Should I go through with a $1400 catalytic converter fix for a 2005 Ford Focus with 140,000 miles?

At what point do I call it quits with the repairs and just sell it for parts? How do I research what parts will be needing replacing and when? I’ve also heard this car isn’t the most reliable? Man I’m stuck. Any help is appreciated.

I’m not sure what engine you have, but I found converters for $200- $300 for the Focus.

Of course a dealer will charge much more, and it’s not that big a job if you can turn a wrench.
Or find a good independent mechanic.


Has it actually been confirmed by a trusted mechanic that the CC is dead?
I ask because many people have replaced catalytic converters when all that was needed was to replace the oxygen sensors.

I agree. I would guess that 50% of all cats and O2 sensors replaced in this country were working normally when removed. The percentage could be higher at some shops and dealership.

I agree with the second opinion, and with not using a dealer, however I should point out that needing to replace a cat converter at 140,000 miles isn’t unusual at all. Countless vehicles get new converters around that mileage and provide another 140,000 miles of good reliable operation.

It’s really impossible to know what parts will wear out and when. Peripheral components, the alternators, AC compressors, and power steering components often begin to fail at the 200,000+ mile mark, but in many cases they never fail, and in many cases only one will fail (which one cannot be predicted). Sometimes something entirely unrelated to the engine, like a transaxle, will fail.

If reliability is very critical to you, you might start getting ready for a replacement. If you can live with an occasional need for a repair, and the vehicle is otherwise in good shape, I’d recommend changing the converter and driving on.

+1 to the posts here. I would only consider parting the car out if it is beat to heck with a bunch of other things already broken like power windows or the radio, high oil consumption. If it ran good before the diagnosis, take it to an independent shop of fix it yourself and then decide what you want to do.

My understanding is that cheap converters have less precious metal in them and will last only 1 to 2 years. That’s fine if that’s all you expect.


Actually, the Focus isn’t a really bad car

I’m not saying it’s the most high quality car out there, but you could do a lot worse, as far as reliability goes, in my opinion

If a competent shop is 100% sure you need a cat, and it’s not due to oil burning, misfires, etc., I would shop around, as far as the repair goes.

A few more questions . . . does the $1400 repair include a direct fit cat, or would they have to weld one in?

I would be inclined to go with the direct fit

Assuming the diagnosis is correct

What condition is the car in?

no rusted out frame?

Engine and transmission still working fine?

Are you pretty good with the maintenance?

Please post the computer error code(s). Any besides P0420?

The way I like to think about these sorts of questions is, given the state of the car otherwise, would you spend $1400 to buy this car? Like others said, if everything is in pretty good shape, then you car is probably worth more than $1400. If it’s a rustbucket with impending transmission problems, then you’d probably not buy this car on Craigslist for $1400. Thinking about it this way helps me to avoid worrying about sentimental value or sunk costs.

But absolutely get a second opinion! The job shouldn’t be that hard/expensive; I’ve done it in my driveway with just a socket set and ramps.

Yosemite- when I clicked on the link you posted I was shown converters for my son in law’s truck, not a Focus.

I tried Yosemite’s link and found the Focus cat converters, but it took me a few minutes to figure out how to look it up on the site. It isn’t the best filter system I’ve seen.

But there should be plenty of aftermarket cat converters availability for this vehicle. Try other sites if you can’t get Yosemite’s to work for you.

@oldtimer 11 I clicked on that link and it showed converters for my wife’s 2009 Pont G6. Weird!

Aftermarket catalytic converters are warranted for 25,000 miles. But they can go much further.

It’s true that these converters don’t have as much noble metals in their wash coat. But you also have to remember that the vehicle manufacturer has to warranty the OEM catalytic converter for 8 years/80,000 miles.

When it comes to installing an aftermarket catalytic converter, you have take under consideration the age and the mileage of the vehicle. And will the aftermarket catalytic converter suffice for the rest of the vehicles life.


I clicked on that link and it showed converters for my wife's 2009 Pont G6. Weird!

Advance Auto stores your recent searches, so it’ll reference that vehicle. lists converters for this car for anywhere from 120 bucks to a little over 800. Pick your poison. The walker unit goes for about $300, and walker is good quality.

Two of my sons have Ford Focuses, and they’ve been good, reliable cars that are relatively simple and easy to work on. If the car is good in all other aspects, I’d replace the converter.

A 2005 Focus w/140 K? Excepting for serious rust issues, I wouldn’t give up yet.

The O.P. One post and gone…

Well, he only began the thread at 8:22 this morning. Perhaps he worked all day, spent some time with the wife & kids, and will return tomorrow morning.

Sorry everybody about the bad link.

I forgot, the same thing happened to me when someone posted a link from “Advanced” within the last two weeks.
I’ll have to remember not to link “Advanced”.

It works this way.
If Insightful ever looked up anything at “Advanced”, the site gets the cookie that it is Insightful and changes the chosen car to the last auto Insightful checked parts for…but it looks up the part (converter) that the link specifies.

It’s one of those glitches that only “Advanced” can fix by having their IT person correct the problem.