Dealer Repair vs. Local Mechanic

I have a catalytic converter that needs to be replaced on my '03 Nissan Murano. I was quoted $1415.00 by the dealer and was told that if I went to any other mechanic other than Nissan and yet used the Nissan parts, they wouldn’t know how to install the parts correctly and I would eventually have to have it serviced in the future. Any feedback/comments would be helpful. Thank you!

The dealer service advisor is a salesperson. They want to make that sale especially a pricey one like this.

Get a quote elsewhere and even with aftermarket parts. They are “afraid” you will do this as you may find this job can be done for as little as $500.

Replacing a catalytic converter isn’t rocket science. I don’t see why any competent mechanic couldn’t do this job.

If there is some “special technique” to installing a Nissan cat, an independent mechanic can look it up in a repair manual database.

I’d get an opinion from an independent anyway. What made the CC go bad?

That is just plain BULL…

Get the aftermarket cat…Installing one is NOT rocket science…4 bolts MAX…Or it works as a sleeve over the exhaust pipe.

The others are right. Are you past the 80k mile warranty on the cat? Also, I worry that some other problem may have caused your cat to fail, you need to have that checked.

Thank you for your imput! Greatly appreciated! It went bad due to wear and tear of the car. I’ve had it since 2003 and it’s never been replaced. Thanks again! I’ll get other quotes!

It’s has about 151,000 miles and it’s never been replaced. Thank you for your feedback! So greatly appreciated!

If the car is properly maintained, the catalytic converter should be good for the life of the car. What makes them go bad is normally poor maintenance on the fuel and ignition system, and internal oil leaks, which make it behave like an afterburner on a fighter jet, something it’s not designed to do. Age and mileage should not affect the unit. Physical external damage can, of course, also spell the end of the unit.

I sold two old cars, one with over 200,000 miles and one with the same milege as yours and both converters were the original.

Who diagnosed that you neededed a new converterr and what were their reasons?

Find a good independent muffler and exhaust shop. They will know exactly what to do. A dealership has at least 4 departments: 1) new car sales; 2) used car sales; 3) service; 4) parts and some may have 5) body shop. Each department has a manager, and each manager must show a profit. The service representative you encountered is trying help departments 3 and 4 maximize profits.

Used car managers at dealerships have been known to take vehicles to independent shops because the parts and service in the dealership are too high. You want to minimize your expenditures, so go the independent shop route.

This Is Very Correct. I Have Been Manager Of 2 Out Of 5 Of Those Departments.
It was years ago, in my darker years.

I had a differing opinion than some of the posters. I submit that cat’s do wear out. Yes, it is usually somewhere over the 80k miles area, but they don’t always last the life of the car. A clean burning car will not need a properly functioning cat to pass an emissions test. One easy test you can perfom, is take a non-contact temp reader, like a harbor freight 39 dollar model. Check the front of the cat then check the back of the cat. The back of the properly functioning cat should be warmer than the front. That means it is burning. When the coating on the pellets wear off, there is no longer the burning effect, the gasses simply slip past them unaffected. I had an older Nissan. I checked the cat as explained above. Sure enough, the aft end of the cat was quite a bit (I’m thinking 50-75 degrees) hotter thatn the front end. Just before selling the car, at 230K miles, the cat was the same temp throughout. But the emmisions test showed very little CO and almost no hydrocarbons. So that’s an indication of what I explained above.

Both the dealer and the local mechanic should have comprehensive training and have passed the SAE exams. Besides, the local guy probably worked at the Nissan dealer at one time before opening his own shop.

Others are right…this is a sales pitch.

My text lists 100F (“at least”) over the inlet. I sure would like to see our readers insist that at least this very minimal time consuming test is performed.

It would be good to hear “I need a new cat. and these are the tests performed that make it so” (I guess it would be better not to need a new cat. at all)

Any shop can install a cat. If you use an aftermarket cat there can/might/maybe/possible be a problem but most likely it would be ok. Sometimes the exhaust passes through to quickly in an aftermarket cat and sometimes the engine thinks it is not up to operating temp and can trip a check engine/ check wallet light.

I’ve been at dealers…where I’ve heard the dealer (on more then one occasion) tell the customer…“Oh you should really use only OUR oil. It’s the only oil made to the exact standards for OUR engines.” And a good number of people fall for it.

I’ve also gotten the sales pitch from them that only THEY could do a proper job…on a very simple item.

As I’ve mentioned before, I had a wind whistle problem in my sliding moon roof after my tC got a few years old. One dealer shop’s shop manager (not the customer service ingrate) told me they’d need to replace the entire roof…for $2500. I knew in my gut that was bull. All it really needed was to have the program reset…a simple procedure using the rocker switch that another dealer shop showed me.

I’d bet the first shop knew this.