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Factory vs. Aftermarket catalytic converter

New to the site and I have a question about Catalytic converters.
I have a 1987 BMW 325i great little car.
Yesterday I took it to get annual tune-up, oil, lube and smog.
The tech said I need a new CAT. 1600.00 manufacturer
I know I can get after market a heck of a lot cheaper and installed for less than that.
However when I asked the mechanic about it, he adviced against aftermarket and said if thats the case he wouldn’t waste the money I should sell my car to the state as a gross polluter.
test scores:
at 15mph it failed
at 25mph it passed

Are aftermarket CAT’s unreliable?

Find a new mechanic. You have a 20+ year old car. Not worth $1600. There is no way you should spend $1600 on a converter.

I agree about the new mechanic. My car runs great and gets great gas milage I won’t be offloading it anytime soon.
Thanks for the reponse

Get an aftermarket converter quote. OEM anything unless the part does not exist otherwise is nuts on some that old.

You may be able to find a decent cat in a junkyard for little money if not already cut off for the scrap.

Was it the dealership that wants $1600?

You should find a good independent shop to service your out-of-warranty car. has a good place to look for one:

As I just learned, it’s illegal for a yard to sell you a ued cat. Something having to do with jailtime and big fines makes them not want to sell them.

Unless you live in some parts of Europe. You can probably get away with it there. :slight_smile:

Aftermarket catalytic converters must comply to EPA specifications before they can be sold to the public. Or in other words, they must function the same as an OEM catalytic converter.

The EPA also prohibits the sale of used catalytic converters from auto recyclers. Besides, the auto recyclers get more money for the catalytic converters when they’re recycled for their noble metals than they would by selling them.