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2012 Cruze 1.4 LT P0420 & repeated issues

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Hello all,
I recently bought a used 2012 Chevrolet Cruze 1.4 LT from an Authorized Chevy dealer in my town. I needed a car immediately and bought this car stretching my student budget (As the used car market is now a seller's market, I paid a premium for this car much more than its market value). The dealership sold me this car on an as-is basis with a 5-day window for free returns.
Everything was going well for a week and post that problems started. The Oil pressure warning lamp started turning intermittently ON & OFF during driving particularly on turning in round-a-bouts. Took the car to the dealer and they told me that there is a leak in the Engine and they needed to change the Oil pump and Water pump. Luckily, I had a Vehicle protection plan and it covered the $3500 expense (Initially the dealer said a few parts are not covered and I had to show them the warranty documents to tell them it is covered). The vehicle was returned after a week.

The next day, I turned the car ON to see that the Engine Malfunction lamp is ON. I did diagnose to find that P0420 is set as the current DTC. Took it to the dealer again to hear that I need to replace the Catalytic converter and it'll cost me $1900 as it is not covered under the Vehicle protection plan!

I now regret buying this vehicle as I can't afford the expensive mechanical issues in my student budget.

I need your help to take few decisions:
1. Can I not replace the Catalytic converter and run the vehicle without damaging other parts (inspection was done last month already and due only next year)
2. If I need to replace it, can I take it to a local mechanic and look for a cheaper deal?
3. GM Parts website lists Front & Rear Cat for approx $750 each. Should I replace the front or rear cat or both to resolve this issue?
4. Should I sell off this car considering the repeated trouble this car gives to avoid further expenses? (Odo reads 150k+)

Thanks for your time!
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You can add an extender to the rear one, which moves the sensor out of the exhaust flow "tricking" the computer into thinking the exhaust flow is cleaner than it is. If that doesn't work I'd replace both O2 sensors first. Check ebay, rockauto or amazon and only buy ACDelco or Bosch. I've replaced two sets in my daughters 2013 in the 70,000miles she's driven it. Super easy to change, you can "rent" an O2 sensor socket at any parts store. Spray with penetrating oil the night before you change it to make it easier.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You can add an extender to the rear one, which moves the sensor out of the exhaust flow "tricking" the computer into thinking the exhaust flow is cleaner than it is. If that doesn't work I'd replace both O2 sensors first. Check ebay, rockauto or amazon and only buy ACDelco or Bosch. I've replaced two sets in my daughters 2013 in the 70,000miles she's driven it. Super easy to change, you can "rent" an O2 sensor socket at any parts store. Spray with penetrating oil the night before you change it to make it easier.
Hey thanks for your response.
I plotted the graph of both the O2 sensors voltage value and they seem to be working within range. Also, there's no DTC Code for O2 sensor failure.
That means all good with the O2 sensor, right?
 

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Sounds like they are working, so yeah the rear extender could fix it. Also you can get an EPA compliant convertor on rockauto for under $400. If you are in Colorado or California, then you need a CARB compliant one. The one you posted a link to is the rear converter. The O2 sensors are in front of that one, so changing that will do nothing, you need the front converter.
 
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