Whenever a component of your vehicle goes on the fritz, you have a couple of options: either buy the part at your trusted auto shop store or allow a professional mechanic to get the piece for you as part of the installation process. With the latter choice, you are likely to pay more and have a reduced option for the part. If you need a replacement unit, your local AutoZone store has hundreds of options available.
The type of converter you need depends upon your vehicle. By searching online using your car make, model and year, you can find the matching part for your vehicle. You can also access the VIN lookup tool to find the matching part. You will get a choice of the manufacturer as well as the option of a direct fit or universal fit model. Quality makers of converters include the following manufacturers:
- Walker California
- AP Universal
Depending upon your needs, you will have many options for your vehicle. This allows you to get the right converter for your budget and performance level.
What Does A Catalytic Converter Do?
This sophisticated component of your vehicle’s exhaust has been around since 1975. Its widespread use in vehicles has resulted in much cleaner air for everyone. The catalytic converter minimizes harmful emissions exiting the tailpipe through a complicated process of changing harmful substances into less polluting ones. It also reduces overall emissions into the atmosphere.
The majority of vehicles in use today employ a three-stage converter. This process uses heat and chemical reactions to transform such compounds as carbon monoxide, nitrogen gas, nitrogen oxide and hydrocarbons into more benign substances. A honeycomb structure slows down the exhaust, allowing the heat to burn up dangerous substances, while other materials help break down the emissions.
Many states require vehicles to meet quality standards for clean air, with California being the strictest. The use of emissions tests is sometimes used to enforce these standards. Without a functioning catalytic converter, your car would likely fail the test. This could result in fines, mandatory repairs or the vehicle being taken off the road.
How To Fix A Catalytic Converter
The options for fixing your unit are somewhat limited. Using cleaning additives in your fuel could extend the lifespan of your cat, but this is unlikely to be a long-term solution. Avoiding silicone sealants in the exhaust system can be helpful, too, and there are some options for cleaning a clogged unit.
Eventually, though, a replacement unit is your best choice. For a replacement catalytic converter cost, you are looking at between $500 to $2500 depending on a couple of factors: the labor charge of a mechanic and the type of unit you buy. If you install the part yourself, you can save hundreds of dollars. For parts alone, a new converter will range from around $200 to as much as $1400 or more.
When you replace your converter, you should see improved performance in your vehicle and you will be contributing to cleaner air. Shop today for the perfect part for your ride.