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Catalytic Converter in '02 Prizm

I currently own a '99 Chevy Prizm, and am considering purchasing an '02 Prizm. My question: will I have to replace the catalytic converter on the '02 like I (and many other owners of '99 Prizms) had to?

Why do you say this is “necessary?” We’ve had Prizms in my family that have gone 175,000 miles and more without having their catalytic converters replaced.

I’d gladly buy a Prizm and never worry about replacing the cat.

What’s up with the '02 Prizms? I haven’t heard of any problems.

Thanks for the input. I was told by my (relatively well-reviewed and regarded) car mechanic that there was a problem with the way '99 Prizms were transported from factory to showroom that resulted in the flooding of the catalytic converters with gasoline during transport. Having never had a problem with this mechanic (or his shop) before, I took him at his word.
I’ve really enjoyed my Prizm…so much so that I’m interested in buying another used one (an '02). It’s great to hear that you’ve had good luck with yours. I’d appreciate any further thoughts you have about the '99 or the '02 models!

The story about transport of '99 Prizms is so BOGUS I don’t know where to start.

There’s no way raw gasoline ever got to the catalytic converter of any new car. NO WAY. Your mechanic is making this up.

I’d have to ask, "How did ALL '99 Prizms suffer this supposed flooding, and how did this one mechanic become privy to this information that seems to have escaped everyone else?

Your mechanic is the only one who’s ever heard of this “problem” with '99 Prizms, which makes me think (makes me know) he’s making it up, perhaps to sell you a catalytic converter you didn’t need.

Sorry, but that’s the truth.

There’s no way a '99 Prizm should need a cat, unless you have accumulated more than 200,000 miles, and even then it’s debatable.

Sorry, but you need an new mechanic. Preferably one who won’t lie to you you.

As far as buying a newer Prizm, I say, go for it. Assuming the car checks out OK, buy it. Prizms are just about the best used car you can buy, assuming the one you’re looking at has been maintained according to the factory schedule. It’s your job to check on that.

Thanks for your input. Do you have advice for how to further research this? Are there sites where I could get news of such (alleged) problems–if just to catch a mechanic in a hoax?

Buy it regardless.I recently dumped my 02 Prism for space in my garage reasons and it was the biggest car mistake I have ever make. A 5 speed, it had good accel. and great gas mileage. The three speed auto is a dog. Otherwise, don’t wait if it’s in decent shape.

Further research? What further research? Check out the reliability ratings with Consumer Reports. The Prizm has always been a top rated car, just like the Corolla, its twin.

If you keep fooling around someone else is going to buy this car, and you will have to start over.

Don’t bother trying to catch a mechanic in a hoax, just find another mechanic.

I also have never heard this story.

However, even if there is a grain of truth to it replacing the cat converter on a used car is far from the worst of the used-car possible problems. A cat coverter is a pretty basic bolt-on item. I wouldn’t give that concern a second thought.

I agree with MCP. The gasoline is in a sealed tank and can’t get out unless the car is tipped over. No one would ship it that way. The only other exit is through the gas line, and the gas pump is closed unless energized. It’s only energized when the car is running. And ask yourself why the mechanic never mentioned the 1999 Corolla. Both were manufactured at the same factory and would have been shipped the same way.

I agree with the suggestion to check out what Consumer Reports says about it. You can find their annual Car Buyers Guide in the reference section or the magazine section of your local library.

I’ve got an '01 Prizm that I inherited from my wife. I’ve had it a year and she had it about 3 years before that. It’s got over 130000 miles on it (she has to drive quite a way to work). Her brother and his wife have one exactly the same (but with a lot fewer miles) and so far it’s been a fine car for all.

I agree about the assessment of your mechanic. He’s full of it. EVERY Prizm for an entire model year will not have been transported in some bizzare manner. There might or might not be an issue with the catalytic converter, but that’s a stupid explanation. Consumer Reports will let you know if there’s any particular problems with any particular car. I never buy a car w/o checking what they have to say about it first.