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Q: Catalytic Converter on 1996 Honda Accord

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Is it necessary to have a catalytic converter and the o2 sensors or is it an option to have a pipe ran with the muffler connected with just the sensors?
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Legally you must replace the catalytic converter if it will not lower emissions emitted by your vehicle to state limits. A pre and post Oxygen sensor detects the efficiency of operation of your catalytic converter. Has your car stored a P0440 fault code
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I am sorry you have gotten inconsistent answers. For the most part automotive people do not try to be misleading or dishonest, its like going to several doctors with the same symptoms and getting different answers.
I will have to look at Florida law I had presumed they required emission equipment to maintained and not tampered with or by passed.
Has the Check Engine light come on ?
At night I teach a basic automotive class in Adult Education Program to help people be more informed and knowledgeable when making decisions in the repair and maintenance of their cars. It has been very enjoyable and rewarding.
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We had a rash of stolen catalytic converters here last year as well, awful!
The Check Engine Light being illuminated is going to have stored around 5 fault codes related to the stolen items. They are expensive items to replace too. Could you claim this on your car insurance or possibly home owners insurance.
Technically yes you can replace the cat convt. with just a straight pipe and ignore the check engine light which is going to stay on because the computer does not see the Oxygen sensors in place, nor can it access the operation of the cat converter which is no longer there.
Your car's engine will emit pollutants into the air and in theory performance may be compromised as the engine control computer "sees" a problem and may make alterations based on the fact that the Check Engine Light is on.
I live in Florida and the emissions is no longer required. Therefore, I haven't received a fault code. Being a female, alot of mechanics have been giving me different answers and I just want someone to be honest.

Thank you for your response.
I can understand that logic. Yes, the check engine light is on. It has been on ever since someone stole the converter and o2 sensors. Had it not been for the thieves here in Florida, I wouldn't have this problem. I had just replaced the muffler with a new one last year. Now I have to buy another. Just trying to save as much as I can with this economy and all:)
"Necessary"? Not really unless you have to pass emissions. If you did put a straight pipe in there in place of a real catalytic converter what good would installing the sensor do? If there is just a straight piece of pipe instead of an actual catalytic converter there is nothing to monitor the emissions so you're wasting your time installing an 02 sensor on a straight piece of pipe.
Necessary! Doesnt the O2 sensor tell the computer how much fuel to apply to the injectors? So if you bypass these vital instruments you could open up a whole new area to focus on. Youll chase your tail. just fix the problem and have a happy car. Remember preventive maintenance.
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