Dear Car Talk:
My wife owns a 2003 Toyota Tundra with about 95,000 miles. Her original muffler finally bit the dust, and needed to be replaced, along with a new catalytic converter (the flange broke off, removing the old one). My regular mechanic was unfortunately away on vacation, and we needed to get this work done right away. Our local service station has done some minor mechanical work for us over the years, so we took the truck to them. They did, within a day, what appeared to be a good job, so we were satisfied despite a charge of $1000. When my mechanic got home, he cautioned me about the catalytic converter being a universal converter, not a Toyota converter. He said there’s no safety issue but the converter may be incompatible with the emissions control in the truck, possibly causing the engine light to go on, and maybe stay on. I asked the service station mechanic and he said my mechanic was wrong and don’t worry about it.
Is this something to be concerned about? Is my mechanic right? Should have the service station mechanic installed a Toyota converter? Am I on the hook to get a Toyota converter installed (at a price more like another $1500)? Thanks so much for your input!