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The So and sos strike again - where's the Cat?


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Hi all - well my girlfriend lives quite a distance from me and told me that the car was REALLY loud as she made her way back from shopping.  I figured there was a hole in the exhaust.  Can anyone see the missing part?  In the middle of the day in a crowded car park the "boys" have done their business and had the CAT away with their angle grinder it seems.    Looking at the pic (taken from left tyre looking back) you will see a cable hanging down.  Am guessing that this is a lambda sensor which will be ruined by now as she drove home with it dragging on the ground.  No need to ask for comments - just wondering if anyone can confirm that the cable is indeed a lambda sensor.  Ebay might be my friend for replacement parts.  I have a "tame" garage mechanic who will no doubt help.  Pretty sure I could rig something up which would effectively be a de-cat but would the car run like CR*P without the sensor?  She reckons there is no engine management light on which I expected if it is indeed a lambda sensor.  Thoughts (was going to ask for donations!) anyone please?  Thanks for looking.

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Hi all.  Just wanted to say a public and huge thanks to Nige8021.  He is really knowledgeable and super keen to help.  In PMs he's provided me with loads of detail and some helpful suggestions which I

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nige8021

That is the Lambda sensor wiring dragging on the floor and it should of triggered the EML, a de-cat pipe often includes a boss for the Lambda sensor to be fitted into, however depends on how friendly your MOT tester is as it would strictly speaking be an automatic fail if the cat was removed due to the age of the car 

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The effective de-cat is only intended as a quick fix to quieten the thing down as it is driven to the mechanic.  For the sake of £x I'm not going to put her or myself in a difficult spot.  She said it ran terribly up a steep hill which I don't know happened simply because the exhaust was missing or because the sensor was sending readings back to the ECU indicating a dodgy burn of the fuel - excess O2.  Do you guys generally pick your spares up off ebay?  At the moment it's not looking like a stupidly costly fix fortunately.  Thanks for reading my ramblings.  

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nige8021

If you can't find a replacement cat on ebay, try these guys https://www.stevensvwspares.com/ they normally carry a large amount of Polo spares and are a decent company to work with if it's not listed on the site call them and they'll do their best to help you and the stuff I've had from them was spot on and super fast service 

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Just seen this Nige, - thanks.  I just want to see the car now and figure out what I have to do about the sensor.  Just fyi - my mechanic guy reckons the missing cat is worth about £80.  If anyone has any pics of the set up of the sensor in situ I'd be interested to see them.  Am trying to work out if what I can see has been cut or if they removed the sensor - guessing NOT the latter.  Why could they not have cut the far side of the pipe after the sensor and not screwed us over doubly?  Thanks for your ongoing interest.

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At the risk of boring everyone - have discovered that there is a "post cat" sensor to buy too.  So - having spoken to everyone's best friends (eurocarparts) the 2 sensors will be in the range £140 to £196 (odd that when I checked online on their site there is the £140 option) plus a cat - £100 to £133.  Sods with their angle grinders!!!  Nige - the guys you suggested can't help but thanks for the suggestion.

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nige8021

What engine code do you have ? (engine serial number on the logbook first three letters) as on the 6N2 there is normally only two Lambda sensors, one in the manifold and the other post CAT 

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I have to check with the other half about the engine code.  You have my interest now - the lead you see dangling in the pic I attached I assumed went immediately pre -cat as I saw a diagram showing that.  If there is a sensor at the manifold then I agree - a second one pre-cat seems a little superfluous.  Do the rules allow me to put in an ebay number to direct you to the diagram I saw?  Have decided not to buy anything until I see the car for myself - ideally I'd get a look at someone else's similar car to be certain.    Think the engine code is likely to be AUD - it's not included on the VIN plate unfortunately.  It would be a "nice" surprise to find that the wiring in the pic I attached went to a post-cat sensor and that I only had to pay for the one to be replaced.

 

Thanks Nige - appreciate your patience.

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nige8021

If it is the AUD then that has one sensor in the manifold along with a Pre-CAT and then you have the main CAT and then the sensor that should be on the end of that dangling wire. The sensor in the manifold is the expensive one, the one you're missing is much cheaper but only buy a genuine Bosch one, as the quality of most "pattern" ones are dubious. 

 

The other places you might find the engine code is a sticker on the cambelt cover or on the data sticker in the boot in the spare wheel well.

 

You can link the ebay item 

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Hi all.  Just wanted to say a public and huge thanks to Nige8021.  He is really knowledgeable and super keen to help.  In PMs he's provided me with loads of detail and some helpful suggestions which I will use.  My girlfriend should be mobile again quite soon.  Engine code AUD confirmed and plan in place!     Thanks Nige.

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The sound of ... silence!  (Well very nearly). 

 

Was sorting through all of the offcuts of exhaust that I had in my girlfriend's garage (hidden from her view or she'd complain) and was not delighted with what was there - either too long or too short or with a bend in and I was hoping to avoid any cutting.    I recently put up a new curtain pole (hollow metal - a bit like an exhaust pipe!) and there was a 20" off cut that I had not taken to the tip yet. 

 

It was a bit narrow but I built up the last 3" of each end up with a combination of folded tin foil and highly adhesive thermal foil tape and then once inserted to each open (cut) end of the exhaust I wrapped the joint in the tape.    I am so amused - it took very little time indeed and it's so quiet! I am such a bodger.    Perhaps VW should have used curtain poles for exhausts.  

 

Now to sort it out properly once I've driven it to the mechanic guy.  

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