Catalytic converter easy to replace?

My brother-in-law’s car needs a new catalytic converter (he says, though I know the O2 sensor can cause similar problems). The dealer wants to charge $800, but he found a converter online for $350 and is thinking about doing the job himself.

It seems from what I’ve read that it’s a fairly simple procedure, although if the bolts are rusted it may be more difficult.

Is this an easy repair? The car is a 2000 Outback.


The “generic” converter will work just as good as the dealer one. in fact, the dealer may actually be using that same converter you found online.

Yes, it is an easy procedure once you get the car up on the lift. If you try to do it by simply jacking up the car you may have difficulties due to insufficient workspace.

You can try right now to see if you can at least loosen the current cat. If you are able to do so, the rest of the installation will go quite smoothly.

There is an 8 year, 80,000 mile (whichever comes first) Federal emissions warranty on any car originally sold in the U.S. I’m almost positive the catalytic converter is included. If you’re in this mileage/timeframe call your local Subaru dealer.

I will add that a muffler shop can usually do this for far less than the dealer and far easier than you can. They have the lifts for access the experience and the tools to do the job fast and easy and likely better.