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What to do ?Catalytic converters

Hello, I have a 2005 Nissan Maxima with 155,000 miles. It runs well, General maintenance has been kept up, Body in good shape. Problem is the catalytic converters. The Car will not pass an emissions inspection.
Is this car worth fixing the problem? I all ready have replaced the air conditioner compressor this year. Not sure how much money I should put into it.

This is something that almost has no real answer . Trade in value is low , have you got estimates from independent muffler shops as to cost , Is the vehicle in good shape and maintenance up to date - While the cost to keep might be fine with one person you are the only one who can decide if it acceptable to you.

How do you know the cats are bad? Error code? Which one? It’s sometimes the oxygen sensor(s), much cheaper.

At that mileage, cars often start to require more frequent repairs. Whether or not to keep it is a nebulous question, because absent precognition, you can’t know what it’s going to cost you to keep the car vs. what it’s going to cost you to get another one.

You could go buy a new car for tens of thousands of dollars that will either be trouble-free or at least free to fix for a few years.

You could go buy a lightly used car, also for tens of thousands of dollars, that is fairly likely to be more trouble-free than your current car.

You could go buy an older used car for a few thousand that will probably have problems of its own.

Or you could keep your car and continue to fix it without knowing how many repairs it will need in a given year.

It’s a gamble. If you keep it the transmission could go out next month and cost you more than the used car route. If you get rid of it your new used car’s transmission could go out next month and cost you a lot more than keeping your current car. Or if you keep it you might not have to repair it again for several years. No one can predict what’s going to happen as far as what option is going to cost you more money.

My process is to keep a car until it gets so unreliable that I would rather pay a large chunk of money now to avoid the inconvenience of having a car that breaks down all the time.

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What is the car worth to you? When a person has a car where the repair will be close to the book value, then one has to look at the overall condition of the car. If it is rusted badly, then it probably isn’t worth the repair. However, if there is no rust damage, and financial resources are limited, then a repair may be justified. You know your car. A low priced used car may have even more problems. If you can spring for a new or late model used car, it might be the time. If not the repair man by justified. The one risk is that if the car is totaled and insurance has to.pay.out, you lose the investment in repairs.

If you don’t keep it, what will you do? If your plan is to buy a new car, are you prepared for the new car monthly payments? The new car insurance prices? The new car registration fees? Those will all be higher, probably much higher than you’re paying now. Oh, don’t forget the new car down payment.

If you plan is to sell your car and use public transport instead, that might well make sense. If it is to buy a new car, that plan probably doesn’t make sense, at least from the $$$ point of view.

Cats are around $200 at Rockauto depending how many you have and which one and if you live in NY or Cal. I knew mine was bad because it rusted off so might want to make sure it is actually bad.

If you determine the catalytic converters actually need to be replaced… make sure to go by a local muffler/exhaust shop for a quote. The dealer’s price will “scare” you into buying a new car.

to add to @ledhed75 advise, do not allow that “local muffler shop” to sell you “lifetime exhaust system”, rather go for “direct fit” replacement type, should not be expensive, but will assure you are not tied forever to the shop selling some “lifetime garbage” only to assure you will return for labor to them over and over again

http://www.rockauto.com/en/catalog/nissan,2005,maxima,3.5l+v6,1431973,exhaust+&+emission,catalytic+converter,5808

I’d recommend an independently owned and operated shop.
The chain operations’ “techs” are very often compensated for all the revenue they can generate above their quota, and they’re known for scams.

The “lifetime exhaust system” works thusly: the weld a cheesy system in comprised of cheap generic components, then every time it wears out they replace it again… free parts and loads of labor that you have to pay for. It’s a moneymaker for the chain shop. Many independent shops don’t want to deal with them after because they’re often welded together, limiting your options the next time around.