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Hello,
I took my car into the dealership a while back to get my IMA battery replaced and got all that taken care of. They told me I have the error codes P0141 and P0420 and told me I needed a new catalytic converter and it was going to cost me a lot of money. The thing is I don't have a lot of money and I don't really have a clue how I would pay $1000+ for the part alone. I have read about the overly sensitive ECM but I believe I have already done the ECM emissions recall so I don't think that's it. Basically I am wonder the cheapest method in fixing this. I know that with some cars you can cut out the catalytic converter and just put a straight pipe. I also know that is illegal and bad for the environment but theoretically if I could have that done would that hurt the car in anyway? With all this my MPG has suffered and I would like to get this fixed as soon as possible so any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Well first I think I would be checking the #2 O2 sensor. If they are the same on this car, just swap the two O2 sensors, if the problem remains, ok, if the error code switches to something else, like bad O2 sensor bank 1 position 1, then you know its just the O2 sensor. A faulty O2 could trick the ECM into thinking there was a problem with the Cat.

If the problem doesn't change when you swap the O2 sensors, it could still be a number of things, they have multiple page flow charts on diagnosing trouble codes, but assuming the Honda dealer actually did thier job, you could go with a bad cat.

First question, how many miles on the car? Isnt there a government mandated 10\100k emissions warranty that would cover the Cat?

Second question, have you checked around? I've never heard of a $1000 Cat before, maybe its integrated with the manifold or something, I haven't looked yet, but I would call around, OEM cats usually only run a few hundred bucks. Installing a Cat is simple, assuming you don't break any bolts. Lots of PBblaster and let it soak, maybe even apply a little heat to get them loose. Most cars you're only looking at 6 simple bolts to get the cat out. Make sure you use anti-sieze when installing the new one!



If you're not going to replace it, dont worry about it. I am not an expert on these hyper-efficient engines, but most cars, a cat will not effect the mileage in the least. The cat and secondary O2 sensors are just there for emissions, you could rip them out and not notice a difference.

What can happen though, if the cat falls apart inside, the grid material can wedge in the exhaust sideways and obstruct the flow, this will cause back-pressure and reduce the efficiency.

If its not obstructed, replacing the cat with a straight pipe isnt going to help, and you'll still have the SES light and codes regardless of what you do unless you get a good cat back in there.

Are you sure the mileage is down since this?
 
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