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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello. I stumbled upon this site and thought you guys could help me out. The Mazda forums are dead and you guys seem pretty active. I read the sticky on common problems and did not see what I was looking for.

My dad's 2001 Tribute has a misfire cylinders 4,5,6 and it is throwing o2 sensor codes. I will be getting the exact code numbers from my dad via email tonight. The dealership he took the car too wants to replace all three catalytic converters at the price of $3600. This is almost more than the car is worth. He just dumped in $2000 when the ABS solenoid caught fire and destroyed the main harness. I had to scrounge junkyards for a few weeks and nabbed the last one in Colorado! Anyway, does replacing the catalytic converters sound like the solution? To me, a new coil pack and an o2 sensor sounds like the solution. If it is indeed the cats that need to be replaced, how labor intensive is that? Are they in fairly easy places to get to? I just don't want to be ripping down half the engine to get to the cats when that might not even be the solution.

Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Got the codes from my dad.

P0443-
0445-Canister Purge Control Solenoid Valve Circuit High
0135-O2 Sensor Heater Circuit (Bank 1 Sensor 1)
0141-O2 Sensor Heater Circuit (Bank 1 Sensor 2)
0155-)
0161-Rear O2 Sensor Heater Circuit (Bank 1 Sensor 2
0457-EVAP Control System Leak Detected (Fuel Cap Loose/Off)
0305-Cylinder 5 Misfire Detected
0306-Cylinder 6 Misfire Detected
1151P
0304P-Cylinder 4 Misfire Detected
 

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Is the gas cap secure?

Does it have a locking gas cap? If so, replace it an OEM cap. Then start over.

As for replacing the 3 cats....I think that's too early to tell. Not saying it's not possible they need replacing. Running too lean for too long because of a misfire can burn out a cat. But unless you know for sure, I'd leave them.

The 02 codes are probably triggered by the misfires and the O2 sensors are detecting a lean condition.

You need to trace the misfires first then reset the codes and see what comes up after.

Since you're getting a misfire on 4, 5, and 6, something common to that bank is causing your misfire.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks. I think jumping to the conclusion that it was bad cats was a bit much. If we can track down the misfires as you said, I think that is where we should start. Thanks
 

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Some time back, I've found a discussion on plugged cats, but for the life of me, I can't recall where.

How long has it been misfiring? Keep in mind that misfiring and running lean (unburned fuel) can destroy a cat quickly.
 

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With mis-fire you will eventually ruin the cats but it is easy for a dealer or mechanic to do a vacuum check to see if the cats are actually plugged. Cats can get contaminated with the un burned fuel (mis-fire), oil (wear), anti-freeze (head gasket). once contaminated they burn up internally and clog.

First you need to cure the mis-fire to prevent further damage. This will be a harness issue or COP (coil on plug) Since three plugs on the same bank (front) are effected maybe you took a wave over the bow and shorted (damaged) them out or effected the harness. Then see what you have. Clogged cats will make the engine really labor to make power. Good a lower RPMs but a exhaust flow increases the back pressure will not allow the cylinders to clear. This decreases vacuum, over heats, makes the engine not able to get to higher RPMs even...
 

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Take it to an independent mechanic that you trust. Have him take out all of the cats cut them open, take the honeycomb crap out, drive a straight exhaust pipe through them, and weld them back shut and put them back on. You'll never have a problem with cats again. Then fix your 3 cylinders, not only will it run better but you'll get more power and better fuel mileage.
 
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