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Discussion Starter #1
So I'm looking at a used Insight.

Call to the dealer indicates that the IMA battery (And associated charge/motor control module) was replaced at 130K miles in October of 2006...

While I had the service personnel on the phone, I had them look into any other TSB or warranty related repair work because it was throwing a code P0420 - Catalyst Efficiency Low.

They said it was brought in a short while later (About a month) after the IMA battery was replaced and it was diagnosed as the catalytic converters. Notes say Customer ran over animal or debris in road... The rep indicated that there was a labor receipt attached to the entry with a $1700 repair bill, so I assumed they were replaced.

I asked about TSB 07-036 and 07-038 as referenced in the following thread:
http://www.insightcentral.net/forums/problems-troubleshooting/12561-quality-update-insight-mts-dtcs-p0420-p1420-p2000.html

The rep said it would not be covered. I asked about the cost of the replacement ECU, he said he'd have to call me back in a few minutes and he'd speak with a tech.

On the return call he said:
-that he found the receipt said that the customer declined service, total $50 diagnostic fee.
-that the tech said P0420 is absolutely, positively, 100% catalytic converter. (New price $1820)
-that the TSB number I gave was for a later year Insight.



So... Solutions?
Am I FORCED to go with the dealer's catalytic converters?
Has anyone found an aftermarket solution?
Are there any other things I should look into (O2 sensor, etc.)

When replacing this catalytic converter, how hard are the bolts to get out of the integrated head/manifold? I really hate exhaust work because stuff rusts solid.
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
One other option:
Obtain 2002-2006 ECU from scrapped Insight and install into my 2000 Model..
Then what? Will Honda flash it for cheap/free?

Or I could get the ECU from a 2000-2001 that already has been upgraded.

And then I've gotta worry about reprogramming my ignition key.


Does anyone have different part numbers or outward visual identification cues for the three ECU versions that I'd be dealing with.
Namely:
1.) 2000-2001 5 speed Insight - Unflashable - What I have currently
2.) 2000-2001 5 speed Insight - Updated - Probably most desirable.
3.) 2002-2006 5 speed Insight - May or May not need flashed at unknown cost - Would be better than what I've got currently.
 

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01 1/2 and up are different PCM's - NOT interchangeable

Reflashing the PCM will NOT "fix" a CAT that has deteoriated beyond a minimal amount.

AFAIK there are NO aftermarket CATs available, but some of the aftermarket manufacturers will "build" yours. In my experience if they offer a 3 year warranty don't expect it to last much beyond. And AFAIK such CATs are "illegal" in California.

HTH! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
^

Moot point. I'd never willingly live in California. I always said I'd have to shoot myself if I was forced to live there, but given their gun laws... :rolleyes:

Also, not buying the car. Originally was going to get it for my mom to replace her 1996 Civic hatchback with failing automatic transmission that gets 20 MPG for some reason. :-? But the thought of buying a car with 224K miles for $3200 was outrageous to her.
 

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With the amount of fuel that could be saved it is not so "outrageous".

A few years ago I was driving a pick up that got 14 mpg. I went from that to a Honda Del Sol that got about 42 mpg. I calculated that within 1 1/2 years I had saved $5,000 in gas.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
No... She's talking about the mileage.
She seems to think 224K miles means it'll need a new engine soon so that means the car is worthless.

Nevermind her last Civic was pushing 250K with a perfectly good engine and was only scrapped because the entire front end was tweaked from wreck damage.


I personally wouldn't have bought is because the guy wouldn't come any lower and I could confirm it'd need a set of new cataltyics and an exhaust... Which I can't get anywhere but the dealer, for the price of $1800.
 

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majestic honda has the catalytic converters for around $1000...

but then again, you add that to the price of the car ($3200+$1000), and it ends up being $4200. Which I think is not bad if everything else on the car is perfect except for the high mileage engine. But if there are other things on the car that may be worn, then I think the price is a little high.

And if the battery was replaced at 130k almost 3 years ago, its probably going to go bad some time also, because the pack would have almost 95k miles on it.
 

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So I'm looking at a used Insight.

Call to the dealer indicates that the IMA battery (And associated charge/motor control module) was replaced at 130K miles in October of 2006...

While I had the service personnel on the phone, I had them look into any other TSB or warranty related repair work because it was throwing a code P0420 - Catalyst Efficiency Low.

They said it was brought in a short while later (About a month) after the IMA battery was replaced and it was diagnosed as the catalytic converters. Notes say Customer ran over animal or debris in road... The rep indicated that there was a labor receipt attached to the entry with a $1700 repair bill, so I assumed they were replaced.

I asked about TSB 07-036 and 07-038 as referenced in the following thread:
http://www.insightcentral.net/forums/problems-troubleshooting/12561-quality-update-insight-mts-dtcs-p0420-p1420-p2000.html

The rep said it would not be covered. I asked about the cost of the replacement ECU, he said he'd have to call me back in a few minutes and he'd speak with a tech.

On the return call he said:
-that he found the receipt said that the customer declined service, total $50 diagnostic fee.
-that the tech said P0420 is absolutely, positively, 100% catalytic converter. (New price $1820)
-that the TSB number I gave was for a later year Insight.



So... Solutions?
Am I FORCED to go with the dealer's catalytic converters?
Has anyone found an aftermarket solution?
Are there any other things I should look into (O2 sensor, etc.)

When replacing this catalytic converter, how hard are the bolts to get out of the integrated head/manifold? I really hate exhaust work because stuff rusts solid.


First, code 420 is not necessarily cats, more often just the rear exhaust sensor available on Amazon for $100 or so. And there is a Honda recall to replace the ECU, 07-038. Reoplacing the ECU more often than not will silence the 420 code, WBTW, you should check with your own diagnostic tool available at AZ or Advance at around $35. Consult Honda, not local rep.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
^ Yeah, I've got my own tool.

But I gave that number, 07-038 and 07-036 to the Honda dealer. They said it did NOT apply to the 2000 model year.

The high EGTs associated with 20+:1 AFRs, I understand will quickly toast a cat and an O2 sensor... Since the PO was told he'd need them replaced over 90K miles ago coupled with the percussive damage of the road debris, I'd lean toward replacing the cats AND the O2 sensor.

*sigh* I really hate OBD2. Gone are the days when one could buy horsepower by replacing the catalytic converters with a straight pipe.
 

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First, code 420 is not necessarily cats, more often just the rear exhaust sensor available on Amazon for $100 or so.
I beg to differ.

A P0420 will _only_ be set _if_ the secondary O2 sensor "wakes-up". A bad secondary O2 sensor sets a different code. As well as a bad NOx CAT sensor (different code).

However, an otherwise functional (but well worn CAT) can prematurely code for _many_ different reason. All having to do with combustion efficiency. So you'd better dot your i's and cross your t's before throwing a CAT at any vehicle.

HTH! :)
 

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On my '02 I occasionally pop a 1420 and it's usually a cool damp morning. I clear it and don't see it for a few thousand more miles. A couple of weeks ago it popped a 0420 after clearing a 1420, cleared it and haven't seen it since. That was the first 0420 I'd seen since the ECM reflash done tens of thousands of miles ago. As long as they are infrequent and intermittent I'll continue to clear them with my Scangauge II and I'm not worrying about sensors or cats, yet...
 

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I found a rebuilder of converters (Catalytic Converters, Smith Brothers) I have a 2001 MT, I called him yesterday. The first converter was around $175.00 + 50.00 core. The second converter was $199.00. The first one I am not positive on, I am at work and I wrote down the prices at home. This outfit is in Chicago (smithcat.com)
Good luck
PS. I have been a member since 2003, just lost everything when I changed my E-Mail.
 

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I found a rebuilder of converters (Catalytic Converters, Smith Brothers) I have a 2001 MT, I called him yesterday. The first converter was around $175.00 + 50.00 core. The second converter was $199.00. The first one I am not positive on, I am at work and I wrote down the prices at home. This outfit is in Chicago (smithcat.com)
Good luck
PS. I have been a member since 2003, just lost everything when I changed my E-Mail.
Why get a rebuilt converter? Dozens of auto parts stores, online and off, even JC Whitney, offers new converters for an Insight. Prices range around $100.
Has the exhaust sensors been checked? they will throw a 420 code as well as a bad ECU. (search for the ECU replacement under warranty from Honda on this site)
 

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I don't understand how road debris could significantly damage the cat. Unless this is different than others, what would be needed to hurt one would probably cause a hell of a lot more damage.

Or could a hit knock the stuff inside around?
 

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Why get a rebuilt converter? Dozens of auto parts stores, online and off, even JC Whitney, offers new converters for an Insight. Prices range around $100.
Has the exhaust sensors been checked? they will throw a 420 code as well as a bad ECU. (search for the ECU replacement under warranty from Honda on this site)
Aren't our converters different to catch NOx though?
 

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Why get a rebuilt converter? Dozens of auto parts stores, online and off, even JC Whitney, offers new converters for an Insight. Prices range around $100.
Has the exhaust sensors been checked? they will throw a 420 code as well as a bad ECU. (search for the ECU replacement under warranty from Honda on this site)
These are universal and will not work. I get the 420 about every other week. The best Honda dealer in Wisconsin (they are fanatic on Hybrids) told me that the converter was bad.
 

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I don't understand how road debris could significantly damage the cat. Unless this is different than others, what would be needed to hurt one would probably cause a hell of a lot more damage.

Or could a hit knock the stuff inside around?

If you mash the converter it will decrease the time the exhaust is in contact with the catalyst and thus increase emissions. The universal ones are useally larger volume so residence time is increased and lower emissions as well as reduce back pressure (which indeed is not always a good thing.)
 

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These are universal and will not work. I get the 420 about every other week. The best Honda dealer in Wisconsin (they are fanatic on Hybrids) told me that the converter was bad.


Really. our exhaust gas analyzer says it does. Why would it not? It's just a honeycomb or pellets of platinum mixture. Exposure to the exhaust gas at the appropriate temperature and residence time converts the nitrous compounds to oxides and converts carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons to CO2 and water.
 

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mahout, ...but is a universal one going to reduce those measurable exhaust gas levels to the ULEV(or SULEV for CVTs) standard or at least to a level that avoids the check engine code(for those of us who don't have emissions testing). Will a universal fit in the space? Reducing back pressure, effects on performance?

If it works out, that sounds great, if it works out well, even better.
 

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mahout, ...but is a universal one going to reduce those measurable exhaust gas levels to the ULEV(or SULEV for CVTs) standard or at least to a level that avoids the check engine code(for those of us who don't have emissions testing). Will a universal fit in the space? Reducing back pressure, effects on performance?
I would want to know answers to these questions for rebuilt converters as well. Does anyone regulate rebuilt or universal converters so that they work as well as OEM converters? And what about the special nitrous oxide trap that must be unique to Insights? Does this fail? If so, is the only option a new one from Honda?
 
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