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Worth replacing catalytic converter on 2004 Prius with 250K miles?

We’ve verified that the catalytic converter on our 2004 Prius is going bad. We’ve gotten quotes both from Toyota and our local trusted mechanic, and it will be about 2K to fix. The part is very expensive (I think because we live in California) on its own. We have no other problems with the car. Blue Book value is 2.8K in good condition (which currently it is not). Is it worth it to fix it?

How long do you plan to keep the car if you fix it? What are the other things that are wrong that make it not in good condition?

I was hoping to keep it until the Generation 4 plug-in hybrid was available - so maybe 2 years? Would get a Gen 3 plug-in, but don’t care for the boxed in cabin. Nothing else really wrong, other than will need front and rear struts soon.

I would check with a shop that specializes in MUFFLERS. They often have universal replacements that cost a fraction of the price for OEM. Most chain shops around here like Midas and Meineke have experience in what works and what doesn’t for various applications.

I agree with Twin Turbo.

A few years ago my brother was in a similar situation. Dealer was quoting him $1500 for a new converter, and he questioned keeping the car. Based on the excellent advice from this community, I advised him to try a muffler shop. Out the door I think he paid $300, and he still has the car today.

Good luck.

IF . .you’re going to keep it . .it needs to be working, fix it.
IF . .you’re going to sell it . .it needs to be working , fix it.
BUT . .on a car that age , just use T-Ts idea and go to the generic muffler shop.

U don’t need to fix it to sell it. $4k value minus $2k repair equals $2k proceeds. Sell it as is for $2k. Why bother fixing it.

Because, except for scrap value, they’re NOT going to sell it for the assumed ‘‘value’’ if it’s is such poor shape.

I’ve searched high and low for a “direct fit” (least amount of labor to install) catalytic converter. There are many out there, but none that are legally for sale in California except the one from Toyota. I can buy on Amazon for about $1,600, which is similar to the quote from Toyota and from local (non-dealer) mechanic. I also checked Eastern Catalytic, which makes and sells California approved converters, but they don’t make one for the Prius. The car is definitely not worth $4K. If Blue Book is correct at $2.8K value, then I could fix the car and then sell it for an $800 gain. The car has been religiously maintained, it’s just old and has a lot of wear and I wonder what will break next.

... I wonder what will break next.

Have you replaced the hybrid battery pack yet?

OP Have you checked with a real muffler shop or are you just searching the web. If a muffler shop does the work and you don’t pass then you have some recourse.

No - still holds a charge like new. Only thing we’ve replaced are struts, serpentine belt (2x), the small starter battery, and a new clock spring cable to fix cruise control and Info button on steering column. Oil change and tire rotation every 5K miles.

250K on a Prius? I think it is time for a newer car. Unless you want a project to work on as a hobby I mean. Or you just like your Prius and are willing to live with it being less than perfectly reliable. Toyotas a indeed a reliable breed, but 250 K is a lot of miles for any car, even a Toyota.

If it was mine I would try to have it fixed for much less, if that is not possible I will cut my losses and move on. The car has served you well and doesn’t owe you anything, so get whatever they offer for it.

At that miles, the chances of more expensive repairs is very high.

Oh yeah, Cali. U can’t sell car with known emission issue? So u have to fix it? Or junk it.

250K on a Prius? I think it is time for a newer car. Unless you want a project to work on as a hobby I mean.

If the car was maintained well…I don’t see why they can’t double the miles. The Prius has PROVEN to be one of the most reliable vehicles on the road. We sold my 98 Pathfinder with close to 500k miles…and it was still running fine.