5 best Aftermarket catalytic converters in 2021 | Cost and Changing Guide

Over time, catalytic converters will fail due to the breakdown of the interior substances from rigorous regular use or poor engine maintenance/performance conditions. So to keep your vehicle running with optimal performance, you’ll have to change it as soon as possible. 

In this article, we will show you some of the best aftermarket catalytic converters with in-depth info so that you can settle for the one that suits your needs. 

 

  1. MagnaFlow Universal Catalytic Converter OEM Grade Replacement

Price: $179

This MagnaFlow universal catalytic converter is designed as an OEM replacement for any vehicle of your choice. Its adaptable universal design allows it to work on different cars. 

It has a stainless steel construction that is highly corrosion-resistant. This translates to durability. 

The design of this catalytic converter complies with the EPA emissions requirement. However, you can’t use this MagnaFlow catalytic converter in Colorado or California due to their emission laws. 

The manufacturer offers a five-year/50,000-mile construction and 25,000-mile emissions warranty.

Specs 

  • Inlet and outlet (2″)
  • 13″ overall length
  • Weld-on design 

 

Pros

Universal fitment

Cons

No O2 port 

 

 

  1. MAYASAF (2 pack) Universal Catalytic Converter, with O2 Port 

Price: $109

This is another catalytic converter with excellent performance. It’s manufactured and sold by MAYASAF, which is a brand that is well known for its deep involvement in auto parts. 

Their deep focus in this particular area of the auto industry makes them one of the best aftermarket catalytic converter manufacturers because they use state-of-the-art technology and the latest international equipment; besides, research has to be a big part of their operations. 

Their converter is designed to meet OEM standards, so it’s just like buying the original one. Furthermore, it’s a 2-in-1 catalytic converter, so you’ll be saving money instead of buying one at a time. 

It is made from HD-Stainless steel, and it has a high flow design, which makes it possible for enough oxygen to reach your engine for more power and performance. 

This MAYASAF 2-in-1 catalytic converter is engineered to work with different vehicles’ computer control monitoring requirements. This means its check engine light will be off while your emission system gives you a long-term performance.

It complies with EPA regulations, but it’s non-carb compliant. So you can’t use it in New York or California or in areas where your vehicle is required to meet California emission standards. 

It comes with a 50,000 miles limited or two years limited warranty. 

Specs 

  • Inlet and outlet (2.5″)
  • Weld-on design 
  • O2 port 
  • 11″ overall length

 

Pros

Universal fitment

High flow design 

Better sound 

O2 Port 

2-in-1 catalytic converter 

Cons

Nil

catalytic converters

  1. MAYASAF 2″ Inlet/Outlet Universal Catalytic Converter, with O2 Port & Heat Shield (EPA Compliant)  

Price: $59

As said earlier, MAYASAF is a brand known for excellent catalytic converters. This is another model of their universal catalytic converter for vehicles with 2″ pipes. This catalytic converter costs about $59, which makes it the cheapest on this list. 

Just like the former, this model is made from HD-Stainless steel too. It has a high flow design, making enough oxygen to reach your engine for more power and performance. 

This catalytic converter is designed to meet OEM standards, so it’s just like buying the original one. 

It has also been engineered to work with multiple vehicles’ computer control monitoring requirements. When it’s fitted in your car, the check engine light will be off while your emission system gets a long-term performance. 

It complies with EPA regulations, but it’s non-carb compliant. This means you can’t use it in New York or California or in areas where your vehicle must meet California emission standards. 

It comes with a 50,000 miles limited or two years limited warranty. 

There is no significant difference between the 2-in-1 MAYASAF universal catalytic and this converter, except their overall length and fitment size. 

Specs

  • 13″ overall length
  • Inlet and outlet (2″)
  • Weld-on design 
  • O2 port 

 

Pros

Universal fitment

High flow design 

Better sound 

O2 Port 

Cons

The single catalytic converter in its package

 

  1. AUTOSAVER88 ATCC0011 (2 Pack) Universal Catalytic Converters with O2 Port

Price: $105

This is another 2-in-1 catalytic converter that also has universal fitment. It has a honeycomb structure which has about 400 cell count. This structure plays a part in its high exhaust flow because it increases the contact between the catalyst and the exhaust gases, allowing more pollutants to be eliminated. 

Besides, its precious metal loading and internal substrates are well-engineered so that you won’t experience MIL code issues. It’s one of the best catalytic converters by this brand. 

Its outer shell is stainless steel, so it has maximum durability. 

It has also been engineered to work with any vehicle control monitoring requirements, so this will keep the check engine light off while your emission system performance remains constant. 

This AUTOSAVER88 ATCC0011 2-in-1 catalytic converter is EPA compliant and OBD II compliant, but non-carb compliant. So, just like the others, you can’t use it in California. 

The manufacturer offers a five years or 50,000 miles limited warranty.

Specs

  • Inlet and outlet (2.5″)
  • 02 port 
  • Weld-on design 
  • 11″ overall length

 

Pros

Universal fitment

02 port 

High flow design 

Plenty cell counts

Cons 

Nil

 

  1. Walker 16299 Ultra EPA Certified catalytic converter 

Price: $250

Walker is a well-known brand of sturdy catalytic converters. This Walker 16299 is one of the best aftermarket catalytic converters, and it has a stainless steel body with an aluminized pipe. 

It also features an OE-design precious metal load and an optimal high-technology washcoat that reduces the tailpipe emissions to match the vehicle application. 

Unlike the other catalytic converters reviewed above, this particular one doesn’t have a universal size, so you don’t need to weld it on the exhaust transmission pipe. Instead, you’ll have to install it with a bolt. It comes with routings, brackets, OE-style hangers, and heat shields for easy installation. 

This difference in installment means you can’t use this Walker 16299 Ultra catalytic converter on every vehicle. However, you can click on the product page link to access the list of cars/models it can fit into. 

It complies with EPA and OBD II regulations, but you can’t drive it in California, but you can in New York. 

Specs 

Click here to check the product page to see the vehicles it works and fits on. 

 

Pros 

Sturdy frame 

Cons 

Non-universal fitment

 

How to Change a Catalytic Converter

Catalytic converters are installed in two ways — either with a bolt or by welding it into the exhaust system pipes. The former is much easier to change with just hand tools and a bit of knowledge. However, welding requires expertise and specific equipment you might not have at home. 

To change the faulty one in your car to one of the best catalytic converters on the list above, you’ll have to take precautions. 

This article will show you how to quickly and safely install a catalytic converter in your car. 

 

catalytic converters 1
catalytic converters 1

Instruments Needed

  • Assortment of wrenches
  • Jack stands
  • Jack
  • Penetrating oil
  • Ratchet extensions and joints
  • Ratchet and socket assortment
  • Safety glasses 

 

Steps

  1. Let the vehicle exhaust cool down, especially if you recently turned it off. Depending on your vehicle’s exhaust system, it should take just a few minutes to cool down, so you don’t get burns on your skin.

To test if the heat has calmed down, you can put on a pair of heavy mechanic gloves and gently brush them against the exhaust tube. If you don’t feel any heat, try repeating the process. After ascertaining it’s cool, you can proceed. 

  1. Set the parking brake, then place wooden blocks or stoppers to block the tires so the car won’t move. 

As a precaution to avoid the accidental grounding of the electrical system, make sure you disconnect the positive battery cable. This should be done before you crawl under the car. 

  1. Lift the vehicle with the jack stands. It should be well raised so you can move under the car freely. Replacing a converter is unlike replacing a tire because you’ll have to raise the whole vehicle off the ground rather than just a corner. Also, make sure the spot your car is parked is leveled because if your car is not stable, it can lead to your death if the jack fails. 
  2. The catalytic converter is located on the underside of your vehicle. You’ll find it near the front and not too far from the middle of the car. It’s usually situated behind the exhaust manifold. 

In some vehicles, you’ll find different catalytic converters. Try to find the faulty one and replace it. If both are faulty, you should opt for one of the best 2-in-1 aftermarket catalytic converters reviewed above. 

  1. Remove the O2 (oxygen) sensor connected to the catalytic converter. You’ll find one or more oxygen sensors on modern cars. To remove the sensors, you’ll use a ratchet wrench and oxygen sensor socket. Put it away after removal. 
  2. If bolted, you’ll pour/spray penetrating oil on the bolts. This will loosen up the bolts significantly if they’re partially corroded, jammed, or rusty. After lubrication, leave it for some minutes. 

Use the right size of wrenches and sockets to remove the nuts or bolts. Use a socket, ratchet, flex joints, or various extensions on one side, while on the other side, you’ll use the wrenches. Make sure you do the removal carefully. 

If welded, you’ll have to cut it out with a Sawzall. Cut it near or on the existing weld lines. If it doesn’t come off after cutting it, you can use a hammer to knock it out gently, but make sure it doesn’t cause a leak on your converter. Also, make sure you disconnect the battery before you start welding. 

  1. Connect the catalytic converter with the exhaust flange gaskets to prevent exhaust leaks.
  2. Now, you can install your aftermarket catalytic converter. Bolt it into place. Make sure you tighten the bolts. Start bolting from the front then to the back with a suitably sized wrench. If the bolts are loose, it can lead to a leak. 

For catalytic converters that require welding, you’ll need a professional-grade welding machine. You’ll also need proper training so you can weld it safely. Then, weld it into place by joining the catalytic converter to the exhaust system pipes at either end. Make sure you create an air-tight secure seal at each weld. 

If the pipes aren’t wide enough, you’ll need to heat them and flare them so that they will fit. If the lines don’t reach one end of the converter, you will need to weld an additional extender pipe to it. Also, you might need to do a partial weld; afterward, you’ll lower the exhaust and finish the top part of the weld. Let the spots you weld cool to a safe temperature before you continue with the welding.

  1. Some vehicles don’t require you to remove the oxygen sensors before changing your catalytic converter, but if yours requires you to, then you’ll have to screw it into place. Check to ascertain that the attached wiring is secure and not damaged because this can cause wrong readings and false “check engine” lights.
  2. Check the installation to see if you did everything correctly because if the converter or oxygen sensor isn’t well connected, it can lead to leaks. 
  3. If you’re still unsure if you did the installation well, you can conduct more advanced tests. It’s very typical to be uncertain because catalytic converters can be tricky parts. You’ll have to take it to a specialist or mechanic to check it out for you. 

 

Conclusion 

We made sure to list five of the best aftermarket catalytic converter with detailed info, as well as the catalytic converter cost, so that you can make a well-informed decision. 

Catalytic converters are tricky parts, so we made sure to include a guide on how to change them with ease. Then, you can do the installation if you have all the equipment needed. 

 

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