1st owner of an 02 RSX, as stock as possible, huge sentimental value and I would like to keep it as long as New England rust will allow. Been spending about $3k per year replacing stuff as it breaks or rusts, and am fine with those costs. It has been a rarely driven Sunday driver (have two other newer Acuras) but the RSX will become my daughter's primary car when she gets her license in a month.
I get the sense that rust will eat up my original cat within a couple years, so planning for what to do when that happens.
One option is to delete, since my state doesn't require emissions checks after 15 years. Would the gas smell be noticeable in the cabin while driving or at a stop light? Any way to fool the stock ECU so it won't throw a CEL for the cat but still throw a CEL if anything else is wrong? If successfully fooled would the car drive normally without the cat back pressure?
Other option is to replace. OEM cat looks discontinued, though it looks like some places still sell aftermarket cats. Only reason I would do this is to shut off the CEL or avoid smells. Doesn't seem worth the cost otherwise if state emissions doesn't care.
Any thoughts about above two options or other recommendations?