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2003 Toyota Camry "cataclysmic" converter

Old 04-29-2011, 10:41 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 6
Unhappy 2003 Toyota Camry "cataclysmic" converter

I have a 2003 Toyota Camry which I just bought used. It has 121k miles in it. The person who sold me the car did not tell me any problems with the car . I test drove the car and all works great. About 10 miles later after I bought the car check engine light went on. Took it to the shop and they gave me the terrible news . My cat converter is bad and need to be replaced. They said I could spend well over $2k for OEM replacement and that there are no aftermarkets available online that is legal in California (which is where I live). Now I am noticing very poor gas mileage. I read somewhere that the poor gas mileage could be an effect of the bad cat converter. Also some leak is showing under the engine. Dont know if it's exhaust leak. I really dont know anything about cars.

My questions
1. if I replace the bad cat converter with an aftermarket one will it fix the problem on the car's poor mpg? I can have a cousin from out of state ship me the cat. converter that is 'not legal in California'.... CA sucks!!
2. how about smog? will it pass?
3. how much $$ am I looking at for 'good' replacements?
4. what's the life on these replacement cat. converters?
5. how do you detect bad cat. converters without taking them to the shop? Im thinking of selling this camry and just buy another one

any help will be MUCH appreciated
Old 05-09-2011, 08:17 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 9

I'm pretty sure you can find a cat converter at a local CA muffler shop for less than $2000. Keep looking! A Midas or Firestone auto service shop.
Old 05-09-2011, 08:21 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 9

Cat converters can last forever if you use the right grade of fuel and if you keep oil leaking to the pipe (which is quite common on 90's Camry's)
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