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Discussion Starter #1
I had got this error codes when my check engine light came on few months back. At that time, I cleared the code by disconnecting the battery. I then added Lucas Injector Cleaner (from Autozone) and 93% octane gas for sometime.

Today I got the same code again when my check engine light came on.

My question:
1. Is my Catalytic Convertor bad or is it just the sensor? I took it last time to a mechanic and they wanted to change the catalytic convertor.
2. Why did the other code P2138 also go away when I used fuel injector?
3. Since each of the error code has multiple probable cause, how do I know that the mechanic is not trying to find the easy route and replace the whole damn thing (which can cost me lot of $$$).
4, Are the ($250) Catalytic convertors good for Ridgeline? The mechanic last time has quoted just the part cost as $550.

p.s. I got the error code and probable cause from AutoZone both the times.

Thanks,
Peter.
 

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2006 Ridgeline RTS in Steel Blue
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Use the search in the blue bar.

This sounds like some of the issues people have already had. I believe you may benefit from changing out the 2 Air/Fuel Sensors (pre cat) & 2 O2 sensors (post cat)

As for which cat to use I'd really want to know where you are registering the RL, in CA you would probably need the $550 in other states you could get by with the cheaper one.
 

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Changing the 02 sensors is unlikely to help. A P0420 means the ECU is reporting the converter is not working ("below threshhold"). Corresponding input and out values (PIDS) are out of range for programmed values.
Replacing the part may be a short term "solution". Do not use the cheaper cat. Only use 50 state cats.....
With that said, the Root Issue may be upstream. The cat. conv. shouldn't be failing so soon. Either the OEM reduced Platinum levels....Or, the engine is not running well. It may be burning oil, or running excessive CO's-- an effect of lots of start/stopping. Have your tech check for root issues. Not required to be done first, providing there are no obvious issues-- meaning: replace the cat if needed (ie- emission testing certs); then closely monitor (especially oil consumption). Go easy until the engine is warmed up, the list goes on.....
A high quality oil like Amsoil, and Top Tier gas should be used.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks guys!

I am in Georgia. So not much restriction in CAT as in some states like CA. Having said that, I do not mind using a better CAT if that's what is good in the long run.

p.s. I have 85K on my truck so far.

Strangely, the check engine light went off by itself yesterday evening.

I am not sure why it went off by itself. Given the fact that both the times I got the check engine light, the error codes was the same, I am lost.

I will however start using the high grade gas (93 octane) and use fuel injector cleaner. My do my oil changes at a mechanic (not dealer) who is very reliable. I will check to see what oil they use and ask for high quality oil.

On another note, it happened once for me, where I was at a traffic light and then when I stepped on the gas, my truck would not move an inch. I could hear the engine revving. I even tried changing gear and I was still stuck. Finally, I just turned of the engine and started again and it worked. Not sure if this is a symptom to something bad that is coming.
 

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2008 Ridgeline RTS in Billet Silver Metallic
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IMO, any motor oil that meets the spec called for in the OM will be a "high quality" oil.
 

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I hear the term top tier gas. Does that mean the octane or the quality of the gas.

I was running no octane for a while, but the station is out of the way and price increased to about 25 cents per gallon more than 10% ethanol.
 

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2008 Ridgeline RTS in Billet Silver Metallic
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http://www.toptiergas.com/

FYI, Costco sells top tier gas.

I have also used nonEgas in the past and would continue to use it were it not for the cost penalty. I did see better mpgs while running nonEgas, but not enough to justify the current cost diff.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I have been using Costco Gas all the time (87 octane). Their additives are above recommended standard (they have this printed on the pumps) and also the price is cheaper than regular pumps most of the times.

I guess, I will start using 91 octane for next few months and see if I run into this issue again.
 

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I'd say people should list DTC descriptions when asking for help.... But couldn't resist looking up P2138.

It's for the throttle Position Sensor. It should be replaced asap. The one time you try to pull out into traffic it may just put you in harms way. The TPS has a glitch and has not fully failed, but will.

Codes will come and go. Computers are far more high tech nowadays and constantly monitor all systems. How a vehicle is driven effects this (EPA "drive cycle" and I/M status); not all systems are checked or passed/ok'd.

In the long run using a 49 state cat will likely cost more with more issues. Some cars must use 50 state cats, or even OEM units to be "happy". OEM is always best. Be thankful it's not a ML320 we're talking about....very thankful. Or other high end German car. I own one of those, a 500+hp one. It's 12yrs old now with the original cats. Only uses 1/4qt oil in 5K miles. Not bad for 100K miles. Takes 9qts and has 2 large oil coolers. Intelligent engineering for the Autobahn (it'll do an honest 185+mph).

We don't get that robust engineering in the Accord/Ridgeline power train. So quality counts on everything else.

A top quality oil like Amsoil (recommend Signature Series, but XL and OE are still excellent) will help reduce oil contamination of the emission system. GA is very hot. Lived there done that. I would ONLY use synthetic oils. A hard working 250hp V6 with less than 5qts of oil is already a bad combination. My RL didn't like going past 7,500 miles.

If your engine is consuming oil all the more reason to use synthetics. If it doesn't help that new cat. conv. will have a short life.

Top Tier gas has 5X the fed min additive levels. Most jap/import cars don't have injector issues. Overall is worth the extra "cost".

Hope that helps... I will try not to go silent for the next 2.5yrs, but I'm spread thin on the various forums trying to help people.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks Gary!

I was trying to keep the subject line short by skipping the description. I will keep this in mind. I should have also mentioned in in the post. My apologies....

Here it is for the benefit of anyone reading this from now on:

P0420 -> Catalyst System Efficiency Below Threshold Bank 1)
P2138 -> Accelerator Pedal Position (APP) Sensor A/B Voltage Incorrect Correlation

I am going to have my mechanic check on the APP sensor even though I do not see the check engine light anymore. I wonder why it did not show up for few months since the last time it popped up during my check engine light on.
 

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Just fixed my ongoing P0420 code with a new 02 sensor. Code was coming and going for over a yr tried the 93 octane, fuel injector cleaner it all seemed to work for awhile but the code always came back at some point. I finally got tired of the damn light and changed the senor about 2 months ago and it has not been on since. A P0420 code in the majority of cases does not mean a failed cat at least from the research I did. Most of my search's lead to sensor replacement not a cat change, it also seems like most that listen to their dealers got a nice bill of 1k for a new cat and still ended up with another bill for $300+ for a new sensor after the new cat did't fix the problem.

Easiest way to tell for sure what the cause of the p0420 code is to swap the two sensors. By swapping you will either still get a p0420 code which means your cat is indeed bad or you will get a p0430 which will mean the sensor is bad. This 30min swap could easily save you $900.
 
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