Catalytic Converter

My girlfriend took her 2003 Honda CR-V to the dealer to get repaired after the engine light came on and came back with an estimate showing a catalytic converter with a $1417 price. We took it to another shop and it confirmed that price for an OEM cc. I looked it up on the Internet and an OEM catalytic converter can be obtained for 1/4th of that price including shipping at several sites. I presume these auto repair places can get them for these prices as well. My question is: How can auto repair places get away with such ridiculous markups?

Before you get too excited about the cost of an OEM cat, make sure the car really needs one. Often a faulty O2 sensor will trigger a code such as “catalytic converter below threshold,” which does NOT necessarily mean the cat is bad.

Find out what the code was and check around. A 2003 car shouldn’t need a new cat.

Thanks for the reply but it indeed was the catalytic converter and unfortunately it was past the warranty period and miles so the dealer was charging to make the repair. We ordered the cc and after receiving it, found a shop to put it in for us. The code was reset and the check engine light never came back. However, this wasn’t my question. It’s the 75% markup that auto repair shops, dealerships as well through their service centers such as Honda, can put on parts such as catalytic converters.

Are you sure you are comparing apples to apples?

OEM converter are almost always way more expensive than third party products. The third party products may be more difficult to install, but their function is the same as the OEM products, as this is government regulated.

Generally the best bet is to have a good local INDEPENDENT mechanic do the repair using a third party supplier. There is little or no reason to have your car serviced by a dealer (other than stuff covered by warranty). Dealers are no better (or worse) than independent mechanics, but nearly always charge more and take a more aggressive (expensive) approach to repairs. Chains offer lower prices but nearly always poorer quality than either other option.

Correction per my GF, it was over the warranty miles only. Her car had just gone over 90K when this happened.

They can charge any price they want. They could mark it up several hundred percent if they wanted to.

You can buy any place you want. You don’t have to pay the dealer price.

I’d like to know what made the cat go bad in only six years.

It’s the 75% markup that auto repair shops, dealerships as well through their service centers such as Honda, can put on parts such as catalytic converters.

There is no law saying they can’t charge what ever they want…When I bought my 4runner…I could get a FREE state inspection when it was due (about 10 months after purchase). Took truck in for inspection…one of the directional lights was out…The dealer wanted $16 for the bulb…+ $20 in labor to pass to fix this…I declined…Bought a bulb from ADAP for under $2 and it took me less then 2 minutes to replace the bulb…They then passed the truck. Very very few items at a dealer are reasonably priced.

You did what a good consumer should do…Shop around…Most businesses HATE consumers like you…

First 8yrs or 80,000 miles on the converter for emmissions warranty.

The dealer price for OEM cat is what it is. The dealer is acquiring the part at high cost from car maker parts and simply putting their markup on to stay in business.

It makes no sense to go with OEM cats as you can see OEM aftermarket is 1/4 to 1/2 of what OEM part is. Repair places make money on some markup on parts and labor. I have NEVER met a rich mechanic or auto repair shop owner, have you?