Monday, February 19, 2007

Ripoff On Catalytic Converters Emmission Repairs


I wanted to bing something to your attention at very few people are aware of. I recently took my 2001 Nissan Maxima into the shop because the Service Engine Soon light had come on. The computer diagnostic device reported an error code of PO420, from which the service man indicated I needed a new catalytic converter. He said over the phone that they just happened to have one in stock and could install it for $649. I told him I would think about it and went and picked the car up for which I was charged a $85 diagnostic fee to be told this. I had decided to get a second opinion.

So I went out on the Internet to do some research. There I discovered catalytic converters rarely go bad by themselves contrary to the fact the mechanic had told be they go bad quite often. I also had read someone said they were covered by a 8 years or 80,000 miles warranty.

I looked in my Nissan book and lo and behold it did have a 8 year 80,000 mile warranty. Since the car only had 52,000 miles I took it to the Gwinnett Place Nissan where they did more diagnostic work indicating it was basically a false reading - nothing was wrong with the catalytic converter or anything else. I was told Nissan has a little bit of a software issue which monitors these readings which occassionally causes a false error. They didn't charge me a dime for the work.

However, at this point I was pretty upset at the first service shop as they had tried to rip me off. You see in my research I had discovered that not just Nissan's had this warranty. There is a federal EPA law that all cars since 1995 sold in the US are required to have this 8 years or 80,000 miles warranty on catalytic converters.

Here is a copy of the report.

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