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Check Engine Light - problem with the Catalytic Converter

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I have a 2003 Carrera 4 with 69000kms. The check engine light came on and I brought it to my mechanic. He checked the code and told me that the catalytic converter on the passenger side exhaust had to be replaced. The bad news is that the part is about $2500 for one side only.

So my question is simple......is their a more economical way to approach this issue....OEM or aftermarket parts that would work. My problem is that if I change one I am sure the other will go ...so is it not best to change both. I have done a bit of research with the Fabspeed product....but any and all ideas/thoughts would be welcome.

BTW I live in Vancouver, British Columbia and we have this thing called AirCare where my car has to pass an emissions test............will the OEM or aftermarket products pass the test.


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Sorry....I didn't write it down.....I want to say it was "159".......but that is a guess....I had the mechanic reset it...but I want to bring it back as the light came on again.................once I do that I will get the correct code

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If you search on this site for catalytic converter I'm sure you'll find some good information. I replaced both of my cats last year with aftermarket ones due to a rattle. The main options are

- replace with used (they seem to sell anywhere from ~$250-800 each)

- replace with OEM (I believe you can find them substantially cheaper than you were quoted). For example I just found them at autoatlanta.com for just over $1800 each but I remember finding them for less than that last year

- replace with OEM style aftermarket (same design but usually 200 cell cats). Maxspeed-Motorsports is one vendor that makes these

- replace with aftermarket X-pipe design (sounds slightly meaner and possibly a tiny gain in HP using 200 cell cats)

There are several vendors for the x-pipe design including Fabspeed, Maxspeed-Motorsports (NHP) and a few others that I have forgotten. The cost of these for a pair are usually still less than the cost of a single OEM cat.

In my case I went for the aftermarket X-pipe from Maxspeed-Motorsports in Montreal and I've been extremely happy with them. I have been running them for about 8 months so far. I was expecting to take them through emissions (and pass) in Ontario last week, but as it turns out the new emissions test simply checks that the cars computer tests have all passed. My cats run fine and there are no codes, so I passed without any issue. Although I would be very surprised if they didn't pass a tailpipe emissions test.

I would also highly recommend Fabspeed just given what I have read online here and my personal interactions with them. But I also liked the quality from Maxspeed and they were cheaper and easier to ship within Canada.

The only negative I have found is that my car hesitates a little at low RPM for the first few seconds of driving when it is really cold. I'm not sure it is the cats, but I have a feeling the fuel maps in open-loop mode at startup are not quite correct for the reduced backpressure.

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Wow....thank you to kgoertz for the excellent information. I am leaning towards the Fabspeed myself..................I will discuss this with my mechanic....but I think that is the route that I will take.

thanks again for all the information


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I brought my car in for a CEL.............the fault code was PO430...code 45. The right side cat is done and it is not the O2 sensor. So my option is the following:

1. Do nothing

2. Have factory cats installed....about $6000 for both sides

3. go to an aftermarket system.

I have looked at the Fabspeed systems.....what else is out there that is good quality and simple to install. I don't want error codes coming back so I am looking for a quality system.

thanks for everyone's help

Edited by flattop
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Another option is to try looking for some used units, another poster here with both three way cats dead got a pair for less than $500 that got him back on the road, and even got some scrap value money for his dead ones to help offset the purchase.

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Both Fabspeed and Maxspeed-Motorsports are very good quality and almost certainly better than stock. I installed mine myself on a Saturday morning in about 4 hours but that included polishing a few of the clamps and taking my time. You should be able to replace with aftermarket for ~$2K installed. Or go used.

Edited by kgoertz
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JFP........thank you so much for your post.....I considered used cats but I have not had any luck with used parts.....I am leaning towards the Maxspeed cats from Montreal ....not that shipping is really an issue....I really like the look and sound.........i spoke to a buddy of mine who put the Maxspeed cats on his car and he absolutely loves them.......no issues with emmissions etc.............

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  • 10 months later...

I want to thank everyone on this forum for their ideas and suggestions. After a lot of research I purchased the NHP cross pipe cat system from MaxSpeed Motorsports. I spoke to Nello and he assured me that I would have no issues replacing the factory cats. He shipped the cats overnight to Vancouver and did not charge me for the shipping. The cats were as advertised and look to be exceptional quality. I just had them installed and can tell you that they sound terrific.....not louder but a really smooth consistent sound. The CEL is not an issue anymore.

The only problem I encountered was that the factory "sleeves" that connect the cats to the exhaust system were a little too short..........so I replaced them with longer sleeves........problem solved.

I would highly recommend the MaxSpeed NHP cats to anyone on this forum. As I stated, Nello was a pleasure to deal with and so far I am really happy with this product.


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  • 6 months later...

A rather late post to this thread, but I figured this would still be useful in the future, for anyone doing a thread search.


I bought a Fabspeed aftermarket exhaust (cats, headers, mufflers, x-pipe, etc.). I have experienced persistent CEL problems with it, and Fabspeed will not stand behind their product, and refuses to honor its warranty.


For a detailed discussion, please see my thread at the following link





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