Car repair question to you Auto Nerds

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Postby TheBeard on Wed Sep 20, 2017 4:20 pm

So I had the check engine light go in on my 2011 Ford Fiesta and when I got the diagnostic check i was told I needed to replace the Catalytic Converter. My question is, how important is it to change an also, since it's under 8 years and 80K, should it still be covered by the Emissions Warranty Coverage? I don't really feel like dropping a grand right now if I don't have to.
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Postby piper27 on Wed Sep 20, 2017 6:00 pm

Is it plugged? Is that why they said replace it?
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Postby sez752 on Wed Sep 20, 2017 6:34 pm

Should be covered if you bought/received the emissions warranty. Ford may only cover the part and you may have to pay labor. The Ford dealerships here have a 10yr/100k warranty, which mainly cover parts cost. In some cases they'll cover or discount labor costs. Pretty sure the 2011 fiesta has 2 cats. One upper cat and one lower cat. Most of the time the lower cat internals fail from hot/cold sudden changes. Such as driving for a couple hours builds up the internal temp, then drive through a puddle. The water lands on the cat and quickly cools it and an internal screen cracks. Those screens are usually made of precious metals. So if/when it gets changed ask if you can have to old one if the shop doesn't need it for a core. You'd be surprised at what you can get for them.
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Postby TheBeard on Wed Sep 20, 2017 8:27 pm

I thought the emissions warranty was atomically there by law. I believe the Fiesta does have 2, front and back. Unfortunately i wasn't given a ton of detail. The check engine light went on, in fact twice now in less than a month so it doesn't seem like an isolated incident. They didn't give me much detail since it was a free diagnostic check, but they were pretty insistent on that being the issue an that it was clogged. I know the part ain't cheap since its made partly of platinum. I'm waiting for someone from Ford to get back to me and let me know. Technically it should be covered however i'm not sure if it's covered only if it's emitting excess gasses as opposed to just screwing up my car.
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Postby sez752 on Wed Sep 20, 2017 8:43 pm

2 quick questions. Are you in California? If so, the emissions warranty is very different than the standard one. Also, is yours a PZEV? If so you might be covered for 15 yrs/150k.

Here's a word of warning. Most manufacturers will only honor their warranty if you have proof of all vehicle maintenance records. They also must coincide with the vehicle service intervals. If one stupid thing is off or missing, they typically won't honor the warranty. Also, I believe Ford covers the emissions fully for 3yrs/36k and covers some parts for 8yr/80k.
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Postby GoBluePanic on Wed Sep 20, 2017 9:36 pm

Don't be fooled into thinking they aren't giving you much info because it was a free diagnostic test. That test consists of hooking a small gadget to a plug under the dash and retrieving the code. The code tells you what's wrong. The entire process takes about 3 minutes so don't let them act like they are doing you a huge favor.

If you don't change it, the performance of the car will suffer and you will emit more pollutants. It's generally not something that's going to leave you stranded somewhere if not addressed right away.

There are definitely 2 on the Focus and the price of the part ranges from $170 to $350.
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Postby sez752 on Wed Sep 20, 2017 9:54 pm

The diagnostic test is a little more involved than that. It's an OBD scan tool that will send error codes. Some of them may be related, some may not be related. The mechanic needs to figure out the root of the problem. If they didnt provide you the codes, take it to your local AutoZone when the light comes on next. They will print you a list of codes. I wouldn't trust AutoZones diagnosis from the salesman though. On separate occasions I've taken An alternator,starter,and battery there to get tested. Each time I had to show them how to perform the test. An OEM Ford part is going to run around $700 each. There is a difference between aftermarket parts and oem parts. It is s something that won't leave you stranded now. However, the longer it goes the more secondary damage it will cause to other systems.
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Postby fredo on Wed Sep 20, 2017 9:59 pm

TheBeard wrote:So I had the check engine light go in on my 2011 Ford Fiesta


Have you tried picking it up and shaking?
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Postby canuck on Wed Sep 20, 2017 10:47 pm

You can cut the damn thing off and it wont make any difference to the performance of the car. In fact some of them actually effect and hinder the performance of a vehicle to keep up with emission restrictions. If it is covered by a warranty then mine as well but if not I wouldn't stress it.
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Postby TheBeard on Thu Sep 21, 2017 12:57 am

Thanks guys. I may take it to Autozone and get the full codes since the light is still on. I'll probably get a better idea once i know the specifics instead of what they told me.
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Postby piper27 on Thu Sep 21, 2017 9:50 am

canuck wrote:You can cut the damn thing off and it wont make any difference to the performance of the car. In fact some of them actually effect and hinder the performance of a vehicle to keep up with emission restrictions. If it is covered by a warranty then mine as well but if not I wouldn't stress it.


I hate to say it but the whole fuel table runs off the catalytic converter working properly and the O2 sensors reading either rich or lean, then fluctuating the pulse width of the injectors. It would have a huge effect on an electronic fuel ignition vehilce.
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Postby jjttdw on Thu Sep 21, 2017 10:05 am

Beyond that, many states have inspections every year that will force you to fix it to earn a passing grade. I took my heap to a place for the annual inspection and the guy gave me an $800 list of things that needed replacing. I laughed and went to a competitor who gave me a passing grade. Needless to say I now have a new mechanic.
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Postby DoubleDown on Thu Sep 21, 2017 10:26 am

Sounds like the Fiesta isn't much of a party.
Might not want to cheap out next time you buy a car.
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Postby GoBluePanic on Thu Sep 21, 2017 11:07 am

sez752 wrote:The diagnostic test is a little more involved than that. It's an OBD scan tool that will send error codes. Some of them may be related, some may not be related. The mechanic needs to figure out the root of the problem. If they didnt provide you the codes, take it to your local AutoZone when the light comes on next. They will print you a list of codes. I wouldn't trust AutoZones diagnosis from the salesman though. On separate occasions I've taken An alternator,starter,and battery there to get tested. Each time I had to show them how to perform the test. An OEM Ford part is going to run around $700 each. There is a difference between aftermarket parts and oem parts. It is s something that won't leave you stranded now. However, the longer it goes the more secondary damage it will cause to other systems.


:lol: Yeah little gadget = OBD scan tool

I have one in the glove compartment of my car and pull codes anytime they pop up. You can put the codes into the fancy google machine and get the answer. How to act on the answer is the "involved" part.
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Postby PLUSH on Thu Sep 21, 2017 11:08 am

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