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Q: "A & B Pipe" with Catalytic Converter? on 1998 Honda Accord

Recently my "check engine" light lit up and was diagnosed as needing a new catalytic converter. I was quoted $700+tax. Then they came back to tell me that since the "A & B Pipes" had been previously welded together, I needed to have those replaced as well. This would now cost me $1,700+tax. H have no idea what the A & B Pipes are or how they got cut apart. The mechanic said some muffler shop probably cut them apart. I have owned the car for 9 years now and never hear never taken it to a muffler shop. I HAVE had the ERG (?) valve cleaned the last 2 times the check engine light went off. That seemed to fix the problem then. Since I live in Asheville, NC, we are required to have an emmissions inspection (next due in September) in order to keep our registration.
I guess my question is this: what are the A & B Pipes and do they along with the catalytic converter HAVE to be replaced? Does the ERG sensor have anything to do with this? How much is a reasonable price to pay for all of this? Help!
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I do not know for sure, but I would suspect the following regarding your 1998 Honda Accord. The "A" pipe would run from the engine to the catalytic converter. The "B" pipe would run from the catalytic converter to the muffler. Perhaps at some point before you got the car. the catalytic converter was replaced and welded to the A & B pipes - the original one was probably bolted in place. Now the new catalytic converter cannot be simply bolted onto the A and B pipes, they must be replaced also.I don't think your EGR problem has anything to do with this. If the price quoted is from a dealer it seams fair, if it is from an independent shop it may be high.
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