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2005 Saturn ION check engine light on

Yesterday my check engine light came on so this morning I went to Jiffy Lube (I was due for an oil change anyway) and asked them to take a look at it. They told me the computer indicated that the car has a “low catalyst converter threshold” but they couldn’t tell me what that meant.

So I called the Saturn dealership service dept and asked and they have no idea either (not without looking at it, which i can’t really afford whatever they’re going to charge to “just look”). I’m new to the area and don’t have a mechanic and i don’t want to be taken advantage of. Can anyone tell me what this might mean?

My car has between 46,000 and 47,000 miles on it.

It means that the catalytic converter is operating outside its normal range. This could be due to several things, as the Saturn dealer is well aware, but without testing more components it’s hard to say what might be causing the problem. Sometimes a worn oxygen sensor will trigger this code.

This does NOT necessarily mean the catalytic converter is bad, so don’t let anyone tell you that.

Find a mechanic (use the “Mechanics Files” on the CarTalk home page and/or ask around) and stay away from those quicky-lube places.