I have a 2002 Subaru Legacy with 125,000 miles on it. The PO420 code has been coming off and on for about a year. It is now coming on more consistently. I have received replacement quotes from $500 up to $1,500. The dealer is obviously the most expensive option and will use OEM parts. The other mechanics use after-market parts (some with 2-year warranties and some with 30-day warranties). I am not excited about the $1,500 put I don’t want to be penny-wise and pound foolish. I will spend the money if it lasts longer. I am planning on keeping the car as long as possible.
Thoughts? Can I use after-market parts or should I just go with OEM?
The EPA requires that all aftermarket catalytic converters be warranted for 2 years/24,000 miles.
The OEM catalytic converter must be warranted for 8 years/80,000 miles. And that’s why the OEM costs more.
Every catalytic converter I’ve replaced was with an aftermarket converter. And I’ve never had a problem with any of them.
And just because they come with a 2 year/24,000 mile warranty doesn’t mean they only last that long. I’ve installed aftermarket cats in vehicles years ago. And they’re still on the road with no Check Engine light on.
It’s the rear oxygen sensor(s) that are throwing the P0420 code, not the cat itself…So I would replace that first and see what happens…You should replace it/them anyway so it’s not wasted money if the problem persists…
Thank you, Tester and Caddyman! Great advice!