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Honda Civic Hybrid Catalytic Converter Failures



  • juliofjuliof Posts: 2
    "Honda has a big problem with the hybrid at around 90,000 miles---and really should be covering all these problems."

    Yes indeed! Read my earlier post. Since then, my CEL came back on with the same CAT code. I went for an oil change this past weekend and had the codes reset. CEL is still off after 500+ miles!

    So, Honda-san, IS THERE A PROBLEM WITH THE CATS OR NOT??? Since the computer evidently scans for problems every 10 miles, and my cats are bad and need to be replaced at a cost of $1500-$3000, THE CHECK ENGINE LIGHT should now be illuminated!

    As for the emissions testing people, why in the world are you merely reading the computer codes? You are trusting computers which have proven to be DEFECTIVE in reporting errors. In doing so, you are forcing the public to spend thousands to replace cat converters which are NOT defective in order to pass their annual inspections and receive their new sticker!

    Where's the tailpipe test? Why are you not hooking-up and analyzing the exhaust itself? I think a lawsuit should be filed, to compensate all of us who have been forced to replace perfectly functional cat converters in order to pass inspections.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    From what I understand, the Hybrids do not have to undergo the smog test, which tests the tailpipe emissions, not computer codes...
  • Hi everyone! I have an 03 Civic Hybrid. I really love the car. I'm up to 178,000 miles on it and all-n-all it's been a good solid car. However, I am now on catalytic converter numer 2! Oh, by the way, for those of you who don't know, there are "2" catalytic converters on these cars to maintain their super low emission ratings! My first converter went at around 110,000 miles(the "upper" converter). After an lot of negotiations, I got the cost down to $500 installed, basically stating that I was so close to warrenty and the dealer service manager being in my corner helped as well. I will say this though. A few months later I received a card from Honda stating that I may be entitled to a refund for a number of reasons. Needless to say, I did get my money back.
    Two months ago, that glorious idiot light went off in my dash(check engine light). They did a software update on the on board computer and said I needed a new gas cap as well. So, I got the job done. Oh, did I bother to tell you all I get this car serviced like clock work?
    A week ago, that same idiot light came back on! I took it to my dealer and they performed a thourough check on the emission system. I now have catalytic converter #2 (lower catalytic converter) gone bad. Chalk up $1200 for that baby, no warrenty to back me up here!
    I just feel that it is rediculous that there are 2 catalytic coverters on this little car! Chalk up $2400 for honda! What the hell is making those things so darn expensive anyway??? :P
    Lets hear your feedback!!! :shades:
  • I got my civic hybrid about 6 months at 83K miles. Catalytic Converter failed at 90900 miles and I have to spent about $1300/- in the weekend.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    "What the hell is making those things so darn expensive anyway?"

    Ii believe it is platinum, which has gotten WAY more expensive. Plus the labor; I don't know how complicated it is to swap one of these out.
  • stan29stan29 Posts: 13
    The good news is that you should only have to pay a one hour labor charge to replace the c c . Honda has been paying for the part. You need to tell your dealer to contact Honda regional office or to get immediate action tell the dealer YOU will contact the Honda regional office. It took me twenty minutes to get the committment to charge me only labor for one hour. The dealer was more than eager to call regional rather than let a customer do it.
  • stan29stan29 Posts: 13
    Please see my previous response. You can get Honda regional to pay for the part. You should only end up paying one hour of labor to put on the c.c. Ask your dealer for reinbursement and offer to call regional ofc for them to get credit for the part.
  • The p1420 code was most likely because of the ECM defect that caused the catalytic converter to fail prematurely. You should tell your dealer to contact the regional rep. My dealer performed the ECM update to my vehicle last year and I recently (July 2008) had the p0420 code come up. Then last week, the p1420 code came up. Your dealer should be trying to find any way it can to get it covered since the 2003's had about 3 years running "defective"; and, they should be able to cover the labor.

    My parts and labor were both covered by regional.
  • The light just went on again signaling trouble with the catalytic converter. We had 3 replaced before the car hit 90,000 miles. We replaced another one at 96,000 (Honda said they would pay 75% of the cost if we would pay 25%. We got a 12/12 warranty and now the car is at 106,000. I have asked the Honda repair guys if it might be a computer problem rather than the catalytic converter but they say no.

    Is this car just a lemon that needs to be traded in?
  • I have been trying to find a cheaper alternative to the Factory Catalytic convertor, because the price is around $1200 for the part. I have found one, it is on ebay, has anyone tried this? It is much more attractive seeing as the price is $196.00, with labor that would probably end up costing around $500-600, instead of the close to $1500-1700 the dealer quoted.....

    Let me know what you have tried.
  • We are on our FIFTH, count 'em, fifth, CC for our 2003 Civic Hybrid. We have had to pay labor for our fourth one -- about $350 -- and they covered the fifth one under the 12,000-mile warranty.

    Honda has covered parts and labor on all, but one.

    Despite all the complaints out there, Honda is refusing to do a recall. I called the main customer service number, and the very polite chap who answered the phone said they would deal with the failure of my fifth CC when the time comes.

    We would like to keep our car well beyond its current 110,000 miles, but I'm not betting on it.

    Too bad there's not some enterprising trial lawyer out there willing to do a class-action suit on this.
  • Go back and read Post # 29.
    There is a direct cause implied in the 2005 ECM Update Letter issued by Honda. :lemon:
  • We did have that update described in Post #29 -- that was when we were on our second CC.

    The update isn't enough
  • In my case 3 weeks ago I contacted American Honda and they gave me a Case # on first day.

    3rd day, some guy called, negotiated like a drug deal and settled for $1130/- against my expense of $1330/-. So I end up paying only $200 from my pocket.

    Let me know if any of you need any further details.

  • How many miles were on your Civic when you talk to them? I am going to call them and see what they say, but i have 149k on mine now....I am not hoping for much...
  • My mileage is about 89K when I got it done.
  • My HCH 2003 car is at 100,600 miles, and I got it in October 2002. The engine light came on yesterday, so I tried the gas cap, but it stayed on. Took it to the dealer and they gave me the good news: I needed a new catalytic converter and it was going to be over $1,000. Folks at work acted like that made no sense and a catalytic converter should last a lifetime. So, I did a search and found this forum. Armed with this info, I contacted the dealer and he contacted regional. It worked out that I paid about $190 with the diagnostic fee, and then the parts/labor, and on the form it says that 90% of the parts/labor is covered by warranty (though I am past my warranty.) It is the secondary converter, with 2 new gaskets. This was in Thomasville, GA. I was pleased I didn't have to argue long or much with the dealer. They did say it is normally covered, when new, for 8 years or 80,000 miles. Sadly, the replacement is only good for 12 months. I hope this won't be a regular thing. I wonder what percentage of the cars have needed this? Basically, I've been happy with the car, except for a rattle in the dash on the passenger's side, which I've grown accustomed to.
  • I bought a Honda-Certified 2005 Civic Hybrid from a Honda dealer with about 65,000 miles on it. Last week (about 90,000 miles), it threw a P2000 code and the IMA light went on. This was translated by the dealer as "rear catalytic converter failure."

    I was told this would cost me $1,500 to repair. The dealer's repair rep tried to tell me that it could strand me if I didn't get it fixed as soon as possible. Not having been born yesterday, I objected and HondaCare said that they would kick in $500 towards it, but I would have to have it done within 30days. So, now I'm reading about all the CAT failures here. :sick:

    So, how do I find out if the previous owner (a Japanese insurance company) had the 2005 recall work done? I'm not convinced from what I read here that it makes much difference. I love the car, but I'm really :mad: that a Honda-Certified car only goes for about 25,000 miles before something major goes wrong, and that their warranty doesn't cover it anyway.

    I'm taking it to a few independent garages to get opinions on this before I go any further. I smell a rat here.

    Opinions and advice gladly accepted.
  • We had the recall work done and we had two of our three CC failures afterward. The last one was covered by the 12,000 parts warranty. Honda HQ said they would consider our pleas if it failed again -- which I'm sure it will
  • Would I be better off just forgetting Honda and having my local mechanic put an aftermarket converter on my 2005 Civic Hybrid? :confuse:

    Life's too short to keep going back to Honda and fighting with them if I can get 60,000 miles or more out of a aftermarket replacement. I will probably have traded it in for another car by then.
  • After taking to a few local shops, we're grudgingly giving up and going back to accept HondaCare's "deal" to get it fixed. The local shops told me that Honda's price for the catalytic converter is so high that they can't beat Honda's service price minus the HondaCare offer (to kick in $500 towards the cost). That leaves us paying Honda about $810 plus tax. :sick: Happy :cry: Holidays.

    I am NOT amused with Honda and I will be contacting their Regional Manager when this is over. :mad: I can't say that I think much of their "Honda Certified Used Cars." I feel that I paid a hefty premium over other used Hondas for essentially nothing but some pretty documents.

    Maybe my next hybrid will be a Toyota.
  • I have a 2005 Civic Hybrid and my engine light came on the other day with the P2000 code which is apparently that the CC is clogged or not working properly, I am taking it in to the dealer tomorrow but I would like to know what to expect or what i need to do. I only have 57,000 mile on the car and I bought it used so I really have no idea if any of the recalls were done. Can anyone help me with this? :(
  • From what I've seen, it's an all too common problem with the Civic Hybrid. See if HondaCare will help you out. The dealer told me that it would cost $1500 to fix. After I complained, HondaCare kicked in a $500 "credit" to bring it down to about $810 plus tax.

    There are no aftermarket parts for this problem and the Honda converter costs about $900, so a non-Honda repair shop really can't bring the price down to match what HondaCare offered me. Mine was also a Honda-certified used car. Interestingly, the dealer told me that Honda's warranty, even on a new car, does not cover the catalytic converter.

    The dealer should be able to tell you if the recall work was done on your car, though.
  • Thank you very much for your feedback. I took it to the dealer and they told me that the CC is warrantied for 8 years or 80,000 miles so that is fantastic news for me and $1000.00 that i don't need to pay. :) I was sure they were going to tell me that it wasn't still under warranty. so relieved! Thank you again.
  • Hi,
    I have a 2003 civic hybrid. This is the 3rd time my CC has failed in < 3 years. I am in Tysons, VA and heard some people on this thread say the dealer has fixed it or HondaCare has helped out. I talked to HondaCare without any luck so far. Can you please give pointers as to how to get this resolved with them? Also do they take care of the 100$ diagnostic fee that dealer charges?
    Appreciate your help.

  • Hi,
    I have a 2003 civic hybrid. This is the 3rd time my CC has failed in < 3 years. I am in Tysons, VA and heard some people on this thread say the dealer has fixed it or HondaCare has helped out. I talked to HondaCare without any luck so far. Can you please give pointers as to how to get this resolved with them? Appreciate your help. Thanks, R
  • Take the phone numbers on the Honda website and talk to Honda company - corporate office.

    They will open a case and resolve in the 2-3 days.
  • SO I have 84,500 miles on my Civic Hybrid and I am out of warranty when the lovely P2000 code showed up last week. I refuse to pay $900+ labor for an OEM converter from honda so I found a great alternative:

    I purchased a new OEM Style replacement direct fit bolt-on DAVICO brand, made in USA Catalytic Converter for 2003-2005 Honda Civic Hybrid 1.3L Engine on ebay and it swapped it out myself.

    It's a direct bolt on replacement and it took me 30 minutes to change, its 1/2 the weight of the OEM catalytic converter, and it flows twice as much compared to the factory one! It fits perfect and no more P2000 code!!! with shipping it was $202.00!!!, it really is a great product and it comes with a 2 year/ 24,000 warranty from Davico, here is the link for a DAVICO dealer near you and the link for MAC auto parts where it came from, I hope you all find this useful! God Bless Carlos
  • tomjwhitetomjwhite Posts: 2
    Hi all,

    Just found this consumer group on the Internet and I'm impressed with the wealth of information exchanged. Thanks everyone.

    Now to the point. Our 2003 Civic Hybrid has a 98,600 miles and the Check Engine light came on. Drove for three days as recommended in the manual, but the light did not go off. Took car to the Honda dealer and was awarded an estimate of $1110.42 to replace the catalytica converter. Sticker shock to say the least.

    After reading everyone's posts in this forum, I'm left rather confused and here's my take. The problem could be either:

    * The ECM computer has lit up the Check Engine idiot light, but the light is due to a misreading or some other kind of error, and the catalytic converter is just fine.

    * The catalytic converter is toast and needs to be replaced.

    So, what do I do? The Honda dealer price of $1110 is exhorbitant and I don't have that kind money. Some say the after-market catalytic converters are good, other say they're junk. Others suggest the problem can be traced to faulty ECM diagnosis and the problem will therefore recur, regardless of whether the catalytica converter is replaced.

    Seems I took the car into the dealer several months back to get the ECM programming problem fixed ("re-flashed"). So, I'm not sure whether a faulty ECM is the problem.

    At this point, should I (a) do nothing; (b) bit the bullet, borrow the mondy, and let the Honda dealer fix the problem; (c) replace the catalytic converter myself with an after-market part; (c) call Honda regional service and whine, hoping they'll have mercy and give me an alternative, workable solution?

    Thanks, your advices would be much appreciated.

  • rileyyhrileyyh Posts: 49
    I have a 2003 Honda Civic Hybrid with close to 140k miles. I got the update and I still get the Check Engine light after a a few weeks of having the light turned off.

    I've probably driven at least 80k miles with the "Check Engine" light coming on and my car has had no problems at all. 80k miles ago, the dealership said I needed to replace my 2 catalytic converters. I already had them replaced while my car was under warranty.

    The manual says you should treat Check Engine light seriously because it can damage your engine. Currently, my bluebook value is about $4000, so I'm willing to bet that I won't have a serious engine issue that would light up the Check Engine and save $1000.

    Even with the Check Eng light and Transmission Shuddering quirks, I love my car and I will drive it to the ground. I'm fine with these issues because I am not going to be putting any more money into this car. I will replace inexpensive parts and just keep driving. I've yet to replace my hybrid battery and I have no plans to replace that either.

    FYI - I've had my transmission replaced once under warranty and it's better, but not fixed. But it's driveable so it's ok. :)
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