Help! Sawed off catalytic converter

honda
element
catalytic-converters

#1

The catalytic converter of my 2006 Honda Element got sawed off in the middle of the night. Ouch! Because the element is a low emissions vehicle, I was wondering if the original cat-con is needed to keep the emissions low. Would a generic part work the same way as the original as long as it has the two oxygen sensors? Or should I really go through the expense of replacing this with factory parts?


#2

I trust you called the police?

What does your insurance company have to say about the repair? If your insurance company is covering the repair, you should let Honda replace it.

If not, then a generic will work if it is approved for use on your Element.


#3

I did file a police report, the insurance company insisted that they did not need it. I didn’t understand this. The insurance company is taking its time deciding whether they will cover the repair. I’m getting tired of waiting so I was just thinking about alternatives.


#4

Well, since you did get a police report you can take your insurance company to small claims court if they refuse to cover the repair.

Ask your local repair shop to look up and see if a generic is available for your Element. If it is, you can go that route.

The insurance company will reimburse you for the cost if they decide to cover you.


#5

orangevega, you might not be correct in this case.

I have a 1998 Honda Civic, and I can tell you from personal experience that if you get an aftermarket (or “generic”) catalytic converter, your “check engine” light (CEL) might stay on. Not all aftermarket catalytic converters are made equal, and they usually don’t guarantee your CEL will go away.

sholden, if you live in a state where they do emissions testing, I recommend you go with the more expensive Honda catalytic converter, regardless of who is paying for it. An aftermarket catalytic converter might give you legal emissions, but the computer in your Element has higher standards than most states that conduct emissions testing, which would mean an automatic fail because of the CEL.

If you don’t live in a state where they conduct emissions testing, you have no plans to move to another state, and you don’t mind having your CEL on, you can go with a cheaper aftermarket catalytic converter. That’s what I have done.

If you go with an aftermarket catalytic converter, try to get a guarantee in writing that it will solve the CEL problem. If your insurance company is paying for this, and they try to get you to get an aftermarket unit, insist on either a guarantee in writing that it will work as well as an OEM unit, or insist on an OEM Honda part.


#6

If you have Comprehensive on your insurance policy, you only need to get price quotes for replacement parts from Honda. Your insurance company might dictate that you use used parts from a salvage center, and this should be fine.

Remember, you don’t just need the converter.
You will most likely need to replace the exhaust system leading to and from the converter.
You might even need to replace the oxygen sensors if those were also stolen.

BC.


#7

Whitey, thank you for the additional information.

I had a 1996 Toyota Tercel with about 140K on it that had the CEL on with the code telling me that the catalyst efficiency was low. A generic aftermarket catalytic converter was available and installed on my car and fixed the CEL issue…so that was the source of my experience.


#8

I know several people who’ve replaced catalytic converters with a aftermarket converter in the past 30 years…and NONE have give them a problem.


#9

It has been my understanding that salvage yards are not allowed to sell catalytic converters. Am I wrong?


#10

I know several people who’ve replaced catalytic converters with a aftermarket converter in the past 30 years…and NONE have give them a problem.

Mike, I have a couple questions for you about this statement:

(A) Of those “several people who’ve replaced catalytic converters with a[n] aftermarket converter in the past 30 years”, how many of the vehicles were C.A.R.B.* certified ULEVs**?

*California Air Resources Board
**Ultra-Low Emission Vehicles

(B) Of those “several people who’ve replaced catalytic converters with a[n] aftermarket converter in the past 30 years”, how many of these aftermarket replacements happened since 1996? I ask this question because emissions standards weren’t as stringent 30 years ago, so I don’t think what happened 30 years ago applies to a car made 4 years ago.

I once replaced a catalytic converter in my 1985 Buick Skyhawk with an aftermarket unit, and I had no problems, but comparing my 1985 Buick Skyhawk to a 2006 Honda Element (or any other C.A.R.B. certified ULEV), wouldn’t make much sense, would it?


#11

I am glad it worked out. An aftermarket unit might work for the OP, but I would want a guarantee in writing that it will.


#12

2 (2005 and a 2002 (I think))…And one of them was because it was stolen (AT WORK IN OUR PARKING-LOT)…the nerve of some of these people. The other one was destroyed after driving a year with a leaky fuel injector.

Just because you got a bad cat, doesn’t mean they all are bad. Personally I wouldn’t buy one from places like ADAP or Pep-Boys. We have some very good local auto-parts stores here that I trust…and they stand behind their parts. Their parts are more expensive then ADAP but still cheaper then OEM.