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Had to rescue my wife on the highway in between cities today because her 2001 CRV auto trans with 149k miles would not go above 35MPH. When I got to her and drove it and floored the pedal I could hear a fluttering/hissing sound coming from under the engine. Luckily we were able to get it to a Honda dealership and drop the key. Any ideas what this might be?
 

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The Honda service advisor just called me and said it was the catalytic converter. He said to replace the converter and if necessary the O2 sensor it would be between $1500-$1900. I called a guy in town who replaced the center pipe two months ago and he said he could do it for around $650 - I just need to get it to him. To do that he suggested I take a cordless drill, drill a few holes in the front/bottom of the converter and it will relieve the pressure enough to drive it 55MPH. I'd love some feedback from the forum, please.
 

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Some just take out the primary (front) O2 sensor and, if it makes the car go a lot better (yes, it will be a LOT louder), then it IS a restriction in the exhaust system past that point and it is most likely the cat converter that is plugged. You can do this to drive to the guy in town or just drive slow all the way there by doing or removing nothing. If it isn't WAY too far, then just drive it slow. :)
Yes, drilling holes where he says will do what he says it will, if it is the cat converter. If the cat wasn't the problem, then it will have to be replaced after the holes are drilled.
Yes, the cat can cause those symptoms.
Yes, Dealer prices for that service are usually super high.
Buffalo4
 

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So, Buffalo4, it will be okay to just drive it 35MPH (it's top speed) 38 miles to my guys shop? What about drilling holes in the cat to make it faster? Is that even safe??
 

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It will make it 38 miles at 35 mph. It will only take less than a 1/2 hr longer then driving at 55mph.
If you think driving at 35 is safe on the roads you need to drive on, then why not go for it.
Just keep the throttle at a steady rate and don't try to force it more. Take it easy on acceleration and relax and enjoy the trip.
If you drill holes in it you will probably be able to go at least 55 but you will get leaking exhaust gases so be sure to leave it on outside air and the front windows partially open and the heater fan on high.
Buffalo4
 

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It's up to you. A safer method would be to have it towed there, esp if you have good towing insurance.
If the cat is indeed the problem, then drilling those holes may be the easiest way to get it up to speed. If you can take out the primary O2 sensor, and leave it out, that would work also.
Buffalo4
PS: No side roads?
 

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The front pipe is connected to the converter with only 2 bolts. Do you have access to an angle grinder? You can cut those 2 bolts and then separate the pipe before the converter. Then if the converter isn't the issue 2 bolts are pretty cheap to replace.

Of course, at that point it is only 3 more bolts to drop the back of the converter as well, unless your guy welded it in with the new middle pipe. I see converters online for around $150.
 

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I would suggest to take out the O2 sensor before the catalytic converter before doing any work as what Shryp suggested. By removing the O2 sensor will create a flow path before the cat converter for the exhaust gasses. If the vehicle goes beyond 35 mph the cat converter is clogged. If it does not there is another problem. Let us know.
 

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Wellllll, if you go to the Rockauto website, they have cats for $110(non-CA)-$235 (CA version) and those are direct bolt on.

Autozone has about the same price http://www.autozone.com/emission-control-and-exhaust/catalytic-converter/honda/cr-v-4wd/2001/4-cylinders-2-0l-mfi-dohc?filterByKeyWord=catalytic+converter&fromString=search

They also have an installation kit for it.

How many miles on the beast? How has it been running, prior to that. What I would worry about is the clogged cat being a symptom of another problem (fouled plug, dead cylinder, burning oil, overly rich mixture).

Another way to test your cat is look at your exhaust pipe....is it glowing red (not usually visible under standard light, but it can be).

BTW, the guy that gave you the first quote is a crook...unless you consider over $1,000 and acceptable amount of labor for less than 2 hours of work.
 
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