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Discussion Starter #1
I purchased a used 2010 CRV-EX-L w/110K last March. Until 3 weeks ago the vehicle has been excellent. On a trip to Harrisburg, PA the A/C compressor seized. Luckily it happened while I was near a Nissan Dealership. The dealership was affiliated with a Honda dealership two miles away. I was reluctant to drive the car there since the engine/power steering and alternator were out.
The seized A/C compressor caused the serpentine belt to snap.
The Nissan dealership installed an aftermarket compressor to the tune of $1,200.00 including labor, oil change, and free loaner. I was very happy with the service.
QUESTION: Are aftermarket compressors of better quality than the ones Honda uses. I've heard that Honda compressors and clutches have a very high failure rate. I'm wondering if the
dealership did me a favor by installing an aftermarket compressor. Thank you.

PARTII
A week later my check engine light came on. The scanner code read P0420 which means catalytic converter failure. I'm told there is a primary and secondary converter on the 2010 CR-V.
The primary connects directly to the exhaust manifold while the secondary is incorporated in the exhaust piping.

My question is, are Primary Cats a huge problem with these vehicles? Could I be using the wrong gas (87 octane). When I purchased the car I replaced the plugs so I know that is not the cause. A Honda OEM primary cat is a very expensive part to the tune of $946.00 online.

This is the 5th Honda I have owned. My sisters combined have owned 8 over the years. Each has been extremely reliable vehicles. It's why I purchased this as my primary vehicle. My neighbors also own them and they all rave about the CRV. Could it be I have a lemon?

Thank you for your time.
 

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The first question

Not any higher really compared to any other manufacturer. Honda did have some issues with Gen 2 CRV compressors failing but by now the vast majority have been changed.

As for aftermarket it depends on the brand/quality. Could be much better or could be worse.

As for the 420 code. That does not mean converter has gone bad by any means. Gas it didn't like being ran through it, a dirty air filter and so on can cause this code. As well as most commonly for a failure of a part, the 02 sensor. P0420 is not a converter failure code. It simply means that the O2 sensor after the converter (or in it, just not the one before the converter) is sending readings to the computer that are out of "desired range". So a long list of things can cause it. Old spark plugs is another one. Just not igniting the fuel as efficiently as the computer thinks they should be.

Both my 2007 Odyssey and my 2003 CRV will randomly decide to throw a P0420 code especially during the winter time. We have to stick with gas from 2 gas stations or it comes on. When we travel out of town with either vehicle between November and March the CEL comes on with that code about every time for a bit. Annoying but harms nothing.

Diagnosing these issues can be a royal pain in the rear (I'm a life long mechanic myself) or something as simple as an air filter or bottle of seafoam/injector cleaner poured in the gas tank.

I advise checking basic maintenance items first and reset the CEL. Put a fresh tank of fuel in. See how long it takes to come back on. If it's within a couple days then you would need to take it to a mechanic (and FYI you don't need a dealership or a Honda shop to work on Honda's, any mechanic worth his paycheck can work on them just the same as anyone else).

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I am aware that there have been some bad production runs on some A/C compressors over the years. When I got my '07, back in August, it was cooling fine at speed but not at idle, yet was not short-cycling. I had my mechanic check the system. It was almost a pound low on gas. That's when I learned that the system only holds around 1.8 pounds total! So the charge was down about 50%. However, I do have complete maintenance records that showed no previous service on it, so under a pound of leakage in 11 years is not bad, all things considered. He pulled a vacuum, did a leak-down test, and there was none in an hour, so he recharged it, and it has been ice cold ever since. I know that when a system is low on gas the compressor is subject to more stress, so I suspect that a lot of otherwise perfectly good compressors have had to be replaced simply because it just doesn't take much lost gas to stress the system, and some folks leqarned this the hard way when their compressors went out even though the system was not that low on gas, because it was enough to cause the stress while still cooling. So my plan going forward is to get it checked annually, just in case. Cheap insurance for those high-dollar compressors. I hope.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
It's the Primary Cat. Tried dry gas, fuel injector cleaner, octane booster, & 93 Octane Sunoco with no luck. Ordered Cat. Installing tomorrow
I'll fill you in with results.
 

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The other (most important) thing people forget, is when they get their air conditioning system serviced, they don't know to add the appropriate oil back in. Any time you recover refrigerant, you're pulling that oil out. Any shop with a decent AC machine has a way of measuring this oil and adding the same amount back in.

OP, I'd be willing to bet the AC system was never servicing appropriately causing the OEM compressor to fail due to lack of oil.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I purchased a used 2010 CRV-EX-L w/110K last March. Until 3 weeks ago the vehicle has been excellent. On a trip to Harrisburg, PA the A/C compressor seized. Luckily it happened while I was near a Nissan Dealership. The dealership was affiliated with a Honda dealership two miles away. I was reluctant to drive the car there since the engine/power steering and alternator were out.
The seized A/C compressor caused the serpentine belt to snap.
The Nissan dealership installed an aftermarket compressor to the tune of $1,200.00 including labor, oil change, and free loaner. I was very happy with the service.
QUESTION: Are aftermarket compressors of better quality than the ones Honda uses. I've heard that Honda compressors and clutches have a very high failure rate. I'm wondering if the
dealership did me a favor by installing an aftermarket compressor. Thank you.

PARTII
A week later my check engine light came on. The scanner code read P0420 which means catalytic converter failure. I'm told there is a primary and secondary converter on the 2010 CR-V.
The primary connects directly to the exhaust manifold while the secondary is incorporated in the exhaust piping.

My question is, are Primary Cats a huge problem with these vehicles? Could I be using the wrong gas (87 octane). When I purchased the car I replaced the plugs so I know that is not the cause. A Honda OEM primary cat is a very expensive part to the tune of $946.00 online.

This is the 5th Honda I have owned. My sisters combined have owned 8 over the years. Each has been extremely reliable vehicles. It's why I purchased this as my primary vehicle. My neighbors also own them and they all rave about the CRV. Could it be I have a lemon?

Thank you for your time.
FOLLOW UP!!!! Primary catalytic converter was replaced yesterday. Check Engine light gone. Hope this solves the problem. Still wondering why a cat would fail. Never had one fail on
any car I've ever owned.
 

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QUESTION: Are aftermarket compressors of better quality than the ones Honda uses. I've heard that Honda compressors and clutches have a very high failure rate. I'm wondering if the
dealership did me a favor by installing an aftermarket compressor. Thank you.
No. Honda uses Nippon Denso. There is no better. All aftermarket brands are inferior.

A week later my check engine light came on. The scanner code read P0420 which means catalytic converter failure. I'm told there is a primary and secondary converter on the 2010 CR-V.
The primary connects directly to the exhaust manifold while the secondary is incorporated in the exhaust piping.

My question is, are Primary Cats a huge problem with these vehicles? Could I be using the wrong gas (87 octane). When I purchased the car I replaced the plugs so I know that is not the cause. A Honda OEM primary cat is a very expensive part to the tune of $946.00 online.

FOLLOW UP!!!! Primary catalytic converter was replaced yesterday. Check Engine light gone. Hope this solves the problem. Still wondering why a cat would fail. Never had one fail on any car I've ever owned.
You just blew a thousand dollars to fix what you've already been told was a $25 problem (an O2 sensor). Of course it fixed it - they replaced the O2 sensor with the cat. Nice. You replaced a cat that was probably still good for the life of the car.
 

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I purchased a used 2010 CRV-EX-L w/110K last March. Until 3 weeks ago the vehicle has been excellent. On a trip to Harrisburg, PA the A/C compressor seized. Luckily it happened while I was near a Nissan Dealership. The dealership was affiliated with a Honda dealership two miles away. I was reluctant to drive the car there since the engine/power steering and alternator were out.
The seized A/C compressor caused the serpentine belt to snap.
The Nissan dealership installed an aftermarket compressor to the tune of $1,200.00 including labor, oil change, and free loaner. I was very happy with the service.
QUESTION: Are aftermarket compressors of better quality than the ones Honda uses. I've heard that Honda compressors and clutches have a very high failure rate. I'm wondering if the
dealership did me a favor by installing an aftermarket compressor. Thank you.

PARTII
A week later my check engine light came on. The scanner code read P0420 which means catalytic converter failure. I'm told there is a primary and secondary converter on the 2010 CR-V.
The primary connects directly to the exhaust manifold while the secondary is incorporated in the exhaust piping.

My question is, are Primary Cats a huge problem with these vehicles? Could I be using the wrong gas (87 octane). When I purchased the car I replaced the plugs so I know that is not the cause. A Honda OEM primary cat is a very expensive part to the tune of $946.00 online.

This is the 5th Honda I have owned. My sisters combined have owned 8 over the years. Each has been extremely reliable vehicles. It's why I purchased this as my primary vehicle. My neighbors also own them and they all rave about the CRV. Could it be I have a lemon?

Thank you for your time.
FOLLOW UP!!!! Primary catalytic converter was replaced yesterday. Check Engine light gone. Hope this solves the problem. Still wondering why a cat would fail. Never had one fail on
any car I've ever owned.

Not to throw salt in the wound but it definitely was O2 sensors either upstream and downstream I had a similar situation and a code (don’t recall what it was) I had both sensors replaced and code hasn’t come back
 

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With the AC compressor Honda had a huge failure issue with them. Aftermarket doesn't mean worse.

To OP, you seriously bough a new cat without trying a new 02 sensor first. As Kloker pointed out, chances of the converter being bad was slim and none unless you had over 200k miles of in town driving on it.

Changing octane level of gas will cause a p0420 code until computer relearns.

Your money but just throwing parts at things isn't the answer especially at that cost. If you didn't replace the 02 sensor expect the code to come back.

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With the AC compressor Honda had a huge failure issue with them. Aftermarket doesn't mean worse.
They did, but that was a specific, limited (though large) production run, and was resolved years ago. No reason to suspect any of those would still be floating around out there now.

Aftermarket definitely is worse. Aftermarket A/C compressors are cheap junk and of far inferior quality.
 

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You just blew a thousand dollars to fix what you've already been told was a $25 problem (an O2 sensor). Of course it fixed it - they replaced the O2 sensor with the cat. Nice. You replaced a cat that was probably still good for the life of the car.

OEM O2 sensors are not $25, they're not even close to that cheap on my RD1. And all this talk about "OEM this" and "OEM that", you don't like to practice what you preach, do you? If the OP wants to blow his money, let him. It's not hurting you. For the record, it's not ALWAYS the O2 sensor. The proper diag will save the most money. I've seen more cats' fail then I'd ever thought, well before the O2 ever would. I've replaced more O2 sensor's due to heater circuit issues than performance/420 codes.


There are things that exist outside your bubble.
 

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Yes 02 sensors are not that cheap but OEM online are about $60 (don't go to parts store cause they gouge the hell out of you)

Converters failing is rarely a issue with the converter itself. It's caused by runability issues because engine isn't burning fuel efficiently as it should. They shouldn't need replaced till they get pretty high miles and even then it depends on a lot of factors outside of the converters themselves. O2 sensors are extremely common if vehicles are taken care of correctly and runability issues are addressed immediately. The worst cause of modern converter failure, improper fuel/air ratio which until it causes a CEL due to converter failing, go unnoticed.

But as you said PROPER diagnosis is key. Which means take it to a mechanic. And a good one because simple O2 data is one small part of the picture. Hell I can diagnose using torque pro on my phone/Bluetooth adapter rather often because there is just enough data that I can see what's up by looking up what optimal values should be across primary sensors. Which is why I always say there is a long list of things that can cause a 420 code. A new converter often times is only a bandaid because a new one does a better job of cleaning up engine inefficiencies.

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OEM O2 sensors are not $25, they're not even close to that cheap on my RD1. And all this talk about "OEM this" and "OEM that", you don't like to practice what you preach, do you? If the OP wants to blow his money, let him. It's not hurting you. For the record, it's not ALWAYS the O2 sensor. The proper diag will save the most money. I've seen more cats' fail then I'd ever thought, well before the O2 ever would. I've replaced more O2 sensor's due to heater circuit issues than performance/420 codes.


There are things that exist outside your bubble.
I've only ever seen one cat fail. Ever. And that was on a car with over 250k miles on it. Can a cat fail? I'm sure it can, especially in an age where so many things are made in China or the other parts of the world where all the manufacturing went after the end of the US industrial age. But it's not common. But I absolutely agree that proper diagnosis is key. And I would not trust it to a dealer.
 

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Converters failing is rarely a issue with the converter itself. It's caused by runability issues because engine isn't burning fuel efficiently as it should. They shouldn't need replaced till they get pretty high miles and even then it depends on a lot of factors outside of the converters themselves. O2 sensors are extremely common if vehicles are taken care of correctly and runability issues are addressed immediately. The worst cause of modern converter failure, improper fuel/air ratio which until it causes a CEL due to converter failing, go unnoticed.

Agreed completely. Most people don't see the importance of proper vehicle maintenance, until it's too late.
 

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And proper diagnosis is also critical, as it can make the difference between lining a dealer's pockets with high ticket items like cats when the real issue was something else, and an in-depth look that actually identifies the cause. A dealership, with it's one diagnostic machine and crew of parts replacers, throwing parts at a problem and your money with it, is not a valid substitute for a real, trustworthy mechanic.
 
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