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Catalytic Converter Replacement Cost: Should You Fix the Converter Or Sell Your Car?

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The catalytic converter replacement cost might range from $900 to $2500. It is very expensive, and many experts recommend selling the car if repair costs approach 75% or more of your vehicle's value.

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You must keep an eye on several expensive and pricey components in your vehicle. You need to maintain them all the time and avoid situations where they fail because when they fail, it's a significant amount of money you need to pay for repairs.

A failing catalytic converter is one of the biggest ones you never want to hear from your mechanic. When this converter fails, it translates to thousands of dollars in repairs, and that's why you get to make the right decision about whether you should fix your car or sell it instead.

This article provides you with detailed information about the catalytic converter replacement cost. It also highlights all your options when dealing with a failing catalytic converter, including installing a new one, replacing it with a used one, or selling your vehicle.

Catalytic converter replacement cost

The replacement cost can be extremely high if you're dealing with a failing catalytic converter. Typically, you should expect to pay between $945 and $2475. Remember that replacing the catalytic converter is a labor-intensive job, meaning it's something you can only do on your own with previous experience.


When determining the cultic converter replacement costs, you should also include factors related to who will do the job for you. For example, are you looking for someone from a small independent Shop to do the job for you, or you're interested in having someone expert from a dealership do the job?

Labor costs can be a significant component, so it's critical to decide where you should fix your converter if you're planning to fix it. However, you must be careful whether to go to an expensive location like a dealership or fix it on your own.

Note that fixing a catalytic converter is something you can only test on your own with previous experience. In other words, if you are an actual mechanic and you’ve done the job before, you might be interested in performing it yourself; however, if you haven't done it before, you'd better leave it to professionals.

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What options do I have when my catalytic converter fails?

Unfortunately, this might be money for many people, and different customers mentioned that they couldn't afford to fix their catalytic converter. When dealing with failing cuddles and converters, you still have some options to decide between because going with repair might be extremely expensive and might not be the wisest option.

That's why many of our readers ask, should I fix my catalytic converter or sell my vehicle?

Let's take a closer look at all these options and analyze the main pros and cons of each one over them:

1.    Fix the converter

It might be weird to many people, but your catalytic converter might not be 100% failing. In other words, there might be some failing minor components along the converter or next to it. Therefore, the first step and the first option you have is to confirm whether your whole catalytic converter is failing or it's just a small thing that you have to fix.

Your mechanic should have all its needs to help him decide whether you should have some hope in fixing your converter or you should give up. Despite his recommendations, you should go with it because that's your only option. Otherwise, your vehicle might be in trouble, especially if you plan to do an emission test shortly.

2.    Purchase a brand-new catalytic converter

If you're a mechanic who confirmed that your catalytic converter is failing, you will most likely need to install a new one. Installing a brand-new catalytic converter is only sometimes the right decision, especially if your vehicle is not extremely expensive.

In other words, if you're driving a car with many problems with the engine or the transmission, you should evaluate the situation carefully before purchasing a brand-new catalytic converter.

You can do the math and calculate the total repair costs needed for doing everything. In other words, you need not only consider the catalyst converter but also all potential maintenance required by your car. For instance, if your vehicle is due for an oil change or probably tire rotations, you should include all of that.

Once you have that number, compare it to your vehicle's value. According to experts, if repair costs are approaching 75% or more of the value of your vehicle, that's when it might not be worth installing and no component, you should move forward with other options.

3.    Purchase a used catalytic converter

Some mechanics might convince you to install a used catalytic converter. It could be away from certain mechanics to make some money, but you got to be very careful about these decisions. While you still have a chance to have your vehicle work again when installing a used converter, it's not 100% guaranteed that your car will not deal with problems very soon.

Also, buying a used catalytic converter doesn't mean it will be very cheap. You still have to pay a decent amount of money, and you need to consider the labor cost of installing this converter.

Therefore, if you think about it from a money-saving perspective, installing a use catalytic converter only sometimes helps you resolve the problem. There might be better solutions.

4.    Sell your vehicle

Finally, if you give up and feel that your car is not repaired, you might get to a point where you need to make an important decision about selling your vehicle. It's not a wrong decision because if you’re dealing with it severely, you must say goodbye to your old car and use the money to purchase a new one.

There are many risks involved with driving a vehicle with major mechanical problems. While, in theory, you can continue driving your car with a failing catalytic converter; the noise is that it will make our not something you can tolerate. It will be extremely loud, and the amount of harmful gasses you release to the environment will be doubled or, if not, tripled. Therefore, to protect yourself and the safety of people around you, it's not worth your money trying to get this vehicle to work and continue to drive it with a feeling converter.

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Catalytic converter replacement costs: frequently asked questions

The following section provides frequently asked questions about the catalytic converter replacement costs.

1.    What is the catalytic converter, and what does it do?

The catalytic converter is a major component in your car responsible for ensuring that any gas leaving the vehicle is good enough to approach the atmosphere without causing significant problems to the air quality.

The converter works through some catalysts that break down the gas molecules and convert them into less harmful gases where they don't cause some air quality deterioration.

2.    Why should they have a working catalytic converter all the time?

If the catalytic converter fails, you need to replace it immediately. Otherwise, you will continue driving a car that is causing some harm to the environment. The other thing is that when the converter fails, it makes very loud noises that might put you into problems because you're not allowed to drive a car without a working catalytic converter.

The biggest thing about driving with a failing catalytic converter is that your vehicle will not pass the emission test, which you need to do every year, and it can't be a big bummer if your vehicle is due soon. Therefore, instead of delaying or fixing the converter, you should consider your options and determine whether you should fix the converter or sell the vehicle before the emission test.

3.    What are the common symptoms of a bad catalytic converter?

It is critical to understand when the catalytic converter fails because if you're an inexperienced driver, it might not be clear to you, and you will deal with significant failures in no time. Therefore, watch for these symptoms of a bad or failing catalytic converter:

  • Check engine light illuminating
  • Engine running or off and stalling
  • Extremely hot catalytic converter
  • Loud rattling noises coming out of the catalytic converter
  • Weird rotten eggs smell coming out of the tailpipe.

4.    What's the catalytic converter labor cost?

As we indicated before, it's roughly between $900.00 and $2500 to fix a catalytic converter, which is only for parts costs. Also, labor costs can significantly contribute to the final catalytic converter replacement costs. You would typically expect somewhere between $70 and $130 for labor costs per hour.

It's critical to understand that typically the labor cost is provided per hour, and depending on the severity of the problem, it might take more than one hour to fix your converter or replace it. Therefore, avoid getting fooled by just hearing $70 for labor costs because it could be double, if not tripled.

5.    Does cleaning a catalytic converter help it?

There are situations where you might have options to treat the catalytic converter itself and have IT support you for a longer time. For example, there is a very common catalytic converter cleaning process where it allows you to clean the converter pipes and have it serve you for more time.

While cleaning the converter helps it extend its lifetime, there will be a point in time when you have to replace it, and it doesn't mean that cleaning the converter is an optimum solution for fixing failing converters.

6.    Is there a way to sell a car with a failing catalytic converter?

Of course, yes. Many companies are specialized in buying vehicles with problems. You can only convince a private buyer to purchase your car with a failing catalytic converter if this buyer is aware of the problem and is willing to take care of it.

For example, you can try cash-for-cars companies like Cash Cars Buyer. At Cash Cars Buyer, we guarantee to buy your car and provide you with cash payments immediately on the spot, even if it has problems with the catalytic converter. If you're looking for someone to talk to you soon and provide more details about our process, call our customer service at 7737914363.

7.    Do I need to fix anything in my car or sell it as is when it has a bad catalytic converter?

Maintenance or repairs for a failing catalytic converter might not be worth it. In other words, what are you going to do? Are you going to install a new one? Nothing will help a catalytic converter is not going to be major.

Therefore, instead of wasting time trying to fix a bad catalytic converter and making the vehicle look nice, find the right buyer and research to have a buyer willing to purchase your car despite its condition or type, like Cash Cars Buyer.

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Catalytic converter replacement cost: Main Takeaways

Replacing a catalytic converter is a costly undertaking, and it's a couple of thousands of dollars. Repair costs can be a huge component in determining the catalytic converter replacement cost. That's why if you're dealing with a failing catalytic converter, you're recommended to evaluate the situation carefully and see if it's even worth it by comparing the total repair costs to the value of your car.

It's not wrong to decide to sell you a car if it has a failing catalytic converter, along with other problems. Therefore, if you would like to sell this car and look for someone to purchase it immediately, Cash Cars Buyer can always help you. Call our team at 7737914363.

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