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Nope, that's nonsense. I've seen a lot of p0420/430 codes and never once seen it be something besides a bad cat. With a scantool that graphs live data it is very easy to confirm that the converter is shot.
 

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It's going to be a p0456 with the fuel cap off. When you see the list of reasons for the p0420, it's because there is a reason the cat failed. I've never heard of a loose gas cap being on that list though, and I don't see how it could possibly even cause a drivability issue on it's own. What is the source of this information?

They are supposed to last the life of the vehicle, as long as it's properly maintained. If it's not running well, the cats take a hit.
 

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Exhaust leaks can also cause a bad cat. Ideally, you graph the rear sensor after it's been driving and see if it's relatively flat or oscillating. Leaks between the front and rear sensor usually will throw a p2096 post catalyst lean code.
 
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