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Honda Civic Hybrid Catalytic Converter Failures



  • OK - the cleaning I had done is TerraClean - looks like its an OEM service - not just for Honda -

    Probably worth having this done - and then have them reset the engine codes - run for a week or two and see.

    If you still need to replacement Cat - then for non-CA folks - best way to go is OEM - see other threads here from people who had OEM cat installed - one guy even did it himself from kit.
  • As a followup to my previous post, I have given up trying to get **anything** out of Honda; they straight refused to offer me any kind of discount, coverage, etc - I talked with the regional and corporate numbers, I never got anywhere useful.

    I'm waiting on my DAVICO converter to be delivered in the mail this week; I'm counting on that to clear out the P0240 code so I can get my emissions passed and renew my registration, that's currently about 7 months past due because of this whole battle!

    Good luck to any and all who get anywhere with the "man" on this one; Honda isn't going to be getting any business from me in the future. There's too many competitors on the market, and Honda doesn't seem to want to back up their products and keep customers happy. :(

    I'll let the board know what happens with my DAVICO converter. I paid Honda $60 to "diagnose" the P0240 and was told that I needed to replace the manifold/cat conv (there's 2 but the 2nd isn't monitored by o2 sensors, etc) and the "primary" o2 sensor, which is the one that bolts into the manifold/cat conv and is called the "upstream" or "pre-cat conv" o2 sensor. I got my replacement locally at Autozone, cost me $150 this week. That got rid of the P2000 code and the P0138 code; the P0240 remains, and I'm hoping the replacement manifold/cat conv fixes that code.

    My gamble and fight with Honda has forced me to do this repair at my expense; I finally got a ticket for expired registration, and if I can get it updated before my court date the first week of April, they'll drop the ticket (lucky me!) ;)
  • hchybridhchybrid Posts: 12
    Just an update on the TerraClean - codes went away - but my mileage was still under normal. Then I had 110,000 service done and replaced spark plugs and tune up. That's seems to have done the trick - plus warmer spring weather - mileage back up to what I usual expect - 42 to 45mpg.
  • pkikelpkikel Posts: 3
    I've been told I need to replace the catalytic converter for my 2003 Civic Hybrid for the THIRD time at a cost of $1,800. I had it replaced the first time in November, 2006 at 67,178 miles. The cost for this replacement was covered by the original vehicle warranty. In January, 2009 at 109,580 miles it needed to be replace again. A little over two years and only 42,402 miles had passed since the last time it was replaced. I've been told this catalytic converter has an 8 year, 80,000 mile warranty and yet it had to be replaced TWICE in the span of only 6 years and 109,580 miles. Now I'm faced with replacement of this catalytic converter yet again after only 17 months and 28,102 miles have passed since the last repair. You'll notice the frequency of this repair is INCREASING. As noted above I've been informed this latest repair will cost $1,800 and that I am responsible for this cost. This repair would also replace the O2 sensor. At the request of the dealer service manager I have made my case to America Honda, but my frustration and concern is falling on deaf ears. There is obviously something seriously wrong here and Honda isn't owning up to it!
  • hchybridhchybrid Posts: 12
    This is mind boggling. If you were in California - Honda would have to replace it.

    I assume they only are giving you 1 year warranty on that second catalytic converter?

    If their warranty is that worthless - go with the OEM kit - assuming you are not in California! If you look back in the threads here - you will see $500 kit mentioned.

    Good luck. :(
  • pkikelpkikel Posts: 3
    I bought the car in California in 2003, but have resided in Illinois since 2005. You are correct on the 1 year warranty, which of course, I am now beyond as I've had the new CC for 17 months.

    Thanks for the advise...
  • hchybridhchybrid Posts: 12
    You may want to check back with the dealership in CA. I believe CA has a mandatory 8 year warranty on cat' converter on any car sold in State, Good luck.
  • I and I suspect quite a few others are waiting to hear about the Davico cat converter you purchased? How much to install? How has it worked? After you installed it did the code disappear?

    I am due for emissions inspection in a few weeks. So frustrating.
  • It's a sad, sad day in Hondaville. I have never been so disgusted with an automobile maker in my life and we've had a few doozies along the way. Here's our 2003 Honda Hybrid converter saga in a nushell:
    85,079 (Nov 07)-first rear converter replaced at non-Honda $685
    114,622 (Jan 09)-second rear converter replacement at Honda Dealer $1230
    128,455 (July 09)-third rear converter replacement and first front converter replacement at Honda Dealer (they covered rear) we paid for front $1410
    153,042 (July 10)- fourth replacement of rear converter. Honda Dealer covering 50%, but that is the DEALER as AMERICAN HONDA offered no help at all.

    Oh, and BTW, we replaced the hybrid battery last month for $2840!!! Totally regretting that choice, but at the time we had so much invested in converters that we felt we had to keep the car going and we are in a state where it will not pass inspection if Check Engine light is on.

    We don't have anything positive to bring to this forum, but I wanted to add our case to all the others here.

    We hope someone will form a class action suit. HONDA knows this is a problem and we're convinced that's why they won't help since that would be a form of taking responsibility and admitting there is a problem. We've suspected the ECM recall all along as that happened just prior to our saga beginning.

    :mad: :cry: :sick:
  • hchybridhchybrid Posts: 12
    Add to that oxygen sensors. I have 120k miles now, and these things just keep failing. I've replaced all of them, and last month, had to replace one of the new ones again - another $600 up in smoke. I'm keeping the ones now that they replace - looked nothing wrong with it to me, hardly worn. Plain old regular engine @ 30mpg and no issues suddenly starting to look good compared to 40+mpg and these bills to pay.
  • I have had my car since 11/07 and have about 97000 miles, since then I have replaced the CAT 2x the light came on again about a month ago with the same code. I took to the dealer and they want to charge me 1000 to replace. There is no point on replacing the thing since there is obviously another underlying problem that will continue to make the CAT fail. I asked what would happen if they just reset the light and they said that I will see a decrease in power (which I already do) and worse gas mileage which I can handle. I have until June before I need to go in for emissions testing hopefully I can figure something out by then.
    I am not even going to try to contact Honda because it seems that they could care less about this ongoing problem.
  • eb240beb240b Posts: 1
    My wife has the same car 03 Hybrid 147,000 miles with same issues. Pennsylvania, according to which County you live, does not have stringent emmission laws. My question to all of you is why spend $1000's of dollars on a converter when all it's doing is causing a check engine light to come on? If the converter is not physically leaking exhaust and causing a loud noise who cares?? Yes sure you might lose some MPG's but to me I'm not spending that kind of money on something thats not making the car undriveable. I would rather junk her car and spend 1000's of dollars on a new car prefferably not a civic hybrid. But thats just me.
  • Another one of these, at only 65000 miles. I received the car from my dad when he passed away in June. It hadn't been driven at all this year, but the 8yr part of the warranty expired and American Honda (of course) won't honor the <80,000 part even though the car was parked for most of the last 10 months.

    What garbage. This is definitely enough to keep me away from any Honda in the future. Kind of like why I won't get on United AIrlines anymore after being a 1K for many years.

    Oh, I also inherited my dad's Prius. What a vastly superior car than the Honda, and it gets over 50 mpg compared to maybe 42 with this 2003 HCH. The Prius rides better, is quiet inside, doesn't rattle, and is loaded like a Lexus. Before I had one of each, I considered the Honda approach to hybridization better, but now comparing them side by side, it's See-Ya-Later Honda.

    I'm keeping this pile o crap until the end of the year when the carpool stickers expire, and then off to the resale market it goes.

    Needless to say, I'm not spending a dime on fixing the 1420 problem...
  • bengalzonabengalzona Posts: 2
    edited February 2011
    I have a question for anyone who has had the OEM kits installed (or installed them themselves). Does this make the check engine light to go off?

    Both of my CCs have gone bad on my 2004 Civic Hybrid (122,000 miles). I got the estimate from the auto shop today (non-dealer) and my eyes just about popped out of my head: 2800 bucks! The car itself is hardly worth that much. But, after reading some of the posts here, I'm seeing that this is common. I plan on calling Honda on Monday, but doubt if I get any satisfaction from them.
  • Hi, I don't have an OEM kit, but I haven't changed my CC either. You are definitely right, the car isn't worth the CC cost and the question you should ask is why you want to change the CC. If you want to replace the CC so your car's exhaust is cleaner, you can change it, but from other experiences, it seems that both OEM and aftermarket CC's will have issues again after a short while.

    I have a 2003 HCH with almost 170,000 miles. Both CCs have been bad, my check engine light has been on, and my IMA light has been on, and both the bushings on my front control arms have been broken for several years now. But I decided that I would keep driving the vehicle, fixing only what is hazardous or necessary to keep the car going, until it dies. And you know what? It keeps on going. The only thing I need to do is make sure to change the transmission fluid every 30k miles or earlier and the car keeps running smoothly. And that's one question I ask a lot of people on the forum, it's a design issue and if Honda isn't going to do anything for us and if we are not selling/trading in the car for another, I don't see much incentive to continue fixing the vehicle. Those problems will continue to come back, perhaps within 2 years of normal driving I'd estimate. See what Honda will do for you, but I wouldn't worry too much about the check engine light. I had the check engine light go on around 40k miles, and I'm the original owner of my car. I've had the transmission replaced once while under warranty and the same slipping/shuddering problem came back after another 45k miles. Good luck!
  • bengalzonabengalzona Posts: 2
    edited February 2011
    Thanks for that information, rileyyh. I want to try and get another two years out of the car and I'm a little concerned that the performance will degrade so much that it makes the car useless within that time. It is tough times for me economically and I can't really afford another car. Yet, I have to have a car for my business (real estate appraisal). I've been ignoring the engine light for about 8 months, but just recently I've seen a noticeable loss of compression and pickup. It's not too bad at this point. My other concern is when I have to get the emmisions tested later this year. Have you had a problem with emmissions testing?

    I would prefer to just ignore it as, obviously, that is the least expensive option. I'm glad to hear about your experience and see that that may be an option.
  • There will definitely be some decrease in power, I've noticed that. My car never went above 3k rpm but for the last year, it probably hovers around 3.3k rpm during my normal driving. The mpg displayed is usually about 39mpg, but then again I drive a bit above speed limit a lot.

    I think a lot of the fear is that the car will break down and cost money, and I've been doing the same calculations. Here's how I decided. When I went to CarMax, about 2 years ago, they said they would give me $2000 for my vehicle. The BlueBook value for fair condition was about $3000 at the time. But any vehicle that I purchase would: 1) cost me money since my car is paid off; 2) would depreciate more than $2000 in 1 year, especially if it's anything newer than a very old car; and 3) even if my car breaks down and is worth $0 in trade-in value, I could still make out on top if I can get 1 year out of it. Plus, whenever it does break down, I can sell it to a junk yard for parts or donate it and get a tax break. Also, vehicle insurance cost will probably increase if you get a vehicle with a higher value, so financially speaking, the ideal is to squeeze as many miles out of the vehicle without putting in any money other than oil change/transmission fluid change.

    My friend also has a HCH and was worried about emissions, but I've never had any emissions issues in the past 7 of 9 years having the check engine light on. But there are 2 types of emissions/safety inspection places. Some do those for the opportunity to upsell some service that you supposedly need. Some do it just to make a little money. I've been going to a Shell gas station near me and they've never tried to have me do some sort of service or change a part or anything. I tell them I want an emission or safety inspection and they do it and that's it. No upsell, no pressure. So I don't think you should have any problems with emissions. If the mechanic says something, it is possible that he may be trying to make a buck since the check engine light is on. Generally, I've had good experiences with Korean mechanic shops. They tend to lean towards discouraging any small maintenance except what is necessary for safety. My Honda dealership has been trying to have me flush the break fluid, flush the transmission fluid, replace the control arm bushings, etc. But when I took it to my mechanic and he looked at all those things, he said we don't need to do those things, just replace the transmission fluid with new to treat the shudder.

    Just remember, they are out to make money and if you replace any part, that's good for them, regardless whether you need it to be done right now. Good luck!
  • Purchased my civic Hybrid in 2004 Brand new. Within months I was have a "Judder" within the transmission. Took the car in on several occasions - They drained transmission fluid and then replaced it - drained it again (Charged double for that ) and car was fine for a while- Off and on over the next months continued with same problems - Notices from Honda forth coming in mail stated such things as may cause problems with converter. In Oct 2008 both the Transmission and both converters were replaced _ fought hard with Honda Corp-IT PAYS TO KEEP EVERY REPAIR ORDER AND DOCUMENTATION ON WHO WHERE WHEN and WHAT TIME you spoke to anyone. Honda replaced the 2 converters and the Transmission. I had to pay for labor on transmission replacement only at $1200.00 but grateful none the less. Now fast foward to 2011 and guess what I need another converter replaced!!. What was Jeff's take at Honda Customer Service 1-800-999-1009. "Miss, you have 19900. miles on your car that is 2 car life times-- Honda can't help you" Who will NOT buy another Honda??? ME!!!!!
  • good thinking with the phone number, same problem as everyone else so a few jack and cokes and a call to the honda guy cant hurt right?
  • August of 2008, got the software update done.
    September of 2008 suddenly my check engine light and IMA light goes on.
    Dealership replaced my front CC and it was under warranty at the time. That was at 75,000 miles.
    Now I"m at 119,000 miles and my check engine light is on again. This time they tell me its a p1420 code and my dealership quoted me $2300 to fix it. I'm sure that number includes the "clueless looking female" surcharge.
    Please....if there is ever a class action lawsuit for this car, count me in. I will never buy honda again!
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