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Old 01-03-2012, 10:26 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Toledo/Ohio/USA
Drives 2000 1.5L L4 Cyl Accent
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PumpkinMobile is an unknown quantity at this point
Question Exhaust System Problems

I've been experiencing some serious difficulties with the exhaust system on my 2000 Accent lately and the local mechanic isn't very helpful in explaining exactly what's gone wrong. It seems like a good time to begin really informing myself about the car so as to better protect myself.

The summer before last ('10) the check engine light came on and I took it to the local mechanic. Eventually, after first telling me that it was a leak in the gas cap, they eventually said it was a problem with the catalytic converter - that it was "throwing random codes." After a painful negotiation I managed to get them down to around half a grand to replace the catalytic converter and the oxygen sensor and hoped to never deal with them again.

Unfortunately, the check engine light came on shortly after that and the people at Auto Zone told me that it was the gas cap. I bought a new one but the light still came on intermittently. This December, the car started to get loud again and so I went to a different mechanic to ask about an exhaust leak. They told me that the exhaust manifold was badly cracked and that I would need to replace it (along with my arduously earned new catalytic converter).

Remorsefully, I went back to the first local mechanic as the part was still under warranty (though not the labor). They confirm that the exhaust manifold is badly cracked and needs replacement, including the catalytic converter. They will cheerfully do this for the cost of the labor. Here's where my knowledge runs out.

The problem, local mechanic tells me, is found in my flex pipe. Apparently, things are running too rich and my catalytic converter is running extremely hot (700 degrees). To honor the warranty, they say I will need to replace it (and another O2 sensor) along with the parts under warranty for another half a grand.

Given I don't have too many spare 'half a grand' lying about, how plausible is this story they are telling me? Could a problem with the flex pipe really cause a crack in the manifold? If so, then why wasn't it part of the initial repair? If I go through with this repair, what should I be aware of to make sure it doesn't happen again?

Whew, that was a lot. Thanks for reading!
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Old 01-03-2012, 02:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
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85 d-100, 00 chevy impala, 01 hyundai accent
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carlherrnstein
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If the pipe is leaking between the o2 sensors then the computer will think it is running lean and will try to compensate by dumping more and more fuel in. It could it theory it could overheat the cat but I doubt it would unless the car sat and idled a lot (hours).

What codes come up when they put a scan tool on the car's computer?
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Old 04-04-2012, 03:24 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Location: Phoenix, AZ
Hyundai Accent
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If the Flex Pipe (the braided section after the Catalytic Converter) is bad, it is caused by the Catalytic converter running "Too" Hot.
..
If you need new Spark Plug Wires - The CAT WILL RUN HOT..
..
If You need new Spark Plugs - THE CAT WILL RUN HOT....
...
If your Injectors are leaking (ie Bad) - THE CAT WILL RUN HOT....
..
The Most common problem with a HOT Running Catalytic Converter is solved by simply replacing Spark Plugs and Spark Plug Wires.....
.....
The most common reason the flex pipe section goes bad - is a Hot Running Catalytic Converter.
....
As stated - you need to change spark plugs and Spark Plug wires.
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This would be my first step....
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I too went through the Dance with my wife's car.
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She took it to a shop. They told her her Exhaust Manifold was cracked. Funny thing is - The exhaust manifold on a 2003 Hyundai Accent IS the Catalytic Converter.
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They put a new flex pipe section on the car and sent her on her way (only cost her about $150.00)...
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Four days later - the car sounded like a sherman tank.... Looked under the car and noticed the "new" flex pipe was separated from the catalytic converter exit pipe.
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Also noticed that the catalytic convertor was running extremely hot. Engine codes were misfires in cylinder one, two, three, and four. Also had a code for random misfires.... So I changed the plugs and put new wires in.....
Catalytivc converter wasn't running hot anymore, and I personally took it back to the shop that charged her $150.00 for the flex pipe section...
...
They don't give waranties for this repair... Yes, they do have a warranty... But the alledged "dealer/Distributor Rep explained to me that the pipe was most likely broken by the car bottoming out and the exhaust pipe striking the roadway. Tried to discuss it - but to no avail. I even pointed out that the tow rings would strike the roadway 1.5" before the exhaust would. Also pointed out that the so called new flex pipe section had surface rust all over it and the welds looked like they were done by their shop (they re welded the braid back onto the pipe). I left dissatisfied with the shop.
...
Went to a Hyundai Dealer and bought a new pipe section with the flex coupling (only paid $95.00) and paid another shop to install it (my wife was upset that I was going to replace it and insisted that I pay some one to bolt it on - oh well, it's her car...). So I paid another shop to install it (cost me another $45.00).
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Car has been running great for a month. Wife says its like new. Plenty of power. runs smooth and just over all better. She also mentioned that that awful smell that she has been smelling for the past two months is gone when she gets out of the car (I just shruge - haven't got the heart to tell her she was smelling her catalytic converter over heating. Also didn't tell her that small piece of melted plastic under the front of her car was due to the overheating catalytic converter - paid $67.00 at the Hyundai dealer to get the front gravel guard to replace the melted one).
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So my advice s::
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As I said - Replace your plugs, and spark plug wires....
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You may be a happy camper after all...
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Or you can keep throwing money at the people who are happy to take it from you....
..
Dave
Phoenix, AZ
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