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Toyota Repair/1999 Solara Sputter-Jerk, Code P0420


I have a 1999 Toyota Solara, have owned it for 13 years. The car has started to sputter when in drive and sitting on the brakes. On acceleration from a stop, the car will sometimes jerk and/or hesitate. On the open road it drives fine and accelerates fine. When and OBD-II reader is used, the code P0420 is presented. Check Engine and Trac Off light are on. What are possible causes?

The 420 is a catalytic converter code, this can be caused by driving while the engine is misfiring, there are usually other codes at the same time like misfire codes or oxygen sensor codes as well, so before replacing an expensive cat converter the drivability issues should be fixed.
It sounds like it may be an ignition circuit problem, possibly spark plugs or ignition coil, is this a 4 cylinder or V6 engine and has anything been done to the engine recently already to try to fix this?  

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Ted Ritter


I have more than 28 years experience as toyota technician, I will be able to answer most questions related to the Toyota product line up to the present year models,I am located in the US but welcome questions from other regions of the world. When asking a question please provide specific information: year,model, engine,transmission information. Provide as much information as possible including a brief repair history if possible. I have been a volunteer here for more ten years an have answered over 16,000 questions helping Toyota owners with their problems and save thousands of dollars without any compensation, some of my answers are published on many other websites including google and various automotive forums. DONATIONS ARE VERY MUCH APPRECIATED, IF YOU HAVE RECIEVED HELPFUL INFORMATION PLEASE MAKE A DONATION. AS OF TODAY (JULY 22, 2014) ALL REQUESTED GRAPHICS, ILLUSTRATIONS, DIAGRAMS, PHOTOS, WILL REQUIRE THE MINUMUM DONATION UP FRONT.


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