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Old 09-26-2003, 07:40 AM
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Catalytic converter

I have a 2001 SLK 320 with 26K miles. My mechanic tells me that I need new left side catalytic converters, because they are beginning to rattle. Replacement cost is $1300 plus labor. My car was water damaged during the 2001 flood in Houston, TX. No water was ingested into the engine, and water did not enter the cockpit. However, some water may have entered the tail pipe. Assuming water may have reached the catalytic converters (don't know if this is physically possible), would water cause the converters to fail? Answer to this question is important, because Mercedes has chosen to review case-by-case warranty claims on my car. I want to be prepared in the event they refuse to warranty the catalytic converters? Also, does anyone know how much discretion the mechanic has in making this determination? Thanks--
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Old 09-26-2003, 08:06 AM
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Tucker, Ga USA
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Is that a SALVAGE car with-out any warranty?? IF not the emission warranty will cover a catalyst for 8yr/80,000mi.
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Old 09-26-2003, 08:57 AM
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What is a salvage car? My insurance repaired the damage--mostly electrical. The car does not show any signs of ever having water damage. I looks great and runs great--except for the catalytic converters. However, Mercedes refused to warranty a replacement air mass flow meter recently, sighting it may have malfunctioned as a result of the water damage. Can they reasonably make the same argument for the converters?
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Old 09-26-2003, 09:30 AM
I told you so!
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Motor City, MI
Posts: 2,741
It doesn't sound like a salvage car. Your insurance company would probably have explicitly told you it was salvage, and the title would've reflected this.

It sounds like you're getting the runaround. MB doesn't want to foot the bill because it claims the car was damaged by flood. Your insurance company will probably say they repaired all flood damage and the problem is not flood related. If that's the case, you may have to sue both at the same time and have the judge figure out who should pay. I may be jumping the gun at this problem, but the key word is "joint and several liability", meaning that clearly you're not at fault because you're covered by any one of two ways, but neither party want to accept responsibility for the contract you have with them.

I agree with M.B.DOC that you should have the converter issue resolved because of the emission warranty.

On a technical note, the converter ceramic monolith design usually incorporates a ceramic mat surrounding the element to keep it from rattling. This mat may have been damaged by being immersed in water.
95 E320 Cabriolet, 131K
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Old 09-26-2003, 10:08 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: SF Bay Area
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Catalytic Converters

It is possible that the water would have cooled the converter at a rapid rate and contributed to the current failure. Another factor could be the size of the converters. The newer converters appear to be large enough to get the job done however they are beginning to display a short life span in comparison to earlier designs.

You may need to check with MB on the warranty status. They utilize certain information which protects them from fraudulent claims due to flooding and or major accidents.

Last edited by MrCjames; 09-26-2003 at 10:19 AM.
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