O2 sensor issues

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  #1  
Old 05-27-03, 05:25 AM
rhallTN
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Question O2 sensor issues

Hi all,
I recently ran into a bit of a problem... I own a 1999 Honda Accord 2.3L 4cyl manual transmission. My check engine light came on, and according to the diagnostic code, it was the catalytic converter failing. I was inclined to believe it due to backpressure I was getting on the engine.
So, I replaced the cat. No big deal. The problem I have ran into is, the new cat doesn't have a place for the O2 sensor. How do I rig this up so my check engine light doesn't come on? Is there a loopback plug you can plug into the O2 harness to make the comptuer think it's ok? Or can I just wire the O2 sensor up in the corner then reset the computer?
Any help is appreciated.
 
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  #2  
Old 05-27-03, 05:52 AM
darrell McCoy
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1999 mod?
Evidently you have not replaced the converter with the correct one. No I would not try to disable anything. You will create more problems than you already have.
 
  #3  
Old 05-27-03, 06:00 AM
Joe_F
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Whoa NELLEY!!

First of all, the converter may be warrantied by federal emission law, but they may have changed it from the original 5/50 it once was.

The correct replacement is only available from Honda and you're easily looking at 500+ for one. I really doubt the old converter is even bad. Something is causing an efficiency loss code.

I suggest you button it back up as original and get it to the dealer who has the proper tools to track down the problem.
 
  #4  
Old 05-27-03, 08:16 AM
rhallTN
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I took it to the dealer, and they confirmed it was the cat... They wanted $1,000 to repalce it, and I'm sorry, but I'll straight pipe it before I'll pay that... The only other option I can figure is to drill a hole in the new cat, tap it, and screw the O2 sensor into it
 
  #5  
Old 05-27-03, 08:46 AM
Joe_F
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Putting a straight pipe is illegal, does nothing to benefit the air or your performance and will keep the check engine light illuminated. You will also fail state inspection with the light on.

I'd be at the Honda dealer's door asking why a 4 year old car needs a catalytic converter considering most last the life of the car!

High parts prices=one of the "benefits" of owning a Honda.
 
  #6  
Old 05-27-03, 08:59 AM
rhallTN
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Yeah, I know putting a straight pipe is illegal, I was making a statement as to there's no way in the world I'm giving them a grand for a cat... I know there's platinum in the things, but jeez...
The new cat seems to be working fine, the backpressure on the engine is gone, and it seems to have more kick than it did before... The only problem I have is what to do with the O2 sensor...
Honda basically told me s*** happens when I complained about the converter....
 
  #7  
Old 05-27-03, 09:36 AM
Joe_F
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I'd put the original converter back in there and forget about it. I'm not so sure the problem is in the converter. And, hacking up a new car like that is just plain unnecessary. Converters don't "go bad", something causes them to get ruined.

I'm not sure if you complained to the dealer or Honda Corporate. I'd surely be telling them (corporate) that it is your first and last Honda product if this was the case.

Have you checked with the EPA if the converter is warrantied by the Federal Emission Law? I would .

Again one of the "benefits" of owning a foreign car. Parts soak you something fierce and are no better than their American counterparts .

I can't think of a single part on a Honda that's worth 100 bucks, never mind 1000 .
 
  #8  
Old 05-27-03, 09:45 AM
rhallTN
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The vehicle runs much better now that I've got the original cat off (Which was rusted beyond belief, I might add... one of the bolts broke in half while trying to break the nuts loose.) The car had lost a noticable amount of power, and it idled *VERY* rough.
I also find it hard to swallow that it went bad in 4 years' time (and less than a year after I bought the vehicle), but it seems pretty obvious to me that *SOMETHING* killed it, or replacing the cat wouldn't have gotten my power and smooth idle back.
I complained to the dealer fiercely, to the point of almost making an a** out of myself. They told me since it wasn't part of the power train, that it was my problem.
How would I go about seeing if it's covered under emission control laws?
 
  #9  
Old 05-27-03, 09:54 AM
Joe_F
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First thing is call American Honda Corporation directly and tell them of the whole problem. Tell them that you think you were treated poorly by the dealer and that a 4 year old car should not need a catalytic converter.

Now, of course, if you did not maintain the vehicle (i.e. you ran it misfiring say with a bad plug wire) for a long period of time, that would waste the cat. Again, something ruins the cat, it doesn't go bad on its own unless it is physically damaged or salt rots it out. Not likely on a 4 year old car unless you dumped it in a lake of salt! LOL

As for the emission warranty, first go to American Honda and complain, if nothing else, ask the EPA for assistance. It will likely rest with American Honda.

If nothing else, ask Honda to give you a "goodwill" repair. This is when for good customer service, the OEM car maker will eat part or all the repair even though the car is out of warranty.

In my belief, a converter going bad on a 4 year old car is a classic case of goodwill warranty material.

Shoot, Oldsmobile paid for half the engine repairs in 1990 on my 1984 Oldsmobile Delta 88 to the tune of 900 bucks! .

At that time, it was my aunt's and uncle's car.
 
  #10  
Old 05-27-03, 01:08 PM
rhallTN
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Thanks Joe, I'll try that.
For the record, I *BABY* that car, so I know it's nothing that I have done... However, I cannot guarantee that the PREVIOUS owners didn't mistreat it. As you can well imagine, I was rather perturbed when they told me it would cost me a grand to get it fixed...
 
  #11  
Old 05-27-03, 02:13 PM
darrell McCoy
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Like Joe sez, check with Fed Warranty law. You might want to use the Google search engine and do some reading up on this case. Seems the clean air warranty provision is that since 95, converters and such may be warranted for 80,000 miles. But the kicker is, dealer may say it was not well maintained. You know how that goes I am sure. I cant see it going out that soon, less it was run a long time in bad tune condition or map sensor, etc. I simply cant see the rust description you gave on a 99 model. 1000 bucks is going price however for a genuine replacement by dealer. But 500 for converter and 500 for installation? I must be missing something.
 
  #12  
Old 05-28-03, 07:14 AM
Joe_F
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Darrell:

The price of the cat is more like in the 600 to 700 dollar range and it's probably a couple of hours labor. The OEM cats are VERY specific to year, make, model, emission level.

I have seen OEM cats that are EASILY more than the value of the car!
 
  #13  
Old 05-28-03, 09:22 AM
rhallTN
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Well the car has 93k miles on it, so that's a factor as well... but honest to God, the cat was rusted beyond belief... I'll post a picture in a few days... The odd thing was, the cat was encased in some kind of aluminum shield, almost like a heat shield (the heat shield actually resides above the exhaust system on my car). The rest of the exhaust system was fine, no signs of rust at all, but the cat was so bad that I had to take a wire brush to the nuts before I could get a socket on them...
 
  #14  
Old 05-28-03, 09:25 AM
Joe_F
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Still rare. The converter on my Oldsmobile is probably 15+ years old (I think it was changed once) and it works and looks like new .
 
  #15  
Old 05-28-03, 09:37 AM
rhallTN
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Do you think that maybe at some point before I purchased the vehicle they replaced the cat with a used one? I know it's a stretch but it's the only reasoning I can come up with to explain why the cat was in such bad shape.
 
  #16  
Old 05-28-03, 10:31 AM
Joe_F
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Does the car have a clean history? Do a carfax.com report on it (www.carfax.com) and see if comes up clean or not. If it comes up with problems, maybe you bought a rebuilt wreck .

I think it just rotted out or as an anamoly, it went bad. Again, converters don't just go bad, they get fouled with too much fuel (then they get stuffed and clog), they rot (many, many years in salty areas) or they get damaged (running over something). Very rarely do they functionally fail. Something causes that to happen.

It's a bit tough to say especially if the car was bought used. No telling what kind of life it had before.
 
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