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Howdy all!

Recently I acquired a 2003 Manual Transmission that has been sitting at an auction lot for a few months. After driving about one hour the check engine light came on and AutoZone read the P0420 code. I do have to pass emissions and after reading a little I imagine the next steps will be (in order if the previous step doesn't work...):

1) Go to Honda dealership and bring a copy of the 07-036 Service Bulletin.
2) Clean upper Cat using the liquid laundry overnight, rinse, reset code, and drive to see if the code comes back.
3) Try the spark plug non fouler mod on the 2nd O2 sensor (and possibly the third if I have one....haven't checked).
4) .....?
5) Profit!

Do any of the OBDII sensors have the ability to clear the code? Any preferred ones to purchase?

Also, have there been any problems with the engine spitting oil? I saw some of the padding underneath the hood and surrounding area that has a lot of oil saturation.

Thank you in advance!

~Mike
 

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Any code reader can clear the code, but I highly recommend the OBDII reader that was specifically designed and engineered for the Insight here on the forums.. Though I suppose I'm a bit biased. ;)

http://www.insightcentral.net/forums/modifications-technical-issues/20488-obdiic-c-gauge.html

To pass emissions, I recommend just pulling the negative battery cable to reset the systems, then take it through shortly thereafter. Or you can buy a cheap OBDII reader and do it that way. The Sparkplug No Foul mod is probably the easiest and simplest "fix" for the problem.

I think the most common oil leak is either from the valve cover gasket or the front main seal. Be aware that the Insight only holds 2.5 quarts of oil, so an oil leak becomes a problem much faster than in a regular car.

Also be aware that you're in grave need of a grid charger since the car has sat unused for so long. It is recommended that you not drive the car until you can perform a grid charge. Sitting unused is the number one cause of battery failures, other than old age.
 

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Wow, how did I miss that entire thread on the OBDIIC&C gauge? I'm on here a lot but somehow didn't even see this thread flying around only 2 months ago? Now I have 11 pages of reading to do.
 

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I am only a few pages into the OBDII reader, but am intrigued already! :thumbup:

I did go to emissions BEFORE knowing any codes, and was REJECTED (not failed) because the OBDII could not give a reading. They said the batteries were off too long and to drive around a few days and come back. That is the reason I thought about buying a reader to digitally clear the code instead of unplugging the battery.

For the Sparkplug No Foul mod, any idea what thread size I would need...?

And the grid charger, basically try to charge each battery cell with 350mA until voltage stops rising...? Fan to keep cool as well. May end up asking one of my EE teachers for help building the current source. :D

~Mike
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2003 Manual Transmission Honda Insight
 

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To pass emissions, I recommend just pulling the negative battery cable to reset the systems, then take it through shortly thereafter.
I did go to emissions BEFORE knowing any codes, and was REJECTED (not failed) because the OBDII could not give a reading. They said the batteries were off too long and to drive around a few days and come back. That is the reason I thought about buying a reader to digitally clear the code instead of unplugging the battery.
You can not just pull the negative battery cable and then drive over to an inspection station or else you will get rejected.

Also, you can not just clear the code with an OBDII device and take it over to an inspection station or else you will get rejected.

The reason, "engine readiness"

The car has to be driven in a few cycles after clearing codes or pulling the negative terminal in order for the "engine readiness" code to be set. Inspection stations can tell if any codes were recently reset from the engine readiness code / signal.

This is so people trying to pass emissions do not perform what was proposed then drive over to get the car inspected right away before it has a chance to fail again.

You need to drive it a few cycles. OBDII readers will tell you if the "engine readiness" is complete.

JoeCVT = Just your average CVT owner
 

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Yup totally agree on the 'engine readiness' code... I know cause I tried it... had some codes, IMA plus a couple others and just before the AZ dmv, in line, I reset them, so there were no codes, and got to their obd reader and the guy plugged it in and looked at his monitor, wrote something down on a piece of paper, gave it to me and said if you have any questions ask at the office... wouldn't even give me the time of day...
So I went to the office and they said that the engine had not been on long enough for the systems to check their nominal operating perameters, or some such krap like that.
 

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Ahh. I thought it only took like 15 minutes, didn't realize it took 3 drive cycles. That's interesting.

Still not a big deal though. I think you could fudge it pretty easily with some planning.

The only check they do in Santa Fe is a VIN check. I've never had to deal with it.
 

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Thank goodness we are smog exempt in California. How did that end up happening by the way? Usually we are the smog tight wads of the country
 

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Discussion Starter #9
A Honda dealership did the system update via 07-036 Service Bulletin and service manager said that the code cleared. Before taking it to emissions, I will ask them to check to make sure that the OBDII reads "engine readiness".

If the code comes up later, I will try the Sparkplug No Foul mod following the link below:

Spark plug non fouler - Honda-Tech

Just one question: Does the Insight use the same 18mm threads?

~Mike
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2003 Manual Transmission Honda Insight
 

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Ahh. I thought it only took like 15 minutes, didn't realize it took 3 drive cycles. That's interesting.

Still not a big deal though. I think you could fudge it pretty easily with some planning.

The only check they do in Santa Fe is a VIN check. I've never had to deal with it.
It can be a lot more than that. The car has to go through specific conditions, not just a set number of cycles. I used Google and found a specific cycle to use for my Miata. It had me do specific things like cold start, extended idle (when do WE ever do THAT?), slow acceleration, rapid acceleration, coast down from specific speeds, etc. If you miss some of these in your random drive cycle some of the sensors will never set. A good OBDII reader, like my Innova 3130, will tell you the status of each sensor. If you get lucky with your search it will tell you what driving condition to use to set each sensor. Here they allow you to have two sensors not set and still pass, as long as you have no codes. On the Miata the EVAP sensor is very hard to set and I'm glad to be able to pass without it. I'm even more glad that the Insight is exempt!

Sam
 

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Our 2003 HCH has the P1420. We took it to Honda to see if an update would clear it. They said no, but in the process cleared the code. We drove immediately across town and passed inspection. Within a few hours got the P1420 again. Maybe we were just lucky?
 

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Well if that was luck, I wish I ran across that.... :(

While I was driving the code came back. I was getting prepared to do the Sparkplug No Foul mod and drove again to heat up the upper Catalytic (didn't feel like using a torch) and my engine noise greatly increased. Sounded like the exhaust had a hole. And when I checked, I could feel air coming from the upper Cat. So I think it's time for a new one that is not rusting through.

Any good place I should buy an upper Cat....? Gaskets (AutoZone was a no-go for gaskets before knowing I needed to replace it)....?

~Mike
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2003 Manual Transmission Honda Insight
 

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Check the "doughnut" between the 1st cat and the next pipe going to the second cat.
HTH
Willie
 

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Should have posted an update a long time ago. I wanted to add one picture, but never got around to it. Might as well update now than never.

Anyways, the lower flange did split completely off and my original cat is in two. I got another cat, the car passed emissions, and it is finally plated (yay).

After 6 weeks of driving, check engine light came back and this time it read P1420. Clearing the code, I was able to drive about 1K miles before it came back.

Since I have plates, I will not worry about that code for another two (2) years!

~Mike
 
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