2002 Volkswagen Passat 6 cyl All Wheel Drive Automatic 87000 miles
I noticed low rumbling noises in my 2002 VW Passat Wagon GLX several weeks ago, along with some exhaust smells in the cabin. The " check engine" light went on recently, so I took the car in to my regular mechanic and he said that the car needs new catalytic converters. This being a VW, the parts are expensive - the car has two on each side, at a cost of $650 each.
First of all, is this a clear problem to recognize or do you recommend getting a second opinion? Secondly, are there many parts options for my car, or do you recommend I get the factory-authorized converters? The ones my mechanic offered are not made by VW, but they're made by Bosch, under the NAPA brand name, and he says they're the exact same converters as the VW's. And third, are there safe/intelligent ways to get refurbished or universal converters that will perform just as well?
I had the same problem with my 2001 Passat. I foolishly went to my local foreign car shop and was told that the flexible part of my converter had a hole in it and that I needed to replace the converter. That cost me 900 dollars and at the time I was told that the other converter would need to be replaced soon. A month later sure enough, my car was loud again and I had problems. This time I took the advice of a coworker who suggested a local small shop who specialized in mufflers.
To make a long story short. They cut out the bad flexible connection in the catalytic converter and welded in a new one. Problem solved, for about 80 dollars. This fixed the problem, though I am not sure the trouble light would have gone out automatically if it had started going on before I made the second fix. Not sure this is an option for your situation, just thought you should now.