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The catalytic converter is going to be fairly expensive to replace. In older cars, those made before 1981, the cost can range between $100 and $600. Obviously, the kind of car you have and the complexity of replacing the converter are going to increase the cost. It can take several hours to replace the converters, so make sure you ask about labor costs before agreeing to anything.
For cars made after 1981, the three-way catalytic converter is going to be much more expensive to replace than then older one. Your costs for parts are going to be around $350-$1500, while parts and labor will be between $615-$2,200. Because the costs vary so much, you may want to be sure you ask for a quote before you allow a mechanic to change out your catalytic converter.
Catalytic Converter Replacement Cost Comparison
The cost of replacing your catalytic converter will depend on the make and model of your car and where you have the repairs done, but there’s a common price range across most cars. We’ve collected some example prices from the leading garages in the country to give you an idea of the potential costs.
|Parts & Labour||12 months||$440 – $2101|
|Parts & Labour||12 months||$465 – $1745|
|Parts & Labour||24 months||$399 – $2200|
|Parts & Labour||12 months||$420 – $1900|
|Parts||Limited||$300 – $1400|
|Parts||Limited||$250 – $1999|
What is the Catalytic Converter?
The catalytic converter is made from precious metals, and its job is to burn off unwanted particles as they exit the engine. This keeps them from contaminating or damaging other parts of the vehicle, and this crucial task is only going to be accomplished if the converter is in good condition. Wear and tear over time is going to cause numerous problems related to contamination and internal damage, so you want to address the converter and get it replaced when this starts to occur.
Benefits of a Catalytic Converter Replacement
The catalytic converter is essential for your car to run like it should. It keeps a lot of the engine components clean and make certain that everything is running well. If you want to keep it that way, then you need to be aware of the condition of your converter. Make sure your mechanic is checking its condition with each tune-up.
If you ensure that the converter is replaced when it is time, you can enjoy a smoother running car, better fuel efficiency and a smoother ride. A lot of your vehicle’s performance is dependent on how well the converter is working. If you aren’t taking care of the catalytic converter, you can end up spending a lot to keep up your car and to repair the damage the spoiled converter is causing.
When Should You Have Your Catalytic Converter Replaced?
There are some warning signs to watch for that will let you know when it is time to at least check your converter if not replace it. The most common one will be that your check engine light is on. Obviously, this light can mean a lot of different things, so it could be any number of problems and not necessarily the catalytic converter.
You may also notice that your car has little power. If the converter isn’t doing its job, contaminants are going to get it and clog up and dirty your engine, making for poor care performance. Your exhaust may also smell rotten. You might notice the stench of something akin to rotten eggs coming from the exhaust. This is usually due to a buildup of contaminants that the converter was not able to burn up.
Another sign that your catalytic converter could be faulty is that your fuel economy is poor. If contaminants are getting into your engine, it can mean that your car has to use up more fuel to accomplish the same tasks it did before. If you notice that your fuel is being used up faster, this may be your problem.
Finally, watch for backfiring sounds or a rough driving experience. If your car sounds abnormal, you need to have it checked out. It could very well be the catalytic converter.
How To Replace A Catalytic Converter
- While it isn’t a long process to take out the catalytic converter and put in a new one, it can be difficult. Specialized tools are required for nearly every step of the process, and those who are not experienced in using them should not try to do this on their own.
- The mechanic will start by taking out the old catalytic converter, which usually means cutting it out with a power saw. It’s welded to the car, and it needs to be forcibly removed. The mechanic will be careful not to damage any other parts of the car during this process.
- Then the new converter will be welded in. Once again, this isn’t the kind of job that can be done by just anyone, though it isn’t terribly time consuming. Because these tasks are skill intensive, you may pay more than the regular hourly rate for this process.
- The newly replaced exhaust system will be checked by the mechanic for problems. This can involve running the car for a period or even taking it out for a drive. The mechanic will be making sure that the converter is firmly attached and that it is able to do its job efficiently.
How to Save Money on a Catalytic Converter Replacement
While you could save money on labor costs by doing the job yourself, it is not recommended for most people. Generally, you aren’t going to save much by doing the job on your own. Also, it may require welding to attach the catalytic converter. If you don’t have the proper tools or the experience, then you want to leave this job to the professionals.
Your savings for doing it yourself will be minimal, but if you are experienced in changing out catalytic converters, then you can save some money. It’s not a terrible time sink, thought he parts can be costly. Just be prepared to pay a lot for a quality catalytic converter. It’s a vital part of your vehicle, and it not a part you want to skimp on.
How Much Does It Cost To Replace A Catalytic Converter?
Below are some example catalytic converter replacement costs for the most widely owned cars in the country. While prices will vary from place to place, it should give you an idea of what you can expect to pay for your make and size of car.
|Ford F-Series||$181 – $231||$726 – $2029||$907 – $2260|
|Chevrolet Silverado||$71 – $90||$519 – $926||$590 – $1016|
|Ford Focus||$102 – $131||$513 – $1361||$615 – $1492|
|Toyota Camry||$102 – $131||$874 – $1301||$976 – $1432|
|Toyota Corolla||$63 – $80||$605 – $1416||$668 – $1496|
|Nissan Altima||$150 – $191||$492 – $963||$642 – $1154|
|Honda CR-V||$126 – $161||$413 – $819||$539 – $980|
|Honda Civic||$63 – $80||$495 – $1529||$558 – $1609|
|Honda Accord||$79 – $100||$341 – $763||$420 – $863|
|Ford Fusion||$102 – $131||$513 – $1361||$615 – $1492|