Can you actually clean a catalytic converter? - Drive Accord Honda Forums | radio-pro.ru
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post #1 of 9 Old 02-24-2016, 04:56 PM Thread Starter
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Can you actually clean a catalytic converter?

So I'm off for a few days, and I've heard of a couple ways to clean a catalytic converter. One was to actually put lacquer thinner into the gas tank and either keep the engine at around 2k rpms for 30 mins, or put some aggressive miles on it. The other was to take it off, and let it soak in soapy water overnight to get the gunk to fall apart.

I really want to take the thing off, just to see if it's salvageable. Because I feel like if the honeycomb pattern is still intact, I'll be able to get by with these methods. I just want to inspect it to make sure it isn't actually broken inside, or has any pieces fallen off. The engine light has been on for it for a long time, but I don't have emissions, so I haven't worried about it. But like I said, I'm off a few days, and I kinda wanna crack it open or else I'll be bored all day. I could go see my friends, but I really like working on cars in my freetime.

I've checked out the converter, and it is seriously rusted. But I did watch a video on youtube of a guy getting rusted exhaust bolts off a Honda. They looked to be about the same in appearance, and he didn't have too hard of a time. Basically what he did was heat it up with a blowtorch till it was red hot, then quickly put a socket on it and started twisting it with a combination wrench. It seemed like one hard twist and then it came off somewhat easily. He also said he got the bolt nuts from Honda for like 30 cents a nut, which is less than I thought a dealership would cost.

So basically my question is can I take it off, clean it with lacquer thinner or soapy water? Also, is my car going to be extremely loud without the cat on if I for some reason forget a part that I need and have to go to the store? The cat is pretty close to the actually engine, so I feel like it's going to be extremely loud.

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post #2 of 9 Old 02-24-2016, 06:26 PM
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What makes you think it needs to be cleaned?

I don't know if they can be cleaned or not, but I think to do so is merely delaying the inevitable. Just replace it and be done with it.


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post #3 of 9 Old 02-24-2016, 06:48 PM
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I don't think anyone on here has tried the cat cleaning. I saw that video, and shared it with you on your other thread. I thought it was interesting and if it works it could save you some money (if your time > money).

I have only had a cat problem in 30 years on one car 10 years ago and it was on my Jeep in which I paid $225 for a new one installed. I still have the Jeep and the cat is still good.

Instead of heating the nuts up, try PB Blaster on them.. It works miracles.. Just give it time to set in, but just make sure you have fresh nuts and bolts to put back on.
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Bought April 2005: 1998 Accord EXL, 4 cyl, Heather Mist Sedan miles. Currently: 210k with JDM tranny replaced at 200k.

Bought March 2015: 2001 Accord EXL, 4 cyl, Taffeta White Sedan 27k original miles, currently at 46k.
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post #4 of 9 Old 02-24-2016, 10:45 PM
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What is the CEL code for specifically? That would be a good place to start. Just because you have a "feeling" of what the problem is, doesn't mean that's actually the problem.
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post #5 of 9 Old 02-25-2016, 09:41 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by CDsDontBurn View Post
What is the CEL code for specifically? That would be a good place to start. Just because you have a "feeling" of what the problem is, doesn't mean that's actually the problem.
The cel code is 420. I guess it's just not being as green as it could be huh? Punny. So the cat is not proving to be effective enough, so it's triggering the code to pop up. I've seen on a video that 5% efficiency lost is enough to trip the code, so cleaning might be worth the time and effort. Because I really don't feel like buying a new one if I don't need to. Rather spend a couple hours fixing it than a couple hundred replacing it.

Plus, the code has been on for a long time, and before I sell this car I would like to get it off. I have 3 codes, catalytic converter, vtec solenoid, and charcoal canister. I'm going to try to fix them all so I don't have a check engine light on. The catalytic converter light has been on for probably at least 20k miles, maybe more. The check engine light has been on for years before I got the car, and I've put about 40k miles on it. But I don't know what codes were on back then, I only know those 3 are on now.
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post #6 of 9 Old 02-25-2016, 09:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziconic View Post
The cel code is 420. I guess it's just not being as green as it could be huh? Punny. So the cat is not proving to be effective enough, so it's triggering the code to pop up. I've seen on a video that 5% efficiency lost is enough to trip the code, so cleaning might be worth the time and effort. Because I really don't feel like buying a new one if I don't need to. Rather spend a couple hours fixing it than a couple hundred replacing it.

Plus, the code has been on for a long time, and before I sell this car I would like to get it off. I have 3 codes, catalytic converter, vtec solenoid, and charcoal canister. I'm going to try to fix them all so I don't have a check engine light on. The catalytic converter light has been on for probably at least 20k miles, maybe more. The check engine light has been on for years before I got the car, and I've put about 40k miles on it. But I don't know what codes were on back then, I only know those 3 are on now.
Well try cleaning it and let us know.. you could always ask that guy who makes the videos about it, he seems to take direct questions.. I personally do not think he is BSing about the Lacquer Thinner method, several others have commented on youtube that it worked for them, while others it did not.

As of December 16, 2017:

Bought April 2005: 1998 Accord EXL, 4 cyl, Heather Mist Sedan miles. Currently: 210k with JDM tranny replaced at 200k.

Bought March 2015: 2001 Accord EXL, 4 cyl, Taffeta White Sedan 27k original miles, currently at 46k.
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post #7 of 9 Old 02-25-2016, 09:45 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jb1331 View Post
I don't think anyone on here has tried the cat cleaning. I saw that video, and shared it with you on your other thread. I thought it was interesting and if it works it could save you some money (if your time > money).

I have only had a cat problem in 30 years on one car 10 years ago and it was on my Jeep in which I paid $225 for a new one installed. I still have the Jeep and the cat is still good.

Instead of heating the nuts up, try PB Blaster on them.. It works miracles.. Just give it time to set in, but just make sure you have fresh nuts and bolts to put back on.
I found this video . Apparently it's better and cheaper than the name brand ones. Might try it first.
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post #8 of 9 Old 02-25-2016, 10:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziconic View Post
I found this video . Apparently it's better and cheaper than the name brand ones. Might try it first.
A can of PB blaster is like $3, and i replaced the original manifold on my 19 year old Jeep using it about a month ago.. Everything came right off.

but if you have the other stuff on hand and don't want to waste a trip to the store, or are being uber cheap.. then whatever floats your boat

As of December 16, 2017:

Bought April 2005: 1998 Accord EXL, 4 cyl, Heather Mist Sedan miles. Currently: 210k with JDM tranny replaced at 200k.

Bought March 2015: 2001 Accord EXL, 4 cyl, Taffeta White Sedan 27k original miles, currently at 46k.
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post #9 of 9 Old 02-25-2016, 12:35 PM Thread Starter
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A can of PB blaster is like $3, and i replaced the original manifold on my 19 year old Jeep using it about a month ago.. Everything came right off.

but if you have the other stuff on hand and don't want to waste a trip to the store, or are being uber cheap.. then whatever floats your boat
It's not even about being cheap, I mean it works better. He did a small little test and sprayed kroil, liquid wrench and the homemade stuff on the top of a bolt. All tightened down to the same tightness, and the kroil and liquid wrench seeped down 4 threads and the homemade stuff seeped 10 threads. Not saying the other stuff doesn't work, because it does I know. It just might be worth it to make so you have something strong if in the future something won't come off.
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