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All-purpose catalytic converters

As the price becomes the main driver all-purpose catalytic converters become more and more popular since they are much cheaper than the original parts. Can all-purpose converters really replace the original ones? What should you consider when selecting a catalytic converter for your car?

Problems with catalytic converters almost always end up with a replacement which is not cheap due to a high price of the converter itself and a relatively high cost of the car mechanic service. To save money people more and more often decide to buy all-purpose catalytic converters instead of those dedicated originally for their cars. The main reason for that is the difference between the price of the original part and the all-purpose one which may reach even 60%. Does an all-purpose catalytic converter really fit any car type?

All-purpose catalytic converter vs. pipe diameter

Unfortunately an all-purpose converter will never be suitable for all car models as the exhaust pipe diameter plays a significant role here. This means that two cars of the same engine capacity may have different pipe diameters. Factory-installed pipes may be of 2.5” or 3.5” diameter. Therefore, an improperly selected and, apparently, all-purpose converter may prove to be “no purpose” at all.

Ceramic or metal core?

Material of the catalytic converter core is another story. Available are metal cores which are theoretically more durable but also more expensive or ceramic ones being the conventional, non- corroding ones, yet susceptible to mechanical damage. Therefore, you should always choose a type which suits your needs and expectations.

Check the flow capacity

The third aspect to be considered when buying an all-purpose converter is the flow capacity. Usually, the flow capacity of an all-purpose catalytic converter ranges between 1,000 or 1,200 cm3 and 2,000 or 2500 cm3 for turbo-charged cars. Therefore, bigger engines will require the use of several converters at the same time. What is important is that the converters are sized step-wise the step being approx. 200 cm3 and the converter to be installed must not be of a size larger than the required one to ensure long operation of the lambda sensor. Therefore, the selection of a proper model is so important.

Are all-purpose catalytic converters worth buying?

That is a question you have to answer yourself. Sometimes it is better to pay some extra money for an original converter just to rest assured that it will perfectly fit your car rather than to consider one more time the purchase of an all-purpose part which will, maybe, prove fine that time. All in all, part of the price you pay for the replacement of the converter can be recovered by selling the converter you remove at a collection point.

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