I bought a 2002 Beetle with 183,000 (AS IS) from a friend. After a week of driving it the engine and airbag lights came on. My husband took it to get checked and they told him that it was the CATALYTIC CONVERTOR(?). How detrimental is it to drive the car with this “problem”? Will it ruin it more? Is it dangerous??? Like always, when it comes to a car and a husband and wife team,there is a possibility of one of us getting 3 hots and a cot at a prison for murder!!!
If your state doesn’t have an emissions check as a part of the annual or semi-annual vehicle inspection, then you most likely have little to worry about. If you do have to pass an emissions test, then you will need to replace the CC before the emissions test.
If you do emissions inspections in your state then yes-you will have to eventually replace it. The Catalytic converter is part of the exhuast system under the car and helps keep your exhaust clean. They all eventually fail on cars and need to be replaced. On your car expect to pay $500+ for a quality replacement converter.
I’d get ready for more repairs of the wallet clearing variety as this particular car has the repuatation (well-deserved imo) of being one of the least reliable cars of the past decade. Hope you got a good deal, and whatever you do don’t skip maintenance.
While I don’t agree that the 2002 Beetle is much different than any other car on the market in terms of reliability, it is not on the top of the list.
Saying it is the converter does not really say much. The light indicated the computer has found an indication of a possible problem. It conveys that information as a code (like P0123) Since there are many codes that might be called converter codes, we really need to know which one to offer much specific advice.
Some auto part stores will read the codes for free and tell you the number and likely a suggested problem.
Get the code read, unless you have the code, and post it as a reply.
It is not likely to be dangerous (unless that light was flashing.
The air bag light tells you there is a problem with that system and likely the computer has shut it down to make sure it does not go off when it should not. Since I was involved in an accident (about 45 years ago) when I lost two teeth on the steering wheel, I believe in seat belts and air bags. I suggest you follow though and get that fixed and likely the mechanical problem as well.
Bring the codes back and lets see what we can do.