Car Repair and Warranty

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stilllurking
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Jun 16, 2014 10:44 am

Car Repair and Warranty

Post by stilllurking » Wed Jun 13, 2018 2:35 pm

Wondering what you folks would do.

I have a 2010 Honda vehicle (withholding model) that started to have a rattling noise come from the catalytic converter. I've been reading that if there's no check engine light, it should still pass emissions. However, it could harm the engine with pressure build up if converter is bad. In my warranty manual, I have an 8 year, 80,000 mile warranty on the converter. I had a friend (non mechanic) take a look and he said it was the converter and since it's under warranty, Honda may cover it. So I took it to the local dealer and they charged me for diagnosing the issue. They stated that there was damage to the converter and it wouldn't be covered under warranty.

How does one damage a converter and how would the dealer know that it is damaged since it was just rattling from the inside? By the sounds of the Service Advisor, it seemed as though he checked with someone at Honda corporate to determine that it would not be covered. I ended up getting it repaired anyways.

I sent an email last week to Honda corporate to ask who the dealer spoke with that denied the warranty claim. After a number of emails back and forth, I received a call from a district manager today asking about the situation and repair and that she would reach out to the dealer as well.

Is there anything else that I can do/say/ask them regarding why it wouldn't be covered? I'm just over 73K on the vehicle and within a few months of the warranty expiring in August 2018.

Maybe I'm entitled to nothing but would like to see if others have been in a similar situation, what you said and how it was handled by the car manufacturer.

new2bogle
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Re: Car Repair and Warranty

Post by new2bogle » Wed Jun 13, 2018 2:40 pm

Keep up with the Honda corporate email. I would advise to email the office of the ceo for Honda north america. They will respond. How much was the repair?

Background: I had an issue with my Toyota and I decided to not even deal with the dealer and straight ahead contacted the office of the ceo of toyota north america (via email). Got a response back from a rep there who told me to get the repair done and send her the receipt. I did that and toyota cut me a check for the repairs (only $175 but still...).

123
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Re: Car Repair and Warranty

Post by 123 » Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:23 pm

On relatively small non-recall warranty repairs (maybe under $500) I've gotten the impression that dealers may not want to bother with the paperwork to have the manufacturer cover it. So you end up paying, but if you complain to the manufacturer then you get your repair money back. It's just easier for everyone (but the customer) that way.
The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.

denovo
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Re: Car Repair and Warranty

Post by denovo » Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:31 pm

Something in this story seems off.
"Don't trust everything you read on the Internet"- Abraham Lincoln

SixAlpha
Posts: 68
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Re: Car Repair and Warranty

Post by SixAlpha » Wed Jun 13, 2018 7:30 pm

Only way to damage the catalytic converter that I can think of would be to bottom the car out on something or hit it with some road debris. That would be visible when they put the car up on the lift.

neilpilot
Posts: 1736
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Location: Memphis area

Re: Car Repair and Warranty

Post by neilpilot » Wed Jun 13, 2018 7:35 pm

SixAlpha wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 7:30 pm
Only way to damage the catalytic converter that I can think of would be to bottom the car out on something or hit it with some road debris. That would be visible when they put the car up on the lift.
What the OP describes sounds like internal damage that can happen with time, not due to impact but due to a structural failure internal to the converter. I experienced a similar failure on my 2002 C230, but have ignored the check engine light and just continue to drive it. The car is not worth the $1k+ repair. Of course, no emissions testing where we live.

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Car Repair and Warranty

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Wed Jun 13, 2018 7:42 pm

All cars sold in the US are covered for cat converters for 8 years/80k miles, whichever comes first.

https://www.ncconsumer.org/news-article ... ooked.html

If there is a rattle, the first thing I'd check are all the guards on the exhaust. That's far more likely to be the cause of problems. If the cats had problems, you'd likely get a check engine light. For example, P0420 can come up with a broken cat converter because it's not efficient enough and senses this.
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stilllurking
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Jun 16, 2014 10:44 am

Re: Car Repair and Warranty

Post by stilllurking » Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:57 pm

OP here.

The repair after taxes was just over $1k. I did have a friend take a look and checked all of the shields and they were not loose or rusted off yet. Quite sure it definitely was a rattle from inside the converter. Obviously the dealer confirmed it or they wouldn't have suggested that repair. I've heard stories where people have put an after market converter on their car to have it fail in a relatively short time afterwards so I opted to go with an oem converter instead.

I'm just surprised they are finding a way not to honor the warranty.

denovo
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Re: Car Repair and Warranty

Post by denovo » Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:01 pm

stilllurking wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:57 pm
OP here.

The repair after taxes was just over $1k. I did have a friend take a look and checked all of the shields and they were not loose or rusted off yet. Quite sure it definitely was a rattle from inside the converter. Obviously the dealer confirmed it or they wouldn't have suggested that repair. I've heard stories where people have put an after market converter on their car to have it fail in a relatively short time afterwards so I opted to go with an oem converter instead.

I'm just surprised they are finding a way not to honor the warranty.
What was their reason.....
"Don't trust everything you read on the Internet"- Abraham Lincoln

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whodidntante
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Re: Car Repair and Warranty

Post by whodidntante » Wed Jun 13, 2018 10:02 pm

Converters have a heat shield. It's not really to protect the converter, it's to protect things that might come in contact with it, brush and whatnot. Sometimes it comes detached from a strike, or there is a stress fracture from hot/cold cycles and it will rattle. A strike will usually be obvious because it looks like a strike. Is that what happened? If so, the warranty would not apply. I drove a car for many many miles with a clamp on the heat shield, because I'm cheap.

You can also have internal damage, from a catalyst damaging fault that is allowed to persist. For example, if the engine is misfiring and you drive it anyway. This allows unburned fuel to enter the exhaust, and it will ignite on it's own schedule. As you can imagine, this is great for the converter.

tibbitts
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Re: Car Repair and Warranty

Post by tibbitts » Wed Jun 13, 2018 10:18 pm

I hope you still have access to the converter, otherwise I don't see how you can make a case that it was defective. And since it's been removed it might have been damaged in the process of removal.

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queso
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Re: Car Repair and Warranty

Post by queso » Thu Jun 14, 2018 9:04 am

whodidntante wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 10:02 pm
Converters have a heat shield. It's not really to protect the converter, it's to protect things that might come in contact with it, brush and whatnot. Sometimes it comes detached from a strike, or there is a stress fracture from hot/cold cycles and it will rattle. A strike will usually be obvious because it looks like a strike. Is that what happened? If so, the warranty would not apply. I drove a car for many many miles with a clamp on the heat shield, because I'm cheap.

You can also have internal damage, from a catalyst damaging fault that is allowed to persist. For example, if the engine is misfiring and you drive it anyway. This allows unburned fuel to enter the exhaust, and it will ignite on it's own schedule. As you can imagine, this is great for the converter.
That's what I figured it was - the heat shield(s). I have a few SS worm clamps holding the heat shields on underneath my '06 Pilot and had the one right near the block replaced.

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