Need Advice: Need new Catalytic Converter, are generic brands reliable? how reliable? - Honda Element Owners Club Forum
      Honda Element Owners Club Forum
Go Back   Honda Element Owners Club Forum > Accessories, Care and Mods > Under The Hood / Performance

Notices

ElementOwnersClub.com is the premier Honda Element Forum on the internet. Registered Users do not see the above ads.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 11-15-2010, 12:52 PM   #1
element_apple
EOC Rank: Hydrogen
2003 4WD EX AT
Galaxy Gray Metallic (GG)
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 3
Unhappy Need Advice: Need new Catalytic Converter, are generic brands reliable? how reliable?

My check engine light is on and I need to pass state inspection (with emissions) in NY. The garage said the computer code says I need a new catalytic converter, and quoted me over $1000. The converter itself is the bulk of this though, running around $850. My car is 03 Element EX 4wd, with 150,000 miles.

I looked online and found all sorts of generic/universal converters for $100 - $400. My mechanic said he'd install one of those if I buy it and bring it in, but told me they are terrible, and tend to fail within 6 months to a year. Whereas the official Honda part will last another 7 years... I consulted an "expert" online and he said my mechanic was correct. But I've read through previous posts in this forum and several people said they used generic replacements, usually from Magnaflow. But no one ever posted to say what happened later down the line. Is it true that these will not last very long?

I'm trying to figure out whether I should just suck it up and pay the $1000, or if it is safe and reliable and smart to go generic and save $500+. Any advice, experience, knowledge about this? What are the best generic brands? Do any of them come with a warranty? How long should this last? I would hate to spend $500 to replace it, and then have to deal with the whole process again a year later. Inspection expires within the week, can't pass without this... please help!
element_apple is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 11-15-2010, 01:08 PM   #2
Lytepipe
EOC Rank: Hydrogen
2010 4WD EX 5AT
Tango Red Pearl (TRP)
 
Lytepipe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 98
I just saw down below that there is another thread someone started where they are selling a 2004 cat converter. Just thought you might be interested.

https://www.elementownersclub.com/for...ad.php?t=65390
__________________
______________________________
Mods: Gutter Guard, no-slip mats in dash cubbies, Rain-X wipers, Scosche iPhone holder, Roof Rack, Sleeping Platform with futon mattress, Rubber floor mats
Lytepipe is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-15-2010, 01:20 PM   #3
element_apple
EOC Rank: Hydrogen
2003 4WD EX AT
Galaxy Gray Metallic (GG)
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 3
Thanks for the tip - I just sent him an e-mail. Not sure if the 2004 part will work on the 2003 part, but that would be awesome!

Still looking for more information if anyone has any... Thanks so much!
element_apple is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-15-2010, 01:20 PM   #4
ramblerdan
EOC Rank: Crankypants
2004 4WD EXS MT
Fiji Blue Pearl (FBP)
 
ramblerdan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Saratoga, N.Y.
Posts: 14,865
Welcome, Element_apple.

2003 and 2004 catalytic converters will interchange. Honda p/n 18160-PZD-A00 is listed as fitting 2003-06, and the less expensive 18160-PZD-S00 is listed for 2003-06 and 2007-09.

One member reports having success with an aftermarket cat here, but it is not a simple bolt-on solution.

What was the trouble code? Codes P0420–P0424 and P0430–P0434 refer to the catalytic converter, but many other codes will trigger the check engine light. For example, codes P1149, P1157, P1162–P1169, and P1172 indicate a problem with one of the sensors that plug into the front pipe/cat.
__________________

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Last edited by ramblerdan; 11-15-2010 at 01:28 PM.
ramblerdan is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-15-2010, 01:27 PM   #5
07lmnt
EOC Rank: Carbon
2007 2WD EX-P AT
Tango Red Pearl (TRP)
 
07lmnt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: NJ
Posts: 1,397
We gave up using aftermarket cats in the dealership. You mechanic is correct , they will usually last a year or less. Look into replacing the rear O2 sensor with a simulator.
07lmnt is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-15-2010, 01:33 PM   #6
element_apple
EOC Rank: Hydrogen
2003 4WD EX AT
Galaxy Gray Metallic (GG)
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 3
Thanks for the info about the 2004 cat working in the 2003 model. That would be ideal! I'm not sure what the code was - he plugged it in and just told me the diagnosis. There are places I can go and pay a small fee to plug it myself and see for myself, right? Maybe Autozone, or something similar. I live in Manhattan, so I'd have to drive a bit to get to a place like this, but maybe it'd be worth it. I've used the mechanic a few times before and he seems pretty honest and competent. But its always nice to know for sure...

Is there anything drivers can do (or not do) that will make the cat last longer? Someone mentioned in a previous thread that letting the gas tank get low too often can hurt the cat. Is this true? Any other tips? Wondering if this was my fault, or if it just happens... Also wondering if I get the generic one, if there are things I can do to make it last longer...
element_apple is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-15-2010, 02:28 PM   #7
mkh
EOC Rank: Carbon
2008 4WD LX AT
Kiwi Metallic (KM)
 
mkh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Richardson, Texas
Posts: 1,536
I'd take it to a Honda Dealer for a check - worth the $50 bucks or so it will cost. It's possible that it may not be the Cat at all. Generic code readers are notorious for popping up system failure codes that are sort of related/in the ball-park but not exactly on target. (For example, OBDII Code readers are so inaccurate reading any BMW faults, no BMW service center will even use an OBDII code reader as a diagnostics tool) Let a Honda Dealer put it on their system to diagnose and double-check. Could be another emission fault altogether. Would be an (expensive) pain to replace the Cat, and find out that wasn't it at all. Had one mechanic code-diagnose some very expensive repairs needed to the emission system on my Wife's Saab - which a trip to a Saab mechanic and his re-diagnoses took care for $30 by replacing a faulty gas-cap that wasn't sealing and pressurizing the fuel system properly.

Catalytic converters are supposed to last the life of the vehicle (though some sites imply average life span is 7 to 10 years for OEM, and half that for generics - Ive seen cars with 20 year-old cat's still going strong) - they normally don't fail unless the car is running way to lean or way to rich. Lean - and it gets too hot, melting the catalyst. Rich and it clogs the catalyst with carbon. Or smack it good and hard by hitting road debris can sometimes also shorten the life.

(Generics are cheaper, because they are made with cheaper materials, and hence, do not last as long - no way to extend the life of the cheap materials).

Last edited by mkh; 11-15-2010 at 03:11 PM.
mkh is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-15-2010, 03:15 PM   #8
Bowzer
EOC Rank: Carbon
2008 4WD EX 5AT
Alabaster Silver Metallic (ASM)
 
Bowzer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: SW of Houston, TX...God's Country
Posts: 1,294
I spent some time with an incredibly helpful Honda master mechanic and my old Accord a couple of years ago at his house with all his equipment.

FYI on the cat diagnosis as my old Accord had the same affliction: Two O2 sensors are present, one before and after the cat on your exhaust. TO over simplify, if the rear O2 does not measure enough change vs the first sensor then the cat is considered bad. So, you want to make sure it's not a sensor failure before making the investment (doesn't necessarily sound like this is your situation but I would check).

My research when dealing with same on that Accord repeated what is said already, go with an OEM unit only on Honda's. Eventually, I just got to where I cleared the code before going to an inspection and it would sail through. But many stations will pick up on the recent clearing of the code I believe.

If I were doing this again, I would look for a cat from a wrecked vehicle. Many options via internet can help. However, if within a couple of hundred bucks on cost, I'd just get a new one and be done. Just have to spend the next week licking your financial wounds...

That's my 2 cents...Best of luck with it!
__________________
Member #23,382
238k Miles and Rolling
Lotsa Honda's...Lotsa miles
08 ASM EX AWD AT
Mods to Date: OEM Fogs, Home Depot Grill, Dual Dome Light Operation
Mods to Come: Assorted scratches, scuffs, and hidden french fries
Bowzer is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-18-2010, 12:58 AM   #9
Top Ramen
EOC Rank: Hydrogen
2005 2WD EX MT
Magnesium Metallic (MM)
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by element_apple View Post
me they are terrible, and tend to fail within 6 months to a year. Whereas the official Honda part will last another 7 years...
True. Catalytic converters require rare and precious metals (platinum, palladium or rhodium) to function properly and the generic ones really skimp on them. That's how they can price them so cheaply. Many will not pass emissions even when brand new.
Top Ramen is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-19-2010, 12:10 AM   #10
OBP SC Atl
EOC Rank: Helium
2010 SC 2WD 5AT
Omni Blue Pearl (OBP)
 
OBP SC Atl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Woodstock, Georgia
Posts: 109
Question

Just to let some of you guys and gals know were about to get a Random Technologies Cat custom made for our Element SC. We don't live to far from the company and we have a Random Tech Cat on our 2003 K24 Honda Accord 5 speed sedan. Works AMAZING!

Better power and gas mileage. I do believe it was 270 for the Cat, shipped. Were looking at trying to get it going just before or after X-Mas. Not sure... but will keep everyone informed when we go get it made. Not sure how much its going to be for the E if we think enough guys would be interested. If not. I will be the only one with a oem looking high-flow cat :P

Last edited by OBP SC Atl; 11-19-2010 at 12:13 AM.
OBP SC Atl is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

  Honda Element Owners Club Forum > Accessories, Care and Mods > Under The Hood / Performance

Tags
catalytic converter , generic brand

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Honda Element Owners Club Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:
Model Year
What year is your E?
Model
What model is your E?
Color
What color is your E?
Can you spell?
What letter in the alphabet is the fifth character of the word "Honda Element"
Insurance
Please select your insurance company (Optional)

Log-in


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
San Diego reliable shop feelingofwonder SoCal Owners 3 01-28-2010 01:28 AM
JD Powers Most Reliable Vehicles Alaskan_Toaster Shoppin' and Test Drivin' 0 04-21-2009 07:54 PM
Reliable, inexpensive web hosting? Twilightzero Club X - Off-Topic Discussions 21 04-05-2009 07:32 PM
How fast can a reliable Element run 0 - 60? MrXero Under The Hood / Performance 31 12-22-2008 04:34 PM
Automatic...reliable?? BenjaminMoore Under The Hood / Performance 12 03-09-2006 07:57 AM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:52 AM.



Views and opinions expressed on this forum are not necessarily those held by Autoforums, Inc. or forum management.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.