3 Quick & Cheapest Ways to Fix Catalytic Converter: Quick Fix for Catalytic Converter (2023)

Last updated on April 13th, 2022 at 10:02 am

If you are looking for a Quick fix for catalytic converter or you need insight on some of the cheapest ways to fix catalytic converter then this will be your guide. when your car catalytic converter is bad may discover that your vehicle will be running rough, and your gas mileage will be looking lower than normal and you also may notice a foul odor coming out from the exhaust. and other times the check engine light is illuminated which gives you another evidence that something is wrong with the catalytic converter. if notice any of these, then you need to start looking for a way to get the catalytic converter replaced. Related Article: Catalytic Converter Heat Shield Rattle, How To Fix

Cheapest Way To Fix Catalytic Converter (Cheap & Quick fix for catalytic converter)

Whenever you think about getting a catalytic converter fixed, there are lots of options for you. I will be showing the three cheapest ways to fix a catalytic converter. The options include cleaning and flushing the catalytic converter and the last will be to replace the catalytic converter yourself if it is damaged completely. And I am going to cover this in the fowling topics:

  • How to clean the catalytic converter by removing it
  • How to clean the catalytic converter without removing it
  • how to change a catalytic converter yourself

You may also love to read this post 5 Signs Of a Clogged Catalytic Converter

How to clean the catalytic converter without removing it

  • Put fuel in a can and use a catalytic converter cleaner. Most of these cleaners only work gasoline engines or with diesel, while others work on both.
  • Make sure your vehicle’s fuel tank has a minimum of 15 liters of fuel. Then pour the amount of the cleaner that’s recommended into the fuel tank.
  • Turn on the car engine and drive. As you drive, it will spread the cleaner to clean up the car exhaust system. Note that the cleaner’s label will tell you how long you should drive to get the best results.
  • You should drive for about half an hour or as recommended on the cleaner’s label till the fuel tank becomes empty. But ensure your engine doesn’t overheat. read the post on How to Fix Catalytic Converter Without Replacing it

How to clean the catalytic converter by removing it

  • You can deep clean the catalytic converter in case the code is still showing, which can be done by removing it.
  • Your car should be parked on a flat surface, then switch it off, and let it completely cool down.
  • Get the catalytic converter raised using a hydraulic jack and ensure the car is secured on the jack stands.
  • Get the oxygen sensor disconnected with an oxygen sensor wrench.
  • Rub some penetrating oil on the bolts, by holding the converter onto the exhaust system.
  • Take off the converter and examine it. Make sure to shake it, and once you hear a loud rattle, then get it replaced. In case you find little no rattle, you should start the cleaning.
  • The inside should be washed and the outside of the catalytic converter cleaned from dirt and debris.
  • Get outlet and inlet pipes power washed.
  • Just mix hot washer and degreaser, and then soak the converter inside this mixed solution for about one to two hours.
  • Pull it out, rinse and clean it with another water, and allow it to air dry.
  • The converter and the oxygen sensor should be reinstalled.
  • The car should be test drive and then check for the code.

The next cheapest way to fix catalytic converter is to replace the catalytic converter yourself to save money from the cost of labor, however, you will still need to buy a compatible catalytic converter suitable for your car which might range from $400 to $2000 or more depending on your car brand and model. This only will apply if your catalytic converter is bad and cannot be unclogged or flushed and cleaned.

So before we look at how you can change or replace catalytic converter yourself to save money, let us consider the following topics to help you understand with is involved.

We are looking at how much it cost to fix catalytic converter on average, do you have to replace oxygen sensor when replacing catalytic converter, and then do I need to replace my catalytic converter

On Average, How Much Does It Cost To Fix A Catalytic Converter?

To fix a catalytic converter, it will averagely cost you about $950 to $2500. Note that this amount includes parts and labor.

Do I Have To Replace The Oxygen Sensor When Replacing The Catalytic Converter?

In case your catalytic converter was replaced under warranty and the oxygen sensor should also be replaced, this warranty covers it. The oxygen sensor happens to be an emission system part.

You cannot safely be removed and replaced the catalytic converter without damaging the oxygen sensor. So it needs to be replaced along with a catalytic converter and shouldn’t cost you much.

(Video) 3 Cheapest Way to Fix Catalytic Converter + Cost (Clean Catalytic Converter)

A faulty oxygen sensor is also part of the things that lead to catalytic converter failures. So replacing the oxygen sensors for preventive maintenance is recommended, it isn’t only because of fuel efficiency and minimizing exhaust emissions, but to ensure prolong and protection of the converter

Do I Need To Replace My Catalytic Converter?

Yes, the catalytic converter should be replaced when it goes bad and is damaged beyond cleaning, flushing, or repair. The catalytic converter is meant to reduce harmful emissions which makes your vehicle pass mandatory smog tests. The harmful emission can affect you and your car passengers once it gets into your car cabin while the windows are closed so you to replace it when it goes bad.

How To Change A Catalytic Converter Yourself

Remember that it can be expensive to replace a catalytic converter, so you can save some money by doing it yourself using a few hand tools and jack stands.

To change a catalytic converter yourself, here are the needed materials and the steps to follow:

  • A 17 mm wrench
  • A 17 mm socket and ratchet
  • A wire Brush
  • A jack and stands

How to change a catalytic converter yourself

Step 1 – Lift and secure vehicle

Just set the parking brake, then block the wheels and lift the vehicle. Make sure you secure the weight on the jack stands.

Note that you may need to lift your vehicle completely off of the ground to have enough room to work.

Step 2 – Just remove bolts on the front and rear flanges

Your car catalytic converter is bolted in series that is with the rest of the exhaust system. So when using your wrench and ratchet, ensure to remove the five bolts that hold the front and rear flanges together. Then once it is unbolted, it can be taken down.

Please note that bolts that are severely rusted may not come loose. This means that a cutting tool, like a hack, saw, may be necessary. Remember that sometimes it is possible to take off rusted bolts by breaking them. You can just tighten them down until they snap.

Step 3 – Just clean surface area of mounting points

Rust and debris will cover the front and rear mounting surfaces. So you can use a wire brush to scrub away excess material. When done, it will prepare the surface for new seals and help to ensure a tight fit.

Step 4 – Now install new catalytic converter seals

Just put a new set of seals on the catalytic converter.

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Step 5 – Now install new bolts and springs

You can now add the five mounting bolts to the front and rear flanges. Just ensure to use new hardware. Note that the springs on the front flange are inserted between the flange and the washer. What they do is that they provide tension to keep your exhaust sealed up. So after the five bolts are tightened down correctly, just lower your vehicle off of the jack stands.

Please note that new exhaust seals tend to smoke a little when first heated up. So don’t panic if you notice a few little wisps of vapor.

What to Do After Replacing A Catalytic Converter

After replacing the catalytic converter, just start the car and allow it to idle for a while. Once the engine warms up to normal operating temperature, try bumping the RPMs to around 2500.

After that, try holding it for about another 2 minutes and then release the gas. Close the car and allow it to cool completely.

It is normal that when you replace your catalytic converter, the check engine light should clear off especially when it’s installed properly. Before you do this, ensure the new catalytic converter you want to install meets the EPA requirements.

But if the new catalytic converter you want to install does not meet the standards of your car manufacturer, then you will still see the check engine light on. This is because the conversion threshold of your car will be lower than what its computer expects. Catalytic Converter Scrap Price List and Worth

Please note that bypassing the catalytic converter is just a temporary fix. Make sure you buy a new catalytic converter for your vehicle later. For you to learn how to bypass catalytic converter check engine light, follow these steps:


  • Park your car on a level surface and the parking brakes positioned.
  • Get the catalytic converter raised using a hydraulic jack and ensure the car is secured on the jack stands.
  • Get the oxygen sensor disconnected with an oxygen sensor wrench.
  • Rub some penetrating oil on the bolts, by holding the converter onto the exhaust system.
  • With the adjustable wrench, remove the mounting bolts. You can do this by holding the catalytic converter in place. Then put the catalytic converter on the ground.
  • Place the bypass pipe inside the exhaust system where you removed the catalytic converter was. Try adjusting the pipe till the bolt piers holes on the flanges of the bypass pipe and allow it to be aligned with those on the existing exhaust pipe.
  • Put back the catalytic converter mounting bolts inside the holes in the flanges and then get them tightened using your adjustable wrench.
  • Get the oxygen sensor reinstalled into the fitting on the bypass pipe and then get it tightened. Put back the wiring harness inside the sensor to get it reconnected into the car’s computer.
  • Pull the car with a hydraulic jack and then remove the jack stand before lowering the vehicle onto the ground.
  • In case the catalytic converter is faulty, get it replaced immediately.
  • Penetrating fluid
  • A bypass-pipe or test pipe
  • A four Jack stands
  • Hydraulic jack
  • Adjustable wrench

A New Catalytic Converter Break-In Period

Every new catalytic converter needs a better break-in period. When you don’t warmed-up (broken-in) correctly, the substrate that’s found inside can be affected drastically which might lead to the catalytic converter complete failure.

So allow the engine to warm up to normal operating temperature, and try bumping the RPMs to around 2500. After that, try holding it for about another 2 minutes and then release the gas. Close the car, turn it off, and allow it to cool completely. This is the catalytic converter break-in period.

New Catalytic Converter Failed Emissions

Whenever your car fails an emissions test, it can make you not drive it anymore until the problem that causes the failure is fixed. This is because a catalytic converter is a part of the vehicle’s exhaust system that removes harmful emissions.

(Video) How To Fix Your Stolen Catalytic Converter For Cheap On Your Prius.

However, it’s vital you understand what causes an emissions test failure and why. Below are two reasons for failing an emissions test.

  • Leaking Gas Cap
  • Check Engine Light is on

Why Does Replaced Catalytic Converter Still Have P0420?

This P0420 code can be caused by the catalytic converter, the oxygen sensors before and after replacing the catalytic converter. But in case you replaced both catalytic converter and oxygen sensors, then it means your exhaust is leaking at the manifold or pipes. So I advise you to consult a mechanic to diagnose the P0420 code and check the exhaust leaks to isolate the issue that made the code return.


What is the cheap way to fix a catalytic converter in the US?

To remove and clean up the catalytic converter is one of the cheap ways to fix it. Once it is removed, make use of a pressure washer to blast out all contaminants from the matrix. Also, flush the unit from both ends.

How much does it cost to fix a catalytic converter?

On average fixing your car’s catalytic converter will cost you around $950 to $2500. This cost estimate includes both the cost of getting a new catalytic converter part and the cost to hire an experienced mechanic.

How much does it cost to repair a catalytic converter?

To repair catalytic converter in most vehicles, it will cost $950 to $2475 depending on the repair shop.

The cheapest way to replace catalytic converter

The cheap way to replace your catalytic converter is to go for more affordable cat converter parts that meet your budget while minding the comparability of your catalytic converter selection with your vehicle. And to hire a less expensive mechanic to fix it for your better still learn to fix the new catalytic converter yourself. A fair quality catalytic converter on the low end is about $400, while the high end goes for a couple of more hundreds to a thousand dollars and over.

How to fix a catalytic converter cheap

To fix a catalytic converter cheaply, just remove and clean up the catalytic converter. After that, make use of a pressure washer to blast out all contaminants from the matrix. This is mostly applicable if your cat is clogged and not totally damaged. If it is damaged you need to replace the catalytic converter.

How much does it cost to replace a catalytic converter on a Ford F150?

It will cost you about $1,300 to $2,500 for your ford f-150 catalytic converter replacement. But the cost of labor might be around $80 and $180, and the parts will be priced at $1400.

How much does it cost to replace a catalytic converter on a Honda Civic?

To replace the catalytic converter of your Honda Civic will cost you about $1,550 to $2,400. The cost of labor might be around $90 to $150.

How much does it cost to replace a catalytic converter on a Honda Accord?

To replace the Honda Accord catalytic converter, you will spend around $1,900 and $2,400. The labor costs are about $90 and $150.

(Video) How to Fix A Clogged Catalytic Converter P0420 P0430 Super Cheap on any car

Conclusion on cheapest way to fix catalytic converter

In recent years, there is progress in producing efficient and reliable catalytic converters by car manufacturers. In case you notice your catalytic converter is severely bad, using a straight pipe to bypass it is possible. But replacing the catalytic converter will always be the best solution that will be friendly for the environment too however cleaning and flushing are some of the cheapest ways to fix the catalytic converter if the cat is not totally bad. Note that it is illegal to the state when you bypass your faulty catalytic converter that has more lenient emission tests.

Related Articles:

  • How Hot Does a Catalytic Converter Get
  • Can a clogged catalytic converter cause a misfire
  • Effect of Driving with a bad catalytic converter

Jeffery Ekweghi

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Hi dear, my name is Jeffery Ekweghi, and I am a certified mechanic and autobody parts technician. I created this site to share my expertise and experience with car lovers who are looking for how to resolve their car-related issues. I am certified in private cars and heavy-duty commercial vehicles. I have worked as a mechanic since 2015 and have experience in vehicle brands like Subaru, Jeep, Toyota, TATA, BMW, Mazda, Honda, Nissan, Kia, TVs, and Others; however, I primarily specialize in Toyota vehicles.


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