What is the expected lifetime of a catalytic converter? Is there anything that would hasten its demise? I’m wondering because I recently had a recommended “fuel system flush” at an oil change. (2001 Subaru Outback Ltd. w/ 125,000 mi). I was charged $947 for the part. Is there a markup there?
Little confused…what does the fuel system flush had to do with replacing a catalytic converter?? Did they replace your Catalytic Converter?? If so WHY??
I’ve NEVER needed to replace a catalytic converter on any vehicle I’ve owned and some of those vehicles went well past the 300k mile mark.
As for hastening a cats demise…Raw fuel dumped into the exhaust…Also using Leaded Gas.
I’ve never had to replace one either and that’s why I was looking for a reason that this one failed.
At 125,000 mi the car was running like it needed a tuneup, then the check engine light came on. The subaru dealer ran the diagnostic and came up with “catalytic converter has failed.” That’s what cost me so much.
In looking over my records, I noticed a recent (121,000 mi) fuel system flush (“fuel system cleaner” added at one of the chain drive-thru oil change places) and I wondered if this could dislodge anything that would end up fouling the converter.
First off…Dealer prices are ALWAYS very high. If you did need a new cat you could have gotten a brand new aftermarket one for about $250. Find a good independent mechanic for any future repairs to save you some money.
Also use this same independent mechanic to do your oil changes. The quick-lube places are a complete rip-off…Chances are extremely slim you NEEDED a fuel system flush. Do you want a certified mechanic with 20-30 years experience or a high-school dropout working on your car.
Google “flushing of America” and you’ll find an interesting article about how some businesses are flushing money from unsuspecting customers’ wallets.
I didn’t think there was a code for “catalytic converter has failed,” but lots of dealers tell people that because they make money selling converters. Often another change, such as new O2 sensors, will return the cat to proper operation.
Avoid fuel system flushes in the future. They’re almost never necessary.
Did he do the “diagnostic” on a machine with a 'scope, one that showed the actual oxygen sensor output traces?
If he did, then go elsewhere simply to save tons of dough.
If he did not, if he simply read the fault codes, you may not need a converter and you’ll save even more by going elsewhere.
The fuel system flush may have somehow damaged the oxygen sensor, but it was more likely a coincidence. However it did prove the quicky lube is out to flush your wallet. Another good reason to go elsewhere.
The fuel cleaning likely did not cause any damage, but it was a total waste of time and money.
If this a Forum accomplishes nothing but educating the public on how this is a area for honest mistakes caused by incompetence and a way to steal it will be worth the time we spend.
I get so motivated to test and verify or dismiss all these 02 sensor catalytic converter posts. Probably should mind my own business and do my homework.