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Thread: Catalytic converter question

  1. #1
    Registered Member Anzi's Avatar

    2002 Protegť5 manual

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    Catalytic converter question

    Okay guys, Iím pretty suspicious I have at least one cat going. Now, I live in California, where we care about the environment, so I would like to know which cat is usually suspect, or if I should just do both of them. Trying to stay on top of things in this car so I donít end up destroying it from a clog.

  2. #2
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    protege5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anzi View Post
    Now, I live in California, where we care about the environment
    This part made me lose any interest at all. go buy a chevy volt and cover it with anti-gasoline stickers.


    My cars are all powered by completely organic recycled dinosaurs.

  3. #3
    The Diagram Dude pcb's Avatar

    2002 mazda protege 5

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    Your front cat has codes that will let you know if it has crapped out.

    I do know that Californians MUST use OEM cats and the front one is something like $1200 US.
    There was an aftermarket company that was working hard to get their cats approved but I don't think they were allowed.
    Driving across state lines to get aftermarket stuff is a BIG deal... You may as well be smuggling drugs or Mexicans.

    I say just leave it be unless you fail your smog test.
    The Diagram Dude

  4. #4
    Banned GJ-Molestor's Avatar

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    I agree. first off, what makes you think your cat is going? do you have exessive oil consumption? are you running rich? if your cats are clogged you got other things to worry about such as fouled spark plugs, fouled o2 sensors, etc.

    have you smelled your exhaust? if it has a strong sulfur/rotten egg smell especially when you rev the motor up a little, your cats are getting clogged. if you don't have a check engine light for your cats, it's your secondary smaller cat (less serious) if you do have a CEL for cats, then looks like you will have to change your main cat. I agree with pcb that you're simply best off waiting until the car physically fails inspection before spending ridiculous money on a new cat. if that is your only option, I suggest you find another protege at a scrapyard and cut out it's cat. save yourself a good amount of money. hell, you may as well drop in a new or better engine for the price it will cost you to get a new cat.

    now... if you are lucky, you might be able to unclog your cat at least partially by doing some full throttle pulls, provided your engine and transmission is in reasonable condition. the key here is to bring the engine up to redline at least 2-3 times in a row so the engine gets nice and hot and hopefully clears up the cats a little. you will also give your injectors a good clean. if you open your window after the full throttle pull and it smells strongly like exhaust/cat/rotten eggs, then you did clear something out. I don't recommend doing this if your car is running rich however, as you will just make things worse.

    what is your mileage, how do you drive the car, and what sort of oil consumption are you experiencing?

  5. #5
    The Diagram Dude pcb's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by GJ-Molestor View Post
    .... if you don't have a check engine light for your cats, it's your secondary smaller cat (less serious) if you do have a CEL for cats
    There is no CEL for the secondary cat. Both O2 sensors are before it.
    You could replace it with straight pipe and neither your car or anyone would know, unless they sniff the tailpipe.
    (though you would have easier exhaust flow which may affect something)
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  6. #6
    Registered Member Anzi's Avatar

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    CA does visual inspection, so I would need to replace it with a cat. However, there is not a requirement that the cat be OEM, only that it meet CA requirements for OE spec

  7. #7
    The Diagram Dude pcb's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anzi View Post
    ....However, there is not a requirement that the cat be OEM, only that it meet CA requirements for OE spec
    Yea,.. That's new... There's cheaper aftermarket stuff now.



    But there's no CA compliant secondary cat listed at Rockauto.
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