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Is the catalyic converter covered in mesh?

I have a 91 Camry V6, 149,000 miles, and looking underneath it today I see a cloth like mesh hanging down. I also hear the beginnings of what sounds like a hole in the muffler, but that’s further back. I’m suspecting the catalytic converter but replacements don’t have that mesh cloth. Thoughts?

No, it is not. What you’re probably seeing is the steel mesh that holds a flexable portion of the exhaust together that connects the exhaust header pipe to the inlet of the cat converter. Someone needs to get under the car and look ASAP before you become poisoned with carbon monoxide fumes. They’re odorless and tasteless, but toxic.

I’ve never looked under a Camry, but I think the mesh is probably the flex pipe, that connects the engine to the rest of the exhaust system. It has to be flexible because the engine vibrates and flexes, a rigid pipe would crack. The cat is a little further downstream.

It must be a hole in that flex pipe then. I believe that’s cheaper than the converter. :slight_smile:
Thanks for your concern on the exhaust. I’ve been around a while. I used to have a '72 Duster that you drove with the windows up or down, no in between. The floor mats kept out most of the exhaust if the windows were up and it went out the windows when they were down.

I’ll make an appointment with my mechanic. I think he has a boat payment due anyhow.

Some converters do have mesh in them.


I guess the question is, is there a small amount of mesh poking through a hole in an otherwise solid-looking pipe, or is there a large piece of loose mesh flopping around. From the OP’s phrasing, I assumed the latter.

Good point. Either way, I think it needs addressing ASAP. CO is en ever-present danger when released under that area of the car.

No, the mesh is on the inside. Based on the OP’s comment it sounded like he was referring to the converter and my assumption (right or wrong) was the mesh was protruding from the converter.

I know, I was “tweakin’” you. And you could be right, but my money is still on the flex pipe. Either way, a leak under the front area of the cabin where it can get drawn into the ventwork needs to be looked at and fixed.

Best as I can tell, the mesh is on the outside, hanging down from the car. I’m traveling right now (not in that car) and haven’t had time to investigate. There is a “hole in the muffler/pipe” sound coming from under the car. I had the center pipe replaced about 8 years ago or so. Muffler and converter are original.

The mesh seems cloth-like, soft and flexible. I thougt it might be some sort of heat shield on the converter. I’ve looked at pictures of replacement converters for that v6 but none of them have that mesh on them.

The sound isn’t very loud, it’s like something is just starting. The flexible mesh is just hanging down, it’s maybe 4" wide and 9" long. It seems to be more on the passenger side, near where the O2 sensor is.