CAT REPLACEMENT - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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#1 (permalink) Old 02-26-2014, 01:05 PM
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CAT REPLACEMENT

Got a CEL on my 2001 E430. Hooked up OBD II scanner and got two codes.
P0422 and P0432. Bank 1 & 2 main catalyst below efficiency. Looks like my cats are going out at 149k mi. I have ordered couple of these bad boys from:
Thunderbolt 2" Spun Catalytic Converter and my local indy will R&R for me for $100.00.

Now the question is, do I need to replace the O2 sensor at the same time?
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#2 (permalink) Old 02-26-2014, 01:22 PM
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No, but doesn't hurt to do it as preventative maintenance. Nice trouble shooting.
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#3 (permalink) Old 02-26-2014, 02:11 PM
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I'd actually differ with that advice. Considering that you're well past the 100K recommended replacement interval, I'd say yes, change them, at least the front pair. Cheapest option is the Bosch "universal" type (look up the correct part number on their website, then search it on Amazon or other online vendors) where you re-use your harness connector and splice it to the wires on the "universal" sensor. But if you're paying for the labor to have it done, buy direct-fit.

Assuming your main cats are shot, you should probably pay a bit extra and have them remove the rear cats and dump them out. The fronts can fail by disintegrating, and the pieces end up blocking the rear cat.

Good luck.

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#4 (permalink) Old 02-26-2014, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Check Codes View Post
I'd actually differ with that advice. Considering that you're well past the 100K recommended replacement interval, I'd say yes, change them, at least the front pair. Cheapest option is the Bosch "universal" type (look up the correct part number on their website, then search it on Amazon or other online vendors) where you re-use your harness connector and splice it to the wires on the "universal" sensor. But if you're paying for the labor to have it done, buy direct-fit.

Assuming your main cats are shot, you should probably pay a bit extra and have them remove the rear cats and dump them out. The fronts can fail by disintegrating, and the pieces end up blocking the rear cat.

Good luck.
We do have emission test here and question is, can you pass the test without the rear cats?

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#5 (permalink) Old 02-26-2014, 04:01 PM
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We do have emission test here and question is, can you pass the test without the rear cats?
Sorry! I should have clarified that. After dumping out the secondary cats they should be reinstalled. I didn't mean "dump them" as in discard them, but rather empty them out of the debris that may have come from the front cats and then put them back in place.

You could also make that call at the time the front ones are removed. If the shop inspects the front cats after they cut them out and they find that the media has disintegrated, then that would indicate that they need to empty out the rear cat on that side. If the media is there but it's just plugged/melted, then you could leave the rear cat alone.

But in response to your question, you might not pass emissions with rear cats removed depending on the strictness of testing. And you would certainly not pass a visual inspection. In any case it is a violation of Federal law to remove the cats. I'm not sure that anyone (outside of a shop) has been punished for that, but still...

Good luck.

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#6 (permalink) Old 02-27-2014, 05:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Check Codes View Post
Sorry! I should have clarified that. After dumping out the secondary cats they should be reinstalled. I didn't mean "dump them" as in discard them, but rather empty them out of the debris that may have come from the front cats and then put them back in place.

You could also make that call at the time the front ones are removed. If the shop inspects the front cats after they cut them out and they find that the media has disintegrated, then that would indicate that they need to empty out the rear cat on that side. If the media is there but it's just plugged/melted, then you could leave the rear cat alone.

But in response to your question, you might not pass emissions with rear cats removed depending on the strictness of testing. And you would certainly not pass a visual inspection. In any case it is a violation of Federal law to remove the cats. I'm not sure that anyone (outside of a shop) has been punished for that, but still...

Good luck.
Thanks. I am replacing both left and right main cats as I have two codes. I will have them inspect and make a call. How hard is it to replace the O2 sensors if I decide to do it? I do not believe the parts will be here on time for Indy to replace when working on the cats. I do have the O2 sensor socket.

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#7 (permalink) Old 02-27-2014, 07:08 AM
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O2 sensors are not that difficult to replace if you have an O2 sensor socket and normal hand tools. You will need to put the front of the car up on ramps or jackstands. If you get the universal sensors, you will have to cut the connectors off the old sensors and crimp the wires onto the new sensors and cover that with heat shrink tubing all of which should come with the new sensors. It's a one afternoon job working at a leisurely pace and you'll be good for another 100,000+ miles.

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#8 (permalink) Old 02-27-2014, 08:07 AM
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O2 Sensor

I found this from Bosch site. Universal with Smart Link. Bosch Part#15733 for Upstream O2. Amazon has for $39.96/ea. I think I will go with this.
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#9 (permalink) Old 02-27-2014, 11:06 AM
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I found this from Bosch site. Universal with Smart Link. Bosch Part#15733 for Upstream O2. Amazon has for $39.96/ea. I think I will go with this.
If you're doing the work, absolutely. Freddo is right on about just pacing yourself.

I would recommend a quality O2 sensor socket and an assortment of quality extensions since you won't be able to spin a spanner down where the front O2 sensors are. A long ratchet or breaker bar will help up top once you get the extensions in place, and for that matter get some wobble extensions, they are amazingly useful.

Last thought: get a quality penetrating oil, like Kroil or maybe PB Blaster and when you shut down the car each night for a few days before doing the work, open the hood and wait about twenty minutes for the exhaust to cool down a bit and then spray some of it at the thread point for each of the front O2 sensors. A few days in succession, then of course the night before you're going to do the work the next morning. They are going to be hard to get out, no doubt, but that should help. (If you cannot get them loose that way, then you'll have to pull the bolts that hold the downpipes to the manifold, so spray them with the stuff as well. I'd actually do that the night before I started the work, you'll have to get under the car a bit to do that. After dropping the exhaust you can then get a conventional wrench directly on the sensors.)

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#10 (permalink) Old 02-27-2014, 03:04 PM
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I seem to remember that I was able to get an open end wrench on the sensors and get them loose by tapping the wrench with a hammer. That may have been only on the rears, though... It was a while ago.

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