches those listed in the bulletin, then you are instructed to reprogram to the latest ECM program for the vehicle and NOT to replace the converters. If the vehicle's ECM program part number does not match those listed in the TSB, it instructs to disregard the TSB and continue diagnostics per the factory service manual procedure.

Often, in the latter case, I find that replacing the corresponding three way catalyst to the code(s) is required, if there are no exhaust leaks and the engine is not running too lean or rich. The way to check the catalyst efficiency is to monitor the front and rear O2 sensor readings while driving. The front sensor is pre-cat and the rear is post cat. An efficient catalytic converter will have an approx. 2:1 ratio of the front to rear sensor cycles.

The purpose of the updated ECM program is that the parameters for judging the catalyst efficiency have been widened in the new program. Disconnecting the battery cable does not "reset" the ECM. It may turn the CEL light off, but the code will remain until it is erased with a code reader or scan tool or the ECM sees approx. 50 trip cycles without a failure. "Resetting" the ECM is entirely differant than reprograming.
whats it cost to update the ecu software on an 01?
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#10 Old Jan 6th, 2008, 03:11 PM
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I paid $170 at Nissan to update 01 PF software.. this update got rid of the catalyst efficiency codes.
#11 Old Jan 11th, 2008, 01:47 PM
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I did find the service bulletin and brought that to the attention of the dealer a few weeks ago. The service advisor insisted that it did not apply (even after I told him that it specifically stated "Do not replace catalytic converters"). He said that they did update the ECM software and it was still throwing the codes.

Something told me that he was full of it, so I took the vehicle to another dealership in town earlier this week and told them to upgrade the ECM. The light has been off and it looks like the reprogram took care of the problem. They did the reprogram for $85.

And yes, I'm contacting Nissan consumer affairs to report the dealership and service advisor (not sure if it will do any good).

Thanks everyone for the advice.
#12 Old Jan 11th, 2008, 04:38 PM
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That's interesting. Last time I was at the $tealership, I asked if there was a firmware upgrade for my truck. They said there wasn't.

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#13 Old Jun 11th, 2008, 02:00 PM
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Frustrated with the CatCon and ECM

Quote:
Originally Posted by smj999smj View Post
...

The purpose of the updated ECM program is that the parameters for judging the catalyst efficiency have been widened in the new program....
I have an '01 QX4 and took it to my regular mechanic to see what he thought the Service Engine Light was referring to. He told me my catalytic converter needed to be replaced. Lucky for me, it was within my extended warranty.

So I take it to the dealership, and they tell me that I must first update the ECM before they can replace the catalytic converter. Of course, this is not covered by the warranty and costs $225. So I assumed that the update of the ECM loosened the standards for "Acceptable." The service rep wouldn't really elaborate, other than the fact that they were not permitted to change the catcon without doing this first. And since I need to get the work done at a dealership to fall under warranty, it sounds like I'm stuck.

I'm assuming the light won't come back on, they'll tell me that it's good to go, and right after the warranty, the light will come back on as the catalytic converter exceeds the new, wider range. Then I'm sure they'll replace it without needing a new computer program since it's out of warranty.

So not only did I pay for this warranty, but because I have it, it cost me $225 more to update the ECM, and even things that are covered don't really get covered....

Or am I just complaining too much? Anyone else run into stuff like this?
#14 Old Jun 11th, 2008, 09:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blitZ View Post
That's interesting. Last time I was at the $tealership, I asked if there was a firmware upgrade for my truck. They said there wasn't.
Dealership told me, there were 3 or 4 updates they had to do to my 01 ECU. But it shure got rid of that SES light with catalyst code. They put my Vin number in to the computer before they told me there were updates ..
#15 Old Jun 11th, 2008, 10:26 PM
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Supraholic,

They didn't fix anything.

Your catalytic converter is getting worse and worse. The old program thought that your catalytic converter was broken since it was performing so poorly, so it turned on the Service Engine Light.

So their two options were to fix the catalytic converter, or reprogram the computer to say that it wasn't broken...yet.

They just loosened the standards for a broken catalytic converter - lowered the bar. And now your poorly-performing catalytic converter is "compliant." Hopefully it breaks through the new, lower bar before your 8yr/80k miles are up. And if it happens, hopefully they don't just lower the bar again.
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