1998 Honda Accord 4 cyl Front Wheel Drive Automatic 141K miles
Hi, my catalytic converter has been setting off a P0420 code. My mechanic said it means it has to be replaced. However, the MIL light has been on for 2 years in relation to the catalytic converter. I got an estimate from BB Muffler and it would cost $550.05: $90 for Labor, $65 for Air/Fuel Mix Test, $337.17 for the part, and $27.77 for shop supplies. The reason I've delayed this costly purchase is because I've been attending university and I don't actually feel like there's a big problem. My question is 1. Given this cat has been going strong for 2 years does it really have to be replaced? 2. Am I in any danger of a breakdown such as when a radiator hose bursts and such? 3. I've done some research online and a lot of people are getting their cat converters replaced for $100-$300 but I can't find that here in Austin, TX. Any advice on getting the best value? 4. The part cost online is $39, Magnaflow Catalytic Converter - 91000 Series Universal: SKU: 6691004CA. Would this be a sound alternative and do local mechanics accept parts from customers and charge only Labor?
I would talk to the garage you went to and tell them you want a universal cat, they will be much cheaper and do a reasonable job. The car will not break down, unless the cat becomes completely plugged up.
February, 27, 2009 AT 2:54 AM
I checked with BB Muffler and they emailed me back: A WELD-IN CATALYTIC CONVERTER COULD BE INSTALLED AT A LESSER PRICE. HOWEVER, YOU NEED TO REALIZE THAT THE REASON THE CATALYTIC CONVERTER FAILED NEEDS TO BE ADDRESSED, A WELD IN UNIT MAY ONLY LAST 1-YEAR. HOW LONG DO YOU PLAN ON DRIVING THE VEHICLE?
Is what he's saying seem sound or is this a tactic to pay $337 for the cat converter. Actually, in his email the part now costs $389. Any experience would help. Thanks.
February, 28, 2009 AT 12:25 PM
Well, just a quick lookup on the walker website lists part number 16065 as the standard oem equivalent. It lists anywhere from $170-$210. The universal part number is 15077. It should be close to half the price of the oem equivalent. Their price seems a little high. There could be many reasons for the cat going bad, from fuel additives, to high combustion temperatures. I would consider buying the cat elsewhere and just have the muffler shop install it.