catalytic converter replacement cost

Catalytic converter replacement cost (part and labor prices)

Catalytic converters help prevent carbon monoxide and other harmful gases from contaminating the air we breathe outside. Although it’s unlikely that you’ll ever need to repair or replace yours, they do occasionally break. The majority of catalytic converter issues are related to the engine. It is most frequently brought on by an excessive amount of fuel entering the exhaust system as a result of an improper air/fuel ratio, defective spark plugs, improper engine timing, a malfunctioning oxygen sensor, or other problems where fuel leaves the engine’s combustion chamber unburned. This causes the catalytic converter to overheat to the point where it starts to melt the cat’s internal components or disintegrate the honeycomb material. The outcome is a cat that cannot function.

catalytic converter replacement cost

Well, in this article, we’ll be discussing the answers to the following questions:

  • How much does a catalytic converter replacement cost?
  • How long do catalytic converters last?
  • What are the signs of a bad or stolen catalytic converter?
  • How often should you replace your catalytic converter?

Read more: Understanding catalytic converter

Ok, let’s get down to it!


How much does a catalytic converter replacement cost?

Depending on the model, a replacement for a direct-fit option can cost anywhere between $300 and $2,500 simply for the part. Also, keep in mind that installing the converter could cost between $70 and $130 per hour of labor. You will save money on labor if you perform this task yourself, but the catalytic converter itself is sometimes the most expensive part. Although the task can be time-consuming, it’s frequently not too challenging, especially if you purchase a direct replacement catalytic converter.

To cleanse toxic exhaust gas, the catalytic converter uses platinum, palladium, or rhodium as a catalyst. Costing between $59.70 and $260.42 per gram, they are difficult to find. It follows that the cost of CATs will fluctuate along with metal prices. Because your converter contains precious metals, thieves are drawn to it. Don’t just throw your damaged catalytic converter. The damaged catalytic converter can be recycled, preserving the precious metal inside.

Read more: What you need to know about catalytic converter theft

How long do catalytic converters last?

The brand and type of the car, the driver’s behaviors, and maintenance routines are just a few of the variables that might affect a catalytic converter’s lifespan. Generally speaking, a catalytic converter with regular maintenance can last up to 10 years or 100,000 miles or longer. However, extreme conditions, such as exposure to tainted oil or fuel, could cause the converter to fail early. The converter may also wear out more quickly if the engine is improperly tuned or if the exhaust system is malfunctioning. The catalytic converter can survive as long as feasible with regular upkeep and inspections.

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What are the signs of a bad or stolen catalytic converter?

The following are the most common signs of a bad or stolen catalytic converter:

Loud exhaust noise while idling

A loud exhaust noise is one of the most obvious indications that a catalytic converter is bad or missing. Your car’s exhaust system will be significantly louder than usual if the catalytic converter isn’t working. This is so that the catalytic converter can lessen the noise the engine makes.

Decreased performance

Performance decline is another indication that a catalytic converter has been stolen. It could be difficult for your car to accelerate or attain high speeds. This is so because the catalytic converter controls how well your engine runs.

Unusual exhaust fumes smell

You may perceive a potent exhaust smell inside your car if your catalytic converter has been stolen. This is so that dangerous gases, such as carbon monoxide, can be filtered out thanks to the catalytic converter. These gases can enter the cabin of your car without it.

Loud Noise When Accelerating

A loud noise when accelerating may also point to a catalytic converter issue with your car. This can be due to a heat shield, a part intended to shield the converter from extreme heat, being damaged or missing. By pushing the gas pedal, a broken or missing heat shield may make a loud rattling or pounding noise. It’s crucial to have your car checked out by a qualified mechanic if you hear a loud noise when you accelerate in order to identify the issue.

Warning lights

You can see warning lights on your dashboard if your catalytic converter is missing or damaged. This is due to the catalytic converter’s significance in the emissions control system of your car. Your car could fail emissions testing and flash warning lights if it isn’t working properly.

Dents and Scrapes

While stealing a catalytic converter, thieves frequently cause damage to a car’s undercarriage. The exhaust system or the vehicle’s underbelly may have dents or scrapes. This is due to the fact that thieves may harm other components of the car when they remove the catalytic converter using saws or other tools.

Higher Emissions

Your car’s emissions will be higher than usual if your catalytic converter is missing or damaged. This might cause environmental harm and make your car fail emissions tests.

Difficulty Starting the Engine

Supposedly, automobiles can function without a cat, yet one may experience difficulties when trying to start the engine. This is because the converter is crucial to the emission control system and its removal or improper operation can interfere with the engine’s starting mechanism. Your catalytic converter may be broken or missing if you notice that starting the engine takes longer than usual.

Read more: Lists of Best Catalytic Converter Cleaners

How often should you replace your catalytic converter?

Catalytic converter

Typically, catalytic converters don’t need to be replaced as part of routine maintenance because they are made to last the whole life of the vehicle. Nonetheless, some situations might necessitate replacing a catalytic converter, such as:

  • Physical damage: It can be necessary to replace the catalytic converter if it has been harmed by an accident or impact.
  • Contamination: The catalytic converter might no longer be able to perform as intended and might need to be changed if it picks up oil or coolant contamination.
  • Failure: It can be necessary to replace the catalytic converter if it fails as a result of normal wear and tear.

It’s crucial to have your catalytic converter checked by a qualified mechanic if you think it might be broken or deteriorating. They can determine whether replacement is required and suggest the best line of action. Otherwise, the catalytic converter does not need to be replaced as long as it is operating normally and not exhibiting any signs of damage or contamination.


Is it worth replacing a catalytic converter?

A catalytic converter is worth replacing. Your engine could completely shut down if the catalytic converter in your car is not fixed or replaced in a timely manner. By cleaning or replacing the blocked catalytic converter, the staff at Performance Muffler is dedicated to ensuring that your car operates efficiently.

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Why is it so expensive to replace a catalytic converter?

It is so expensive to replace a catalytic converter mostly due to the valuable metals, such as platinum, or materials that are similar to platinum, such as palladium or rhodium, that are present in the converter. Hence, the cost of replacement increases with the cost of the material. You might be wondering why it must be constructed of such costly parts.

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Can you still drive a car with a broken catalytic converter?

The majority of catalytic converter issues don’t have an impact on how well your car runs. Avoid operating your vehicle if you have to cope with a fully plugged catalyst. It is advisable to get professional assistance right away if you smell smog coming from your car.

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What happens if I don’t replace my catalytic converter?

The engine won’t experience any immediate effects when the converter begins to fail. But if left unchecked, it will eventually deteriorate and collapse, blocking the exhaust and reducing the motor’s lifespan while choking vehicle performance.

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Can a bad catalytic converter ruin your engine?

Catalytic converters frequently last ten years or longer, but they are susceptible to contamination, clogging, overheating, and physical damage, which can result in slow engine performance and, eventually, engine shutdown.

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How do I know if my catalytic converter is bad?

You have a bad catalytic converter if you experience delayed powertrain performance, decreased acceleration, a sulfurous or rotten egg smell coming from the exhaust, dark exhaust smoke, or high heat coming from under the car, and it should be replaced right away.

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Is it better to clean or replace the catalytic converter?

It’s time to get a new converter if cleaning the catalytic converter with any method doesn’t work. Although a replacement is expensive, it guarantees your car’s functionality and safety. Moreover, cleaning might not be beneficial if you have an internal coolant or oil leak.

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What causes the catalytic converters to go bad?

One of three types best describes the majority of catalytic converter failures: melted, overheated, or broken converters. Oil-soiled or coated substrate.

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What happens if you keep driving with a bad catalytic converter?

There are drawbacks to driving with a damaged catalytic converter, such as decreased fuel efficiency and frequent stalling. You can potentially fail an emissions test and get a ticket or fine.

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How long can I go without replacing a catalytic converter?

Catalytic converters are expected to last at least 10 years, although they don’t have to be replaced as soon as that time period is up. It only has to be replaced if the service technicians advise it and whenever you first notice these problems.

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A new catalytic converter should last for about 10 years, though the precise lifespan can vary, much like with most other car parts. Checking the condition after 50,000 miles is worthwhile because mileage and engine tuning might affect an item’s durability. That is all for this article, where we discussed the answers to the following  questions:

  • How much does a catalytic converter replacement cost?
  • How long do catalytic converters last?
  • What are the signs of a bad or stolen catalytic converter?
  • How often should you replace your catalytic converter?

I hope you learn a lot from the reading. If you do, kindly share it with others. Thanks for reading; see you around!