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Old 03-03-2012, 04:19 AM   Thread Starter #1
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Default Normal For The P0420 Code To Go Away??

I had the ses light throwing the p0420 code (precat problem) on for a few months now. A few weeks ago, I had the spark plugs changed. Fast forward to present day, this morning the ses finally went away on its own. Is this common for it to go away or was the spark plugs the culprit? Btw, I have an 05 max with 98k miles.

Last edited by 1hawaii50; 03-03-2012 at 09:00 AM. Reason: Title Casing
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Old 03-03-2012, 08:03 AM   #2
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Default Re: Normal For The P0420 Code To Go Away??

Did you disconnect the battery. Does the light work when you put the key in the ignition
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Old 03-03-2012, 09:03 AM   #3
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Default Re: Normal For The P0420 Code To Go Away??

Thread relocated to proper section.

To the OP...our cars are known to have pre-cat failures. If you are getting a pre-car code, I would have it checked. You can check it yourself if you are comfortable pulling the y pipe off of the car.
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Old 03-03-2012, 10:32 AM   #4
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Default Re: Normal For The P0420 Code To Go Away??

Im having the same problem.. just had the y-pipe replaced.. any other reasons?
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Old 03-03-2012, 10:33 AM   #5
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Default Re: Normal For The P0420 Code To Go Away??

Mine does this quite frequently. Although the light stays on for maybe a week or so and then goes away and then comes back after a few weeks. Given the nature of the precats (racingline) to fail eventually, I expect it to get worse over time. If I'm really annoyed, I'll pull out my scanner and clear the code.

But you should probably take a look like Don mentioned.
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Old 03-03-2012, 10:43 AM   #6
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Default Re: Normal For The P0420 Code To Go Away??

Would you think putting in dual exhausts with an X pipe would fix the problem?
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Old 03-03-2012, 10:43 AM   #7
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Default Re: Normal For The P0420 Code To Go Away??

How many bowls did you smoke in celebration of the code popping up?
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Old 03-03-2012, 10:49 AM   #8
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Default Re: Normal For The P0420 Code To Go Away??

just one.... LOL
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Old 03-03-2012, 04:16 PM   Thread Starter #9
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Default Re: Normal For The P0420 Code To Go Away??

Originally Posted by 06BlckMax View Post
Did you disconnect the battery. Does the light work when you put the key in the ignition
Yes, the battery was disconnected and the lights was gone. Then came back a few days later. Now it went away on its own. I didn't disconnect the battery or anything. So I was just wondering if anyone else had this happened to them. I've already put in an order for racingline's hfpc about a month ago(still waiting on those).


Yes, the light comes on when I put in the key so I know it still works.

Last edited by ludexima; 03-03-2012 at 04:19 PM. Reason: add on
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Old 03-03-2012, 04:22 PM   Thread Starter #10
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Default Re: Normal For The P0420 Code To Go Away??

Originally Posted by timpol View Post
Mine does this quite frequently. Although the light stays on for maybe a week or so and then goes away and then comes back after a few weeks. Given the nature of the precats (racingline) to fail eventually, I expect it to get worse over time. If I'm really annoyed, I'll pull out my scanner and clear the code.

But you should probably take a look like Don mentioned.
Aww man, I thought it had cured itself, lol. Guess I'll continue to wait for those precats from racingline to be shipped out.
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Old 03-03-2012, 05:13 PM   #11
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Default Re: Normal For The P0420 Code To Go Away??

Originally Posted by hans66 View Post
Would you think putting in dual exhausts with an X pipe would fix the problem?
Originally Posted by hans66 View Post
Im having the same problem.. just had the y-pipe replaced.. any other reasons?
The pre-cats are forward of the y-pipe...replacing the y-pipe or anything behind it will NOT solve the issue if the issue is the pre-cats.
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Old 03-03-2012, 05:26 PM   #12
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Default Re: Normal For The P0420 Code To Go Away??

Like 1 Hawaii said, that will not cure the problem. I learnt the hard way ignoring that P0420 code. It will go off occasionally, but it will come back unless problem is really fixed.

What is happening to you now is every time you start and drive that car, small particles from the inner pre-cat material is getting sucked backed into the engine (YES, really!) Things may seem fine, but you're scarring the piston walls and eventually (like me), you'll be burning oil, then it's too late even if you fix the pre-cat problem. That now becomes a " replacing the motor" problem....Thank God I got rid of the Max before it became a burden, so listen to these folks man...
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Old 03-03-2012, 08:47 PM   #13
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Default Re: Normal For The P0420 Code To Go Away??

Certain things on these cars I've found you DON'T want to wait or play around with...the pre-cats is one of those things...
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Old 03-03-2012, 09:49 PM   #14
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Default Re: Normal For The P0420 Code To Go Away??

Originally Posted by 1hawaii50 View Post
Certain things on these cars I've found you DON'T want to wait or play around with...the pre-cats is one of those things...
Thanks guys! I'll check the pre-cats ASAP..
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Old 03-03-2012, 11:05 PM   #15
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Default Re: Normal For The P0420 Code To Go Away??

Dude total newb.. I talked to my mechanic who did my custom y-pipe.. Apparently he also changed the pre-cats to high flow pre-cats. Sweet hook up right? So then I checked the CAI hoses, and found one that had come loose. A P0420 code has 4 possible problems, one being a vacuum leak. Duhh!!
Dodged a bullet and slightly wiser!
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Old 03-04-2012, 01:30 AM   Thread Starter #16
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Default Re: Normal For The P0420 Code To Go Away??

Originally Posted by timpol View Post
Mine does this quite frequently. Although the light stays on for maybe a week or so and then goes away and then comes back after a few weeks. Given the nature of the precats (racingline) to fail eventually, I expect it to get worse over time. If I'm really annoyed, I'll pull out my scanner and clear the code.

But you should probably take a look like Don mentioned.
When your light went away temporarily, did your gas mileage go back up? When I had the light on, I was getting around 17mpg in the city and now its going back up to 20.
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Old 03-04-2012, 11:46 AM   #17
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Default Re: Normal For The P0420 Code To Go Away??

Originally Posted by ludexima View Post
When your light went away temporarily, did your gas mileage go back up? When I had the light on, I was getting around 17mpg in the city and now its going back up to 20.
I haven't really noticed any change in mpg. I usually average between 25 and 25.3 with the variance based on whether the traffic is heavier or not. The biggest catalyst (pun intended) in my own mpg is motor oil. When I run the M1 0w-40 I tend to get a 2-3 mpg increase.
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Old 03-04-2012, 11:56 PM   #18
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Default Re: Normal For The P0420 Code To Go Away??

Normal as it simply indicates your cat is on its way out. Same happened to my 5th gen until i replaced the cat. The code would come back and would go away while driving. Replacing the cat solved my problem.
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Old 03-18-2012, 10:41 AM   #19
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Default Re: Normal For The P0420 Code To Go Away??

Originally Posted by ludexima View Post
Aww man, I thought it had cured itself, lol. Guess I'll continue to wait for those precats from racingline to be shipped out.
I hate to break it to ya, but the racingline cats will most likely fail too. I had the same exact thing with my SES light also (P0420). I had the pre cats replaced under warranty by dealer. The light went away for a little bit and then came back. So then I bought the Racingline cats and everything was cool for a month and then the light came back. I pulled the cats off to inspect them and they looked good. So I decided to replace ALL the O2 sensors. Light came back after a day. Just thought I'd share my similar experience.
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Old 03-18-2012, 11:55 AM   Thread Starter #20
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Default Re: Normal For The P0420 Code To Go Away??

Originally Posted by Cheeto View Post
I hate to break it to ya, but the racingline cats will most likely fail too. I had the same exact thing with my SES light also (P0420). I had the pre cats replaced under warranty by dealer. The light went away for a little bit and then came back. So then I bought the Racingline cats and everything was cool for a month and then the light came back. I pulled the cats off to inspect them and they looked good. So I decided to replace ALL the O2 sensors. Light came back after a day. Just thought I'd share my similar experience.
Wow, that sucks. I'm hoping I will have a different outcome. Did you ever get your problem fixed?
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Old 03-18-2012, 12:33 PM   #21
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Default Re: Normal For The P0420 Code To Go Away??

Originally Posted by ludexima View Post
Wow, that sucks. I'm hoping I will have a different outcome. Did you ever get your problem fixed?
Nope. I'll just drive it until the POS falls apart. I'm sick of pumping money into this car. I miss my very reliable 2006 Ford Taurus.
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Old 03-18-2012, 07:09 PM   Thread Starter #22
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Default Re: Normal For The P0420 Code To Go Away??

I hear you. I love this car, but the common problems it has is starting to wear thin on me.
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