The curse of the cat - Dude - {P}
I blame the wretched catalytic converter for most of the current raft of problems that inflict many of today`s cars, due mainly to the complication of electronic monitoring sensors (E.C.U`s) to control fuel/air ratios. There gas been much discussed recently (and justifiably) about the unreliability of the new Renault Laguna, but pre-cat models, like the Renault 4 and 5 were extremely reliable, and capable of 150k mileages without too many problems. At the end of the day, I question the true need for cats & their miniscule impact on the environment, but reckon the manufacturers are making a fortune out of us, the every-day motorist, by charging exhorbitant prices for replacement E.C.U`s.!!!!
The curse of the cat - doug_523i
Cats don't work until they reach running temparature, so I'm told, so all these people that drive their kids half a mile to school/shops are actually creating pollution because of the cat. Whatever happened to Ford's lean-burn technology?
The curse of the cat - blank
Whatever happened to Ford's lean-burn technology?

The same as Rover's. They can't afford the R+D investment in technology that has effectively been outlawed by well-meaning but stupid politicians, who insist on cats. As I understand it, cats and lean burn are not compitable because cats require burning at stoichiometic mixture and and leanburn, as its name confirms reuqires rather leaner burning (!)

The curse of the cat - Tony N
GDi systems are effectly 'lean burn' engines - when running in stratified mode anyway. The problem is you need complex aftertreatment systems to deal with the high NOx emmisions due to higher combustion temps so its expensive technology.
The curse of the cat - glowplug
I read a very interesting story years ago (mid 90s) that junked just about every argument in favour of cats. I'm under the impression that there's been a very large rise in the presence of metals in the enviroment. Banning 4 star I could understand, cats just seem like a political move.

The curse of the cat - Richard Hall
I'm all in favour of electronic engine management. Compared to the amount of hassle I have had over the years with carburettors and mechanical distributors, modern electronics are great. My Citroen AX10 (monopoint injection and 'cat') starts instantly hot or cold, and runs smoothly at all times. I previously had a slightly older, carb-fed version of the same car, which was a pig to start when hot (a common problem with this engine) and tended to over-choke when cold. I know which I prefer.

All it needs is for manufacturers to use decent quality connectors, and mount the more delicate parts of the system in places where they won't get soaked, roasted or vibrated to bits. Unfortunately this seems to be more than some manufacturers can manage.
Richard Hall
The curse of the cat - Altea Ego
I too am happy that humble electrons have taken over the management of my mechanicals

Gone are the days of

Fiddling with choke knobs, if its not millimeter perfectly positioned - wont start
Ditto accelerator pedal
Spraying start fluid into the inlet
Spraying wet start over the ignition leads
Cleaning the distrubuter every month
Charging the battery over night
Heating up the spark plugs in the oven
Push starting cars
Stuck on (or off) auto chokes
Blocked jets
The curse of the cat - Tomo
It might be postulated that having to get all these things right kept a lot of people off the road who were better so.

I say the Greens and I might agree on one thing - making sliding pinion boxes compulsory!
The curse of the cat - madf
I think cats have made a lot of improvements for the better and agree that fuel injection is far superior to carbs.

Most of the electronics are required for efi to work.. with or without cats.

I agree cats don't work on short journeys: use a diesel. The sight of mothers in BMW X5s or Range Rovers or other 4x4s driving in London to dleiver beloved kids to school makes me realise again that logic and choice of cars are mutualy incompatible with some people.

As far as reliability and longevity are concerned, well just read the threads on Rovers, Fiats or Renaults. If they had carbs, think how much worse they would be...Some manufacturers ahve well deserved reputations won after many years of producing badly designed or finished cars (or both ).

Ban all commercial vehicles over 10 years old I say (busues as well!) The emissions are bad!

The curse of the cat - THe Growler
Hey, that was all the fun! Not to mention puttting a primus stove under the tank when the diesel froze./....
The curse of the cat - sean
Why not get a nice clean diesel, then?
They have cats, but of the simple oxidation type.
The CO2 emissions are vastly lower and you use 30% less fuel than petrol, thereby meaning at least 30% lower emissions.
Particulate content is higher, but the small particulates ie Dirty diesel? Not these days.

(I know you still have ecu s to deal with)
The curse of the cat - J Bonington Jagworth
"nice clean diesel"

Contradiction in terms (twice over!) if you ask me... :-)
The curse of the cat - Mondaywoe
OK hands up who knows what EOLYS fluid and particle filter equal?

The curse of the cat - glowplug
Dealer servicing and no paticulate emissions?

Can't help but wonder what the elevated temperature does to the engine & exhaust though.

The curse of the cat - Mondaywoe
Dunno, but the tailpipe interior is 'as new' after a year / 15,000 miles.

Value my car