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Call all car guys (or gals, or martians)

MakingProgress
Senior Contributor

Call all car guys (or gals, or martians)

I have a car question.

 

I  have a 2015 Chevy Sonic with just under 49K miles that is used to drive back and forth to work, and a few errands. 

 

I had a check engine light indicating catalytic converter in 2018 at about 22K.   The catalytic converter was replaced under the emissions warranty.

 

I had the same thing done last month.

 

I am concerned that simply replacing the converter is treating the symptom and not the cause.

 

Why would I need to replace a catalytic converter approx ever 3 years?

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Message 1 of 17
16 REPLIES 16
tcbofade
Community Leader
Super Contributor

Re: Call all car guys (or gals, or martians)

A poor design.

 

I don't want to be unkind, but it's a cheap car with cheap parts.

 

Plan to replace it again in three years, or plan to replace the car before that.

06/01/22 Fico 8: EX 746, EQ 768, TU 763.
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Message 2 of 17
Brian_Earl_Spilner
Community Leader
Mega Contributor

Re: Call all car guys (or gals, or martians)

The 13-14 model had a recall for bad cats so it's possible they haven't fixed the issue. There's also the chance that it's really a bad O2 sensor, the one behind the cat specifically. The last, least probable cause, would be there's something wrong with the engine whether it's timing, fuel, spark, etc.

    
Message 3 of 17
MakingProgress
Senior Contributor

Re: Call all car guys (or gals, or martians)


@Brian_Earl_Spilner wrote:

The 13-14 model had a recall for bad cats so it's possible they haven't fixed the issue. There's also the chance that it's really a bad O2 sensor, the one behind the cat specifically. The last, least probable cause, would be there's something wrong with the engine whether it's timing, fuel, spark, etc.


@Brian_Earl_Spilner 

 

Would it worth having someone I trust look at it now? Rather than waiting for the check engine light to come on in 3 years.   Is it likely the cause could be found now?

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Message 4 of 17
MakingProgress
Senior Contributor

Re: Call all car guys (or gals, or martians)


@tcbofade wrote:

A poor design.

 

I don't want to be unkind, but it's a cheap car with cheap parts.

 

Plan to replace it again in three years, or plan to replace the car before that.


I agree cheap car.   That was the whole point of this car, I wanted to spend as little as possible as I wouldn't be putting many miles on it.  The plan is to drive it into the ground and see how close I am to retirement at the time.   Hopefully it will make it to retirement but if not plan on buying a used car that will last me the last couple of years I will be working.   At that point DW and I can go down to one car. 

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Message 5 of 17
Brian_Earl_Spilner
Community Leader
Mega Contributor

Re: Call all car guys (or gals, or martians)


@MakingProgress wrote:

@Brian_Earl_Spilner wrote:

The 13-14 model had a recall for bad cats so it's possible they haven't fixed the issue. There's also the chance that it's really a bad O2 sensor, the one behind the cat specifically. The last, least probable cause, would be there's something wrong with the engine whether it's timing, fuel, spark, etc.


@Brian_Earl_Spilner 

 

Would it worth having someone I trust look at it now? Rather than waiting for the check engine light to come on in 3 years.   Is it likely the cause could be found now?


I would actually start by checking for recalls and looking online to see how prevalent the issue is, if it is at all. Something like "2015 chevy Sonic catalytic problems". Then I would check to see if they replaced the O2 sensors along with the cat. If they did and it's an emissions issue, you really won't be able to troubleshoot down to the problem. If they didn't, it's definitely either the cat or an engine issue. At that point having your engine checked and tuned will only benefit you regardless of it being the problem or not.

    
Message 6 of 17
GApeachy
Super Contributor

Re: Call all car guys (or gals, or martians)


@MakingProgress wrote:

Why would I need to replace a catalytic converter approx ever 3 years?


Do you know if it was an OEM or an Aftermarket replacement?  Do you remember the cost of the converter (not including labor)?

"My Take Home Pay Don't Take Me Home"
Message 7 of 17
GApeachy
Super Contributor

Re: Call all car guys (or gals, or martians)


@MakingProgress wrote:

@Brian_Earl_Spilner wrote:

The 13-14 model had a recall for bad cats so it's possible they haven't fixed the issue. There's also the chance that it's really a bad O2 sensor, the one behind the cat specifically. The last, least probable cause, would be there's something wrong with the engine whether it's timing, fuel, spark, etc.


@Brian_Earl_Spilner 

 

Would it worth having someone I trust look at it now? Rather than waiting for the check engine light to come on in 3 years.   Is it likely the cause could be found now?


See if this trusted person would pull codes... or stop by an autoparts store that has that ability and willingness to do so right there in the parking lot.  Another thing too is to look through your paperwork and see what warranty comes with the replacement converter.  A higher end, more reliable replacement such as OEM or a higher end Aftermarket will provide a better warranty eg. 5 yrs/50k miles or there about.

"My Take Home Pay Don't Take Me Home"
Message 8 of 17
MakingProgress
Senior Contributor

Re: Call all car guys (or gals, or martians)


@GApeachy wrote:

@MakingProgress wrote:

@Brian_Earl_Spilner wrote:

The 13-14 model had a recall for bad cats so it's possible they haven't fixed the issue. There's also the chance that it's really a bad O2 sensor, the one behind the cat specifically. The last, least probable cause, would be there's something wrong with the engine whether it's timing, fuel, spark, etc.


@Brian_Earl_Spilner 

 

Would it worth having someone I trust look at it now? Rather than waiting for the check engine light to come on in 3 years.   Is it likely the cause could be found now?


See if this trusted person would pull codes... or stop by an autoparts store that has that ability and willingness to do so right there in the parking lot.  Another thing too is to look through your paperwork and see what warranty comes with the replacement converter.  A higher end, more reliable replacement such as OEM or a higher end Aftermarket will provide a better warranty eg. 5 yrs/50k miles or there about.


Should be OEM parts, as it was replaced by the dealer as part of the 8 yr / 80000 mile extended emissions warranty that came with the car. 

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Message 9 of 17
_ptatohed
Frequent Contributor

Re: Call all car guys (or gals, or martians)


@MakingProgress wrote:

I have a car question.

 

I  have a 2015 Chevy Sonic with just under 49K miles that is used to drive back and forth to work, and a few errands. 

 

I had a check engine light indicating catalytic converter in 2018 at about 22K.   The catalytic converter was replaced under the emissions warranty.

 

I had the same thing done last month.

 

I am concerned that simply replacing the converter is treating the symptom and not the cause.

 

Why would I need to replace a catalytic converter approx ever 3 years?


Please tell us the exact code(s) you are getting.  

 

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Message 10 of 17
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