Last post on Jan 10, 2013 at 7:20 AM
You are in the Honda Civic Hybrid
What is this discussion about?
#66 of 116 Is it an engineering or design defect?
Jul 30, 2009 (7:41 am)
We've just been told that our 2nd Catalytic Converter in our 2003 Honda Hybrid is bad. The first one was replaced at 92K by Honda for free after we raised hell about since it had failed in 2007, within 4 years of the so called 8-year warranty, although our mileage had been to 92K. We've had nothing but periodic "check engine" warning light since then...the last time, about 4 weeks ago, our dealer advised us to replace all the spark plugs for a mere $257...then just two weeks after that we again get the "check engine" light....drove the few hundred miles to see if it would self-correct...but it stayed on. Now the dealer says the 2nd CC has failed, at 40K miles since it was installed 2 years ago, and it will now cost us $1,334 to replace. Wow, that's a lot of dough for a CC that likely won't last beyond 30K miles or so and will probably go the way of the previous two CC's.
I can't but suspect that there's some flaw in the function, design or engineering of the 2003 Civic Hybrid, and that we are all being taken for one long ride by American Honda in its refusal to own up to this matter.
We are holding off replacing the CC for a 3rd one in the hope that either there's an alternative and more affordable CC out there we could get for our hybrid and most importantly that our hybrid won't self-destruct or worse yet, catch on fire and explode as the Service Manager who's pushing us to replace it on our own dime seems to be trying to scare us into doing.
Is there anyone out there with advice, knowledge and who could point us to any more affordable and equally effective alternatives?
#67 of 116 2nd catalytic converter failure in 8 months
Aug 17, 2009 (11:20 am)
As you can tell from December 08 my catalytic converter was replaced, now after just 8 months that wonderful check engine light came back on again with the code we all know so well. Luckily I am still under 80k and it is still covered under warranty. Not amused at this being an issue and possibly happening again later when I am not covered under warranty.
#68 of 116 babyismama
Aug 17, 2009 (4:27 pm)
When your warranty is up you tell your dealer you will be happy to help by calling the Honda Regional office and have them send you the part(catalytic converter) for free, which they have been doing since they have not fixed the problem on your car. The fix is usually a software correction as the engine is running too lean because of the computer. There was a maint alert (or whatever they call it) on this problem and you should have been notified to bring your car in for the software fix.
This will save you the $1100 cost for the part, but you still will pay 1-2 hours labor in an out of warranty situation.
#69 of 116 DTC P0134 and P0420
Sep 13, 2009 (2:26 pm)
A few months ago the MIL (check engine light) on my 2003 HCH came on at 95000 miles with a P0134 code. I followed the instructions in the factory service manual, which indicated that it was just an intermittent failure and that the system was OK. I reset the code and 2 weeks later passed a state emissions test. About a month later, the MIL came on again with a P0420 code. Since then, the MIL has turned on and off by itself a couple times. Today it was on again, so I checked it and found another P0420 code. I am eligible for another state emissions test in May 2011. So I'm wondering, what should I do at this point? Back in 2007, I had the ECM update recall service done "to prevent code P0420". I haven't yet taken it in to the dealer for these recent MIL issues, but from what I'm reading here, it sounds like I can get a replacement of the catalytic converter just for the cost of labor, but that it could fail again within the 12-month/12k warranty. In that case, should I wait until May 2010 to take it to the dealer and get the converter replaced, so that it's still under warranty in May 2011 when I can get another state emissions test?
#70 of 116 very relevant reading
Sep 29, 2009 (8:28 am)
I have an '03 civic hybrid. Reading this column I am amazed at how many of these problems I have had as well. Right down to the rattle in the passenger side dashboard which I too have gotten used to after having them try to fix it repeatedly. My 02 sensor went last year (around 105,000 miles). Now my check engine light and IMA light are on (115,000 miles). The dealership is saying it is my Catalytic Converter and my IMA battery and that they are no longer covered under warranty. I am going to get a second opinion and see if there is anything I can do.
#71 of 116 02 sensor now catalytic converter
Oct 11, 2009 (1:21 pm)
Sounds like I'm having the same issue many of you have experienced with your catalytic converters. I have about 110,000 miles on my car right now and a couple weeks ago the engine light came on. The code detected a bad 02 sensor which I had replaced (dang those little things are expensive!). It wasn't 2 days before the light was back on. I took it back to the mechanic (not a honda dealership) that replaced the sensor and he tells me now that the code is for a failed catalytic converter and that the part from Honda is $900!!! I did get the ECM update that was to resolve the lean burn that "could" cause the cat to fail. Well, the car was running on the wrong setting for almost 3 years before the ECM update was done so the damage to the catalytic converter could have already been done when I bought it in 2006.
I've read on here that some of you were able to get Honda to pay for the part and you covered the labor. What are my chances of getting this done. I'm a pretty loyal customer and follow my maintenance to a "T" I own two civics (the other is a 06 civic) and I'd like to stay positive about Honda but this seems like my catalytic converter has failed due to faulty settings put out by Honda. Shouldn't a catalytic last the life of the car?
Any thoughts on going with an aftermarket Cat.? I'd rather not have to cough up $1100 on this part! Thoughts???
#72 of 116 Re: very relevant reading [03civichybrd]
Oct 19, 2009 (2:25 pm)
Same here -- I have 106,800 on my 2004 HCH, and I have been dealing with the intermittent MIL since around 85k miles.
It started out very periodic and has gotten more and more persistent, so I finally took it in to get read (for free at AutoZone) and got the P0240 and P0136 (I think those are the right codes) that indicated that my cat. conv. was bad and that I needed a new O2 sensor.
I am arguing now with Honda corporate and the service manager for my local dealership that the issue was caused by the ECM issues as indicated earlier in this forum, which was "fixed" once for me by the dealership in 2007. I moved from living out of town with a 90-mile round trip commute 5 days a week to living in town with a 3-day telecommute schedule shortly after the ECM reflash I got at around 75k miles, so it's been about 2 years since then but I've only put on 30k miles (including a couple of road trips).
I find it real hard to believe that this couldn't be a direct cause/effect relationship, and especially seeing how Honda's covered the part cost with multiple people in my exact situation across the country if they cause enough of a ruckus, and I plan on raising hell until they cover it for me. This is my first Honda, and will be my last if they don't cover this situation for me, regardless of what warranty I may or may not be covered by.
This is a matter of responsibility and good versus bad business practice. When they know that this is an issue (hence the recall "reprogram ECM" notice I got in 2007), they should cover the damage that was caused. Either the ECM update caused the cat. conv. to go out, or the cat. conv. was damaged by the time I hit 75k miles and the last 25-30k I've put on it has just presented the symptoms. I'll let the forum know of my final outcome. Thanks!
#74 of 116 Re: very relevant reading [skylennard]
Oct 20, 2009 (7:07 am)
I'm with you on this. I have an 03 with just about 110,000 miles. I've got the glowing engine light and a p0420 code and was told by a Grismer Mechanic (who just replaced a bad 02 sensor) that my cat is shot and needs replaced. He said its been fried. I also took my honda in for the ECM update in 2007 to have the computer flashed and updated so that "the engine doesn't burn lean anymore which could cause premature failure of the cat. converter". I haven't brought it in to the dealership yet because I'm trying to get enough ammunition to cause a ruckus and get Honda to cover the part. I think the bad setting caused the failure of my cat. converter even before the update. It just happend to start throwing the symptoms at around 103,000.
How are you going to go about pursuading the dealership and Honda Corp. that they should take care of it? I feel like they will just say, "there is too many miles and your Warranty is gone". This is indeed a faulty part. I just need to know how to come at them
I've also seen the aftermarket Davico converters and thought about paying $150 for one and have Grismer Automotive put it on. Not sure how long it will last. How do we go about contacting Honda Corporate (do you have the #)?
#75 of 116 Re: very relevant reading [fergs13]
Oct 20, 2009 (3:09 pm)
I called the number I found on the Honda Automotive website...
The person I ended up talking with at that number forwarded my request to the service manager for the dealership that I took my car to yesterday. The guy I was dealing with before (a rep, not the manager) said that Honday declined to assist me with the repair. The lady on the phone was really kind of pushing me to say tha the dealership had specifically told me that the cause for the issue was due to the ECM settings before, however I don't think they ever committed to that specifically. I just paid them $60 to "diagnose" the problem in the hopes that Honda would do the right thing and cover this repair under the recall the same as it seems other people had been covered earlier in this thread, but apparently not (yet).
My basic approach at this point is to cite this and other message boards I have found about this problem to document the cat. conv. damage correlation with the ECM flash, and if they flat refuse to cover it, I'll file a complaint with the corporate office and see what that gets me. I really don't expect that they will continue to put up a fight considering that I have documentation of other drivers with the exact same car and mileage issues getting Honda to cover the part, but if they put up enough of a fight and I decide to give up, then i'll probably (eventually) try out that Davico converter. There's NO way i'm putting up over $1000 to get another OEM one put in.
Let me know if you end up with any luck and I'll let you know the same.