Catalytic converter

I have a 1999 Camry…it has started making a noise that sounds like an owl hooting. At first it was realy random, now it pretty much talking to me all the time. I did all these little test like pressing the gas when I heard it, pressing the brakes…have narrowed it down to when the engine is warmed up (pretty quick when you live in hotter than he** Texas!)it starts hottin like an owl at 2000 rpms. It even happens now when in park. There is no drag or pull when it happens as far as i can tell…just the noise. My husband got a long wooden stick and crawled under the car and touched it to the catalytic converter cover. He said that is where the noise is coming from. I know I need to take it to the shop, but is this something my regualr mechanics can fix (mom and pop place) or do I need to take it to the dealership to have it fixed. Also I have never had my timing belt replaced. I have 113,252. I never miss gettin my oil changed… it has been a great car. I just want to know what this might be and is it gonna cost a fortune to fix it.

Does the noise go away when he uses the stick? Is it a vibrating heat shield? How, exactly, could he tell the noise was coming from the cat?

He said he felt the vibration when it made the noise…does that help?

Still not sure, but if your mom and pop place can change mufflers, a cat is no different, if that’s the problem, but could just be a heat shield, they should be able to tell. They should also be able to give you an estimate for the cost. And you do need to replace the timing belt, it should have been done at 90k, so do it soon (up to $300).

The dealer, “Can only fix it by replacing a (expensive) part.” An independent shop can wrap a clamp around a loose heat shield, if that’s the problem; or, if it’s a bad catalytic converter, they can replace it for about 1/2 what the dealer would charge. Ditto for the timing belt.

Thank you both for the replies…this has been helpful!

don’t forget the water pump as well, though most should do this anyways. I know my local honda dealership has this as kind of a package deal and they do the TB/WP at the same time anyways.