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Discussion Starter #1
2015 Soul, 1.6 L, V4 - 93,000 + mi
Code P0420 Catalyst operating below minimum threshold.

P0420 is an all around code dealing with emmisions.

To learn more about this code, view YouTube videos of scannerdanner

or any other videos explaining about 02 sensors, fuel trims, catalytic converter, etc.

I bought a $25 scan tool, which plugs into the obd II port and operates via Bluetooth to my Android phone. The device is a BAFX and uses the torque pro app, which there is a free version and a paid version $5. I bought the paid version. So $30 and I was set up to view some good data.

A video on YouTube I had watched was where a guy sprayed in sea foam at the hole (bung) of the upstream sensor. This allowed the sea foam to bypass the combustion and directly administer the sea foam at the honeycomb screen of the catalytic converter; breaking up carbon buildup. I won't go into details but here is the link:

I tried his method before watching other videos on the code. I then had the code cleared and drove around a week and a half doing Uber. After an oil change, I drove for about an hour and the P0420 appeared again. But I must say, I would've passed emmisions the first time I did it.

I did another treatment and drove for about 3 days. The light came on again. Car is parked right now until I do some more research before taking it to the dealer. It could be any of these symptoms:

  • Catalytic converter
  • 02 sensors (but both are operating according to my fuel trim data)
  • Exhaust leak because it is running lean
  • Or anything that affects fuel/air mixture
  • Even a bad gas cap (mine doesn't work like it should - no clicks when tightening)
So with all this stated. Don't be concerned about trying to find the problem, although that is what we're trying to pinpoint, but find out how the parts should operate in accordance with specifications (i.e. your reading an 02 sensor that is at 2.5v but your specifications state it suppose to be at 7V). Research good first before making that final decision to replace parts.

I'm not condemning the Catalytic converter just yet because it can be something as simple as the defective gas cap, etc.
 

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There's a recall for the catalytic converter on the 1.6L Souls. Have you gotten the letter for that yet? I don't know if it's the cause of your issue, but it certainly seems possible. Check out this link:

https://www.wctv.tv/content/news/Hyundai-Kia-recall-over-500K-vehicles-as-fire-risk-spreads-506488301.html

All Souls with 1.6-liter engines made from July 8, 2011 through August 11, 2016 are being recalled. Dealers will replace a computer that prevents the catalytic converter from overheating. They'll also replace the catalytic converter and the engine if they have been damaged. Letters will be mailed to owners starting April 12.
 

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Discussion Starter #3

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Thanks for the link, which I've read. I will look into this further.
 

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Hi waddy, thanks for good info. I'm curious if you're still under warranty? If so, I'd let Kia solve this problem.

With that high of mileage, assuming most all of it was operating under the "bad computer" that let the cat overheat (prior to recent recall), some damage may have occurred.

Food for thought. All the best.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
This video clarifies things a bit.
My obd II devise doesn't display the voltage PID for my 02B1S1 so I don't see it on the graph; however, it displays the voltage PID for my 02B1S1. I'll check it out to see if there is any fluctuations of that sine wave.

 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hi waddy, thanks for good info. I'm curious if you're still under warranty? If so, I'd let Kia solve this problem.

With that high of mileage, assuming most all of it was operating under the "bad computer" that let the cat overheat (prior to recent recall), some damage may have occurred.

Food for thought. All the best.
It's no longer under warranty. I heard that 80,000 miles is the threshold for the Catalytic converter. I will still check the recall announcement with the government entity, however.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Another good video, which gives more details on what to look for on a scan tool or perhaps in OBD2 device.

 

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It's no longer under warranty. I heard that 80,000 miles is the threshold for the Catalytic converter. I will still check the recall announcement with the government entity, however.
Thanks waddy. I think you have a very good argument for warranty replacement since it was recalled after a lengthy denial period by Kia.
 

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Yeah, I'll definitely look into it.
Yeah it would be logical that the admitted software defect (with subsequent recall) exacerbated the early failure of your catalytic converter. It's definitely worth a shot.
 

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I'd try to get them to fix it under warranty. Try the nice way first, then...

I don't know if they have storefront lawyers where you live, but where I used to live in Queens (New York City), they were all over. They'd write letters making whatever nasty threats you needed made for ~ $50.00. They usually worked pretty well.

If all else fails...

There's an additive called CataClean that some of the locals use from time to time to pass inspections. (I think it's lacquer thinner, to be honest.) It does in fact unclog many clogged CATs. It also occasionally blows holes through your exhaust system. But hey, nothing's perfect.

Personally, I wouldn't use it nor recommend it. But it's out there as a last resort.

Richard
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I'd try to get them to fix it under warranty. Try the nice way first, then...

I don't know if they have storefront lawyers where you live, but where I used to live in Queens (New York City), they were all over. They'd write letters making whatever nasty threats you needed made for ~ $50.00. They usually worked pretty well.

If all else fails...

There's an additive called CataClean that some of the locals use from time to time to pass inspections. (I think it's lacquer thinner, to be honest.) It does in fact unclog many clogged CATs. It also occasionally blows holes through your exhaust system. But hey, nothing's perfect.

Personally, I wouldn't use it nor recommend it. But it's out there as a last resort.

Richard
Thanks for the advise. My first step, before considering taking it to the dealer, was file a complaint with the NHTA. They take complaints on safety recalls for vehicles seriously. When I get a reply from them, I decide on my next option.

I used the cata-clean after the seafoam treatment I did. Yes, my car ran better but the light came back on after 3 days of driving. So, this is where I'm at now - P0420 is still the only code, and the car runs fine; however, running lean, according to the data of my obd II scanner. I'm still not condemning the Catalytic converter, due to there may be an exhaust leak or a failing upstream 02 sensor, etc. I've attached my data here. If anyone can spot an indication of what's faulty from it, please advise, thanks.
 

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Would guess that you have a problem upstream of the cat. A dysfunctional air-fuel ratio sensor (O2 sensor) might be the culprit.

Perhaps you should stop trying to clean the catalytic converter. Keep it up, and you will likely destroy it and then have to replace it.

Using Torque Pro? I would suggest using a different style of display. The square ones, that show lowest and highest values, for example. The Half Dial (Meter) and the Half Dial (Needle) displays show the highest and lowest values.

From Torque Pro on my Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Android Smartphone:

132655




At the moment, I see your O2 1X2 sensor stuck at 0.7 (Bank 1, Sensor 2). Over the course of a drive, it should fluctuate.



Questions:

Where is the information for the O2 sensor 1X1 (Bank1, Sensor 1)?

I am not sure what the O2s1EQ display means. If somebody knows, please explain. I note that it is always equal to 1.0. Which is potentially a concern.

------------------------------------------

I duckduckgo searched for information on Kia Soul O2 sensors and came across this web-page:

Kia Soul P0420: Catalyst System Efficiency → Below Threshold → Bank 1

Pasted from that site:

WIth the Soul, OBDII P0420 is often caused by a bad oxygen sensor, but there can be other causes as well.


I have never had to replace an air-fuel ratio sensor on the Soul but have done it twice now on the Nissan 4.0 litre V6 Xterra. Apparently sometimes, the O2 sensor can fail simply due to a faulty ground and can be fixed by reconnecting the ground. That said, they are exposed to heat and do wear out.

I would start out by replacing your current Torque Pro Realtime Information displays with ones that register minimum and maximum values. You might want to also add an Emission Monitors since DTC clear display.

Good luck and do keep reporting back.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Would guess that you have a problem upstream of the cat. A dysfunctional air-fuel ratio sensor (O2 sensor) might be the culprit.

Perhaps you should stop trying to clean the catalytic converter. Keep it up, and you will likely destroy it and then have to replace it.

Using Torque Pro? I would suggest using a different style of display. The square ones, that show lowest and highest values, for example. The Half Dial (Meter) and the Half Dial (Needle) displays show the highest and lowest values.

From Torque Pro on my Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Android Smartphone:

View attachment 132655



At the moment, I see your O2 1X2 sensor stuck at 0.7 (Bank 1, Sensor 2). Over the course of a drive, it should fluctuate.



Questions:

Where is the information for the O2 sensor 1X1 (Bank1, Sensor 1)?

I am not sure what the O2s1EQ display means. If somebody knows, please explain. I note that it is always equal to 1.0. Which is potentially a concern.

------------------------------------------

I duckduckgo searched for information on Kia Soul O2 sensors and came across this web-page:

Kia Soul P0420: Catalyst System Efficiency → Below Threshold → Bank 1

Pasted from that site:

WIth the Soul, OBDII P0420 is often caused by a bad oxygen sensor, but there can be other causes as well.


I have never had to replace an air-fuel ratio sensor on the Soul but have done it twice now on the Nissan 4.0 litre V6 Xterra. Apparently sometimes, the O2 sensor can fail simply due to a faulty ground and can be fixed by reconnecting the ground. That said, they are exposed to heat and do wear out.

I would start out by replacing your current Torque Pro Realtime Information displays with ones that register minimum and maximum values. You might want to also add a Emission Monitors since DTC clear display.

Good luck and do keep reporting back.
Thanks for the advice on configuration. I will read your entire post. I just wanted to thank you.

This is my 1st time using the torque pro app. I am an amateur; watching YouTube vids about how to read data.
The PID for 02B1S1 is deactivated, but I did purchase the Realtime Charts for torque pro for $2.49.
The 02B1EQ is an equivalent ratio. I'm not sure because I'm still learning.

Good stuff though; right from the phone😁👍
 

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One more web-page that might help for those who do not have a manual: Kia Soul: Components and Components Location

A sketch shows the location of the Heated Oxygen Sensor (HO2S) [Bank 1/Sensor 1] and the Heated Oxygen Sensor (HO2S) [Bank 1/Sensor 2]

I just checked my manual. The two HO2S when the Air-fuel ratio is rich should shoud exhibit voltages of 0.6 to 1.0; if lean, the range should be 0. to 0.4.

If one of your HO2S units requires replacement, you will require a special tool to remove and replace the HO2S units: a Heated oxygen sensor socket. It is not expensive.

Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Yep, I have the tool to remove the 02 for both sensors. I found that loosening the upstream 02 with an adjustable wrench, which gives good leverage, works great and then using the 02 socket tool to remove it. I haven't made an attempt to remove the downstream 02 yet but I believe one would need to access it from the underside of the vehicle.

I'll check out the link and thanks for the data.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Just checked out that link and yeah I have that link bookmarked. It don't provide a whole-whole lot but nevertheless useful.
 
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