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Guest irvine555

Catalytic Converter

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Guest irvine555

I have a 2000 Corolla that had a bad oil leak (it all went out the exhaust, nothing on the ground), so I decided to change the engine out. I changed the engine out, but it still has the check engine light on and the mechanic says its the catalytic converter. I get about 29-30 mpg with the car now and they don't test emissions in this part of the state (LA) when getting an inspection sticker. Do you think I need to change the Catalytic Converter, and if I do change it should I get the Universal Converter ($250) or the Direct Fit ($550). What is the real difference between the two besides the price.

 

 

Quick Breakdown:

2000 Corolla--has 110,000 miles on it

I put used 2001 Corolla engine in it---55,000 miles on it

I assume Catalytic Converter has tons of trash in it (Check engine light is on), but doesn't seem to effect MPG

They don't check emissions during state inspections

Should I get a new Cat?

If so Universal or Direct Fit?

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Depends on how you feel about the situation and your future plans for the car. If you plan on driving the car into the ground (sounds like this is the case, as you went to the trouble of swapping a newer engine in) or possibly selling it in the future. The right way to do it is repalce with an OEM converter and keep an eye on oil consumption. Should be able to get quite a bit of life out of the car in that case. The cost will work its way out in the long run.

 

Or you can go to the extreme of removing the converter completely and adding a rear O2 sensor defeat harness (tricks the engine computer in thinking that the downstream O2 sensor and cat are functioning properly). Since you do not have emissions restrictions in your area. Assuming that the emissions law does not change any time soon. Of course that will also cause some dangerous gases to be spewed out the exhaust pipe, not only to the environment but to you as well.

 

The middle ground option - get the universal fit converter. One converter works as well as another - basically the do the same job. the only difference you get for the price premium - is one is actually designed to fit for the car - the other you have to make it fit. I've used universal ones in the past - you just have to do a bit more welding to get them to work. Also, be a good idea to check their size as well - most of the universal ones I've purchased were also a bit smaller than the OEM ones - less catalyst inside, hence the cheaper cost. that could mean that instead of lasting the life of the car - you may be forced to replace this sometime in the future - something to keep in mind.

 

Only sure thing - if the cat is truely slagged over, then replace it. I'd double check if that was the problem, sometimes it is the rearmost O2 sensor that is bad or flaky, making it seem like the cat is bad. Can't always go with the CEL code - as that will only tell you where the logic broke down in the system, will not tell you part X is bad. If the mechanic says that this is the case, then they are not doing their job. CEL will help them pinpoint the problem - they have to go the extra step and diagnose the issue.

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The universal is more of a generic type and will work.

The direct fit is specifically designed for your car and is similar to original equipment.

 

You make it sound as if a universal one is not a real cat. Not true at all. They still have to be legal.

 

A direct fit is something that can be installed at home in your driveway. Since direct fits can't be made for every car on the road, universals are made. They have to be welded in.

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I thought Bike's reply was simple and easy to understand...

"universal" IS generic, and will work... if you have the tools and expertise to be able to install it (which most shops can do... and if yo have access to a welder, you prob can to do).

"direct" is made with flanges, etc to fit your car.

 

But getting back to the original question.

If you need a cat, like Fish says, get the universal.

Since you are getting it done at a shop anyways, the biggest cost driver is the material cost. they do the same thing.

 

on the other hand, couldnt you just go to the local car parts store, have them delete the CEL error codes, bring it in for inspection - hoping/praying that the CEL does not go back on until you are done with the inspection?

might work? if it does, it will buy you some time - at least until the next inspection.

 

good luck

tdk.

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Would be a good idea - if the test could not detect any malfunction.

Chances are that the cat converter is so messed up that the code would come right back.

I would just have them replace the cat first, then reset the computer and do the test.

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I thought Bike's reply was simple and easy to understand...

"universal" IS generic, and will work... if you have the tools and expertise to be able to install it (which most shops can do... and if yo have access to a welder, you prob can to do).

"direct" is made with flanges, etc to fit your car.

 

But getting back to the original question.

If you need a cat, like Fish says, get the universal.

Since you are getting it done at a shop anyways, the biggest cost driver is the material cost. they do the same thing.

 

on the other hand, couldnt you just go to the local car parts store, have them delete the CEL error codes, bring it in for inspection - hoping/praying that the CEL does not go back on until you are done with the inspection?

might work? if it does, it will buy you some time - at least until the next inspection.

 

good luck

tdk.

 

The word generic to me means a 3rd party attempt to replicate a leading part. To each their own. I ordered two universal magnaflow aka carsound cats for my Mustang. I got lucky cause we know a welder, but it was either $171 for two high flow cats delivered, or a full bolt on kit that cost close to $400.

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Generics are usually cheaper and also not model specific.

 

They are cheaper because they don't have flanges welded on. That's really about it. The internals are the same and usually the casing is the same. In my case, it was cheaper then buying a new H pipe with cats built in and I could only buy one brand to go with my headers BBK. I'm using my own H pipe (off road) that came on the car, and having cats welded in.

 

Usually it is a good ideal to get a bolt on, but some cars cost a lot for that. A online bought universal and a mom and pop exhaust shop can be way cheaper.

 

I know that summit racing has direct fit cats for a Corolla. They might not be high flow, but they are cheap. They are stock replacements.

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I think generics are also smaller.

They perform just as well as stock and are good if you are going to sell your car and want it to pass a smog test.

I bought a generic cat for my 1992 and also for my 1995.

I sold the 1992 and my daughter eventually replaced the 1995 with a stock one.

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I think generics are also smaller.

They perform just as well as stock and are good if you are going to sell your car and want it to pass a smog test.

I bought a generic cat for my 1992 and also for my 1995.

I sold the 1992 and my daughter eventually replaced the 1995 with a stock one.

 

 

Why do you keep calling them generics? Call up some place that sells Magnaflow/Catco cats and ask for generics? Let me know how it goes.

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I think generics are also smaller.

They perform just as well as stock and are good if you are going to sell your car and want it to pass a smog test.

I bought a generic cat for my 1992 and also for my 1995.

I sold the 1992 and my daughter eventually replaced the 1995 with a stock one.

 

 

Why do you keep calling them generics? Call up some place that sells Magnaflow/Catco cats and ask for generics? Let me know how it goes.

We call them generics because you can get an off-name brand from parts places.

The OEM are designed and made for model specific and are sold by dealerships.

The generics are any brand other than the make of your car or it's cat makers name.

It is not a derogatory term, just a grouping of alternative components.

Magnaflow/Catco brands are not on stock cars and are not available from auto dealerships.

That does not mean that they are inferior or not good - just otherwise available and fit into "generic" category.

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I think generics are also smaller.

They perform just as well as stock and are good if you are going to sell your car and want it to pass a smog test.

I bought a generic cat for my 1992 and also for my 1995.

I sold the 1992 and my daughter eventually replaced the 1995 with a stock one.

 

 

Why do you keep calling them generics? Call up some place that sells Magnaflow/Catco cats and ask for generics? Let me know how it goes.

We call them generics because you can get an off-name brand from parts places.

The OEM are designed and made for model specific and are sold by dealerships.

The generics are any brand other than the make of your car or it's cat makers name.

It is not a derogatory term, just a grouping of alternative components.

Magnaflow/Catco brands are not on stock cars and are not available from auto dealerships.

That does not mean that they are inferior or not good - just otherwise available and fit into "generic" category.

 

 

So, are you saying that anything but a Toyota part is generic?

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Just a play on words - no big deal - potato/tomato thing again. Might be better to go OEM, aftermarket, and "generic" - as the aftermarket is teaming with high quality components that support OEM fitment as well as universal fitments - some priced higher or lower than OEM, many of which are warrantied and have proper EO or CARB numbers (ie. LEGAL replacements). I've seen a truck load of "generic" components as well - with no discernable logo, manufacturer, name, etc. Could very well be made by OEM or one of the aftermarket - but of possible suspect quality, sometimes with unknown warranties, limited EO or CARB numbers, etc. - such that they do not want to put their name on it.

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I think generics are also smaller.

They perform just as well as stock and are good if you are going to sell your car and want it to pass a smog test.

I bought a generic cat for my 1992 and also for my 1995.

I sold the 1992 and my daughter eventually replaced the 1995 with a stock one.

 

 

Why do you keep calling them generics? Call up some place that sells Magnaflow/Catco cats and ask for generics? Let me know how it goes.

We call them generics because you can get an off-name brand from parts places.

The OEM are designed and made for model specific and are sold by dealerships.

The generics are any brand other than the make of your car or it's cat makers name.

It is not a derogatory term, just a grouping of alternative components.

Magnaflow/Catco brands are not on stock cars and are not available from auto dealerships.

That does not mean that they are inferior or not good - just otherwise available and fit into "generic" category.

 

 

So, are you saying that anything but a Toyota part is generic?

That's what I am saying - not that it is a bad thing.

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