The check engine light has been coming on intermittently in my Honda Civic over the last month. The Honda dealer I took the car to this week says I need to have the catalytic converter and the oxygen sensor replaced. Total quoted cost: $1,400. When I checked repair estimates on repairpal.com, I got an estimate range of $506-$1,522 for these repairs, so the dealer is obviously (and predictably) on the high end. But the Honda dealer says after market converters are not a good idea because they tend to have problems. So, 1) should I go with the dealer (who has done good work and treated me well in the past) or look for cheaper service? And, 2) how can I be sure that both the converter and the oxygen sensor need to be replaced? Thanks!
Get a second opinion on necessity and price. Of course having another shop diagnose whether or not you need these things replaced is going to run close to $100.
If your Honda is less than 8 years old, and has less than 80,000 miles, the catalytic converter is covered under the mandated EPA emission component warranty. So the dealer has to replace it at no cost to you.
If it was me I would do the 02 sensor first, put some highway miles (at leat 100) in and see if the catalytic converter does not self heal. (pending Testers most excellent response)
Thanks for the input!
Unfortunately, although my car has just under 80,000 miles, it is more than 8 years old (it’s a 2001). So I assume then that the warranty does not apply?
If I do the O2 sensor first, which I am definitely tempted to try, is there a danger that I could cause danger to the engine? The dealer service department said that I should not keep driving the car without replacing the converter because I might damage the engine.
If the catalytic converter does require replacement, ask the dealer if Honda will make what is called A Good Will Adjustment on the replacement price of the catalytic converter. This is sometimes done when the vehicle is just out of the warranty period for a system/component that should have lasted longer.
Can’t hurt to ask!