Catalytic Converter Cost and Replacement Guide to Save $1000 ! | Carhq

(Last Updated On: October 29, 2018)

It is a general idea in the minds of many car owners that catalytic converter Replacement cost a hell lot of money. It is very frustrating to have to pay all the huge bills especially when you know that this part is not such a major portion or not- so- important part of it. With car servicing labor charges alone soaring so high, you can never get to imagine what it may be for the entire Catalytic Converter Replacement to be done. So before it takes too long and you sense you have to get to fix it, you have to observe the signs of a dying out catalytic converter. They do not go out or expire all by themselves. Factors like the oxygen sensors are the main causes of putting out the life of the catalytic converter.

In this short guide you get to know all you need to know about various cost including catalytic converter prices, Replacements, catalytic converter repair work, how to repair & how to replace this tiny part in your car. Most importantly, you get to know what is this small part, it’s importance and how to locate it underneath your car.

Make sure that you find your car an excellent car mechanic or otherwise a reputed service center. This is because it also highly depends on skills and labor expertise. So, before your bills go soaring, it would be advisable that you take a trusted mechanic who takes you like you know something and talks to you well. Time is one more factor that you need to be mindful of. It is because the more and more you delay, there are more chances that the catalytic converter repair cost would go higher and higher. Not just that, it gets more difficult to find a mechanic who will do a good job for your dear car.

Getting back to the topic the issue which is, why in the first place, your car would require a catalytic converter repair to be done? This does not come as a rocket science discovery. It is mainly due to the oxygen sensors. This is one of the biggest culprits that make your car’s converter to start dysfunction. It is good to get a thorough examination of your car done immediately. One of the most eminent signals that it is required to do a thorough catalytic converter repair is when the red light that shows ‘check engine’ starts to shine. This is high time to get it checked so that you do not have to pay an exorbitant catalytic converter repair cost.

Once the respective car driver or car owner decides to ignore the issue for some reason or the other, believe me it is going to get even worse. You may have to go in for an entire catalytic converter Replacement which costs way too high. It is very necessary that you do not start thinking that ‘my car do not require a minor repair, it is good to go for a complete makeover’. You may wonder why this part of the car costs so high? Well, the actual reason is that there are precious and expensive metals in your car’s converters. Metals like platinum, palladium, gold & rhodium are no joke! When these precious metals come into contact with the exhaust system’s exhaust fumes, it develops into (CO2)Carbon Dioxide &Water (H2O), and in turn rusts on this part of your vehicle.

What is a Catalytic Converter ?

At the time when the car servicing center or the mechanic examines your car engine and tells you it is about this part of the exhaust system, it gets you thinking – What exactly could this be? This small mysterious piece of precious metals lying by your car’s exhaust system is to reduce or completely remove emissions. It is the duty of the Catalytic Converter to keep working constantly without letting you know about it. It takes a whole lot of experience, knowledge, and skill to know exactly when it is going wrong. This means that if the driver of the car is inexperienced with the car, then he may not be able to spot the difference in the car’s performance.

Information about installaling new catalytic converter

This is the main device which is necessary in filtering the harmful gases. It disburses all the emissions and  greenhouse gases also. This is one of the main reasons as to why all the car servicing centers or the auto mechanics give a high estimate when it comes to catalytic converter Replacement cost. It is not surprising if the car owners feel that they are being overcharged in some way due to this component. Well, you must be thinking hard on why this part of the exhaust system of your car is actually costing so high? It is explained below in simple and straight manner so that it does not confuse you anymore.

How much does a Catalytic Converter cost?

Although there are a number of catalytic converter’s that are not so high in their price, it is a common thought among several car drivers that this part of the car costs too high. Several product variations are available if you scroll through. The process is made simple here so that you do not have to locate it or search a lot for it. Prices range based on the product, durability, usage and type. From our review of 10 most common converters, the average cost of a catalytic converter is between $300 to $1700. Here there are some figures mentioning catalytic converter replacement costs:

Car  Converter Cost Labor Cost Total
2009 Honda Civic $230 $800 $1,030
2016 Toyota Sienna $170 $215 $385
2010 BMW 328i xDrive $225 $890 $1,115
2004 Volkswagen Golf $225 $445 $670
2009 GMC Acadia $170 $550 $720
2007 Suzuki SX4 $170 $556 $726
2007 Chevrolet Cobalt $170 $420 $590
2005 BMW X3 $170 $320 $490
2004 Lexus LX470 $170 $750 $920
2010 Buick Enclave $615 $550 $1,165

The Honda civic catalytic converter has been specially designed so that the harmful gases and components in the exhaust system get destroyed. How this works is because the civic catalytic converter changes these harmful components into neutral gases. These are safer when emitted and they do not spoil the quality of the air.

Pollutants cause a build up on your exhaust and this, over time, results in low -fuel efficiency. When this happens there are more harmful gas emissions. So, it is time to reduce the Honda accord catalytic converter for your vehicle to keep in line with local laws.

The overall usage of motor oil and antifreeze causes spoil to the required chemicals that are important in order to do the conversion process for exhaust gases. Due to excessive heat and meltdown, it causes exhaust back to pipes. This could either result in your exhaust system breaking down or even stalling of your auto engine. Hence, the Toyota Camry Catalytic Converter is a cost – friendly way to keep you free from worrying about letting out carbon emissions or harmful pollutants.

At times, your vehicle may stall especially when increasing speeds, it is time to take control of your car and get rid of emission issues. All you need is the Nissan Altima Catalytic Converter to get back your vehicle into the right shape. Once again, it helps in optimizing your vehicle’s performance and also keep a tab on atmospheric pollutants in the air.

When to REPLACE Catalytic Converters?

In order to comply with environment requirement and local laws too, it is necessary to check regularly that your car’s exhaust system is in good working condition so that it performs its duties properly. However, in specific, the auto’s CC must be replaced as and when required. It generally takes 10 years or so. In some cases, you may need to replace it more frequently. The best way to find out when to replace your auto catalytic converter is to check these signs out.

3 Signs to Change Catalytic Converter

  • Car’s inability to accelerate
  • Weird smell arising from the exhaust
  • Overheat under the car

As the catalytic converter is one of the parts of the emission system of your vehicle, these 3 main signs may sometimes also be due to other parts. Hence, it would be advisable to get an inspection done by a skilled mechanic.

How Long Does A Catalytic Converter Last ?

Another factor that strongly decides the lifespan of your vehicle’s catalytic converter is definitely the mileage. In between running your car from over 60,000 miles to 100,000 miles, it is a sign to check for a new catalytic converter.

In addition to this, the way you use the car also highly impacts the life span of your car catalytic converter. This means if you use it only for short and straight distance, which does not allow for the right temperature while running, could shorten the life span of this part of your car.

These ‘cats’ (short for catalytic converter) tend to get clogged due to cleaning up the emissions and bad gases from the combustion engine. At times it is also contaminated due to engine coolants & car oils. Moreover, this results in physical damage and excessive heating up. In other words, this part of the car is a ‘consumable’. It means it cannot stay on your car permanently. So during the life of your car it is a catalytic converter Replacement cost will be required. One day it would certainly wear out and you have to REPLACE this specific part of your car’s exhaust system. Of course, there is a way to prolong the life of the part by ensuring proper maintenance of the converter.

It is good to take good care of your car individual parts in order to cut down on the expense.which can be avoided. One of the best ways to do so is when you can clean the part of your car thoroughly. You can even get rid or clear a clogged catalytic converter for that matter.

How To Clean Catalytic Converter?

Here is a step -by- step easy guide that makes it simple and easy to remove grime and build up on top of the converter. Simply empty the contents of the cleaner into your gas tank. In order to make sure that all the contents are used up, run the car until all of the product has been emptied. Here are the basic steps on how to easily use this cleaning solution to clear off build up on the catalytic converter.

Step- by -Step Process To Clean Catalytic Converter:

  • Empty contents into the tank
  • Drive till all the contents used up
  • Clear all present OBDII error codes
  • Fill up the gas tank
  • Drive on streets and highways for 50 miles to re-calibrate OBDII
  • Clear the emissions easily!

Cleaning is part of the car maintenance which is one of the best ways to keep catalytic converter problems at bay. Make sure to take time to purchase the best catalytic converter cleaner for a thorough cleaning experience.

How to change Catalytic Converters?

It is always better to consult an expert. But if you are an experienced driver, with the help of the user manual, you can do it yourself. These are a simple step- by- step guide to change your catalytic converter by yourself. You may require a few tools to do it.

Step 1 – Raise the Car

Use a car jack to elevate the car in the air so that you can check underneath easily. To find it out this small part is situated in between the exhaust and the muffler below your car. You need sufficient space to unscrew /loosen the bolts and remove/ re-fix it. Hence, make use of jack or ramps to elevate your car.

Step 2 – Read User Manual thoroughly

Quickly go through the manual about specific parts of your car. Check the given diagrams of tiny parts and bolts tightening the unit, the surrounding pipes, etc. Then start the job. Do wear a pair of gloves while doing so as it contains build up.

Step 3 – Loosen the Bolts

The converter is held tight with the help of bolts and nuts. So slowly but completely remove these bolds that hold it in place. Keep them in count and safe as you will have to REPLACE them. This is a time-consuming process. Hence, you need to have a lot of patience for this. It may also require tools in few instances especially if there is too much of corrosion.

Step 4 – Buy A New Catalytic Converter

It is good to invest some time in selecting a part that is suitable to the make of your car. So go to a car servicing center or an auto parts center and inquire about a new converter. There are affordable as well as highly expensive converters in the market. Go in for one that suits your auto depending on the brand and make of your vehicle.

Step 5 – Separate the Oxygen Sensor

Use a suitable wrench to carefully remove the oxygen sensor and the pipe connecting it with the catalytic converter. This depends on the make of your car as some also require more than one pipe to be removed. Then loosen the CC where it is linked with the muffler. Keep checking the car manual for instructions and diagrams every now and then.

(It may cause the surface or floor to spoil. Place an old cardboard/ wooden plank/ sheet underneath the unscrewed catalytic converter.)

Step 6 – Fix up the New Converter

Finally, the last step in replacing the car CC is to put the new one in place properly. Fix back the pipe for exhaust & oxygen sensor. Put all the bolts& nuts back correctly (refer user manual). This is the best time to check if any other surrounding pipes have rusted. If so, this is the best time and place to REPLACE them.

Catalytic Converters Repair and Costs

If there is no need to REPLACE the catalytic converter if you feel that the catalytic converter prices are too high, then you may want to try to repair it yourself. It requires loads of patience, skills &expertise. With a basic knowledge of how it works and simple guide is given below to repair catalytic converter, it would be a learning experience for you.

How To Fix Catalytic Converter Without Replacing

Instead of going in for a reinstatement there are some catalytic converter problems that a car owner can fix on his own. However, you have to make sure that you have the time so that you can fully focus on the car catalytic converter repair work.

Step 1: First and foremost, if your car is under warranty or within the warranty period you have to take it to the manufacturer. If you try to fix things underneath your car while in the warranty period then it may be an issue with the warranty. However, if it is out of the warranty period then you may want to go ahead and fix it by yourself.

Step 2: The second step to fix it is to check if there is a build up. Check thoroughly and clean the converter of any clogging. In case it gets hard to unscrew, then spray with lubricant and leave for an hour prior to unfastening the catalytic converter. Once loose, clean it and the pipes. You may also find that the air passages are covered with soot. If so, clean those too.

Step 3: The next step is to check if there is damage to be fixed on the converter. Look inside as the inner parts are made of softer materials than the outer metal. Due to bouncing, the insulation mat inside may wear off. This causes it to block the passage. This cannot be glued together, so if damaged, it is best to REPLACE the mat inside.

Step 4: The last step is to fix back the cleaned and repaired catalytic converter in place. Do it step -by step as when you removed it, including the bolts and nuts.

The above steps are fine with experienced or knowledgeable car owners. It requires skill so in case you feel ‘I cannot fix it’ then check out catalytic converter repair near me to do the repair work. If you are not comfortable doing it, take the help of a car mechanic to do a proper job.

How Much To replace Catalytic Converter?

This is a common question that many car owners think about. The fact is that even though the catalytic converter prices are too high there are cheaper ones that are available in the market. You need to spend time searching, checking if it is compatible with the make of your vehicle, and then search the best deal that suits you.

Car owners think of various ways to reduce the overall cost to replace the catalytic converter. This includes selecting one because it is cheaper, like an aftermarket product. But what if it does not suit your car/ automobile? Do make sure that the affordable car part that you purchase must have a satisfactory life span. Even though it is affordable, make sure you go in for a high-end part so it lasts longer. However, do not be surprised if the catalytic converter repair shop mechanic may say that an aftermarket catalytic converter is in some way inferior to a part by the OEM manufacturer.

There is another great way to save up on your Replacement expenses when you do the Replacement work on your own. This is because you can keep the old part (catalytic converter) and sell it as scrap. You get to receive some of the money back for all your hard work and money you invested. With all the precious metals present the scrap catalytic converter prices are a good bargain. Even if you do not put back the same part back on your car, give the part a thorough cleaning job.

This should give you a basic idea on how much to replace catalytic converter as it depends on the car service center and the overall Replacement. Skill and experience is required so that you get your car back in time. Also, the performance of your car should be satisfactory and the CC must last a long time. So, invest some of your time searching for and finding the best catalytic converter repair shop for good reinstatement job.

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