Catalytic Converter Price

I drive a 2000 Mitsubishi Montero Sport XLS 4WD.

My engine light has been on for a while and after some inspection at the local garage, the catalytic converter and the o2 sensors need replacing. The staff there went ahead and cleaned the catalytic converter so I can pass inspection (and the engine light was unlit but shortly after, it came back on again).

The Mitsubishi dealer wants to charge me $4000 to have the cat. converter and the o2 sensors replaced. Are they really that expensive, even with labor?

In addition to my question above, I will be travelling to southern FL from northern VA. Will having a faulty catalytic converter be a problem for this road trip?

You will be able to travel if the thing simply doesn’t work. Price: check around with exhaust shops. They don’t all cost that much. Cleaning the catalytic converter seems like a made-up repair story. Engraving it would work as well.

Thank you very much for your helpful information!

The converter cleaning was likely a bunk story unless they performed something dubious like running a chemical through the intake.

What needs to be done is to get the codes and find out what’s going on. AutoZone, Checkers, etc. will do this for you free.
Keep in mind that many times codes related to the converter or O2s may not mean those parts are really bad. A poorly performing engine, vacuum leak, etc, etc. could be behind this problem.

The 4 grand price could be about right for factory Mitsubishi parts as factory OEM parts are generally way high anyway. Even the price the dealer pays can be stratospheric.
I do get a bit suspicious when it sounds like something is being replaced en masse so I would not authorize this until it’s known for a fact what’s going on with the vehicle.

In the event (odds are very slim) that you really need all of this stuff then have it done with aftermarket parts at an independent garage or even a good independent muffler shop. It will be far, far less than 4 grand.

Two things pop out that I don’t like.

  1. As OK said…just because the codes say a catalytic converter or O2 sensor doesn’t mean they are the bad parts…could be something else…Also…many times it’s NOT the catalytic converter…but the O2 sensors only.

  2. They said they cleaned out the catalytic converter and the code went away so you could pass inspection…OK first I’ve never heard of that before…SECOND…lets say this is true…then WHY are they still insisting on replacing the O2 sensors…they don’t fail and then magically fix themselves…If the problem is in the cat…then the O2 sensors are probably fine…


in some states, CA for instance you can no longer use aftermarket converters. Lots of reasons for this including OEM lobbyists, and guys who were putting in cutout/bypass converters to cheat the smog test and still win the street race. Even so, 4grand is kinda outrageous. Get a second opinion, and not from a chain or a dealer.

If the car owner is planing a trip from Virginia to Florida I doubt the live in California.

He was giving an example…Saying that CA is one state…there may be others. Worth checking into.

i’m sort of on this path too…pull the codes and post back as others have said. if the upstream (front) o2 sensor is the original, buy a new one from and replace it yourself (denso makes a decent o2 sensor ~$60.00). there are aftermarket cats out there. (there are even aftermarket cats that are CARB-compliant. i live in CA; everything is more expensive here…)

if necessary, you can buy o2 sensors and a cat and have them installed way below $4K. worse case, buy the cat on-line and have a muffler shop install it for you. but first, get the correct diagnosis (oven mitt test perhaps?).

The “replace converter” code was sent by the rear oxygen sensor…Replace it first, half the time that’s the problem…Catalytic converters, by themselves, do not send trouble codes…

No, driving the car will not hurt anything… How many miles on it?? It’s 11 years old…You don’t EVER want to take it to a dealer…