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Old 06 Feb 2013, 07:32 pm
JLW JLW is offline
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Default I was quoted $900 to replace the catalytic converter on my 2007 Honda Element SC. Is this high?

Then another mechanic quoted me $400. Not sure how to proceed.
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Old 06 Feb 2013, 07:46 pm
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The converter is between 150 and 300 bucks depending on which one you need. Then there is labor.

I'm not sure where it in on the Element, but I think 7 to 9 hours for labor is way high.

If you are in CA, the converter is going to be more expensive.
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Old 06 Feb 2013, 08:01 pm
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What Dan said. If the car is a California model it'll be more than $400.
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Old 06 Feb 2013, 08:17 pm
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Unless you drove with the check engine light flashing I very much doubt your catalytic converter is bad. Their life expectancy is about 20 years, and the converter has a federally mandated 8 year (96 month) 80K mile emission warranty. If your mileage is under 80,000 the dealer has to replace the catalytic converter for free - if it is actually defective.

Most of these posts for a young catalytic converter replacement are caused by a P0420 trouble code. P0420 is defined as "Catalyst system efficiency below threshold [bank 1]" and there is a corresponding code P0430 for bank 2 of V6 and V8 engines. The code is produced by fluctuation of the voltage from the O2 sensor after the catalytic converter, especially fluctuation that roughly resembles the fluctuation of the forward O2 sensor. Many mechanics, even one of the very competent professional mechanics here, regard P0420 as solid proof the converter is bad. Far more often the converter is being fed exhaust with fluctuating oxygen levels, more than the natural fluctuation of standard O2 sensors (I'm pretty sure your 2007 Honda uses a wide-band sensor, so the fluctuation should be small. That can be caused by such things as a dirty fuel injector not delivering quite the amount of fuel it should to one cylinder, a vacuum leak on one branch of the intake manifold, or an exhaust leak. All of those are much more likely than a bad converter in a 6 year old Honda.

The ironic thing is I have dealt with a couple of dying converters (the youngest one was 18 years old) and I have dealt with a few P0420 codes, but none of the P0420 codes was ever caused by a bad converter.

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Old 06 Feb 2013, 08:32 pm
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Posts: 19

"Emissions Warranty (years/miles) =

Federal: 3/36,000 and:

8/80,000 (specified major emission control components)

California: 3/50,000 and:

7 /70,000 (specified high cost emission control components)

15/150,000 PZEV*(CA, NY, ME, VT, MA, CT"

if you're in one of those states listed, go have the stealership properly check and verify it; then they'll cover the charges

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Old 06 Feb 2013, 08:47 pm
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 44

Just do it yourself. It is literally just a bolt on. The only tool you'll need is a wrench or socket wrench. You only need one tool besides the jack to life the front or side of the car depending on how you want to lift it. The cat itself will be a bit expensive though but just do it yourself so you don't have to pay the labor. If you live in North CA, I'll do it for you for free or maybe i can go with you to the shop and bargain with them that I can do it for you for a lower price and try to get them to lower it. But it really is a very easy job.
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