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Hi all,

I'm having some issues with my 2007 Outback. 7 months ago I was having some trouble (car would stall, check engine light would go on, etc). I tested codes and it was 2 cylinder misfires and a catalytic converter failure code. I had it checked out by Garage A. They told me the Cat was shot and needed to be replaced. It cost me $1200 with labor. Then a few weeks later I was traveling and had similar problems. Ran the codes and still cylinder misfires and Cat failure came up. I took it to a Garage B and they said the same thing (Cat failure and misfires). They ended up giving my car a tune up because some of the wires were shot too. The car was drivable but still would have misfires. I took it back to Garage A that replaced the Cat because it was under warranty and felt they hadn't fixed the problem. They took another look and said it was the 02 sensors throwing the code. They replaced those too. Everything has been fine since. Then yesterday I was driving and the car started stalling and soon shut down completely (dash lights were flickering as well). I took the car to another shop and they said the Cat failure code was coming up and it needed to be replaced. I decided to have it towed to Garage A again since the replaced Cat was under warranty. Now they are saying it's not the new Cat that needs to be replaced but the second one. I'm having a hard time believing that both Cats would go out on my car when I only have 60K miles on it. I'm looking for some advice and a second opinion. Perhaps there is some other underlying issue that is either causing the Cats to burn out so quickly or something else throwing out those codes. Either way, the car is not really drivable. Only goes about 100ft before dying. I'm not getting a check engine light or misfire codes. Just total power loss. Looking for some advice. Thanks!
 

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If the car is not running correctly and especially if it's misfiring it can affect the performance of the cat and even damage the cat. Your mechanic needs to repair the drivability problem before you do anything with the cat. If I had it, I would start by attacking the misfire problem. Then examine the fuel trim to see if it's compensating for a rich or lean condition.

I don't believe the ECM monitors the second cat on your car. You may want to find a more competent mechanic.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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certain pairs of misfires would strongly indicate a bad coil due to 'waste spark ignition'. Did they write the codes on a service ticket? if so, post them. Is there oil on the plug wire boots? lwaking valve cover gaskets can cause misfires. how old are the plugs?

many folks are sold cat converters when they have other issues - even an exhaust leak can confuse the issue by causing a P0420. Just because the words "catalytic converter" are a part of that code's definition, doesn't mean the cat is bad - it means some signal related to the post cat sensor is out of the range of thresholds acceptable to the ECU. Even if a rat has chewed thru the wire - the ECU only knows to throw P0420.
 

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2019 Outback Wagon 2.5i limited
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One thing that jumps out at me is the mileage. I think the cat is covered up to 80,000 miles under warranty, so I surprised you need to pay for the replacement. I don’t recall for sure if there is a timeframe attached to the warranty, but I would at least find out about that before you spend any more $$$.
 
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