o2Sensors vs Catalytic Convertor vs both

Discussion of Infiniti's amazing (and underrated) sport-luxury crossovers, the EX35 and EX37. For 2014, the EX series will be renamed QX50, in line with Ininfiit's new naming conventions.
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o2Sensors vs Catalytic Convertor vs both

Postby kexmc35 » Thu Sep 13, 2018 4:29 pm

I'm a bit of a rookie at this . I'll try to keep it brief. 2008 Ex 35 Journey, won't pass smog test, throwing codes P2A00. I can tell the difference in fuel consumption and overall performance, but the vehicle still runs smoothly. Had a Diagnostics done at Infiniti Dealership and was told "found bank one cat welds broken causing AF sensor to read out of range. Need to start by replacing cat and sensor. Vehicle is very rusty. May need to replace entire exhaust during repair. Minimum repair $1640. "
Because I am new in town and don't know which mechanics to trust here, I took the car to Meineke and got a diagnostics test. I never mentioned Infiniti's reading. Meineke read " Upstream AIr-Fuel Ratio Sensor" x2 for total of $841.64 including labor. Meineke mentioned NOTHING about the catalytic convertor or other exhaust needing replacement. As a matter of fact, when the Infiniti Dealership service manager verbally explained my diagnosis the only thing he said was that while replacing the o2 sensors they MIGHT need to replace the catalytic convertor due to rust. It wasn't until I called him back today that he explained that they claim to have discovered an actual crack in the exhaust and the cat convertor AND sensors had to be replaced simultaneously.
So who do I trust? Meineke or Infiniti? Wouldn't Meineke have mentioned the cat convertor and other rust? I am not interested in putting in unnecessary money into this vehicle as I would like to trade mid next year. I do however need to be able to pass a smog test soon. How do I know Infiniti isn't just trying to get more money out of me? Please advise

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Car: 2008 Infiniti EX35 Journey AWD

Re: o2Sensors vs Catalytic Convertor vs both

Postby NJGuy » Tue Sep 18, 2018 5:52 am

It looks like that P2A00 code can be caused by any of the items mentioned by the dealership, as well as other things on the intake side.

Since you mention a smog test, that means you're in California, right? Do you know if the car has lived most of its life there? I thought that most cars there just don't seem to rust that badly.

I live in an area that gets plenty of road salt during the winter months. When I had my '08 the catalytic converters did show plenty of rust, though it was primarily the heat shields. I didn't know the exact condition of the cats within the heat shields, but I never had any issues with the exhaust system that triggered a check engine light. While it may be hard to get the car on a lift to take a look for yourself, see if you can at least snap some pictures of the areas around the cats to see their condition. That part of the car isn't too low.

If this is urgent and you really want to put your mind at ease, I would say find a good local independent mechanic. Either ask people you know in the area, or spend a few minutes online to look for one with lots of good ratings. Whether or not you're an AAA member, you can also check their website for a list of their approved shops.

Here's what I think about the dealer and chain shop. The Infiniti dealer is accustomed to having people pay more, and they want to ensure that any problem areas related to the repair are addressed and the car is in tip top shape. The Meineke shop services more common cars and wouldn't want to drive away business with excessively high repair estimates. You could have Meineke do their fix first to see if it takes care of the problem, but you know there's always the risk that it doesn't get fixed right the first time. Proper diagnosis is the key, that's why I would say to get a third opinion.

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