Let’s imagine a world full of dark black smoke! How terrible would it be? Smokes emitted from the vehicles is one of the main reasons for this heavy pollution. Your vehicle will contribute to this pollution if there is no catalytic converter installed in it. Besides, the overall life-span of the vehicle will be lessened if it does not have a cat.
But some of you may wonder what a ‘Catalytic converter’ or simply cat actually is? Well, a catalytic converter is a device that is meant for eliminating unburned fuel and toxic gasses produced by a vehicle’s exhaust before the toxicity is released into the atmosphere. Now, did you get the importance of a ‘cat’?
The emission from any motor vehicle must be as minimal as possible- this is the universal standard followed by countries around the world. They even have laws to enforce against the vehicles that pollute the air. So, if you want that your vehicle plies safely on the road, you must have a catalytic converter installed.
There are so many of these converters from different manufacturers, made to use in different types of vehicles. We will help you find the best catalytic converter for your vehicle. As you go through this article you’ll eventually explore facts that you don’t even know about ‘cat’. Let’s start the journey!
Best Catalytic Converter in the Town
Now it is high time to reveal some catalytic converter that is made for delightfully serve the purpose. Go through this complete review section and surely you will find the best fit for your vehicle. But do keep the requirement of your vehicle in mind. Let’s start!
1. Eastern 70318 Catalytic Converter (Non-CARB Compliant)
Why pick this?
This product comes with various forms to fit in your vehicle. This catalytic converter has different types: no sensor, one sensor, one central sensor, two sensors, with or without air-tube, etc. You need to choose the right product for your vehicle.
Typically, this catalytic converter has a height of 4.25”, a width of 6” and an overall length is 14”. It can carry up to 5.9L/6,000 lbs. load. You can easily fit this in your vehicle according to requirements. The manufacturer offers you different inlet and outlet sizes for different porpoise use.
You can use this catalytic converter for your sedan, SUV or in mini-truck. But do read the ratings carefully before purchasing. However, you must keep in mind that this product is EPA approved for all Federal compliant vehicles in all states but not approved in California and New York.
The special feature of this product is the manufacturer gives 5 years or 50,000 miles warranty. It means they are confident about their product. This proves the strength of the catalytic converter. All these premium features at an affordable price!
This is not CARB approved product. It means you are not allowed to use this in California and in the states that follow CARB standards. Even, you are not allowed to sell your vehicle in those states.
2. EvanFischer REPG960301 Silver Powder-Coated Catalytic Converter with Heat Shield
Why pick this?
Evenfischer is a renowned name in the field of catalytic converters. They are here to offer you a complete experience with style. This product is suitable for your vehicle even if you want to draw the attention of people to the exhaust system.
This is a Y- shaped dual inlet, single outlet direct-fit catalytic converter. The silver coating has made the catalytic converter stylish and unique. This product is suitable for numerous vehicles from different manufacturers. You just need to find out whether it is suitable for your vehicle or not.
This one’s quite easy to install. It does not need any cutting or welding to be fitted. You can directly fit this into the vehicle without any hassle. EvanFischer is giving 5 years or 50,000 miles warranty. Hence showcasing their confidence in this product.
The most important thing you need to notice is the product is EPA approved for all Federal compliant vehicles in all states but not approved in California and New York. It will be illegal if you use this in those states.
Some customers reported that the bolts are made from soft material prone to damage. In some models, the driver side pipe that crosses over and the trans support vibrates, had to hammer a small dent in the pipe. This product is not CARB approved like the previous one.
3. MagnaFlow 93419 Direct Fit Catalytic Converter (Non-CARB compliant)
Why pick this?
MagnaFlow’s HM grade Direct-Fit catalytic converters are engineered for easy, bolt-on installation. They do not require cutting or welding. You can easily fit this into your vehicle. However, direct-Fit catalytic converters feature the necessary gaskets that take the guesswork out of installation.
These are made from the best quality solid materials. They feature American made stainless steel construction along with high quality flow-efficient monolithic honeycomb catalyst that is meant for providing long life and clean emissions.
You must keep in mind that HM grade Direct-Fit catalytic converters are designed for OBDII vehicles registered outside the state of California. This product is EPA approved for all Federal compliant vehicles in all states but not approved in California and New York.
The special feature of this product is the manufacturer gives 5 years or 50,000 miles warranty. It means they are confident about their product. This proves the strength of the catalytic converter.
Customers have reported some issues that they didn’t feel easy while dealing with the bolts. Besides, you are not allowed to use this in California and in the states that follow CARB standards as this product does not meet CARB requirements.
4. 2.5″ Inlet/Outlet Catalytic Converter w/O2 Nut Universal-Fit Stainless Steel High Flow CAT (EPA Compliant)
Why pick this?
AUTOSAVER88 has launched a new catalytic converter that is designed to meet OE quality and performance standards without sacrificing the flow rate. You can even improve the performance of the one that’s built-in. It is easy to install as it does not require any cutting or welding. This one’s universal fit and is ready to go with a simple installation process.
It is made from heavy-duty stainless steel. The outside surface is that’s why solid and perfect for handling heavy-duty use. The inner surface is engineered intelligently to give the catalysts enough space to work. Thus this catalytic converter achieves maximum efficiency.
It has Standard 2.5″ inside diameter inlet/outlet. The overall length is 11″.Perfect for vehicles with 2.5 inches outer diameter exhaust pipe. It has a glossy silver powder finish on the outer surface.
It comes with genuine EPA certification and that’s why each and everyone is stamped with exclusive EPA numbers. Besides, those with Federal EPA standards are backed up with 5 years or 50,000 miles limited warranty. But this product is not CARB compliant.
This catalytic converter is not allowed to use inside California. Besides, some customers have reported that they felt uncomfortable to fit this into their vehicles.
5. Walker 15036 EPA Certified Standard Universal Catalytic Converter
Why pick this?
Walker is a brand that is renowned as an industry leader for import and domestic applications. It has brought a universal catalytic converter that is suitable for Pre-OBDII vehicles. (1995 and older). The amazing part of this tool is that It can be easily installed in those vehicles with some modifications.
They use a stainless steel body to construct a tool that gives it a solid and strong body to protect the parts inside. It is equipped with an aluminized pipe and heat shields for long use. The outer surface is protected against rust. The weight distribution is awesome and so it won’t add that much load.
But the fact is this converter may need additional modification and for this, it comes with expandable bushings. It is easy to set it on-board. You just need to cut or do welding in some cases. This product comes with 25,000-mi catalytic performance & a 5-year/50,000-mi structural integrity warranty.
There is no oxygen sensor installed. Besides, you may need to spend more money to set it in your vehicle.
6. Catalytic Converter w/Exhaust Manifold for 04-08 Chevy Malibu 2.2L/2.4L, 06-08 Pontiac G6 2.4L, 07-08 Saturn Aura 2.4L (EPA Compliant)
Why pick this?
This catalytic converter is not only compatible for 2004-2008 Chevrolet Malibu 2.2L/2.4L but also 2006-2008 Pontiac G6 2.4L & 2007-2008 Saturn Aura 2.4L. As a standard catalytic converter, you can use this one only for these selected vehicles mentioned above.
This catalytic converter comes with a heavy-duty stainless steel outer shell construction. That’s why it provides maximum durability. You won’t face any MIL (Malfunction Indicator Lamp) code issues that are common with lower quality converters. The reason is internal substrates and precious metal loading has been carefully engineered in the catalytic converter for maximum efficiency.
Moreover, the standard OE specification flanges are designed for easy installation, that’s why it direct bolts to the existing exhaust system without doing an extra modification. It comes with gasket and hardware.
It comes with genuine federal EPA certification and OBDII compliant. You can find the product is stamped with an exclusive EPA number on the shell, like the other EPA certificate holders. Federal EPA certificated catalytic converters are backed 5 years or 50,000 miles limited warranty.
It does not cover a wide range of vehicles; only suitable for few models. Moreover, it is not CARB approved.
7. TED Direct-Fit Catalytic Converter Fits: 2003-2008 Toyota Corolla/Pontiac Vibe/Toyota Matrix 1.8L FWD 1ZZFE
Why pick this?
This is a specialized and standard catalytic converter suitable for 2003-2008 Toyota Corolla/Pontiac Vibe/Toyota Matrix 1.8L FWD 1ZZFE. This product is a direct fit bolt to bolt catalytic converter dedicated to long term use without compromising in flow rate.
Flange to flange, direct fit design bolts to existing exhaust ensures hassle-free installation. The outside surface is coated with silver powder to protect the body from rust. Besides, the inner surface is spacious enough to ensure the proper function of the catalysts.
The manufacturer will provide you Gaskets & Hardware Included Free of Charge. Above all, this product comes with EPA certification and has a number stamped on the body.
Though the catalytic converter is made for use in some selected models, the owner of those vehicles faced difficulties to install it on-board. Besides, this product is not CARB compliant; making it illegal in California and some other states.
Look Before You Leap
You need to consider a few things before you pick up a catalytic converter for your vehicle. Here we discussed some point those will lead you towards the best catalytic converter. So, let’s start!
Universal or not
Catalytic converters mainly are of two types: Universal and specialized. The ones that come with your vehicles, is endorsed by the vehicle manufacturer. The manufacturer recommends this as the best fit for your vehicle. But if you do not like the already provided one, you can certainly go for a better one. In that case, you need to know whether that particular model is suitable for your vehicle or not. Do remember that every model or type is not suitable for every vehicle.
Here arises a question. How you will know which ‘cat’ is fit for your vehicle? To solve this puzzle you need to go through the specification that is provided by the ‘cat’ manufacturer. You will find the name of specific vehicle models there or simply ask the manufacturer of the catalytic converter to be sure.
How would you find what type of catalytic converter you need? Here the EFN plays an important role. EFN stands for Engine Family Number. Every engine has an EFN to provide necessary information about that particular engine.
You can find much-related information from EFN; such as engine type, transmission type, sub-model, model number, built year, etc. From this information you can know about the engine used in the vehicle. Just go through the information provided by the manufacturer of catalytic converters you’re likely to buy. If you find that the ‘cat’ is prepared to meet the need of the engine, grab it!
Verify your EFN in order to avoid the misapplication of catalytic converters. You can find the number under the hood of your vehicle. If the label is missing, it is necessary to contact the OE dealer for the information or to order a new label.
Federal or CARB converters
This is the most important thing you need to know before purchasing a catalytic converter. You must know what kind of emission system your vehicle has. The catalytic converter of your vehicle has either adherence to CARB or Federal regulation. You will find the information right under the hood or near the firewall area behind the engine.
“Federal” and “CARB” are, simply, two standards for catalytic converters. Federal standards for catalytic converters are in line with EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). But the CARB (California Air Resources Board) regulations are strict. CARB requires more effective catalytic converters than the EPA requirements.
Your vehicle will follow CARB regulation if it was originally sold in the state of California. Besides, some other US states also follow the CARB regulations. So, it is necessary for you to know which catalytic converter you need.
Ease of Maintenance
You need to keep the exhaust system of your vehicle clean and fit for the action. That’s why you need to keep it clean. If the catalytic converter you chose is stylish but difficult to maintain, you’ll have to put in a lot of time in keeping it clean. If the ‘cat’ has a small outlet, don’t use it. You will face difficulties to clean it. It is better to go for a ‘cat’ with a comparatively big outlet.
Material and Build Quality
You should pay heed to the material of construction. It’s needless to say, if the built material is not strong enough, then it is of no use. These are set under the vehicles. So, they need to be strong enough to handle any kind of accidental pressure, mud, water, etc. If the metal is directly exposed in air, then it can be damaged by rust.
This is why the outer shell is made of stainless steel. You can check the thickness of the stainless steel layer to be sure that it is strong enough. Besides, always prefer a catalytic converter that has a honeycomb structure, these have proven their worth.
Check the specification sheet how much rare metals, like, palladium, rhodium is contained in the ‘cat’. Then you can easily compare which one is better.
In a catalytic converter, there are actually some catalysts to continuously run the process. But all of those catalysts can’t meet the need. Consider the cases stated below to get a clear conception of the approved catalysts.
For diesel engines, the most commonly used is the DOC (diesel oxidation catalyst). DOCs contain platinum, palladium along with aluminum. These metals catalytically oxidize the hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide and thus forms carbon dioxide and water.
In 2010, most light-duty diesel manufacturers in the U.S. introduced catalytic systems to their vehicles as they are bound to follow new federal emissions requirements. Two techniques that have been newly developed for the catalytic reduction of NO. They are SCR (selective catalytic reduction) and NO trap.
You’ll have to keep in mind that these cannot remove PM (particular matter) from the engine emission. Particulates are cleaned up by a soot trap or DPF (diesel particular filter). In the U.S., all vehicles on road (light, medium and heavy-duty vehicles) powered by diesel and built after January 1, 2007, must meet diesel particulate emission limits. It means that they effectively have to be equipped with a 2-way catalytic converter along with diesel particulate filters.
Emissions from lean-burn spark-ignition engines are very similar to that of a diesel compression-ignition engine. An oxidation catalyst is used in a lean-burn spark-ignition engine; the same manner as in a diesel engine.
Though the catalytic converters are placed under the vehicles, they can add an extra charm to the overall appearance of your vehicle. A shiny, glossy are furnished metal body peeping up is something to be noticed. If you are crazy about the appearance, you can go for those that have glossy silver powder coating on them. But never compromise in requirements for outlooks. First, fulfill the safety and environmental requirements and only then go for outlook.
Q: Can I use CARB certified catalytic converters outside California?
Ans: Of course you can! The CARB standards do meet EPA requirements; even CARB requirements are higher than those of Federal EPA.
Q: Can I modify a universal catalytic converter?
Ans: Yes, you can. You can cut or do welding to make it fit for your vehicle. Some manufacturers even provide additional gasket and bolts for this.
Q: How to maintain a catalytic converter for long use?
Ans: You can simply remove the catalytic converter from your vehicle and place it on a flat surface. Then wipe it with a clean cloth. Ensure that no unwanted object is there in the exhaust pipe. After it dries, place it on-board. That’s it!
Q: Should I go for a standard one or a universal fit catalytic converter?
Ans: It totally depends on you. If you are confused about which one to pick, then consider your budget and then the appearance of it.
Q: When to change the catalytic converters?
Ans: Usually, a catalytic converter can last up to 10 years or maybe even longer. You can change it as per your need as there is no set limit for this. But it’s better to change these converters if it gets damaged or on the verge of getting damaged.
Q: How do you detect the expiry of a catalytic converter?
Ans: The most common symptoms that indicate the catalytic converter of your vehicle is damaged can be easily observed. The most common symptom of a damaged converter is a smell of sulfur or a foul smell from the exhaust. You can even feel excessive heat under the vehicle.
Aside from this, you will notice a drop in gas mileage and reduced acceleration. Frequent stalling can also be noticed. These factors will certainly reduce the performance level of your vehicle.
Well, now you know, a catalytic converter installed in your vehicle reduces the harmful emissions from the engine exhaust. That’s why the authorities are so strict regarding catalytic converters. If you do not want any legal action to be taken against you, it’s high time you equipped your vehicle with one!
If you want a universal ’cat’, you can go for Walker 15036 EPA Certified Standard one for both performance and durability. However, if you have pre-OBDII vehicles. (1995 and older), you can try this catalytic converter. But if you own a comparatively new vehicle and want a great appearance, you can go for standard ones.
It is important to choose the appropriate catalytic converter for your vehicle and it is equally important to manage it within your budget. So, sit back and take your time to decide. Stay safe!
Also read – Best Carburetor cleaner.