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Anyone been told their catalytic converter can't be replaced under warranty?

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Old 04-24-2007, 06:34 PM   #1
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Unhappy Anyone been told their catalytic converter can't be replaced under warranty?

I have an 03 S10 5-speed that has been giving me problems. I cannot accelerate at highway speeds, the truck rerfuses to rev over 2000 rpm at times. I have replaced all 3 O2 sensors, tried a replacement MAF, changed fuel filters twice in the past 3 months as well as air filters. My plugs,cap and rotor and wires are good(and new). I have a scangauge hooked up all the time and I started getting a P0420 code(catalyst low efficiency). This is when I did a complete tune up and replaced all my 02 sensors to eliminate those as problems. After some reading on this forum it sounded like the cat was indeed dying, so I removed an 02 sensor ahead of the cat (and unplugged it) in order to run a permanent open loop and eliminate the exhaust restriction to see if my truck would run better. Like magic, I could once again accelerate at highway speeds and the exhaust leak sounded bad but like a leak and not like a muffled dying goose at speed. I took one of the old 02 sensors and cut the top off, broke out all the ceramic, and somewhat crimped the top to make a smaller exhaust leak so I would not have such low backpressure and as much noise. I took it to a chevy dealer today to see if they could diagnose that it was the cat a nd not a fuel problem and to see if it was covered under warranty(8 years or 80,000 miles EPA/Federal warranty). (I put all the sensors back, etc.)

They took a look at it and said it looked like a failed cat- only charged me a 1/2 hr of time. However, they said it could not be covered under warranty as the failure was most likely caused by "performance parts". They did not even mention the aftermarket muffler and tailpipe but said I had NON-FACTORY 02 SENSORS, A SCANNER HOOKED UP TO THE FACTORY COMPUTER, AND THE BIGGEST STEREO POWER CABLE THEY HAD EVER SEEN! THEY SAID A NEW CAT WOULD START AT $700 IN PARTS ALONE. THE TECH SAID MAYBE I COULD RUN A STRAIGHT PIPE OR A SIMULATOR DEPENDING ON WHAT I NEED FOR INSPECTION. HE SAID MAYBE I COULD CHECK AROUND FOR PRICES AND GET BACK TO THEM.

I stopped at two exhaust shops on the way home. I talked to the manager of one and the owner of the other. Both said they could not replace the cat under 80,000 miles and that every one they replace must be registered with the E.P.A. The one guy said that He could replace it for me if I get a letter from a Chevy service dept. saying they certify that it is not covered under the EPA warranty. Then I must sign a document stating I had a cat replaced at under 80,000 miles but over 50,000 miles and that I know that is in the federal warranty time period and I am agreeing to pay for it with that knowledge. His cost would be around half of the chevy parts price. He said the only way he could replace it without that would be if the cat itself was physically altered such as being gutted or cut. The 03 is not one of the older bolt in modular cats but is welded to the y-pipe with a flange after that that connects to the muffler and tailpipe. He also said that about 75% of the people that walk in needing a new cat were told it is not covered under warranty but he has to send them back to the dealer.

Has anyone had this happen? What kind of luck did you have in dealing with Chevy? Do you think there will be a recall three years from now? Is my problem that I used emissions sensors from the wrong foreign country or perhaps that a thinktank at Delphi was infiltrated by communists intent at circumventing U.S. emissions laws by making it legally impossible to replace failed emissions components no one wants to replace anyway but has to to drive legally? I am waiting to hear how the engineers were defeated by a corporate conspiracy?
I think getting rid of egr and secondary air systems in the 02-03s was a good step in getting rid of stuff that is going to cause more problems than it solves, but has anyone else had to pay for a cat plus labor under warranty?
Old 04-24-2007, 06:54 PM   #2
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Re: Anyone been told their catalytic converter can't be replaced under warranty?

go to
summitracing.com

And just get one from there, and then take it to a muffler shop, local place charged me $40 bucks for the install.
Old 04-24-2007, 07:01 PM   #3
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Re: Anyone been told their catalytic converter can't be replaced under warranty?


You voided the warranty anyways.
Old 04-24-2007, 07:30 PM   #4
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Re: Anyone been told their catalytic converter can't be replaced under warranty?

Quote: Originally Posted by 96blazer

You voided the warranty anyways.


it may be under warranty they can not void your warranty like that they have to(if you ask and you need to ) tell you in writing how the parts you put in ****ed up the cat if they can not tell you this it is in warranty. you need to talk to the person in charge
i did i lil reading on this some time back in the day


when the guy said to you BIGGEST STEREO POWER CABLE may have done it you should have said get the **** off my car you do not now what you or doing get the person in charge and tell him that shit your stereo may have done it lol

take it to a 2nd dealer that guy has no clue what he is doing

Last edited by lx64; 04-24-2007 at 07:33 PM.
Old 04-24-2007, 07:31 PM   #5
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Re: Anyone been told their catalytic converter can't be replaced under warranty?

Go back to the dealer and scream "magnison act". They have to PROVE that aftermarket mods caused the failure. Your aftermarket OEM replacement O2's did not because they ARE OEM certified. Your aftermarket exhaust, if its a bolt on or replacement muffler it in NO WAY will cause the cats to fail. There are only 3 things that will kill a cat. 1-excessively high EGT's, 2-extremely rich condition, 3-long term use just wearing out.

You should be covered under warranty. Let the service manager know if its not replaced AND your previous charges refunded you are calling the area warranty rep. You have a legit problem that IS covered, you should not have had to pay service fees when you went in. Trust me, I love GM vehicles but they have some of the worst customer service. Been in your possition and it takes persistance on your part. Dont get rude with the dealer, be polite and serious. Show him you are serious and not some idiot that doesnt know anything about how warranty service works and you will get exactly what you want.
Old 04-24-2007, 08:21 PM   #6
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Re: Anyone been told their catalytic converter can't be replaced under warranty?

cats are covered by law for 10 years. they have to replace it if it is less then ten years old. i learned this when i replaced my cat a while back, un-fortunitly it was over ten so i had to do it on my own. less then ten years old they have to replace it.
Old 04-24-2007, 09:53 PM   #7
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Re: Anyone been told their catalytic converter can't be replaced under warranty?

post some updates when you can i would like to see what they say
Old 04-24-2007, 10:03 PM   #8
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Re: Anyone been told their catalytic converter can't be replaced under warranty?

I had my cat replaced three times in 60K under warranty
Old 04-24-2007, 10:13 PM   #9
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Re: Anyone been told their catalytic converter can't be replaced under warranty?

Quote: Originally Posted by Zygoat
cats are covered by law for 10 years. they have to replace it if it is less then ten years old. i learned this when i replaced my cat a while back, un-fortunitly it was over ten so i had to do it on my own. less then ten years old they have to replace it.
I find that hard to swallow considering my car is only 8-9 years old, but has 135k on it.... and is nowhere near warranty.
Old 04-24-2007, 11:00 PM   #10
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Re: Anyone been told their catalytic converter can't be replaced under warranty?

Quote: Originally Posted by BudRacing
I find that hard to swallow considering my car is only 8-9 years old, but has 135k on it.... and is nowhere near warranty.
the official wording if i remember correctly was "10 years or the life of the vehicle" gm usually designs their cars for a 10 year lifespan. but they probably have a mileage quota too. which is y all Warranties are x years or x miles. all of this came with my new magnaflow cat that i had to install in my last car. i might even still have the paperwork but no promises on that one, i will look this weekend tho.

Last edited by Zygoat; 04-24-2007 at 11:04 PM.
Old 04-24-2007, 11:07 PM   #11
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Re: Anyone been told their catalytic converter can't be replaced under warranty?

Quote: Originally Posted by Zygoat
the official wording if i remember correctly was "10 years or the life of the vehicle" gm usually designs their cars for a 10 year lifespan. but they probably have a mileage quota too. which is y all Warranties are x years or x miles. all of this came with my new magnaflow cat that i had to install in my last car. i might even still have the paperwork but no promises on that one, i will look this weekend tho.
Wrong..look at your owners manual...8/80
Old 04-24-2007, 11:17 PM   #12
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Re: Anyone been told their catalytic converter can't be replaced under warranty?

Quote: Originally Posted by lx64
it may be under warranty they can not void your warranty like that they have to(if you ask and you need to ) tell you in writing how the parts you put in ****ed up the cat if they can not tell you this it is in warranty. you need to talk to the person in charge
i did i lil reading on this some time back in the day
There's a lot of fine print that people get screwed over.

We got a neighbor with a new Silverado that the engine went out, Chevy would not fix it under the warranty because he did not have it routinely serviced at the dealership. It's be handled by lawyers and is still not settled.

A good example would be on page 2 of this, where it says what is not covered:

http://www.gm.com/warranty/100K_Warranty_Supplement.pdf
Old 04-25-2007, 06:55 PM   #13
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Re: Anyone been told their catalytic converter can't be replaced under warranty?

Update on the cat: Tried to drive to work today-40 mile commute mostly on I-95. I pulled one oxygen sensor and put the "partial leak" one in. Started off okay, then was not able to get above 1500 rpm. (Good thing it is not an automatic!). Stopped on the side of the highway a few times, limped it to an exit, got off the highway and parked on side of road, walked to a shopping center Where I could see a Home Depot, got a wrench, totally removed the 02 sensor and could drive somewhat normally again as fast as I needed to not get killed with just a loud exhaust. Drove right to the dealer-was almost there- and talked to the service manager. The service manager was worse than the tech I talked to the day before- he claimed and gave me in writing that the cat was definately clogged but that was most likely due to having a scantool hooked up to the OBD2 connector and who knows what that could do to the factory computer. (state inspections will void your warranty!) He also told me the cat price would be around $800 if they had one around and did not know when the could get to it. When I asked him if my aftermarket muffler and tailpipe were what voided the warranty or could make the cat go bad he said probably not in both cases but it would add an hour or two to the install time as non-chevy parts on a chevy won't fit right so it takes the tech longer to put them on. This is for a bolt on exhaust that bolts right to the factory flange and uses the factory hangers and doesn't need to be removed in the first place.
Anyway, I left the chevy dealer as they wouldn't cover it and were promising me a huge bill. I drove straight to the local shop thats been there for 25 years and and told the owner who I had talked too the day before that I got documentation from the dealer that they wouldn't cover it. He called magnaflow to make sure it was legal and they would warranty the replacement on a vehicle that had a catfail under warranty-for magnaflow it was and the other converter company he uses it wouldn't be. To make a long story short, I had a new cat installed within a couple hours for a grand total of $203. My truck runs like new- I sat in rush hour traffic and it wouldn't start to get hot like it would with the clogged exhaust. I chirped the wheels a few times by accident. It sounds a lot different.
The problem was the precat going bad and blowing pellets into the cat. There was a huge chunk of pellets stuck together that was bouncing around in the resonater/precat that was causing a big blockage. When the tech cut out the main cat and pellets were falling down he took the lift down and ran it to blow it out and it was blowing out pellets and then the big chunk, which looked almost the same size as the pipe.
Anyway, it works now. I won't miss another day of work for car trouble or have it break down in Camden where I have to go for jury duty every week until July 2nd. I would rather pay a good shop than fight with a bad one. I am amazed at how bad a dealer service center can be though.
Old 04-25-2007, 08:44 PM   #14
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Re: Anyone been told their catalytic converter can't be replaced under warranty?

where do you live or give me the dealer info where they are i would like to know
Old 04-25-2007, 10:50 PM   #15
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Re: Anyone been told their catalytic converter can't be replaced under warranty?

Newtown, PA- Stockberger's Chevrolet
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