When the engine of a vehicle is working, it produces a lot of gases and fumes. These emissions and fuels are harmful to the environment, contributing to pollution. If the engines are left to their own devices without any checks on them, we will observe that air pollution will drastically increase.
This is where a catalytic converter comes in handy. The job of a catalytic converter is to convert the harmful gases being produced by the engine into non-harmful ones. A catalytic converter is as important a component of your vehicle as any other; its use helps not only you but also the environment in which you live. It would also do you well to have a high-quality exhaust system in your car.
A catalytic converter uses different materials such as palladium and rhodium and complex mechanisms to make them work.
Suppose you have noticed issues in your vehicles, such as a bad smell, lower fuel efficiency, startup problems, or poor engine performance. In that case, your catalytic converter has likely become worn out.
It is important to replace a catalytic converter with the symptoms mentioned above as soon as possible. If you are in the market for a new catalytic converter, you’re in luck because we have come up with a list of options for the best catalytic converters to help you decide!
How We Made The List
When designing the list, we kept in mind several different factors that we thought would affect your buying decision, and we have made a comprehensive list in which we have tried to keep a vast range of options available for you! So, whether you are looking for a good value proposition or the best performance, we have got you all covered.
The catalytic converters in this list come from some of the most reputable automobile parts and accessories brands. The converters in this list are all made from high-quality materials, and each option brings its own unique set of offerings for the consumer. When in the market for a catalytic converter, you might also want to check out a resonator for your exhaust.
Factors such as the fittings of the catalytic converters, the emission systems, and the designs have all played a role in the selection process. Throughout the article, we will be helping you understand the functions of all the features so that you can make an informed decision.
We hope that this list will guide you on your search for the best catalytic converter for your vehicle!
Top Three Best Catalytic Converters Comparison Table
Best Catalytic Converter Reviews
The first offering on our list is also the most expensive one. Being the most expensive option, it is also a unique one. Unlike the other catalytic converters mentioned in our list, the MagnaFlow 93419 has a unique design that requires proper tools to ensure that the installation is properly done and that the converter fits in the best manner.
You might be thinking about why you would want to get a converter with such a different design and what good would it do for you. The answer is that while this design makes for an installation process that requires you to work more, the result does wonders. The MagnaFlow has a pipe-like design that does one of the best jobs of allowing the air to flow properly, increasing the efficiency of the converter greatly.
The good thing is that even with the converter’s pipe-like shape, there is no need for cutting, bending, or welding the converter. However, if you ever observe leakages in your car, this converter’s design could be one of the many reasons.
This catalytic converter is surely one of the most premium offerings. The price tag is justified by the quality of the materials used in this converter. The finishing is top quality and will leave you with no cause for complaints. The stainless-steel build with the ribbed design adds to this converter’s long list of features.
The unique design of the converter is EPA compliant, and the placement of the bolts on the converter allows for an easy bolt-on installation. The body also features a heat shield which adds to the product’s durability. The mandrel-bent tubing aids the airflow capability of the converter.
The MagnaFlow 93419 is undoubtedly one of the best options available in the market. It can justify its pricing, and its performance speaks for itself. The build and the classifications make sure that this converter is safe to use and one that will last you long.
- Heating Shield
- Pipe-like design
- EPA compliant
- Efficient airflow
- One-of-a-kind design
- It might have some leakages
The Walker 16360 is one of the most popular options for a catalytic converter. It sits in the medium price range, making it accessible to a large market segment. It offers many things you expect from a high-priced converter, so if you’re looking for the best of both worlds, the Walker 16360 has got you covered.
The Walker 16360 features a direct fit design. It does not require any specialization for its installation, and the whole process is relatively straightforward. It is a compact-sized converter and is well suited for you if you feel a lack of space in your car.
The converter is also a well-built piece of equipment. It is strong and long-lasting; it owes this durability to its thick OE-style flanges, hangers, and brackets. The design also features an aluminized heat shield that protects the undercarriage of the heat produced by the converter and ultimately increases the convert’s durability.
While doing all these things, the convert also works perfectly fine in all the main functions expected from a catalytic converter. It increases the quality of the emissions according to the EPA standard. Some catalytic converters cause noise problems once installed, but this is not the case with the Walker 16360.
Overall, the Walker 16360 works well in providing you with great performance at a great price point, and it is easily a candidate for the best catalytic converter that you can buy for your car.
- EPA compliant
- The form factor makes it versatile
- Aluminized heat shields
- Easy installation
- It fits right into the exhaust
- Improved sound performance
- The flange might be too wide for some vehicles
Third, one of the cheapest catalytic converters you can buy is on our list. The Autosaver ATCC0016 is all about performance and build quality. As soon as you put this on your car, you will notice an instant change in your vehicle’s performance.
The internal workings of the converter feature honeycomb ceramic substrates. These substrates have a porous structure that increases the reaction area by ensuring that there are more than enough catalysts on the surface. This helps increase the conversion rate and, consequently, increases the converter’s performance.
The Autosaver ATCC0016 is the first option on our list, consisting of a universal fit. It fits vehicles with a 2-inch outer diameter exhaust pipe. However, you may need to use some cutting and welding to make this converter fit. You will probably need a professional to come and make sure that the installation is properly.
The body is built of heavy-duty stainless steel. This build can resist all sorts of damages such as heat, corrosion, and structural degradation. It is a sturdy body catalytic converter made from high-quality materials at a price point so low that it is an offer that you can’t refuse.
On top of all this, the catalytic converter is also EPA certified. It is thought that the design elements and the innovation within this product have made it eligible for the qualification. One thing to note is that this converter is illegal in the state of California.
These reasons combine to make an offering that is a great bang for your buck.
- Honeycomb ceramic substrate
- Heavy-duty stainless-steel body
- EPA compliant
- Long-lasting and durable
- Increased performance
- Great value
- Illegal in California
The Yitamotor Catalytic Converter is one of the best options in the market for someone who wants to have an easy experience installing and using a catalytic converter in their car. Alongside this, the converter offers every feature you would expect it to.
The Yitamotor Catalytic Converter is designed in a manner that is durable and, at the same time, highly efficient. It consists of an outer shell made out of stainless steel and contains internal substrates and metal loadings which allow for as efficient an experience as possible.
Even though the installation experience is a relatively easy one, you might need to use some welding to achieve the optimal fit. Hence it is advised to use a professional’s help if possible.
It is also important to keep in mind that this converter’s fitting is specific to vehicle models, making it necessary for you to research beforehand whether or not it will be able to work with your vehicle.
Yitamotor has created this catalytic converter with quality in its mind. They have attempted to make use of the best materials, and they have also aimed to make a design that can boost your vehicle’s performance. This commitment to their product has led them to get the converter to meet EPA standards.
The catalytic converter meets the OE’s quality and performance standards and exceeds them in every way.
Hence, if you are looking for a product that is well built and one which will increase your vehicle’s performance and efficiency, this is one of the best catalytic converters for you!
- Stainless steel shell
- EPA compliant
- Vehicle specific fitting
- Easy installation
- High-quality materials
- Increased performance
- It may not be the correct fit for your vehicle
The Walker CalCat 80708 aims to offer its user a consistent level of performance throughout its life cycle. It is one of the better options available for you, an all-around performer.
The build of the converter focuses on practicality and durability. The Walker CalCat 80708 comes with many options, making the design of the converter a customizable one and one that you can adjust easily according to your needs. The converter features expandable bushings, making it easy for you to fit the converter in the best possible manner. However, you will still need to use welding to achieve the optimal fit.
The flexibility of this converter makes it an option that can be used on various vehicles, making it one of the most accessible options available in the market. On top of that, the build is made from stainless steel and has aluminized pipes/ heat shields that increase the converter’s longevity.
All the options which we have mentioned in this list are EPA compliant, whereas the Walker CalCat 80708 is a CARB compliant catalytic converter.
The Walker CalCat 80708 uses a high-technology wash coat which allows the converter to provide you with a much higher level of performance when compared to an EPA compliant catalytic converter. It achieves its consistency through the coating process to apply the precious metals to the inner system.
Overall, the Walker CalCat 80708 is one of the most reliable options available in the market for you and one you should surely check out.
- CARB compliant
- Customizable design
- High-technology wash coat
- Consistent performance
- Compatible with a wide range of vehicles
- Illegal for use in California
Things to Consider When Buying Best Catalytic Converter
Buying a catalytic converter can sometimes be a very tricky process. However, you can help yourself by knowing what to look for when you are making your purchase. There are a lot of factors that come into play while looking for a catalytic converter. You might hear terms that you aren’t familiar with, making it more difficult than it already is to go ahead and come up with an informed decision.
Thus, you need to stock up on your knowledge of catalytic converters before deciding which one you should be getting for yourself.
Here is our guide of things you should consider when you are in the market for a catalytic converter.
Know your application
When buying a catalytic converter, one of the most important things to keep in mind is how you will be using the converter and on what thing you will be employing it. To know this, you have to find out the necessary details about your vehicle, such as its make and model.
After you’re done with this, you can search for catalytic converters that are compatible with your vehicle and are specific to your needs.
You will need to make sure which grade your vehicle is following when deciding upon your catalytic converter.
For vehicles following the EPA certification, the converters in them need to follow the Heavy Metal Grade OBDII. Whereas for a vehicle following the CARB certification, you have to ensure that the converter is an OEM Grade OBDII.
Identifying the emission levels
Post-1996, almost all manufactured cars have had a sticker called the Vehicle Emissions Control Information Tag. The manufacturers could place this tag on various areas depending on the type of car you have.
With the help of this tag, you will be able to identify which certification your vehicle is following, whether it is the EPA certification or the CARB one.
The oxygen sensor in a catalytic converter plays the all-important role of letting your vehicle know the levels of the exhaust gas and then working on having the appropriate ratio of air to fuel in your vehicle’s emissions.
These sensors are one of the biggest reasons why a catalytic converter may not be working as well as before. If the sensor is not working properly, it affects the whole system and ends up ruining the converter. Hence, you need to know which sensor your converter has and whether it is the right choice for you or not.
The cost of a catalytic converter will also play a huge role in your buying decision because, in the end, the most important thing is whether or not you can afford the converter, and if you can, will it be worth it?
As is evident from our list, the prices of catalytic converters can vary greatly. You can opt for converters that are extremely cheap and don’t even touch the triple digits, or you can splurge and go all out on some of the more premium and higher-end offerings in the market.
One thing to keep in mind is always to buy a converter made from high-quality materials, ensuring the product’s durability. Don’t try to save money on a converter that won’t last you long; instead, go for an option that will last you for a long time.
Frequently Asked Questions For Best Catalytic Converter
- Why could my catalytic converter fail?
Ans. There is a multitude of reasons why your catalytic converter could fail. Let’s go over some of the most critical ones. The good thing is that you can sometimes fix your catalytic converter without replacing it. However, that is usually not the case.
Firstly, your converter can have failed because of the damage caused by bumpy roads. Often, the converter collides with objects on the road, which damages the workings of its system. The best way to reduce the effect of road damage is to use a catalytic converter made out of durable materials. Road damage also damages the substrate leaving you with no choice but to replace the converter. You could help prevent this by using a good shocks system in your vehicle.
Another big reason is overheating. Overheating can be caused by various reasons, such as faulty plugs. The best way to counter overheating is to try a converter with a heat shield inside it.
There are several other causes, including a failing oxygen sensor we discussed above, leakage in the fuel injection system, and a worn-out carburetor. It is important to maintain the catalytic converter for its increased lifespan and one way of doing so is by using a catalytic converter cleaner.
Try always to keep your vehicle safe from these factors to ensure that your catalytic converter lasts for a long time; otherwise, it may be a possible reason why your vehicle would have trouble starting up.
- What is a substrate?
Ans. The material inside the catalytic converter shell is known as the substrate. There are two different types of substrates classified as ‘Pelletized’ and ‘Monolithic.’ Both have their methods of achieving their desired goal.
- What is the difference between an EPA and a CARB certification?
Ans. Catalytic converters that are EPA-compliant are intended for use in automobiles that have received EPA or Federal emissions certification.
In the states of California and Colorado, you must install a CARB-compliant catalytic converter on all cars that are CARB emissions certified. CARB-compliant converters have more catalyst material, which allows them to convert pollutants more effectively and meet tighter emission reduction criteria.
To choose the correct catalytic converter, check the vehicle’s emissions control information tag and review your state’s aftermarket converter rules.
- Why is there a bad smell coming from my exhaust?
Ans. Whenever you sense a bad smell coming from your vehicle’s exhaust, you should know that it is probably caused by the fuel condition of a cold engine. As soon you warm up your vehicle’s engine, you will notice that this smell will go away and is not a permanent problem.
It will be helpful for you if you actively keep a check on your car in the cold weather.
This article has gone over some of the best options available for catalytic converters in the market these days. We have discussed a lot of the technical aspects of these converters and have tried to explain the functions and terminologies associated with catalytic converters.
We hope that this article has been helpful for you on your journey of finding the best catalytic converter for your vehicle, and we hope that you will be able to make a decision with which you remain satisfied for a long time.
Keep in mind all the factors that we have discussed when you choose and go for a converter tailored according to your needs!