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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know I'm not alone and now I'm one of you. Let's just say that upon starting my 2004 E post theft was one of the most alarming moments of my life. There's no other sound like it, especially when you're not expecting it.

I limped home wondering what the heck is going on. When I looked in the engine bay nothing looked wrong but then underneath sure enough the cat/con was gone.

My main question on this thread is: is it doing any lasting harm to my engine to drive without the cat/con in place? I've called around and they say yeah just drive on over here and we'll take a look. "Limp mode" on over more like it. It just sounds as if it's killing my engine. What the heck gets disabled inside the engine in limp mode?

The "check engine" light is on, who knows what codes it's throwing as I don't know how to check codes, but is all that just temporary until another cat/con is in place?

And, I know it's illegal but how about me having a straight pipe put in instead of a cat/con (just in case I can't get one and I really need to be able to drive this E) until the next emission test time is upon me?
 

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Were it me, I’d be straight piping, then applying for a waiver from emissions testing. Until this cat theft business is stopped, forcing me to replace stolen cat with another, even aftermarket, means I’ll be victimized over and over.
 

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I have been on this forum many years and have never seen someone post that a thief got past their cat shield. It seems every week we have someone tell us that their cat was stolen though.
 

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To answer your original question, it shouldn't harm your engine by driving it the way it is to get it to a shop. The check engine lights will be associated with the missing converter and the engine is running with a default fuel/iar mixture. After mine was stolen, I drove it 11 miles home without issue, then more to get it to a shop to fabricate a flange on the used OEM converter I was able to get and install it. I then installed a shield over it.
 

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I have been on this forum many years and have never seen someone post that a thief got past their cat shield. It seems every week we have someone tell us that their cat was stolen though.
The posts I’ve seen of shields defeated are on the Honda Elements Owners Group on Facebook. I have shields on both of my Elements, and the news sickens me. I’ll attempt to share some reports for you, not in any sort of challenging way, just information.
 

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The posts I’ve seen of shields defeated are on the Honda Elements Owners Group on Facebook. I have shields on both of my Elements, and the news sickens me. I’ll attempt to share some reports for you, not in any sort of challenging way, just information.
April 15th
“They got me, even with a shield. 🙄
In a church parking lot.

It was an aftermarket cat too.”
The posts I’ve seen of shields defeated are on the Honda Elements Owners Group on Facebook. I have shields on both of my Elements, and the news sickens me. I’ll attempt to share some reports for you, not in any sort of challenging way, just information.
March 1st
“Alongside some of you, I'm going through the nightmare of having my cat stolen. Yes, I had a shield installed but that didn't stop the assholes who took it. To make matters worse, I'm on vacation with my car and am 800 miles from home. I've never in my life dealt with insurance for any issue ever so this is all brand new to me.”
 

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Maybe the worst story was relayed by a guy in the Dallas/Ft Worth area. Thieves tied a cable around his shield, and dragged his E down the street until it hit a parked vehicle. I’ll try to find it again tomorrow. Point is that our E’s are still targeted even when we take preventative measures.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Theoretically, if I could convince some muffler shop to put a straight pipe where the cat was, what would need to be reset in the engine to enable it to run "normally" and not go into limp mode or throw weird codes? The second O2 sensor wouldn't be hooked up to a cat which I'm sure would cause a "check engine" light
 

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Theoretically, if I could convince some muffler shop to put a straight pipe where the cat was, what would need to be reset in the engine to enable it to run "normally" and not go into limp mode or throw weird codes? The second O2 sensor wouldn't be hooked up to a cat which I'm sure would cause a "check engine" light
If you live in a state that requires emissions testing, you may have some difficulty finding a licensed repair shop to do a straight pipe. If you don't replace the cat and install sensors, you will always throw a code, which normally fails either emissions or annual inspection. In my case, I had an aftermarket cat installed after they stole mine, but no sensors installed, since I have until October to decide what to do with the vehicle when the inspection is due. It has been driving perfectly fine without the sensors for the past 6 months, albeit with the check engine light always on.
 

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I also had this happen to me while out of town and had to drive about 50 miles home..luckily I have a element part car to rob from. It thru a code on my bank 1 sensor 2 hearter circuit , replacing it didn't help. After hours or trying to diagnose this I wasn't sure what was wrong so I sent it to a local shop. ($300.) He came back and concluded that my ecm was bad and wasn't providing ground to the sensor and the wiring between was fine. Not sure if the thieves shorted it out when they cut the wires or if driving it caused a short. This leads me to a whole nother problem which may actually is probably a whole nother thread. After hours of google pages and YouTube videos I bought a used e, same part number, and it wouldn't start my E. So I figured I could go the route of swapping the eeprom chips but couldn't find any info on. the exact chip location for elements, plenty of others but not the E. Haven't had anyone clarify this yet. So I got on the Honda forum and had a mechanic tell me that this can't be done. Puzzled,thinking, dozens of videos and articals were all from bored people who had nothing better to do than post a bunch of false info just to aggravate people seemed unlikely. Does anyone know if this can be done and which 8 prong eeprom chips they are. Or do I send the used one in to be reflashed or is the short to heater sensor repairable.?Stuck at $400. now, which way to go. Any ideas or info for m
 

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In researching the straight pipe option, I’m seeing posts about needing to install a defouler on the downstream O2 sensor in order to avoid CEL. Some references use other terms like spacer, or bung. It’s like a $5 part. Figure you guys can Google for better information.
On finding a shop to install straight pipe in place of CC, I don’t know the answer yet. I do think that a waiver or moratorium on emissions testing is needed until the cat theft scourge is solved.
 

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In researching the straight pipe option, I’m seeing posts about needing to install a defouler on the downstream O2 sensor in order to avoid CEL. Some references use other terms like spacer, or bung. It’s like a $5 part. Figure you guys can Google for better information.
On finding a shop to install straight pipe in place of CC, I don’t know the answer yet. I do think that a waiver or moratorium on emissions testing is needed until the cat theft scourge is solved.
Agreed "a waiver or moratorium on emissions testing is needed until the cat theft scourge is solved. '

and yes a defouler for the downstream O2 sensor will do the trick. You dont have to clear the check engine light, better to drive the car for awhile after the defouler is installed and the computer should adapt and shut off the CEL on its own, saving you some hassle and money to have it cleared and this can actually be better than trying to clear the light. Allow it to adapt to the new set up
 

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April 15th
“They got me, even with a shield. 🙄
In a church parking lot.

It was an aftermarket cat too.”

March 1st
“Alongside some of you, I'm going through the nightmare of having my cat stolen. Yes, I had a shield installed but that didn't stop the assholes who took it. To make matters worse, I'm on vacation with my car and am 800 miles from home. I've never in my life dealt with insurance for any issue ever so this is all brand new to me.”
It would be helpful to know which guards have been defeated and how. The guards vary widely in design and materials, including DYI. More understanding of weak points will enable us to improve designs—combining materials, addressing weak spots. It’s not impossible to have a good protector. Variables: screws that can be removed, weak spots that can be cut, inadequate coverage, etc. The fact that some are defeated doesn’t mean that all are useless!

And dealing with the market for stolen cats would help, and maybe redesigning the technology!!
 
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