Join Date: Jan 2012
Drives 2000 1.5L L4 Cyl Accent
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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!