Catalytic converter replacement

I have a 2001 4runner and was told that my catalytic converters need to be replaced, estimate was $2400.00. What is the best way to approach the repair. Are there sensors that need to be replaced with the converters, lots of labor? Just trying to dissect the estimate. Any help or ideas would be great.

There isn’t a lot of labor involved. An O2 sensor may need to be replaced, but not usually. Check the price of the converter itself, they are quite expensive.

What makes you think you need a converter other than someone told you?? Is your CEL on? This MUST be a dealership @$2400…An independent muffler shop can replace the converter for a FRACTION of that…If you really need one.

I suggest you avoid the dealer and find a local INDEPENDENT mechanic. Dealers are not better or worse than independents, but they are almost always more expensive. This is one case where the cost difference is major.

The dealer will use OEM parts, and will have a higher per hour rate for labor. The independent will likely use a after market converter (which meets all the same specs and may even come off the same assembly line) you may well end up pay half as much as the estimate from the dealer. It is also possible the second opinion may end up being something else.

Anytime you get that CEL (Check Engine Light) you should have the code read. Many auto part stores will read it for FREE. Just bring us the code (format [P1234]) and you can get several good honest opinions.

The best way to approach this is to get a second opinion. Based on the price you were quoted I’m guessing you were at a Toyota dealer.

If you really need a new cat, which is questionable, you can probably get one for less elsewhere.

There are trouble codes that indicate things like “Catalytic converter below threshold,” but that doesn’t necessarily mean you need a new cat. Sometimes replacing less expensive components returns the catalytic converter to normal operation.

Many times a catalytic converter is recommended when all that was wrong was a O2 sensor. If an O2 sensor is bad it’ll send a signal to the ECU making the ECU think the cat is bad because of the faulty O2. Since an O2 usually cost less then $100…and a new cat costs several hundred dollars…many places prefer to sell you the new cat…They put the new cat on…and the code is still there…So they replace the O2 sensor…but probably NEVER tell you that…since the faulty O2 sensor was the problem anyways.

First…get a second opinion…second…if you actually do need a new cat…buy an aftermarket cat…far far cheaper then this $2400 one from the dealer. You can get them as cheap as a couple hundred bucks…and they are AS GOOD as the OEM.