How soon to replace catalytic converter

2004 Chrysler Sebring Sedan, 4 cylinder dual-overhead cam. My check engine light came on this morning and the code came out as the catalytic converter. The car seems to be running fine, at least no recent changes. I’m debating replacing this vehicle soon, and I’m wondering if it’s worth working on the catalytic converter. I recently replaced the cam shaft position sensor as well.

I’d get it properly diagnosed. Your problem may not be the cat but might be something else like an O2 sensor. In any case, you will not have an easy time selling a car with a check engine light on (though a coworker had no problems unloading a Honda with its CEL throwing numerous codes… but that buyer was a complete fool)… so if you try to sell it without fixing it, you’ll have a hard time, and by not fixing it while continuing to drive, you may cause other problems.

The code only points you to the part of the system not working properly. Could be a sensor or something else. Invest in a good mechanic’s diagnosis first.

I agree with having it diagnosed.

I’d like to add that a car can run perfectly fine with a bad cat converter or downstream O2 sensor (that’s the one that monitors the converter). The code only means that the sensor has detected that the converter is not having the effect on the ehaust that it’s supposed to, not seperating the Nitrogen Oxide molecules into seperate nitrogen and oxygen atoms. That doesn’t affect the operation of the engine.

What does having recently replaced the cam position sensor have to do with your decision on if you are going to fix the converter or not? They are not even remotely related.

But yes, I agree with everyone else, you need to have someone determine what is actually failed on your car before they start throwing parts at the car. It could be a simple exhaust leak that needs to be fixed. If could be the Oxygen sensors that have become slow and unresponsive. It could be a bad MAF sensor that is giving wrong readings on how much air is being ingested by the engine. It could be something else entirely.


My brother’s Neon was throwing the same code and it turned out to be a dirty air filter. He had driven on a dusty road the week before searching for a property to buy. The vehicle has been running fine for over a year now. You need to get the problem corrected by a good mechanic. It could be a lot of things other than a converter.