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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I replaced the EGR valve on my 2002 MT Insight about 6 months ago. I made the replacement because it never seemed to be going into lean burn and my gas mileage was dipping into the upper 30s, although that was mostly in town driving. My MPG went up somewhat after that back into the upper 40s and it would kick into lean burn more often, but then I started having heavy stuttering problems at city speeds in certain gears. I believe these occur as the car is trying to go into lean burn. I shift to another gear and then it's fine. Usually, this only happens in cooler weather. I've kind of just worked around the problem since then, since it's pretty easy to avoid by just shifting gears when it crops up. The only other symptom is that, while idling (in lower air temperatures), the RPMs do rev up and down sometimes, but only slightly.

Probably a month or two after replacing the EGR valve, I would get the check engine light. At first, it would come on and then shut off later. When it was on for a long time, I took it to a repair shop and they reset the codes, and then they didn't come back on until a couple days later. They had no idea what was wrong and no suggestions for repair.

The last couple months, the check engine light has been on non-stop. I finally had enough money to take it to a repair place, and they got codes P0305 (Idle Air Control System Malfunction), P0134 (Oxygen Circuit Sensor - No Activity Sensor 1), and P1420 (Catalyst Stystem Below Subtotal).

They are quoting me $430 P & L to replace the Idle Air Control Valve, $445 P&L to replace the 02 Sensor 1, and if those don't clear the code, over $1200 P & L to replace the Catalytic Converter.

I'm not good with cars and repairs. I don't know much about this stuff. Do you guys think they made the correct diagnosis? Do these repairs and estimates sound reasonable? Any other suggestions?

Thanks.
 

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I would check your ground straps and examine the related electrical connections before replacing things. If you didn't clean the egr plate when you replaced the valve you should. If you do need a new o2 sensor order it online and change it yourself. It's easy to get to. I bought one for about 100, but the sensor itself wasn't my problem. There's a thread here that talks about which part numbers and brands match the oem sensor.

I don't know about the idle control, someone else might. As for the catalytic converter, in my opinion, do anything instead of paying for the ridiculously overpriced Honda one. Talk to a muffler shop and try to verify its clogged before replacing it. I think some have found them at rock auto. Some have tried cleaning them. I'm going to try replacing mine with a generic one, but I'm changing up the whole exhaust. Your options may depend on your local emissions testing and what repair shops are legally allowed to do.

Also, there was a software update related to the p0420 if I recall. Check those threads, don't know if it applies to you.
 

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You might have meant to say P0420 for the cat code. There is a Honda TSB 07-038 out that replaces the ECM on 2000 - 01, and reflashes the software for 2002 up to fix that issue.

My 0.02 worth,
Tim
 

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MP:
$400+ for a sensor is too much.

If your O2 sensor is truly faulty, (check codes again after fixing grounds), it can be had on Amazon for around $150 or less, and easily diy installed (unplug, unthread, reverse order for install). Make sure to verify the number of wires on your existing sensor (4 or 5 wire).

I bought a 'Walker' brand name sensor for my cvt for $135, took 5 minutes to put it in. The cvt model and the mt model sensors are different.

Sensor 1 is located under hood, behind the engine, over the cat. Careful the wrench doesn't slip and smash a plug coil.

After sensor replacement, the car will need to be driven for several 'complete driving cycles' for the cel to clear.
 

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You might have meant to say P0420 for the cat code. There is a Honda TSB 07-038 out that replaces the ECM on 2000 - 01, and reflashes the software for 2002 up to fix that issue.
p1420 is real for 00-03, check in codes spreadsheet
also re: tsbs see 07-036 also as well as 07-038
TSB's folder
p0305 listed above is likely typo and should have been p0505
Best of luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the quick replies. I checked the ground straps and low and behold one was broken. The other was fraying pretty bad. I jury-rigged a couple of new cables to fit and installed them a few days ago.

I reset the codes and so far, I don't have any warning lights. The car hasn't stuttered at all, either. In fact, it seems to have a bit more power. It also is going into lean burn much more frequently, which is increasing my gas mileage. Knock on wood, but maybe the ground straps were the root of the problems.

It's crazy to think a mechanic shop quoted me almost $2,000 in repairs, and a couple of cables totaling less than $20 may have fixed it. The mechanic shop was even suggesting it's just time for me to get a new car.

You guys saved me a ton of time, money, and energy. Thank you for your help! :)
 

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Isn't it great when it's a common, easy, simple thing? Thanks for the closure on the thread.

P1420 = NOx Adsorptive Catalyst System Efficiency BeLow Threshold for the 2000-2003s. Yeah, I didn't know the P1420 was real. I though OP meant the more common P0420. Both catalytic converter related. I guess electrical issues can bring out some of the less common ones.
 
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