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Old 09-20-2012   #1  
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dramatic mileage loss

Hi I just had my timing belt cha˝ged on my 93 civic and the day I took it home it started drinking fuel like it was water ... could the shop have not set the correct timing when they did the belt ot is just a fluke that my mileage took a dive..mind u it seems to be running fine
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Old 09-20-2012   #2  
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Re: dramatic mileage loss

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could the shop have not set the correct timing when they did the belt
Absolutely. Take it right back to whoever did the belt for a recheck.

Could have sprung a leak too (rust belt here), do you smell gasoline?
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Old 09-20-2012   #3  
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Re: dramatic mileage loss

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Originally Posted by ezone View Post
Absolutely. Take it right back to whoever did the belt for a recheck.

Could have sprung a leak too (rust belt here), do you smell gasoline?

Hi well I just got it back from the dealer. And here's what they said..

Slight misfire, under hand throttle in second and 3rd gear. No fault codes. Engine timing is within specs,o2 sensors responds okay, slightly low vacumm, catalytic convertor 160f upper lower 100f, exhaust system is restricted.

So what do you think I should do. I just put this cat on 3 weeks ago could it have already gone to ****. Or maybe my muffler is clogged. Causing the catalytic convertor to not heat up.. and for the mis fire.. could I just need a tune up? Cause i just replaced the objectors and fuel rail today... I hope u can help
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Re: dramatic mileage loss

Got any documentation (real miles, figures, and calculations) of the gas mileage drop? Consistent tracking of miles and fill ups over a real long period of time is great for showing a sudden dramatic change. 99% of people don't or can't do this.
The price of the gas going up does not mean your mileage is going down. The cost has nothing to do with gas mileage.

Without that as some sort of proof that there is a real problem going on, even a smart tech won't have much to go on unless there is an actual obvious problem with the way it runs.

Most of the time, a good observant tech can detect some sort of issue in how it runs when there is a valid complaint like this.

Most of the time, these complaints are due to driving habits and/or several basics in the car or the fuel.
Temperature drop alone causes more gas to be used.
Temperature drop causes tire pressure to drop, and that means more gas is used.
Winter blend fuel causes a sudden change in gas mileage. (Not sure if this is in effect yet, doubt it here.)
Alcohol/ethanol can make a pretty large difference.
Cheapo discount gas can make a difference.
(See and read here: http://www.toptiergas.com/ )
Dragging brakes, shifter in the wrong D gear, traffic conditions, headwind, McDonalds Drive-thru time, loaning the car to a teenage Fast-N-furious wannabe, and much more all have their effects on gas mileage without having any effect on how the engine itself runs.

Quote:
Slight misfire, under hand throttle in second and 3rd gear.
I'd have to see the intake manifold design, that could easily be an EGR passage clog issue.
Or not.
The statement itself is kind of vague though, but should be easily verifiable on a road test or in the shop.
You drive the car daily: Does it act this way under those conditions?

Quote:
Engine timing is within specs,o2 sensors responds okay,
ok....if the ignition timing was properly checked, then the timing belt should be properly timed. That answers my original thought.
Quote:
slightly low vacumm
Need a definition of "slightly" here. Proof. Actual values that we can read and verify if necessary, or a comparison of a known good engine to yours, for example.
Quote:
catalytic convertor 160f upper lower 100f
These numbers are completely wrong for an engine that has been running. Have you ever felt how hot an exhaust system gets?
Those numbers alone make me suspect that whomever got your car shouldn't have had your car. More on this later.
Quote:
exhaust system is restricted
Again, proof is needed. Actual tests and results, or at least a symptom that was noticed (that a pro could read and say "oh yeah, it sure should be with that symptom").
This would give an obvious symptom that most drivers should notice: Drive the car.... Floor the gas pedal and hold it to the floor all the way until redline. Does the engine have all the power it should?

You have a list of observations made by someone that may or (I suspect) may not be a qualified specialist in the areas needed.
Are you in an area that has emissions testing?
If yes, then was the tech a smog licensed/L-1 or L-2 certified tech?

I'm expected to give proof and/or explain my reasoning for my answers on complaints like this.
But I have no idea what that gets translated into by the time someone else has to try to explain it to an owner/driver. Much of the technical stuff gets lost on most people.

I also know how difficult it is to chase "ghosts", this is what your complaint could be without documentation and without obvious symptoms.

Maybe they think you are just wanting to place blame for other issues since you just spent a lot of money (happens all the time, BTW).



Quote:
I just put this cat on 3 weeks ago could it have already gone to ****. Or maybe my muffler is clogged. Causing the catalytic convertor to not heat up.. and for the mis fire.. could I just need a tune up?
What happened to the old cat?

It normally takes obvious misfire to damage a cat. A dead cylinder could do it. Cat got hot enough to glow could do it.

If the old cat broke the element apart, it could have sent debris throughout the rest of the exhaust system, and yes, that could cause restriction. Random and intermittent too, since pieces can bounce around and move.

165/100 degrees? They measured the temp of the heat shields, not the actual cat itself. OR they measured a cold cat. Both are rookie mistakes. (Apply that statement to everything they told you. Whether it will be true or not is anyones guess though. Could be the tech, could be the advisor. I don't know where to point the finger, but it needs pointed now.)

Tune up? When was your last tune up? Should be every 30k on that, and use the correct NGK plugs.


Quote:
Cause i just replaced the objectors and fuel rail today...
I am giggling at "objectors". They are "injectors".

Why were these replaced?



Someone needs to prove the car has a problem first.
Then that problem needs to be verified, symptoms observed, and then diagnosed accordingly.
It's tough when the patient only says "I think something hurts", without a lot more info to go on. See?

HTH
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Old 09-20-2012   #5  
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Re: dramatic mileage loss

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Originally Posted by ezone View Post
Got any documentation (real miles, figures, and calculations) of the gas mileage drop? Consistent tracking of miles and fill ups over a real long period of time is great for showing a sudden dramatic change. 99% of people don't or can't do this.
The price of the gas going up does not mean your mileage is going down. The cost has nothing to do with gas mileage.

Without that as some sort of proof that there is a real problem going on, even a smart tech won't have much to go on unless there is an actual obvious problem with the way it runs.

Most of the time, a good observant tech can detect some sort of issue in how it runs when there is a valid complaint like this.

Most of the time, these complaints are due to driving habits and/or several basics in the car or the fuel.
Temperature drop alone causes more gas to be used.
Temperature drop causes tire pressure to drop, and that means more gas is used.
Winter blend fuel causes a sudden change in gas mileage. (Not sure if this is in effect yet, doubt it here.)
Alcohol/ethanol can make a pretty large difference.
Cheapo discount gas can make a difference.
(See and read here: http://www.toptiergas.com/ )
Dragging brakes, shifter in the wrong D gear, traffic conditions, headwind, McDonalds Drive-thru time, loaning the car to a teenage Fast-N-furious wannabe, and much more all have their effects on gas mileage without having any effect on how the engine itself runs.

I'd have to see the intake manifold design, that could easily be an EGR passage clog issue.
Or not.
The statement itself is kind of vague though, but should be easily verifiable on a road test or in the shop.
You drive the car daily: Does it act this way under those conditions?

ok....if the ignition timing was properly checked, then the timing belt should be properly timed. That answers my original thought.
Need a definition of "slightly" here. Proof. Actual values that we can read and verify if necessary, or a comparison of a known good engine to yours, for example.
These numbers are completely wrong for an engine that has been running. Have you ever felt how hot an exhaust system gets?
Those numbers alone make me suspect that whomever got your car shouldn't have had your car. More on this later.
Again, proof is needed. Actual tests and results, or at least a symptom that was noticed (that a pro could read and say "oh yeah, it sure should be with that symptom").
This would give an obvious symptom that most drivers should notice: Drive the car.... Floor the gas pedal and hold it to the floor all the way until redline. Does the engine have all the power it should?

You have a list of observations made by someone that may or (I suspect) may not be a qualified specialist in the areas needed.
Are you in an area that has emissions testing?
If yes, then was the tech a smog licensed/L-1 or L-2 certified tech?

I'm expected to give proof and/or explain my reasoning for my answers on complaints like this.
But I have no idea what that gets translated into by the time someone else has to try to explain it to an owner/driver. Much of the technical stuff gets lost on most people.

I also know how difficult it is to chase "ghosts", this is what your complaint could be without documentation and without obvious symptoms.

Maybe they think you are just wanting to place blame for other issues since you just spent a lot of money (happens all the time, BTW).



What happened to the old cat?

It normally takes obvious misfire to damage a cat. A dead cylinder could do it. Cat got hot enough to glow could do it.

If the old cat broke the element apart, it could have sent debris throughout the rest of the exhaust system, and yes, that could cause restriction. Random and intermittent too, since pieces can bounce around and move.

165/100 degrees? They measured the temp of the heat shields, not the actual cat itself. OR they measured a cold cat. Both are rookie mistakes. (Apply that statement to everything they told you. Whether it will be true or not is anyones guess though. Could be the tech, could be the advisor. I don't know where to point the finger, but it needs pointed now.)

Tune up? When was your last tune up? Should be every 30k on that, and use the correct NGK plugs.


I am giggling at "objectors". They are "injectors".

Why were these replaced?



Someone needs to prove the car has a problem first.
Then that problem needs to be verified, symptoms observed, and then diagnosed accordingly.
It's tough when the patient only says "I think something hurts", without a lot more info to go on. See?

HTH

Thanks for the reply

My mileage is on or about 15 due to filling up and dividing number of miles to gallons used

My driving habits are conservative I don't speed at all. But yes I do use discount fuel

I don't think this car has an egr valve to have a egr passage problem

The slight misfire means that when I'm in second gear it kinda hesitates when accelerating.

As far as the the convertor not being hot enough the info I have u was what they told me on the phone and on the paperwork.

I'm going to have my exhaust system checked tomorrow

The other cat had to be removed for smog purposes.. It failed because it wasn't performing.. That's what I was told at the smog shop

And yes sorry I didn't do a spell check before submitting I meant injectors lol

They were replaced because they were extremely dirty both inside and out so I decided since it was a used car I mine as well do it so I know when it was done last
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Old 09-20-2012   #6  
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Re: dramatic mileage loss

Quote:
I don't think this car has an egr valve to have a egr passage problem
Likely true. I'm used to US market cars, I am not real familiar with what was installed for the Canadian market.
Quote:
My mileage is on or about 15 due to
So what was the gas mileage prior to this current problem?
Quote:
But yes I do use discount fuel
Hard to blame only the fuel for that sort of gas mileage, although a tank of E-85 could give pretty crummy gas mileage without much (if any) symptoms. (An OBD2 car would usually give lean codes when this happens, but I'm not sure if a car as old as yours would do something similar.)

Quote:
The slight misfire means that when I'm in second gear it kinda hesitates when accelerating.
I'm fully aware of what the statement means, I was asking if you could feel what they described while you are driving it.

That might be a symptom that could be verified and diagnosed.


A clogged or restricted injector could also cause the "slight misfire" symptom described above too.

Did any of the symptoms clear up since you replaced the injectors?
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Old 09-20-2012   #7  
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Re: dramatic mileage loss

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Originally Posted by ezone View Post
Likely true. I'm used to US market cars, I am not real familiar with what was installed for the Canadian market.
So what was the gas mileage prior to this current problem?
Hard to blame only the fuel for that sort of gas mileage, although a tank of E-85 could give pretty crummy gas mileage without much (if any) symptoms. (An OBD2 car would usually give lean codes when this happens, but I'm not sure if a car as old as yours would do something similar.)

I'm fully aware of what the statement means, I was asking if you could feel what they described while you are driving it.

That might be a symptom that could be verified and diagnosed.


A clogged or restricted injector could also cause the "slight misfire" symptom described above too.

Did any of the symptoms clear up since you replaced the injectors?

Hello I didn't mean to insult ur intelligence about the misfire, yea I felt it before I took it in

No the misfire symptoms stayed even after I replaced the injectors.. Maybe I need new plugs as well as a new cat.. Considering I just bought it ill get it replaced tomorrow
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Old 09-20-2012   #8  
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Re: dramatic mileage loss

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yea I felt it before I took it in
Ok then this should make finding a problem much easier since it apparently would be an obvious running problem. I would chase this symptom if it were the most obvious.
Quote:
Maybe I need new plugs as well as a new cat..
Plugs, maybe.
Easily checked, or just spend the $12 for a set of the correct NGK brand plugs and change them.
I would think this would have been an easy thing for the last "tech" to check for your complaints on gas mileage and/or misfires though.
Lazy? Didn't know? Didn't think? Who knows?

How about the distributor cap, rotor, and plug wires?
How old are those?


Cat? No. Not until the engine runs right.
Reason: A badly running engine can ruin a cat in a matter of minutes.
Even then, a professional should verify there is actually a problem with the cat. (Not the dealer you had it at.)
Even then, you said your cat is only 2 weeks old. It should have a warranty.


I sure can't believe what your dealer said about the cat because of the blatantly wrong temp info they fed you, and temperature readings alone are not exactly a valid test anyway. Temps vary widely during normal operation.



How far off were their temp numbers?
I'll tell you that an engine that is running for long enough to warm up can have exhaust manifold temps of 300F-600F, depending on where you measure it.
A cat that is warmed up and operating can be a couple hundred degrees higher than the main manifold.
An exhaust manifold and cat can reach 1000F+ under a sustained heavy load.
A broken engine dumping raw fuel into a hot cat can cause it to glow bright red, or almost white (2500F+).

By comparison, if what they checked was the actual steel of the cat and came up with 160/100, then that engine had not been running but about 30 seconds or less. Not acceptable. Invalid.

Do you understand why I have a problem with their numbers?
It took at least 2 different people that had no clue about what those numbers should or shouldn't have been, in order to get that wrong info all the way to you on paper.
IMHO, any driveability/smog/emissions tech that really knows what he is doing should have a big issue with the numbers (165F/100F) the dealer told you.



"Sufficient ignorance can be indistinguishable from malice."
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Old 09-20-2012   #9  
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Re: dramatic mileage loss

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Originally Posted by ezone View Post
Ok then this should make finding a problem much easier since it apparently would be an obvious running problem. I would chase this symptom if it were the most obvious.
Plugs, maybe.
Easily checked, or just spend the $12 for a set of the correct NGK brand plugs and change them.
I would think this would have been an easy thing for the last "tech" to check for your complaints on gas mileage and/or misfires though.
Lazy? Didn't know? Didn't think? Who knows?

How about the distributor cap, rotor, and plug wires?
How old are those?


Cat? No. Not until the engine runs right.
Reason: A badly running engine can ruin a cat in a matter of minutes.
Even then, a professional should verify there is actually a problem with the cat. (Not the dealer you had it at.)
Even then, you said your cat is only 2 weeks old. It should have a warranty.


I sure can't believe what your dealer said about the cat because of the blatantly wrong temp info they fed you, and temperature readings alone are not exactly a valid test anyway. Temps vary widely during normal operation.



How far off were their temp numbers?
I'll tell you that an engine that is running for long enough to warm up can have exhaust manifold temps of 300F-600F, depending on where you measure it.
A cat that is warmed up and operating can be a couple hundred degrees higher than the main manifold.
An exhaust manifold and cat can reach 1000F+ under a sustained heavy load.
A broken engine dumping raw fuel into a hot cat can cause it to glow bright red, or almost white (2500F+).

By comparison, if what they checked was the actual steel of the cat and came up with 160/100, then that engine had not been running but about 30 seconds or less. Not acceptable. Invalid.

Do you understand why I have a problem with their numbers?
It took at least 2 different people that had no clue about what those numbers should or shouldn't have been, in order to get that wrong info all the way to you on paper.
IMHO, any driveability/smog/emissions tech that really knows what he is doing should have a big issue with the numbers (165F/100F) the dealer told you.



"Sufficient ignorance can be indistinguishable from malice."
Hey the wires are brand new because on one of the wires the side that connected to the distributor was bent and didn't look like it was connecting well... But oddly enough after I changed the wires the mileage went down.. They are in the correct position if your wondering that.aybe cheap wires cause I did notice after I had changed them I test drive and I came to a stop and my idle fluxuated but hasn't done it sense.. But plugs, distributor, and rotor were on there when I bought it like 4 weeks ago
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Old 09-20-2012   #10  
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Re: dramatic mileage loss

Maybe a faulty wire? But if it was wouldn't my car run rough?
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Old 09-21-2012   #11  
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Re: dramatic mileage loss

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Originally Posted by 93honda View Post
Maybe a faulty wire? But if it was wouldn't my car run rough?
Well, you said your car has a
Quote:
Slight misfire, under hand throttle in second and 3rd gear
I'd have to say yes, but with exceptions. Some people are completely oblivious to running problems, and some people notice every little thing.

I can't say if the wires are your problem or not.

Normally when plug wire(s) are faulty, the end result is a miss on the affected cylinder.
The miss could be consistent or random, may be only under a load or maybe with no extra load, maybe only when it is humid or rainy outside, maybe other conditions too.
Could be 1 miss out of 100 successful fires, or could be 100 out of 100. Many possible ways a miss could be noticed.

BUT the plug wire either delivers the high voltage to its intended target, or it doesn't. When it doesn't (meaning when the high voltage finds an alternate path to its ground other than the spark plug), the miss happens.

HTH
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Old 09-21-2012   #12  
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Re: dramatic mileage loss

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Originally Posted by ezone View Post
Well, you said your car has a I'd have to say yes, but with exceptions. Some people are completely oblivious to running problems, and some people notice every little thing.

I can't say if the wires are your problem or not.

Normally when plug wire(s) are faulty, the end result is a miss on the affected cylinder.
The miss could be consistent or random, may be only under a load or maybe with no extra load, maybe only when it is humid or rainy outside, maybe other conditions too.
Could be 1 miss out of 100 successful fires, or could be 100 out of 100. Many possible ways a miss could be noticed.

BUT the plug wire either delivers the high voltage to its intended target, or it doesn't. When it doesn't (meaning when the high voltage finds an alternate path to its ground other than the spark plug), the miss happens.

HTH
Ok we'll tomorrow I'm going to get a major tune up.. Cap rotor plugs and wires and ill let you know what happens because like I said this wasn't something that has been going on for a while it just now started
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Old 09-21-2012   #13  
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Re: dramatic mileage loss

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Ok we'll tomorrow I'm going to get a major tune up.
You think that will fix it?
Would you go to a surgeon asking for your spleen to be removed, while holding your shoulder? Do you think the surgeon would do as you ask, or do you think he would start asking a lot of questions?

This industry is full of people that work on cars.
Far fewer can actually fix them.
There is a huge difference.

Not everyone with a shoebox full of tools has the same abilities and talents.
Some people in this industry have no business touching cars, yet they do.
Some only want your money and have no interest in fixing your problems.
Some of us thrive on solving problems.

Find a trusted, qualified, competent technician.
It would probably be smarter to ask for the problem to be diagnosed and fixed, rather than tell them what jobs you want done.

You must demonstrate exactly what the problem is though, so everyone directly involved knows what needs fixed.
SHOW them what you mean.
Take the tech for a quick drive to demonstrate your concern.
Then let the professional do his job.
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Old 09-21-2012   #14  
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Re: dramatic mileage loss

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Originally Posted by ezone View Post
You think that will fix it?
Would you go to a surgeon asking for your spleen to be removed, while holding your shoulder? Do you think the surgeon would do as you ask, or do you think he would start asking a lot of questions?

This industry is full of people that work on cars.
Far fewer can actually fix them.
There is a huge difference.

Not everyone with a shoebox full of tools has the same abilities and talents.
Some people in this industry have no business touching cars, yet they do.
Some only want your money and have no interest in fixing your problems.
Some of us thrive on solving problems.

Find a trusted, qualified, competent technician.
It would probably be smarter to ask for the problem to be diagnosed and fixed, rather than tell them what jobs you want done.

You must demonstrate exactly what the problem is though, so everyone directly involved knows what needs fixed.
SHOW them what you mean.
Take the tech for a quick drive to demonstrate your concern.
Then let the professional do his job.
Well I called the service department at Honda and I complained about the amount of info they gave me.. He started to interrupt me as I was trying to talk.. He said the technition put a temp gauge on the cat that's how they got the readings.. Said there was no way for them to find the vucuum leak since they don't have a smoke machine.. What kinda dealership doesn't have a smoke machine.. I asked him what does diognose mean? He said we diognosed your problem and told you y.. An I'm like yeah u told me I have a vacuum leak but disnt say how to fix you told me there was a misfire but disnt tell me how to fix... Kept blaming it on the fact that it wasn't the original engine that was in the car so he couldn't give me more info...WTF an engine is an engine right??
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Old 09-21-2012   #15  
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Re: dramatic mileage loss

Quote:
Originally Posted by ezone View Post
You think that will fix it?
Would you go to a surgeon asking for your spleen to be removed, while holding your shoulder? Do you think the surgeon would do as you ask, or do you think he would start asking a lot of questions?

This industry is full of people that work on cars.
Far fewer can actually fix them.
There is a huge difference.

Not everyone with a shoebox full of tools has the same abilities and talents.
Some people in this industry have no business touching cars, yet they do.
Some only want your money and have no interest in fixing your problems.
Some of us thrive on solving problems.

Find a trusted, qualified, competent technician.
It would probably be smarter to ask for the problem to be diagnosed and fixed, rather than tell them what jobs you want done.

You must demonstrate exactly what the problem is though, so everyone directly involved knows what needs fixed.
SHOW them what you mean.
Take the tech for a quick drive to demonstrate your concern.
Then let the professional do his job.

Hey we'll again I'm writing because I took it to the shop here I got the car and explained to them like what I told u about what Honda said and he looked at me funny.. They cut off the cat and showed me that there was no restriction and the upper side of the cat was black which shows running rich condition I'm sure u already know that.. So he sent me to a repair shop to where he gets his work done at and was nice enough to follow me to take me home. So it has to be either the vacuum problem or it just needs a tune up.. The place it took it to was both a general repair shop and a smog shop so they have a smoke machine to find the vacuum leak.. Hopefully it's just a hose m not like the canister or canister solenoid
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Old 09-23-2012   #16  
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Re: dramatic mileage loss

Well I just got it back from the shop and it turned out my problem wasn't too big or expensive at that.. My car was running rich because the thermostat was stuck open and running a continuous loop of coolent whichade the car think it was always cold.. Something the dealership couldn't figure out so to speak.. So a lesson out there.. The dealer doesn't always know what's happening with your car even though they are supposed to be the expert.. Thanks for your help
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