OK, I need the helps of folks that understand automotive systems better than I. My wife has a 2002 Honda CR-V with something like 130K miles on it. She had the check engine light come on yesterday, and took it to the dealer today. The verdict seems to be that the catalytic converter has died. We can supposedly wait to fix it until we need to smog the beast, but that’s still an over $1,700 repair (just for the part!). So, a few questions:
- I always thought there was a lifetime warranty on emissions system components in California. My wife says the dealer told her that it was only 100K miles. Does anyone know, such that they can provide a pointer to the reference? UPDATE: It looks like the warranty is 7 yrs/70K miles
- We’ve had a series of engine problems with this car, some of which go back to repairs that were fully or partially covered under warranty. The problems started in 2006, when the check engine light came on due to a bad valve or piston. After that dealer opened the head, they replace a valve retainer, and we still get the check engine light. That time it turned out to be a bad exhaust valve. We talked American Honda into covering half of the bill. Fast forward to Fall 2009, when the check engine light came on again. This time, the dealer (a different one from the first problem) diagnosed the problem as worn spark plug, the intake system having a buildup of carbon, and the intake and exhaust valves being tight. They adjusted the vales and performed a decarbon service, and replaced the spark plugs. A month later, the check engine light came on again. This time the diagnosis was a blown head gasket that resulted in a warped head. Another expensive repair with the head being remachined.
My question is this: given this history, I’m of the belief that the original 2006 engine problems, which probably relate to defective manufacturing, were the root of the problem. The repair work then lead to the head gasket problems, which then created enough gunk to pollute the catalytic converter and cause it to fail. Given this, we might be able to pressure American Honda to cover some percentage of the repair. However, I’m not an expert enough on cars to know if this gut feeling is correct, nor to be able to translate the gut feeling into language to persuade American Honda. I’ll note that I do have service records to show the car was regularly maintained — the problem was not maintenance negligence on our part.
- Lastly, does anyone have access to CR-V Service Bulletins. Is there a CR-V Service Bulletin related to this history that our dealer is conveniently not telling us about. I’m getting to the point I’m trusting this dealer less and less.