Prism cat. Converter replacement


#1

So I recently took my 2001 chevy prizm into a local mechanic because I had a check engine light on. I got a call back a few hours later, and I was told I have a bad catalytic converter and that it needs to be replaced. They told me it was gonna run me around $800 for parts and labor. I’m really just trying to pass my emissions test, and on the cheap. So I have a few questions: is this a fair price? Could I use one of these universal catalytic converters (they are considerably cheaper), could I maybe buy this part and have them install it for me? Will this involve any welding? I thank you ahead of time for your answers.


#2

The price is fair if a direct fit type catalytic converter is installed.

A universal type catalytic converter can be installed but this requires the removal of the flanges from the old cat so they can be welded to the universal cat. But I don’t know too many mechanics that can weld very well.

Tester


#3

Thanks for the speedy reply, Tester. Anyone else have any thoughts or tips they’d like to add?


#4

While the “original” replacement may seem pricey, the extra work involved in fitting a universal replacement (at $100 an hour for the mechanic) may end up costing more. plus, there’s no guarantee a generic replacement will actually perform as good as an original. If it were me, I’d use an original…but I’d also do it myself. Just sayin’.

Chase


#5

Autozone sells a Bosal catalytic converter with front pipe and resonator for $313.00. That’s a direct-fit converter and Bosal makes reliable converters.

What that tells me is your local mechanic should be able to find a direct-fit aftermarket converter locally in the low $300 range, which he’ll understandably charge you around $500 for. Then you can add gaskets, bolts/clamps, hangers and labor.

The price of $800 quoted to you may seem a bit high, but it is defend-able.


#6

Sounds good. Thanks for your responses, everyone.