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Recently picked up an '03 CVT for a steal, but the car isn't performing as I expected. I've been tackling the small issues it has one by one and it's getting slowly more respectable over time. I've done all basic maintenance (air filters, brakes, oil change, CVs, tires, new radiator, coolant flush, new 12V battery, headlight/taillight bulbs etc)

Here are the issues it currently still has:

1. Has a P0560 code. I've been looking online for wiring diagrams and/or technical data for where this could be coming from, but I've had no luck. Any suggestions?

2. Has a pretty substantial exhaust leak at the flange right behind the catalytic converter. Looks like the gasket went bad and the previous owner attempted to fix it with new bolts. Not a huge issue personally but curious how it could affect MPGs.

3. Car recently started making a constant high pitched almost electrical sounding whining noise. It changes pitch with engine RPM, so I replaced the idler pulley. Sound still persists. This started a few weeks after installing LED parking lights up front. Don't think it's related but I'll consider every possibility.

4. Last but most troubling, the car gets high 30s MPG on a good day. The things that could definitely be the problem are the battery (replaced by Honda in 2014, proven with service records) getting weak, the lack of any sort of belly pan under the engine compartment (looks like previous owner removed it), or a combination of the issues presented above. Any ideas? Car has new RE92s and is running perfectly besides the issues described above.

Love the car and would love to see it reach peak efficiency potential. Thank you for reading and for any advice you have to offer.
 

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*The exhaust leak is right behind the catalytic converter. Sorry new here and not sure how to edit post body on mobile. Sorry!

*Just got it, nevermind.
 

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Tires take 1000 mile break in,check your underbelly panels,change your ground straps,clean your egr ports,raise your tire pressure,do a valve adjustment,flush your transmission fluid,
 

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Tires have been on for about 1200 miles now. Ground straps all look good, minimal corrosion on any of them. Haven't cleaned the EGR yet but that's on the list. Tires have been at 50 PSI. Good idea on the valve adjustment, thanks. And forgot to mention but CVT fluid has been flushed.

It is completely missing the front bellypan, but I don't think that would cause such a substantial change in MPG. Or could it?

Thanks for the reply!
 

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I guess one thing I would check is for one or more sticking brakes. Take a drive and feel the wheels. If one is way hotter than the rest, you’ll know it’s sticking.
I wonder if that exhaust leak could throw off air/fuel sensor data and cause the computer to compensate in some way.
If that battery is really imbalanced and is background charging a lot, you’ll take a large hit in MPGs.
Add in A/C use and you can drag the little car down.
Just some thoughts!
 

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Yeah the brakes were sticking when I got it so I threw on new calipers/rotors/pads on the front. Rears were actually in great shape. Yeah I should get the exhaust leak sorted and see if it makes a difference.

I have been running AC in the heat we've had but usually keep it at 79 in econ. I'm thinking the battery could do with a grid charge. Thanks for the suggestions!
 

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I'd post a PDF of the P0560 code, but this new format is giving me trouble for uploads. Here's a copy/paste for the P0560 code:

"General Description:

The engine control module (ECM) constantly draws power for the memory to make back-up copies of data such as DTCs, and the freeze frame data. If there is an open or a short in the power supply circuit for backing up the ECM, the data stored in the memory is erased when the ignition switch is turned off.If the VBU voltage is a set value or less for a specified time period, the ECM detects a malfunction and stores a DTC.

Malfunction Threshold:

The back-up power supply voltage (at the VBU terminal of the ECM) is 6.0 V or less for at least 2 seconds when the battery voltage (at the IGP terminal of the ECM) is 10.5 V or more after start-up.

Diagnosis Details:
Conditions for illuminating the MILWhen a malfunction is detected, the MIL comes on and the DTC and the freeze frame data are stored in the ECM memory.

Conditions for clearing the MIL:
The MIL will be cleared if the malfunction does not recur during three consecutive trips in which the diagnostic runs.The MIL, the DTC, and the freeze frame data can be cleared by using the scan tool Clear command or by disconnecting the battery."


For reference, MIL = malfunction indicator light = check engine light.

An easy way to test if a dying battery is killing your MPG is to flip the switch on the IMA battery box to OFF, and unplug the two connectors on the Battery Control Module (BCM) that lies atop the IMA battery inside the aluminum box. This will disable the hybrid battery. If your MPG goes up after that, it's a bad IMA battery that's giving you the poor MPG.

Double check brake drag on all four brakes and make sure the parking brake is properly adjusted and not dragging. Underbody panels are worth <5 MPG, so missing those isn't costing you all of that.

An exhaust leak before the catalytic will definitely screw things up. Even if MPG wasn't affected I would replace that just as general maintenance.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Wow, thank you so much for that PDF! Exactly what I was looking for. Now just gotta narrow down which wires to chase for continuity.

The front brakes were sticking so I did a complete overhaul, the rear brakes seems fine but I haven't checked the parking brake cable so I'll be sure to get on that.

Is the IMA battery disabling really that simple? How convenient! I'll test that on my commute tomorrow. In the event that it is the battery, I'm guessing a grid charge would be in order?

The exhaust leak is right behind the catalytic converter, right at the flange. I think I'm going to get that sorted just for the sake of not sounding like a go-kart lol.

Thank you so much for your input! Seems to be a very helpful community here. Very happy to be in good company.
 

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If it's behind the first catalytic coming right out of the engine, then you are definitely losing mileage. When my catalytic broke off back there the noise was atrocious and my mileage went down noticeably. It also let a lot of heat into the engine bay, so I parked it until I replaced the catalytic. If you've been driving it like this, you might want to check the wiring in the engine bay near the leak to make sure nothing has melted. That might be the cause of the P0560 code, but I can't really say as I'm not that familiar with that DTC.

If you need to replace the catalytic, RockAuto has good prices on aftermarket ones. PB Blaster and a bit of elbow grease may be required to get the bolts and nuts out, same goes with the O2 sensors.

Re: IMA disable, you will get a CEL code, the IMA light will be on, battery charging will stop above 4000 RPM, and the car will accelerate slower, but the IMA functionality will be turned off.

If it does turn out to be that, you have a few options:
1) Use a grid charger/discharger to recondition the battery
2) Rebuild the battery with new sticks
3) Buy a new replacement battery for $2000-$2500
4) Buy a used working battery (I have one for sale) for <$1000
5) Drive with the battery disabled by flipping the breaker and disconnecting the BCM
6) Deleting the battery and using an Arduino to fool the car into thinking the IMA is installed
7) Do #6 and replace the DC-DC converter with a smaller, more compact Meanwell PSU.

Your low MPG may not be a battery issue though, but it's good to eliminate that as a possibility if it isn't.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
It is right after the first catalytic converter. It seems to just be the gasket that deteriorated. The flange seems to be the only place where it is leaking. Good call on the heat affecting wiring, didn't even consider that. And yeah it's a rare code. Only saw it once before while working at Honda and the techs there couldn't fix it.

I'll get to work over this next week and come back with results. Thank you again for all the info. Very much appreciated.
 
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