2001 Nissan Pathfinder Engine Code P0420 - Truck Trend Garage

Exhausting Pathfinder

Alex Steele
May 2, 2014
Question: I have a 2001 Nissan Pathfinder with the 3.5-liter V-6. The check-engine light came on, and I had code P0420. I was told it was a bad catalytic converter, so I went ahead and replaced it myself. I cleared the code and a week later the light came back on with the same code.
Answer: You have two catalytic converters on the Nissan Pathfinder 3.5-liter, one for each three-cylinder bank of the engine. Typically engine bank 1 is the side including cylinder #1. In your case, it’s the right side of the truck while sitting in the driver’s seat. You’ll see what I’m getting at in a minute. P0420 code represents “Catalyst System Efficiency Below Threshold, Bank 1.” It is usually, but not always, caused by a bad converter that’s not reducing emissions output as it should. This is determined by the PCM while comparing the readings of the oxygen sensors located before and after the cat. First and foremost, be sure you replaced the converter on the right side (Bank 1). It may sound funny, but this mistake occurs more often than you might think. P0430 is the DTC for Bank 2 (left side). Aside from the converter itself, inaccurate readings from the O2 sensors, exhaust leaks, aftermarket converters, and add-on performance exhaust and intake parts can produce the same diagnostic trouble code(s). I suggest bringing your vehicle into a Nissan service department. They’ll probably charge you about $100 diagnostic fee. But there is a technical service bulletin involving incorrect DTCs P0420/P0430 that can be corrected with PCM software reprogramming.

How To Reach Alex
If you have a technical question regarding your pickup, SUV, or van, feel free to contact Alex, a master technician with the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. Send a letter to him in care of Truck Trend Garage, 831 S. Douglas Street, El Segundo, CA 90245, or e-mail us at trucktrend@sorc.com. Please include the VIN with your question. Due to the volume of questions received every month, we cannot guarantee that everyone's question will be personally answered or will appear in the magazine.

Can't wait for help with a problem you're having with your Truck or SUV? Ask the expert we trust here at Truck Trend Garage -- visit Alex Steele at www.RealWorldAutomotive.com.

2015 Nissan Pathfinder Specifications

Fair Market Price $27,329
MSRP $29,630
Editors' Overall Rating
Mileage 20 City / 27 Highway
Engine 3.5L V6
Horse Power 260 hp @ 6,400 rpm
Torque 240 ft lb of torque @ 4,400 rpm
See all Specifications


Truck Trend Network


Nissan Pathfinder

Fair Market Price
Editors' Overall Rating
Basic Specifications
MSRP: $29,630
Mileage: 20 / 27
Engine: 3.5L V6
get a free quote

Subscribe Today and Save up to 83%!

Subscribe Truck Trend Magazine

Subscribe to:

Truck Trend

Subscribe Diesel Power Magazine

Subscribe to:

Diesel Power

Subscribe Truckin Magazine

Subscribe to: