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My OBW had a check engine light and it turns out that I need new cats. Someone recommended that I use a product called Cataclean and see if it works before spending hundreds on the cats. Has anyone had luck with this?
 

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First off, if you search this forum you'll find lots of posts that point to something much cheaper than cats when that CEL code comes up. Often times it is just an 02 sensor.

Secondly, I never really believe in the "miracle in a can" solutions for any long term results. I've never heard of it and I'm a notorious cheapskate. P.T. Barnum said it best, "There's a sucker born every minute." Does the term "snake oil" mean anything to you?

Anyway, what the heck, try it out and let us know how it works. lol But first, be sure it really is the cats and not something simpler and cheaper.
 

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You probably don't need new cats.

What makes you think you do? Search P0420 if that is your code. Our cats RARELY fail, but they are expensive to replace so repair folks like to suggest that is what needs to be done.
 

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You probably don't need new cats.

What makes you think you do? Search P0420 if that is your code. Our cats RARELY fail, but they are expensive to replace so repair folks like to suggest that is what needs to be done.
My mechanic ran the OBD test. Came up with the 0420 code...O2 senosors are working..it's the cats. He recommended trying the Cataclean before replacing them. I've seen people clean them with laqueur thinner, but don't think it's safe. Many people seem to have used the product with decent results.
 

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Catalytic converters fail in different ways when an issue with engine performance has gone too long without correction. The "cure" he referred you to use is meant to break up carbon build up within the combing in the Cat. If the Cat is no longer able to store oxygen due to deterioration of the catalyst materials, then this "cure" will not work. There is nothing you can put in the gas tank that will restore lost metals to the Cat. Also, any "cleaner" you put in for the Cat will also dissolve carbons from within the combustion chamber, valves and exhaust pipes before the Cat, moving them to the Cat.

The issue with the engine performance needs to be located.

Have you read this: http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/66-problems-maintenance/49537-p0420-diag.html ? Maybe show your mechanic for a reference?

If you use the "cure" and it fails, then you replace the Cat and if there is still an issue with the engine performance, the new cat will suffer an early death. Small problems with performance can lead to larger issues if left unattended.

I see thousands of cars a year. A few hundred with the "Catalyst Efficiency" code. I replace maybe 1-2 Cats in that time on cars with the 420 code.
 

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P0420 does not mean cats. It does mean a hefty paycheck for your mechanic.

Check for exhaust leaks, replace oxygen sensors...these are the most common causes of that code.

If you want to throw away money, then by all means replace the cats first.
 

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supposedly, a bath in a citric acid solution can 'revive' some cats.

but you likely have good cats but some other issue that is affecting its efficiency as stated above.

wonder what the MSDS says is the active ingredient in cataclean?

edit; mixed reviews at amazon; [ame]http://www.amazon.com/Cataclean-Engine-Catalytic-Converter-Treatment/product-reviews/B002BVXM92/ref=cm_cr_pr_hist_1?ie=UTF8&filterBy=addOneStar&showViewpoints=0[/ame]

msds and homemade version; http://forums.tccoa.com/showthread.php?t=139698
 
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