Calling all car smart people!!

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by SweetPoison, Jan 20, 2011.

  1. SweetPoison
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    SweetPoison iPad Legend

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    Okay here's the deal.

    My daughter went to have her car smogged in order to register it. It failed due to the wrong catilitic converter model. I know I spelled that wrong.

    She went to two different smog places. Both said the same thing. Three years ago, our car place put that converter in.

    She called Jason and told him and he said they are full of shit. She is there arguing with him now. Both smog places gave her the correct model number that SHOULD have gone in there. He put an Acura converter in her Honda Civic.

    We don't think she should have to pay for this. Do You?
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2011
  2. DaveSt
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    Would the car have passed the smog test three years ago with that particular catalytic converter installed? Was there some change in the laws that would have made it OK three years ago but not now? If so I think you are probably out of luck. If the converter they put in three years ago didn't meet the emissions requirements at that time I think you have a strong case.
  3. SBHOKC
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    SBHOKC iPad Enthusiast

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    Acura and Honda are the same company. The parts are interchangeable so the smog place may have the wrong information in their computer. Honda Civics and the Acura RSX and TSX came off the same line.

    The mechanic, if he does not work at a Honda dealership, may have put in an after market version?
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2011
  4. SweetPoison
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    Dave, it DID pass the her smog three years ago, right after they put it in. And your right, laws did change. You are smart.

    But Dave! They put in the wrong converter to begin with.

    And it is still under warranty.
  5. SweetPoison
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    SweetPoison iPad Legend

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    All three of them? All three of the Smog places are wrong? She just got home and she went to three and they gave her the correct model number that should be in there.

    And according the the three places, these are NOT interchangeable.
  6. SBHOKC
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    SBHOKC iPad Enthusiast

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    I retired from American Honda in 2005. Your state has ridiculous requirements so it would go back to the mechanic who installed it then....
  7. SBHOKC
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    SBHOKC iPad Enthusiast

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    And no, I don't think she should have to pay for this.
  8. SweetPoison
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    Wonderful! That damn thing was almost $400 and $100 labor three years ago. I was so proud of her ~ they were both yelling at her. At first they said she didn't get it there, and of course she did and they finally found the paperwork.
  9. SBHOKC
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    Sorry for your troubles. We had this problem in Texas for a bit but then they started testing only the emissions coming from the tail pipe, which is what they should be concerned with, and no more problems. California always has been a pain for the automotive field in general. Honda as well as all other manufacturers actually have to make California specific cars if you can believe it. Small details but non the less true!
  10. SweetPoison
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    Thank you very much. You have been very helpful and much appreciated!
  11. DaveSt
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    lol ... I must not be that smart because I completely missed that part. If they put the wrong one in they should replace it at their cost in my opinion.

    Tell them you plan on contacting Honda to discuss the issue. I bet they change their attitude.
  12. epb
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    All this happened in CA? It seems odd to me that a CA dealership would make this mistake...

    All in all, the mechanic is probably right - the catalytic converter is likely an interchangeable part that works perfectly (otherwise your daughter would be getting a CEL - check engine light). CA is just super-anal about this stuff, to the point of not caring if the car is within emissions specs if the wrong part is on the car. (IL is as bad - I had a Porsche fail because the emergency brake light was on. Their instructions say no lights can be on in the dash, and one of the techs simply didn't understand the emergency brake had nothing to do with emissions. The switch was stuck, some percussive maintenance fixed the issue, but still...)

    Still, if Honda is like most companies, they warranty the emissions system for longer than the car's engine, and it's their fault it's failing now - they need to replace it. This stuff kills me from dealerships - they're fighting over this when it's chump-change to them to keep a customer happy. I've seen BMW dealers argue with customers over $5 parts.
  13. SBHOKC
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    Exactly epb, whoever I think it was a private mechanic they went to. Still he should put the correct part on the car if CA is going to be that strict which the mechanic should know.
  14. David79
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    If they put the wrong part in it, then they should have to fix it and bite the cost, that isnt right at all!
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2011
  15. SweetPoison
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    Yes is was a private mechanic. Not the dealership. But here is the update and then tell me what you guys think. I am so glad you men are so smart!

    Okay ~

    I went in today and talked to them. My daughter was so upset she didn't listen, she heard them, but didn't listen.

    There were three different converters that could go into her car. They used one of them. It was NOT the wrong one, or she would not have passed her Smog after they put it in. Right? And she did ~

    Then the laws changed, and NOW they can not put that converter in her car any more, there is only ONE they can use for her car.

    They have had so many people coming in with this problem! I just bet they have. Amber was told that she needs to talk to the owner, who we know as we have been going there for years. They let us make payments on repairs.:D They actually love us! Well, me!

    The owner will most likely waive the $400 and just make her pay the labor, at $100. What do you guys think of that? Fair?

    It really isn't their fault the laws changed. All the mechanics came out to talk to me with the manager and they said that Cali is doing this to get the state money, since we are broke and there are some that can't get any converter, so can't smog, and can't register....can't sell it either. So they go across state line to sell. I learned more than I EVER wanted to know about this crap today!

    She took issue with all of this because the owner is out of town until Wed and she is to come back then. She can't. She starts school and works full time. Her days are 14 hours long 4 days a week.

    This is what she was so upset with; that made her lose all reason and closed her ears.

    I have not even told her all of this yet. She is due home any min!
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2011
  16. DaveSt
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    That sounds very fair from the dealership. What isn't fair is that people have to go out and get their cars updated yet again to pass the smog requirements. I can understand new cars needing to pass, but it seems like those already out there, and especially those that just passed within the past few years, should be exempt. Times must be good for auto shops in CA!

    Maybe I missed something. Was this car not currently registered? Maybe I can see how that might create an issue.
  17. SweetPoison
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    That is exactly what our mechanic said to me!


    No it was. The last time being when our mechanic put in the "wrong" converter. She took it in right away and they smogged it so it was obviously okay three years ago and all this time!
  18. SBHOKC
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    Unfortunately it does seem like California put the burden on it's citizens once again and paying the 100 for labor would seem fair. I really don't understand why the car would not be grandfathered. Very bad for business.
  19. SweetPoison
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    Again, this is what my mechanic said. Seems so unfair.
  20. Snowlady
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    You should live in Florida. They don't care what you drive here. No vehicle checks. Forget environment. Most have no insurance, cars can be falling apart, high speed welcomed, and senior drivers get licenses for like six to ten years. At least in California you try to be responsible. The wild west...redux.

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