Catalytic Converter Replacement Cost. Repair vs Selling My Car (2024)

Your car’s catalytic converter eliminates excessive tailpipe emissions that could harm the environment. Its internal structure contains catalyst particles that superheat harmful hydrocarbons before they enter the atmosphere. A bad catalytic converter is one of the common reasons your car fails smog test procedures. To evaluate acar's value with a bad catalytic converter you can check here, or read on for more info.

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Catalytic converter repair costs can be expensive, so if the value of your car doesn't line up with the cost, selling your car now could be the best choice for you.

Did You Know?

Catalytic converter replacement isn’t cheap. For most vehicles, the average cost of a catalytic converter repair is between $945 and $2475 including parts and labor. The catalytic converter cost itself can be up to $2250 of that. That might be close to your car’s value or more! You have an alternative to outrageous catalytic converter prices. Sell your car as-is to CarBrain!

Get your FREE online evaluation in less than 90 seconds and see how much your car is worth!

What is a Catalytic Converter?

Catalytic Converter Replacement Cost. Repair vs Selling My Car (1)What is a Catalytic Converter? The catalytic converter is an emissions control component. It’s a part that looks much like a muffler but it’s very different inside. Inside a catalytic converter ahoneycomb structure allows exhaust gases to pass through the catalytic converter where gases interact with catalyst particles such as platinum, palladium, and rhodium embedded in the honeycomb. Wondering how much a catalytic converter costs or how much to replace a catalytic converter? Keep reading.

What is the catalytic converter's purpose?

Inside the catalytic converter, unburned hydrocarbons in the exhaust gases react when they meet the catalyst materials. It superheats the particles, breaking them down into less harmful emissions before they leave the tailpipe and into the atmosphere. Essentially, it filters out bad byproducts in the exhaust and burns them up. If you're concerned about catalytic converter replacement cost or catalytic converter repair, we've got you covered.

Why should I replace a catalytic converter or repair it?

In California and many other states, you must meet strict emissions standards for your car to be licensed to use on the road, so removing a catalytic converter is out of the question. But it goes further than that. Tailpipe emissions from cars contribute to breathing illnesses, poor air quality, and environmental pollution. If you're wondering about catalytic converter price or cost to replace catalytic converter, we can help.

Where is the catalytic converter?

Catalytic Converter Replacement Cost. Repair vs Selling My Car (2)Underneath your car in the exhaust system, the catalytic converter is installed midstream in the exhaust pipe. It’s after the exhaust manifold and before the muffler. From the factory, it’s welded into the exhaust pipe while many replacements are clamped in place. If you're wondering how much do catalytic converters cost or the cost to replace catalytic converter, we can give you a better idea.

Can I Drive My Car With a Bad Catalytic Converter?

If your car needs catalytic converter replacement, there’s a good chance it can’t be driven. Once you fail smog testing in Californiaor any state that requires a mandatory smog test, you won’t be able to drive it until you fix it.

In severe cases, a bad catalytic converter could restrict your exhaust flow and cause your engine to run rough or even engine failure. If you're concerned about catalytic converter repair or the cost of replacing a catalytic converter, we can help.

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A bad catalytic converter symptoms

The following are potential symptoms of a failed catalytic converter:

  • The Check Engine Light is illuminated

  • The engine runs rough or stalls

  • There’s a rotten egg odor from the tailpipe

  • When your car is idling there's a catalytic converter rattle

  • The catalytic converter can glow red hot and even cause a car fire

What happens to a car when the catalytic converter goes bad?

When you drive a car that has a bad catalytic converter, the symptoms vary. In some cases, the core inside the catalytic converter can start rattling without any other symptoms. In other cases, the Check Engine light will illuminate but the car will operate normally otherwise.

In most cases, though, the fuel economy will drop, the car will fail its smog test, the engine loses power and won’t run well, and eventually it can cause severe engine damage from excessive backpressure. It’s not worth it to drive with a bad catalytic converter.

What’s the Catalytic Converter Cost?

Is replacing a catalytic converter expensive? How much does a catalytic converter cost anyway?

Catalytic Converter Replacement Cost. Repair vs Selling My Car (4)Like any car repair, the cost of catalytic converter replacement varies from model to model. The average cost to replace a bad catalytic converter ranges from $945 to $2475. Some specialty cars could be higher yet.

High catalytic converter prices are just the start though. Along with the repair itself, you must take into consideration diagnostic costs and potential issues that arise because of the failure. For example, you might need to change one or more oxygen sensors, the muffler, or the tailpipe at the same time. Before you begin the repair, you’ll want a complete cost analysis. To fix it might be worth more than the car itself.

Catalytic Converter Labor Costs

You can expect labor for replacing a catalytic converter to be any where from $70 an hour to $130 an hour. The converter system is exposed to the elements, and may have studs that are rusted, or bolts that hold it to the car engine. If the mechanic working on replacing your catalytic converter runs into any issues, they could take a while to work around them and finish the job.

Is removing a catalytic converter an option?

You might think about taking the catalytic converter out and installing a straight pipe instead as the cheapest way to fix a catalytic converter. That’s a really bad idea. Not only are you guaranteed to fail smog testing but your car’s efficiency will suffer. You car will be polluting more than you should. You’ll have to get a new catalytic converter installed to pass your next smog test. Wondering about the cost to replace catalytic converter or catalytic converter repair near me? Keep reading.

Can you clean a catalytic converter?

Sometimes, catalytic converter efficiency is compromised because of something in the fuel. You can try to salvage the catalytic converter by putting a cleaner in the fuel. It might work in minor cases, but you’re probably just delaying the inevitable. If you're wondering how much does it cost to replace catalytic converter honda or how much do catalytic converters cost, we can help.

Alternatives to Catalytic Converter Replacement

Before you replace your bad catalytic converter, check out another option. CarBrain has a free online evaluation for your car, offering to buy your car in as-is condition. There’s no need to fix it first. Wondering about labor cost for catalytic converter or how much for a catalytic converter? We can give you a better idea.

Just fill out the online questionnaire with your vehicle details and condition. CarBrain will provide a fair, no-haggle cash offer for your car. If you like the quote, you accept it. We even provide free towing to pick it up from any location. If not, you fix your catalytic converter. If you're wondering how much is a cadillac converter or cost catalytic converter, we can help.

CarBrain is fast, free, and it’s the easy way to sell your car in less-than-perfect condition. Before you tackle massive car repair bills, check out CarBrain, the better way to sell your car. If you're wondering how much is catalytic converter or how much does a catalytic converter cost, we can give you more information.

Can I Sell My Car With a Bad Catalytic Converter?

How To Sell A Car Fast

Every mile you drive or day that you wait to sell your car will cause it to depreciate. it's important to act fast if you wish to receive the highest return but, the sale process can be a very long and tedious task. Read more to learn about how to sell your car fast and efficiently. If you're wondering how much to replace catalytic converter or catalytic converter price, we can help.

Should I sell my Catalytic converter and other parts?

Parting out a car is no walk in the park, After you sell the 2 or 3 core components, it could take up to a year or more before you sell each individual piece because the car is partially disassembled and it becomes much less desirable. Read more to learn more about parting out your car. If you're wondering how much do catalytic converters cost or how much is a catalytic converter, we can give you more information..

Should I Fix My Car or Sell It AS-IS

Some car repairs are just not worth it. They require tons of labor hours and expensive parts. If not diagnosed properly, you could run the risk of wasting more of your hard earned cash on the repairs than what the car is worth. To avoid overspending It's important to be well informed of what issues are worth it. If you're concerned about catalytic converter cost or how much to replace catalytic converter, we can help.

Catalytic Converter Replacement Cost. Repair vs Selling My Car (2024)


Catalytic Converter Replacement Cost. Repair vs Selling My Car? ›

Catalytic converter replacement isn't cheap. For most vehicles, the average cost of a catalytic converter repair is between $945 and $2475 including parts and labor. The catalytic converter cost itself can be up to $2250 of that. That might be close to your car's value or more!

Is it worth replacing a bad catalytic converter? ›

Additionally, driving without one can be dangerous because your vehicle won't accelerate properly. You may also notice that your car has lesser power in lower gears. Therefore, replacing the catalytic converter is important and should not be delayed.

Should I remove catalytic converter before scrapping car? ›

For what it's worth, we'd always advise against removing any parts before you scrap your car. It's rarely worth the trouble. It makes even less sense to remove your catalytic converter when your car is still operational, even if you've got the knowledge necessary to do so.

What happens if I don't replace my catalytic converter? ›

Left unchecked, however, it will eventually degrade and collapse, plugging the exhaust, which will choke vehicle performance and limit the life of the motor. Lou Trottier is owner-operator of All About Imports in Mississauga.

How much does labor cost to replace catalytic converter? ›

For direct-fit options, a replacement can cost anywhere from $300.00 to $2,500.00, depending on the model, for just the cost of the part. You should also think about labor costs, which could cost between $70 and $130 an hour to install the converter.

Is it bad to keep driving with a bad catalytic converter? ›

A clogged converter combined with spark plug misfires can lead to the overheating of your engine. It'll soon give out if you ignore your check engine light and endure a sluggish engine. In fact, CAT converter issues don't only lead to poor engine performance and toxic exhaust gasses, but also complete engine failure.

Is it better to clean or replace a catalytic converter? ›

If cleaning the catalytic converter with either method does not yield results, it is time to invest in a new converter. The cost of a replacement is high, but it ensures that your vehicle is safe and functional. Also, if you have an internal oil or coolant leak, cleaning may not help.

What is the downside of removing catalytic converter? ›

Poor Emissions

It's no surprise that removing the catalytic converter (the part of your exhaust system that transmits harmful gasses into less harmful ones) will result in poor vehicle emissions. Your car will continuously be emitting harmful toxins into the environment.

Who will pay the most for my catalytic converter? ›

In short, scrap yards are your best bet for selling your catalytic converter because they will focus on the value of the metals in your cat, not your cat as an auto part.

How long can I go without replacing a catalytic converter? ›

Catalytic Converters are estimated to last at least 10 years, but they don't need to be swapped out as soon as those 10 years are up.

How many hours does it take to replace a catalytic converter? ›

How Long Does it Take to Replace a Catalytic Converter? A catalytic converter replacement takes about 1-2 hours on average. It's fairly easy to access so the mechanic doesn't have to disassemble your car to remove the old one. This saves you a lot of time!

How long can you wait to replace catalytic converter? ›

A new catalytic converter should last for around 10 years but, as with most other vehicle components, the exact lifespan can differ. Mileage and engine tune can impact on the durability of the item, so it's worth checking the condition after 50,000 miles.

Why is it so expensive to replace a catalytic converter? ›

Cost to replace the catalytic converter of your car

So, why is this small part so expensive? Mainly because of the precious metals that are included in the converter, such as platinum, or platinum-like material such as palladium or rhodium. So, the more expensive the material, the more expensive it is to replace.

Can a car run without a catalytic converter? ›

Can you drive without a catalytic converter? Yes, you could temporarily drive without a catalytic converter, and it won't damage a modern car or engine. But in the long run, it'll emit harmful gas, sacrifice your car's engine performance and fuel economy, and possibly get you in trouble with the law.

Do cheap replacement catalytic converters work? ›

In the case of the catalytic converter, if you buy a cheap one, it's not going to convert the exhaust gases as much. A cheap catalytic converter may work for a while. In our experience, we have found that they're good for about a year to maybe two years.

How long can a car last with a bad catalytic converter? ›

A Catalytic Converter Can Be Driven Indefinitely

Driving with a bad catalytic converter is not too dangerous. If some small parts of your catalytic converter is plugged, you can still drive your car as usual. You will see that there is a drop in performance of the catalytic converter.

What are the signs that a catalytic converter needs to be replaced? ›

Diminished engine performance.

This is often one of the early signs of a catalytic converter going bad, so paying attention to how your car is performing is a great way to catch the problem early. Some of the first things you might notice are reduced power, slower acceleration and poor fuel economy.

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