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Catalytic Converter premature failure in 2001 Toyota Camry?

Just last week my 2001 Toyata Camry passed the state emissions test, but a day or so later the engine trouble light came on. I got to my local garage about a week later and they said the code they came up with was 430 I think - indicatiing a problem with the catalytic converter.

I spent over $500 with them less than a year ago putting a brand new catalytic converter in… I have not had a follow up conversation with them yet, and done nothing to repair or get a second opinion, but it seems that a catalytic converter should last more than a year. Any thoughts on this? thanks

Can you be specific on what was repaired a year ago for $500?

Did they install a catalytic converter bought from Toyota or from the aftermarket (parts store). Some contributors here have had bad experience with aftermarket converters.

Did they replace any of the O2 (oxygen) sensors? If so, which ones (you have three)? Again, many claim some aftermarket sensors cause emission lights to prematurely come back on. I have seen this happen but it’s difficult to pin the problem on the use of a sensor that Toyota doesn’t use.

Follow up on JoeMario’s suggestions.

Also it would be best to get the actual error code(s) not someone’s interurpration. Look for a code in the format [P0123].

The new converter should have come with a federally mandated warranty. Check your paperwork. Been awhile since I had one replaced but it was warranted and the repair place had to record the date and mileage. I seem to recall it was fairly comprehensive…

. . . " the code they came up with was 430 I think - indicating a problem with the catalytic converter."

It is possible that it was P0430 - Catalyst System Efficiency Below Threshold (Bank 2)

Much money is spent by car owners replacing catalytic converters to solve problems of this nature only to find the new catalytic converter hasn’t solved the original cause of the problem.

Your 430 code (P0430) could mean the converter is toast, but not necessarily. As has been pointed out, more diagnosis is wise. Faulty 02 sensors and exhaust leaks are just a couple of things that can trigger this DTC.


For many Toyota’s, replacing the rear oxygen sensor with one ordered from Toyota using the vehicles VIN solves the problem. This code is really a vague code, there so many things that set this code. The cat is often the first thing that is changed, but more often than not, it does not solve the problem.

And IF…
the second converter is bad in merely a year, it could be that whatever base problem caused the first one to go bad…still exists…was never fully fixed, thereby taking out every converter hereafter untill you fix the CAUSE…not the symptom.

I agree with ken green. Converters don’t normally die for no reason; some other problem damages them.