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Catalytic converter failed - $4000!

 
Old 09-13-2010, 09:23 PM
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Default Catalytic converter failed - $4000!

2005 A8L-
Check engine lamp came on and stayed on. Engine seemed to be running fine. I figured it was an O2 sensor or something with the Evaporative Emissions system (i.e. loose gas cap). Dropped it at the dealer to have it checked out. They pulled a code for one of the catalytic converters. Special order part so it will be here next week. OK to drive car but lamp is going to come back on before I go back for repairs.

The bad news... Service Adviser says that replacing just one of these is approximately $4000!!! And he will need it for 2 days.

The good news... It's covered by the 8/80 Federal Emissions Warranty. No cost to me. Not even a deductible. They'll hook me up with a loaner Audi, as usual, while it's in.

Thank goodness it's covered because I know my extended warranty wouldn't take care of it. Anyway, I've read here, or on other boards, that the dollar figure is in line for a factory replaced cat.

Dodged a bullet! Maybe I should go buy a Lotto ticket?
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Old 09-13-2010, 09:28 PM
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Wow!!! Too bad im close to 80k lol. How many miles do you have?
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Old 09-14-2010, 04:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Brozee View Post
Wow!!! Too bad im close to 80k lol. How many miles do you have?
Past 120k for me so I'd be disconnecting the light!
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Old 09-14-2010, 05:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Mister Bally View Post
Past 120k for me so I'd be disconnecting the light!
Phew! Glad it's as simple as that, and it fools the vag-com as well?
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Old 09-14-2010, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Brozee View Post
Phew! Glad it's as simple as that, and it fools the vag-com as well?
If the light is out thanks to disconnecting a wire, the diagnostic software, when disconnected knows nothing. Once connected, you will read the stored faults.

On a related subject, my Beetle threw a random Catlyst out of range fault after the dealer rebuilt the engine. I took it back figuring they left something loose etc. Noooooo, bad Cat. They want $800.00 to replace it. I laughed and said I'll live with the light. (I promptly reset it). The mechanic came out to the car and said all I have to do is remove the Oxygen Sensor in/near the Catalytic CONvertor and shim it out with a 1/8" thick washer. I've only reset that fault once but it is a note to keep in the back of your head.
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Old 09-14-2010, 05:49 PM
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64,000 miles.

I'm not sure about "disconnecting the light." The light is the actual Check Engine Lamp, so it would stop working for all fault codes. If your thinking of the EGR lamp, that went away in 1989. That was the lamp that came on at a certain number of miles or time period and required a trip to the dealer and one hour labor for them to reset.

I'm also pretty sure removing the O2 sensor is out. I appreciate the idea though. The O2 sensor looks at (amongst other things) the amount of unburned fuel coming through the exhaust. That information is sent to the the engine computer (PCM?) and adjusts the fuel/air mixture accordingly.

But on that note, I thought that if this were on my dime, I might ask someone to just remove both cats altogether because my county doesn't have emissions testing. It wouldn't be legal, but then again, no one would be looking for them either.

At that price, if I get stuck with the bill, I get creative just like everyone else though...
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Old 09-15-2010, 05:20 AM
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Originally Posted by FlyTyinFool View Post
64,000 miles.

I'm not sure about "disconnecting the light." The light is the actual Check Engine Lamp, so it would stop working for all fault codes. If your thinking of the EGR lamp, that went away in 1989. That was the lamp that came on at a certain number of miles or time period and required a trip to the dealer and one hour labor for them to reset.

I'm also pretty sure removing the O2 sensor is out. I appreciate the idea though. The O2 sensor looks at (amongst other things) the amount of unburned fuel coming through the exhaust. That information is sent to the the engine computer (PCM?) and adjusts the fuel/air mixture accordingly.

But on that note, I thought that if this were on my dime, I might ask someone to just remove both cats altogether because my county doesn't have emissions testing. It wouldn't be legal, but then again, no one would be looking for them either.

At that price, if I get stuck with the bill, I get creative just like everyone else though...
Yes, I would disconnect (actually, add a hidden switch to disable) the CEL (Check Engine Light). If the car started running rough or fuel mileage suddenly dropped, I'd flip the switch to see if the light was lit. If so, then I'd read the codes.
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Old 11-14-2010, 09:16 AM
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Chaps, don't put switches on the lights etc.

When I remapped my A8, I had a faulty catalytic convertor on bank 1. Kept bring the light on and it did my head in.

Luckily the Bosch ME7.1.1 ECU you can go in and turn off the DTC trouble codes for the catalysts. That way you retain pull diagnostic capability.

Plus a small tune in there too
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Old 12-08-2010, 11:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Mister Bally View Post
Past 120k for me so I'd be disconnecting the light!
hahaaa i may have to do the same.... a failing cat shouldnt hurt anything, right??
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Old 12-09-2010, 07:37 AM
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Disabling the efficiency code isn't going to be beneficial to your car's long term health. When the converters fail they can also break up and block the exhaust and if that code is disabled you might not know until it's happening and when it happens you run the risk of further damage to the engine from excessive back pressure.

In this respect the Audi is not much different than any other car. An exhaust is an exhaust is an exhaust. Simply drop the pipe with the cat, cut out the bad cat and replace it with an OBD-II compliant replacement and then put the pipe back up there.

My company makes performance catted pipes for GM cars at a cost of $250 to our customers, for the entire pipe, converter, flange etc. GM's cost for a stock replacement is $1300. My point is that there's always an alternative.
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