91 Honda failed emissions

Hey everyone,
I was in here in the beginning of February with a 91 Civic, 222,000 miles, and a failed emissions test. So I did the cheap stuff, oil change, tune up,
etc.
Still failed emissions.
I tried that guaranteed emissions passer stuff you put in your tank - no dice. I think it actually elevated some of my totals. On a lark I added "engine restorer" to the crankcase. I've never had any luck with these types of oil additives. Like I said before, I was burning 1-2 quarts of oil every 2 weeks or approx. every 700 miles. Since then I haven't burned any oil! It's been about 3 weeks. I'm still pretty skeptical so I've been checking my oil regularly but the additive actually seems to be working.
But it still wouldn't pass so I went to a "certified emissions repair facility". They checked out my emissions and said it was the catalytic converter. So $285 later I have a new cat and plan on getting tested again next week. Driving home I did notice a lot less smoke coming from the exhaust. Hopefully, that fixed the problem.
One thing the mechanic told me that I thought was pretty interesting: he figured it was the cat because the oxides of nitrogen were highly elevated. He said that EGR valves and catalytic converters are really the only things that keep those levels in check. He also said that a failed cat may not affect the car's performance at all, something I was unaware of. I guess the performance is only affected if the cat is "plugged"?
Thanks to everyone for their help, especially Jason, Tegger, Jim Beam, and Michael Pardee. I've learned a lot from this group!
Rock on.
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testy wrote:

if your catalyst has failed, it's probably because of the oil consumption problem. in time, the new catalyst will fail for the same reasons. that might be fixed by a new pcv valve. you should also look into the coolant level & make sure you have no leaks. if the level drops, the ecu's temp sensor gets an artificially low temp reading & injects excess gas to compensate for "cold" conditions. with a previous 89 civic of mine, fixing a slow coolant leak dropped oil consumption as well as gas consumption!
you may also want to look into a "new" motor. many many times, this is recommended and entirely unnecessary, but if conditions have allowed the motor to wear to the extent of the oil consumption you're describing, you'll just keep pouring money into the thing each time you refill.
you can get a cheap usable motor here for example:
http://nippon-motors.com/honda.htm
$350 for a d15b2.
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Waiving the right to remain silent, "testy"

So, why do you keep buying the crud..? There is no "miracle cure" for a bad engine.
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Read my entire post next time. "Engine Restorer" did work and that IS a miracle.
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I understand your point of view but it's hard to make a guess about how "bad" his engine happens to be. It's possible that the engine is in fairly great condition but certain things need to be done to keep it running such as changing the cat. converter, adding a new PCV valve and checking for leaks e.g. radiator, transmission, oil pan. Installing new spark plugs might also help. After he does all or at least some of the these things--the engine might run for another 20,000 or more miles.
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Please repost next week and let us know whether your Honda passed the emissions test. Prior to the test, let your gas tank run almost dry and feel it with high octane gasoline. I seem to recall reading that high test gasoline has less pollutants in it.
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emissions
Will do. I've heard the same thing about hi-test gasoline. Thanks.
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