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Q: Can a defective catalytic converter cause clutch failure?

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I purchased a 2013 Chevy Cruze with approximately 59,225 miles, in January the clutch went out. I replaced the clutch with at a Chevrolet dealership. At approximately 72,000 miles the Shift light would occasionally come on while in 6th gear at 70 mph. After driving 70 miles returning home from my sons house, when I went to depress the clutch pedal it went half way down before it even engaged. I then proceeded to go to the gas station put gas in, then the check engine light came on. Checking the engine fluids everything appeared full. I then took the car to AutoZone to diagnose the check engine light, and was informed the trouble shooting code is P0420 Bank 1 Catalyst System efficiency below threshold. There were the following definitions as well supplied. Catalyst efficiency low - bank 1. Engine misfire or running condition, large vacuum leak, engine oil leakage into exhaust-valve-guide seals, piston rings.

My car has 74589 miles.
My car has a manual transmission.

To answer your question, a catalytic converter cannot cause clutch failure. You have a series of independent failures, which is not very common for vehicles with less than 100,000 miles. I would take your 2013 Chevrolet Cruze back to the dealership and give them the opportunity to fix your clutch. You have only 16,000 miles on the clutch and this is clearly a very early clutch failure. Keep in mind, this could be another issue aside from the clutch. It sounds more like clutch hydraulics and not the actual clutch itself.

Your shift in 6th gear light will be an electrical issue. Again, this is most likely a separate problem. The P0420 code is another separate issue as well. Any of the following: "Engine misfire or running condition, large vacuum leak, engine oil leakage into exhaust-valve-guide seals, piston rings" could be causing this code. Although, I doubt there is an oil burning issue with such a low mileage engine. I’m referring to "engine oil leakage and piston rings." These can cause the P0420 code, but it wouldn’t be normal on a vehicle with less than 100,000 miles.

I recommend having your Check Engine Light and clutch inspected by a certified mechanic in order to diagnose the problem and make the appropriate repairs. Since someone else just replaced your clutch, it may be under warranty with them. This will depend on the source of the failure. With a low clutch pedal is likely not the clutch itself, but the hydraulic components that disengage the clutch so you can change gears. Good luck!

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