My check engine light came on and they say it is the catalytic converter. Dealer price $1,100. Are there any thoughts on after market converters or having a non-dealer mechanic put one on? Any advice would be helpful.
Junkyard, junkyard, junkyard… 2000-2005 are the same. You could also try ebay. I would go OEM, if you can find one, and then have an independent mechanic install it. Your mechanic may also have more luck locating one.
Call all the exhaust shops for parts and labor prices to replace your converter with a “universal” one. I have a '96 Chrysler Cirrus. A local exhaust shop put one of these on for $169.00 grand total 6 months ago. It hasn’t thrown any codes, or caused any performance problems at all. It’s not kosher, but it’s done all the time.
Or, if you’re leery about a universal converter, have them put on an after-market one, that’s not actually a “dealer part”, but that’s better than the universal converter, and matches the specifications of the dealer converter.
Get diagnosis/quote from a non-dealer independent mechanic and exhaust shop. There is no reason to use a dealer for a $$$ part like that.
It’s against EPA regulations for junkyards to sell used catalytic converters. A $20,000 fine for each one sold.
If you are not subject to emissions testing, drive on.
I’d get a second opinion from an independent mechanic.
The check engine light doesn’t say “replace catalytic converter.” It probably says “catalyst below threshold” or something similar.
The problem could be caused by a faulty O2 sensor. You may not need a new cat. If you do an independent mechanic may be able to get one for less than dealer price.
I recently had to replace catalytic converter on my 2001 Echo (227K miles). My check engine light had come on like yours, and at first they thought they could change O2 sensor only. The O2 sensor was rusted into it and they were unable to get it out. Unfortunately, I went through the dealer who quoted about $2,000 for new equipment and about $900 for after market. I went for after market. After I took car in for service, I found out the dealer sent it to another shop in town to do the work. I haven’t had any more trouble with the car. Sounds like you should be able to do a lot better with prices, though.
Don’t let them change the catalytic converter without a diagnosis.
if you can do it your self. i just bought one from drop ship parts and the price was a lot less than the dealer price but i believe they are rebuilt units and so far it seems to be fine with the exhaust system. i also had a check engine light come on telling me it was a catalytic converter. it was breaking all apart. if there is rattling when you step on the gas pedal it most likely breaking apart on the inside.
Thanks for all of the advice! I found an independent mechanic and he was able to put on a universal catalytic converter for around $400. This fell in line with the replies here and the advice I got from others. So far so good. Thanks again!