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RonDe
RonDe New Reader
6/17/24 8:33 p.m.

What would you do?

2006 Corolla 140k miles. Had catalytic converter stolen. Back ordered through dealer 2 months ago and ETA keeps changing--now July or October. Hope to keep the car for another 300k miles or more? Is it worth it to wait for the OEM part to come in or should I go with aftermarket and what brand?  Too much risk installing a used OEM.

Snrub
Snrub Dork
6/17/24 9:11 p.m.

What's the price on the new OEM?

What's the risk with a used OEM from a lower mile car?

WonkoTheSane
WonkoTheSane UltraDork
6/17/24 9:38 p.m.

I've had a magnaflow on my 94 track Miata for the last 5 years.  I know it's OBD I, but it still appears to be working (no check engine light and no smells).

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) UltimaDork
6/17/24 9:59 p.m.

From the question I assume that aftermarket is legal where you live. 
I have an aftermarket converter in my 04 Lancer, lasted about 10 years. Intermittently saving a code now. 

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) UltimaDork
6/17/24 9:59 p.m.

From the question I assume that aftermarket is legal where you live. 
I have an aftermarket converter in my 04 Lancer, lasted about 10 years. Intermittently saving a code now. 

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
6/17/24 10:06 p.m.

So I looked up your car, it was certified to T2B5 and ULEVII- which are tight enough that some random aftermarket catalyst isn't going to play well with the OBDII certification.  It *might* work immediately, but for sure it won't last another 160k miles.  In theory, you could get away with it unless you live in a state that requires an OBDII check.  Or if you don't want to be driving around with the check engine light on all the time.

If you can find one cheap enough, it would get the car on the road while you waited for the insurance to replace the OEM catalyst.

RonDe
RonDe New Reader
6/17/24 10:59 p.m.

In reply to Snrub :

Forgot to mention. I'm in CA :(.regarding used OEM, I read that there are a lot of risks involved regarding quality and definitely don't want to buy illegal.

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
6/17/24 11:02 p.m.

In reply to RonDe :

Being in California really constrains your options.  Not many aftermarket cats have been certified for their requirements.  But if they have, they will be better than some random aftermarket catalyst.

RonDe
RonDe New Reader
6/18/24 12:00 a.m.

In reply to WonkoTheSane :

Thank you. Good to know

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
6/18/24 12:50 a.m.

Magnaflow sells CARB-compliant cats for a 2006 Corolla. They'll have an equivalent amount of catalyst to a factory cat and should be as effective because that's what it gets to obtain the certification. They'll cost more than a "federal" cat because they contain higher levels of precious metals, but if you want another 300k out of the cat that's the way to go. The CARB ones also have a longer warranty - 5 years/50k miles as opposed to 25k.

Will
Will UberDork
6/18/24 10:20 a.m.

I installed Magnaflow 50-state legal cats on my Camaro and the only problem I ever had was a smog tech who insisted they weren't catalytic converters and refused to pass my car. I had to take it to three smog stations and ultimately make an appointment with the state (TN) mechanic who said "Yes, that's a cat. Pass."

It was maddening.

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
6/18/24 10:46 a.m.
Keith Tanner said:

Magnaflow sells CARB-compliant cats for a 2006 Corolla. They'll have an equivalent amount of catalyst to a factory cat and should be as effective because that's what it gets to obtain the certification. They'll cost more than a "federal" cat because they contain higher levels of precious metals, but if you want another 300k out of the cat that's the way to go. The CARB ones also have a longer warranty - 5 years/50k miles as opposed to 25k.

I very much doubt that.  Aftermarket parts don't have to go through the same process that OEM's do to show durability.  Nor do they have the same risk if they have any in-service problems.  More than a 50 state generic catalyst, but not what OEM's do.

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/18/24 1:11 p.m.

In reply to alfadriver :

Actually, they do.  Compliant aftermarket emissions parts receive a CARB EO number that certifies it is as effective as OEM.  It has to be tested by CARB and shown to not increase emissions over OEM parts.  Once it passes that test, it's good to go.  It's not about durability, it's simply based on "does it pass right now."  If the answer is yes, it gets a pass.  If it fails one month later, that's not what they're concerned about because 11 months later you have to fix it again before it will pass.

I had many aftermarket parts on an OBD2 car when I was out there, and as long as it has a CARB EO number on it, you're good to go.

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/18/24 1:17 p.m.

You'll also find that many shops don't care a bit.  I had a homebrew cold air intake made out of PVC.  I called SLP and gave them a sob story about "moved to L.A., don't have my EO sticker, etc" and they sent me a sticker for an SLP cold air intake.  I carefully placed it on my white-trash PVC pipe, and the smog tech never even looked.  Unless a lot has changed, they're not in the business of making lives harder, they plug it in.  Is it test-ready?  Does it have any codes?  Does it pass the sniffer?  Good.  They're not really in the business of scouting your car for part numbers on the crusty cats to cross-reference.  My car had 50-state aftermarket cats, and it passed every time in the 7 years I was there.

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
6/18/24 1:42 p.m.
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to alfadriver :

Actually, they do.  Compliant aftermarket emissions parts receive a CARB EO number that certifies it is as effective as OEM.  It has to be tested by CARB and shown to not increase emissions over OEM parts.  Once it passes that test, it's good to go.  It's not about durability, it's simply based on "does it pass right now."  If the answer is yes, it gets a pass.  If it fails one month later, that's not what they're concerned about because 11 months later you have to fix it again before it will pass.

I had many aftermarket parts on an OBD2 car when I was out there, and as long as it has a CARB EO number on it, you're good to go.

You actually just pointed out why aftermarket cats are not the same as OEM- the aftermarket has to pass when they are brand new.  OEM's have to pass at FUL.   That's how CARB and EPA's aftermarket parts work.  Sure- it's to the same standard, but it's just not the same.

edit- one other thing OEMs do that aftermarket does not is to add some margin to their requirements so that as the fleet ages, they factor in a wide range of how they can age- which the aftermarket does not have to worry about.

And I can assure you, it's considerably harder to pass at full useful life than when cats are brand new.  Which is exactly why OEM parts will have more metal on them.

jmabarone
jmabarone HalfDork
6/18/24 2:10 p.m.
bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
6/18/24 2:40 p.m.

I"m 1 for 2 on aftermarket cats working in OBD2 cars. The one in the older Rio worked well enough. Same brand in the newer Rio blew up in 5k miles clogging the exhaust. 

RonDe
RonDe New Reader
6/18/24 3:22 p.m.

Thank you all for helping me figure this out. I have a miracle to report: I found one at another dealership not too far away!

This morning, I had gone to the dealership where I placed the order. The employee suggested looking up local dealerships who might have one in stock (slim chance to none for a nationwide back ordered part, right?) He found 5 in my area and one dealership had 5 in stock!  Blows me away!!! Thank God! And thank you for your help.

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
6/18/24 3:27 p.m.
alfadriver said:
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to alfadriver :

Actually, they do.  Compliant aftermarket emissions parts receive a CARB EO number that certifies it is as effective as OEM.  It has to be tested by CARB and shown to not increase emissions over OEM parts.  Once it passes that test, it's good to go.  It's not about durability, it's simply based on "does it pass right now."  If the answer is yes, it gets a pass.  If it fails one month later, that's not what they're concerned about because 11 months later you have to fix it again before it will pass.

I had many aftermarket parts on an OBD2 car when I was out there, and as long as it has a CARB EO number on it, you're good to go.

You actually just pointed out why aftermarket cats are not the same as OEM- the aftermarket has to pass when they are brand new.  OEM's have to pass at FUL.   That's how CARB and EPA's aftermarket parts work.  Sure- it's to the same standard, but it's just not the same.

edit- one other thing OEMs do that aftermarket does not is to add some margin to their requirements so that as the fleet ages, they factor in a wide range of how they can age- which the aftermarket does not have to worry about.

And I can assure you, it's considerably harder to pass at full useful life than when cats are brand new.  Which is exactly why OEM parts will have more metal on them.

So a correction- just looked up the CA rules.  They do partially age the catalyst.  But it's about 1/2 FUL relative to what the standard has been since 2002.  And as far as I can see, it's a sea level FTP test.  Nothing for US06, altitude, or cold.  So it's not as limited as I had thought.  But it's still not the same that OEM's test or require.

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/18/24 3:31 p.m.

In reply to alfadriver :

I wasn't saying they were the same, I was just responding to your saying there isn't a standard.  There is.

There are also cats out there that are the same inside, but one gets an EO number and the other one doesn't.  They price them according to the profits they want to see on the non-CARB units, then jack the price up for the CARB units and stamp an EO number on them.  It doesn't make sense for them to spend billions on R&D for a lower-quality cat to sell as a 50-state when they can just crank out the same units and just charge different amounts.

There are also OEM cats that are made by Walker, Tenneco, BASF, Continental, or Boysen.  Toyota doesn't have a catalytic converter factory.  They outsource to Yukata and other companies.  So if you're buying an OEM CARB catalyst from Toyota, you're likely buying the same exact unit as if you got on Rock Auto and found a Yukata CARB catalyst.  The difference is, the parts counter will charge you $1400, and Rock Auto might charge $500

The magnaflow (or were they walker?  Forget) cats on my 96 Impala SS were 50-state.  No EO, although they passed for 7 years and 90k miles in L.A., and still were chugging along when I sold the car.  I'm not saying that all aftermarket cats are as good as OEM, I'm saying that there are plenty that will give tons of service life without paying the inflated retail cost of the dealer parts counter.

RonDe... you're asking a lot of a catalyst.  First OEM set gave you 140k on a low mileage engine.  That's the time when the engine runs the cleanest with the least blowby, best valve seal, cleaner injector sprays, etc.  A second set of OEMs will likely not last nearly as long.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
6/18/24 4:17 p.m.

Alfa - there is definitely aging involved in the EO process. I remember they had to extrapolate emissions at a high mileage to make sure we'd still pass when testing our turbo kits. You're also not allowed to use a brand new cat when testing other parts, it has to be at least 4k miles old. 

I can't speak for catalytic converter testing specifically, but Mangaflow's warranty on CARB cats is at least 50% of what Ford had to put on a new car's emission system. 

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
6/18/24 4:22 p.m.

In reply to Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) :

I didn't say there wasn't a standard. I said it is very different than OEMs deal with. 

porschenut
porschenut Dork
6/18/24 6:02 p.m.

2007 car with 140K miles.  That is about 8K a year.  You want to keep it for another 300K miles?  That works out to over 37 years.  So you will buy another car in 2061?  

Aside from this math, think about it.  The car has 140K miles and you are concerned about cost of a cat that will go till it is a half million miles old?  In California?  

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
6/18/24 6:26 p.m.

In reply to porschenut :

Note that the original complaint was about the extended backorder for the OE part, not the cost. But one has now been found.

RonDe
RonDe New Reader
6/19/24 12:41 a.m.

In reply to Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) :

I'm learning so much from these posts! Thank you!

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