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00 celica idle P0420 help!!!!

7th Generation Celica (ZZT230/ZZT231) [2000-2005]


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Old 11-06-2010, 10:07 PM   #1 (permalink)
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USA 00 celica idle P0420 help!!!!

to start off i recently purchased a used 2000 toyota celica. the chassis had 132,700 miles - (136,000 now) and the aftermarket replaced VVT-I engine had about 50,000 miles. the car is a gt however the new engine is the gts 180 hp 1.8 l model. the engine was replaced due to the previous owner seizeing it by not doing regular oil changes, but after the installation of the new motor he claimed the oil was changed on time after such a hefty
expense.

the car ran perfect at first. it vibrated alot idling, however i was told this was only because if the cars very tight suspension.

as time passed i noticed the car began to shake slightly more . almost violently on some occasions. when i took it for an oil change they told me i needed a new belt. got it replaced.

i began to notice my rpms shuddered when first turning on the car. not at all as steady as my moms 2000 camry. also it felt like the pistons were firing off kilter, they werent rhythmic. to help this i decided to start using premium 91 octane gas (yes this is the reccomended fuel type). i had a quarter tank left of regular which was what i was using, said screw it, and told the gas attendant to throw in $20 premium. i pulled out, everything smooth as butter, and then 10 mins later on my way to the freeway to make a 2 hour round trip, i got to a red light and my rpms began fluctuating rapidly like ive never seen. they went from 1400 to 300 in the matter of seconds. back and forth. the car felt slightly more slugglish but not to bad. i stopped turned off the car and drove off again. it seemed fine so i headed on the turn pike. on my way back when i first turned on the car, it idled at 500 rpm but was fine on the turn pike. when i was in my neighborhood on the way back from the turnpike, the CEL turned on.

ever since then the car idles at 1000 to 200. it starts shaking alot.(i filled the tank with premium again. it doesnt idle as rapidly) when i give it gas it drives fine. in park they rpms usually dont sink that low. id say 500 the most. its automatic obviously. the OBD gave a P0420 code. i was thinking the engine damage from the previous owner caused the cat converter to overhead and melt the compounds inside it as a result of the engine seize, but my dad thinks its a bad batch of gas.

i havent cleaned the MAF sensor IAC or throttle body yet. i think its somthing else. im an ammature mechanic but im trying to avoid the shop. i make $7.50 an hour im broke enough. please feel free to give advice id really appreciate it. ill give more info upon request. thanks :)
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Old 11-06-2010, 10:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Old 11-08-2010, 03:55 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: 00 celica idle P0420 help!!!!

i had to 420 code on my 2000 gt for a while, finally replaced the CAT and no more code. definately take a look at other stuff before jumping into replacing that tho, good luck. cleaning the MAF and IAC/TB will do your car some good tho regardless if thats not whats setting off the code. DONT let people tell you to tighten the gas lid or that you need a new one. THAT is NOT the code for that, and for whatever reason thats the first and main thing anyone will tell you how to fix it.. your probably not a dumbie and KNOW to close the gas lid til it clicks a couple times...
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Old 11-08-2010, 10:50 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: 00 celica idle P0420 help!!!!

The GTS engine requires premium or you'll slowly destroy the engine, if not quickly. I'm not to knowledgeable but I am fairly certain that is true. (sorry, but it's only like $5 more per fill up) As for the actual problem at hand, E3 knows more than me that's for sure :)
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Old 11-09-2010, 12:05 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: 00 celica idle P0420 help!!!!

yea my mom had the CEL on her camry for that very same reason. although i do believe a cat will rid of the CEL, i dont believe it will solve the RPM issue. as long as its nothing major, my car hasnt stalled yet so im hoping maybe some fuel injector cleaner may give it some pep, along with cleaning the sensors. still deciding whether to take it to the shop tommorrow morning
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Old 11-09-2010, 12:06 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: 00 celica idle P0420 help!!!!

dont remember what code that is, but I would day run some fuel system cleaner through it.
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Old 11-09-2010, 12:06 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: 00 celica idle P0420 help!!!!

and i started using premium when it happend
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Old 11-11-2010, 02:32 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: 00 celica idle P0420 help!!!!

Get that fuel system cleaned up and you should check your spark plugs, the answer might be there too, a lot can be read off of looking at the condition of those spark plugs.
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Old 11-11-2010, 08:31 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: 00 celica idle P0420 help!!!!

got this online

OK, so what does a P0420 code mean anyway?
As mentioned above, the code's description is Catalyst System Efficiency Below Threshold (Bank 1). OK, now tell me that again in plain English please.... let's break it down: the catalyst system being referred to is your three-way catalytic converter; so the catalytic converter is not working properly (i.e. it's not efficient). Bank 1 refers to the side of the engine which contains cylinder #1. On inline engines such as 4 & 5 cylinder engines, there is only one bank. So, to really simply things let's just say that the efficiency of the catalytic converter and/or exhaust pipe and/or O2 sensor is not so great.
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Old 11-12-2010, 12:56 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: 00 celica idle P0420 help!!!!

thanks to all you guys for your helpful input and comments. as an update, i cleaned the throttle body today and checked for vacuum leaks etc. the HP def increased and the idle is still low but not as, and more stable. the throttle body wasnt very dirty, but there was some carbon buildup behind the butterfly valve and that was it. tommoro i will be adding fuel system cleaner to see how that works.
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Old 11-12-2010, 05:46 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: 00 celica idle P0420 help!!!!

well that good to hear its getting better. good luck.
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Old 03-02-2011, 10:32 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: 00 celica idle P0420 help!!!!

I know this is gonna sound crazy and go against everything 'technical' all you experts say, but...I have a 2002 Celica GT with 80,000 miles. Over the last 6 months of 2010 I was getting the 'check engine light' on and off. When it was time for inspection in December, 2010, my Toyota dealership mechanics saw the 'check engine light', said it was code P0420 and that I needed a catalytic convertor replaced for $2100! I said no, just to think it over and explore other options, and left the dealership. On the way home, I stopped for gas. Now, ever since gas caps have had the clicking sound to them, I've always clicked at least 5 times. I don't know why, but this time I clicked twice, closed the gas door, started the car, and....the 'check engine light' was off! (It had been on steady this time for at least two weeks, probably since my last fill up). It is now March 2nd, at least 5 fill-ups later and around 2,000 miles and NO CHECK ENGINE LIGHT SINCE! I'm going back to an independent mechanic on Friday for inspection (two months overdue). Wish me luck!
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Old 03-02-2011, 10:49 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: 00 celica idle P0420 help!!!!

good luck! yeah everyone always wants to jump to it being the CAT or your gas cap... unfortunately my p0420 code WAS the CAT and i got it replaced, but not a stealership. i went to a well known private owned mechanical shop and got it done for bout 300... never had that code since. i find it annoying that dealerships dont want to FULLY look into something before they jump at the first idea they think is wrong with the car.. they're not worried about anything other than keeping your business and if that means doing HALF ass diagnostics and/or work on your car to keep you coming back to them, then they will.

anyone else that gets a p0420 code look into EVERYTHING ELSE possible before replacing your CAT as you all know, its not a cheapy repair... i also would like to say that it is UNLIKELY to be the gas cap, as that will throw a different code. things to keep in mind.
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Old 03-02-2011, 10:58 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: 00 celica idle P0420 help!!!!

Thanks E3! Your key word is 'UNLIKELY.' Like they said in Dumb and Dumber: 'So, you're telling me there's a chance!?' HaHa! Even if it's 'Devine Intervention', I'll take it! I'm from that generation that had to kick or pound all the early electronic gadgets to keep them working! See if the mechanic notices anything on Friday!...
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Old 03-02-2011, 09:17 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: 00 celica idle P0420 help!!!!

so i cleared the code and it never came back. go figure. ive been using lucas fuel treatment atleast once a month. def helps with the shaking. prob could use new spark plugs. thanks guys!
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Old 03-02-2011, 11:25 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: 00 celica idle P0420 help!!!!

After re reading your post, how long were you running on your 85 octane? Because if anything you may have caused the problem yourself by using that type of gas. Not sayign you did, but it could be a likely possibility. It requires 91-93 octane, not recommends. Anyway, yes you are going in a great direction with what you are doing to make her happy. Let her purr like a kitten. Yes indeedy

btw I assume shaking is just low RPM's, happens in any car that gets that low. Well usually that's what shaking is.. but in this case I'm sure that's it. Oh cursed jeep..... damnation. and damned emissions people not knowing how to take it out of 4wheel drive... ARG. ahem. excuse me.
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Old 03-03-2011, 08:17 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Re: 00 celica idle P0420 help!!!!

rocky, we had a Suzuki Vitara in my shop at work for 4 months due to it being locked in 4wheel drive. it had something to do up in the transmission of it. Woman finally came and picked it up when we had our first snow... lol guess she figured 4wheel drive would be useful then...

just wanted to share that with you.
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Old 03-03-2011, 10:48 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Re: 00 celica idle P0420 help!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by E3Celica00
rocky, we had a Suzuki Vitara in my shop at work for 4 months due to it being locked in 4wheel drive. it had something to do up in the transmission of it. Woman finally came and picked it up when we had our first snow... lol guess she figured 4wheel drive would be useful then...

just wanted to share that with you.
Really? Well shoot I hope there's nothing like that wrong with this njeep. It's had plenty of problems already. How could one do a fullproof way of seeing if it is in 4 or 2 wheel drive? The only one I know is turning sharply and trying to go into first but idk if that's a good way of testing
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Old 03-03-2011, 11:39 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Re: 00 celica idle P0420 help!!!!

hmmm im not too sure how to test it, i know the guys here in my shop messed with the Vitara FOREVER, before getting ANY movement outta it, it literally was STUCK in 4wheel drive, no amount of pulling or prying around would get it out, i wouldnt doubt if it is still stuck in 4wheel drive.. but lets just say it stumped us.. LOL, but considering we're a body shop and not mechanical theres only so much we could do...
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Old 03-06-2011, 11:19 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Re: 00 celica idle P0420 help!!!!

UPDATE to my 'P0420 code and you automatically need a new catalytic convertor for $2100 to get it inspected, said the dealership!' I ran for the hills! haha! If you recall, the 'check engine' light went off when I only clicked the gas cap twice and I was then taking it to a local mechanic for inspection? I brought it in, didn't mention anything except I needed an inspection, oil change and tire rotation..and VOILA! Car was ready at 4:00 all inspected and ready to go for another year!! It's been 150 miles since the 'check engine' went off.....
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Old 05-14-2011, 08:43 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Re: 00 celica idle P0420 help!!!!

can you use a cheaper universal CAT? B/c my check Engine light is on and i went to Advance auto parts to have the light checked and they said it was reading something about the CAT,so they told me i need a new one..
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