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Repair for almost-but-not-stolen catalytic?

The bad guys were spooked off before they could finish the job on my 2002, 260k mi CRV. So my (replaced only a few years ago) catalytic is still there, but there’s a nice clean cut in the pipe behind it.
Of course, I just last year decided “why do I need comprehensive coverage on a car worth $500?” so any repair will be out of pocket (local Honda dealer is assessing it now).

Can I just clamp a piece of pipe over the break and call it done? What would you do?

Bring it to a shop that has a tech that can MIG/TIG weld.

And they’ll seal it up in no time.

Tester

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Welding is your best bet but a band clamp might also work.

Done a tin can and hose clamps, you need to make your choices.

The back of the cat is right under the passenger compartment. I’m having trouble envisioning the type of clamp that would actually seal the pipe. It needs to be sealed so exhaust doesn’t leak into the cabin. Depending on where exactly the cut is, maybe replace the whole exhaust pipe behind it, but the joint needs to be sealed.

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Thanks folks, seems the Yelp reviews of local muffler shops are rife with info about who does/doesn’t do well with the cat theft epidemic. Assuming Honda wants a fortune on top of the diagnostic fee I certainly could have avoided had I not panicked, I’ll try a local shop. I thought a sleeve or clamp like the one above would work, but on second look at my pics it looks like they cut into the non-straight part (of course). IMG_1351

Muffler shops weld pipes. Dealer repair shops replace failed parts, this doesn’t require welding.

Band clamps are rarely an option, an area of straight pipe is necessary for one to work.

Your dealer will likely write an estimate to replace the cut exhaust pipe, however the cobbled together catalytic converter is questionable.

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Gotta agree. The flange on the cat is undamaged. Just replace the exhaust pipe from the flange back to the next joint. Kinda rusty to weld anyway and it’ll be done right.

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I’m guessing this exceeds my abilities. Assuming that pipe can be replaced without welding skills (internet e.g. 97 CRV resonator replacement indicates the resonator and pipes are one integral piece), I’m guessing those rusty flange bolts won’t respond to my cheap socket set and some PB blaster. I should pay a muffler shop to do this. And maybe add a cat lock. Yeah?

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Exhaust work is nasty dirty work and laying on your back with usually not much headroom. So it’s not fun. I think those flange bolts though are just nuts and bolts, so you cut the nuts off with an angle grinder or something and just replace them with new bolts and the required sealing ring. Exhaust shops can expand the old pipe for a connection and may not have to replace the whole thing. But yeah if you can hire it, so much the better.

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I could clean and weld that in ten minutes,

Tester

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Well Honda Service will replace the cat for $2500 using Honda stuff, or will “cut me a break” and halve the $189 diagnostic fee and send it out to a muffler shop that uses aftermarket parts and will do it for $1250. They say cat “has to be replaced in cases like this” after I suggest it’s just the resonator tube that’s been cut.
Calling the muffler shops now. O’Reilly sells the complete resonator assembly for $153. I’m starting to feel like this could be the moment I finally start attempting some of my own car repairs.

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I am not a mechanic but my BS meter just pegged at their statement that the cat has to be replaced.

What exactly would they be diagnosing for that diagnostic fee? The immediate problem seems pretty obvious from your description and picture.

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Why would you even contact a Honda dealer for this ? Just find a muffler shop and say you just don’t want any leaks .

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If you’ve never done your own repairs before, this should NOT be your first. You likely dont have the tools or equipment (jack stands, angle grinder, welder, etc) and you will have at least one visit to an ER to have a piece of rusty metal removed from your eye.

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Agree with you all. When I get car trouble I tend to panic and bring it someplace asap, and after my last independent shop nightmare I went to Honda knowing any repair would be overpriced, and possibly not necessary (obviously, now), but at least executed reasonably well.
Had I taken a breath and thought about it I would have called around, and ideally posted here.

Local muffler shop just confirmed it sounds like a quick weld, crazy to think the cat needs to be replaced if it’s still there and not cut into, and bring it in, which I’m going to do. Will save the ER visit for a future repair attempt.

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That catalytic converter looks like it was assembled in a junk yard from old parts, I don’t fault them for wanting to replace everything that is not up to standards. However, it just an old vehicle so have a muffler shop weld the pipe back on.

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I had (still have) no idea what a good catalytic looks like, so that was yet another shop getting one by me and not at any kind of discount, as I recall. So tired of getting ripped off by shops that have “good” reputations. (but I’m sure there other threads here where I can gripe about that!).

Looks like a stock catalytic converter to me.

Tester

Tester

2 Likes