Replacement Catalytic Converters

Written by Charles Peacock
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Replacement catalytic converters are sometimes an ethical and legal necessity. Catalytic converters are designed to remove pollution from your car's exhaust, and most states mandate that your car have a working catalytic converter at all times. If your converter is damaged, your car will most likely not pass its emissions inspection. Even if you don't have to bring your car in for an inspection, driving without a non-functioning catalytic converter means your car is producing an unreasonable amount of pollution.

Choosing Replacement Catalytic Converters

When replacing your catalytic converter, you typically have a choice between aftermarket parts or original manufacturer (OEM) parts. Any car manufacturer will tell you to only use its own OEM parts. They'll give you lots of reasons, but the main reason is they want to make money off of your maintenance needs.

OEM catalytic converters can be very expensive. For some late model cars, they can cost hundreds--even thousands--of dollars to replace. If your car has a good warranty, chances are your catalytic converter is covered and can be replaced for free. If your car is out of warranty, you may be interested in saving yourself money on this necessary repair.

Aftermarket catalytic converters are almost always cheaper than OEM, and they usually offer the same level of quality. The important thing with a catalytic converter is that it reduces your emissions to a level acceptable by government standards. All aftermarket catalytic converters are sold with a guarantee that they have the necessary emissions-reducing capabilities. Be careful, however--some car manufacturers design their exhaust systems in a way that you can't use anything but OEM parts when replacing your catalytic converter.


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