March 12

Care and feeding of Cats – Catalytic Converters

Auto Repair, Car Costs, Car Maintenance, Cars and the Environment


Catalytic converter repairs are a service occasionally needed on many makes and models of car and truck. Failures occur for several reasons: one is excessive tailpipe emissions and a failed AirCare test and/or a check engine lamp on; the other is internal rattles and eventual blockage in the exhaust system.

Most catalytic converters are long lived and sometimes just die of old age, but more frequently their life will be cut short from poor engine performance such as misfires or excessively rich fuel mixtures. It is vital for long catalytic converter life to repair a misfiring or overfuelling engine immediately. Misfires are so bad for your catalytic converter that most cars with check engine lamps will blink as a warning.

If you experience a misfiring engine or a blinking check engine lamp, bring your vehicle in for service promptly.

What do they cost to replace? Repairs always start in the mid hundreds and can go up to several thousand dollars.

Older vehicles use one converter whereas most modern V6 and V8 engines use 3 or 4 converters with the front 2 often attached to the exhaust manifold and buried in difficult to access places under the hood. These are very expensive replacements.

We always look for the best option for converter replacement based on price and quality. There are huge quality differences and cheap converters are usually not good: often they won’t even last a year. Original manufacturer parts (dealer) are always the best quality but are often horrifically priced. We have found the best aftermarket solution is Walker Ultra Clean Air converters. Many are available in direct fit (they just bolt in) but they are also available as universal converters which we can custom weld into almost any exhaust system.

Walker Ultra Clean Air Converter
Custom installed Walker Ultra Clean Air Converter: Very high quality and a reasonable price alternative to OEM cat

So take care of your cats: don’t feed them rich fuel mixtures or misfires. If they do need replacement we certainly have some great options for you.

About the author 

Bernie Pawlik

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