So, Midas says that the drivers side cat on my '08 needs to be changed out. They quote $1,000. I can find the direct fit Eastern cat online for $232. How difficult is this going to be to change out?
Im going to go ahead and change out the O2 sensors while I have it apart.
I dont think it would be too hard of an install, when i Installed down pipes in my infiniti I did have to torch some bolts out but its do able. Luckily my state doesnt have state inspection and emissions every 4 years so i can get away without having catalytic converters. What are you going to do with the old one?
The purpose of the catalytic converter is to burn any excess fuel so unburned hydrocarbons do not come out of the tailpipe and contribute to air pollution. If your engine is not functioning properly, more hydrocarbons may be making it to the converter and their combustion in the converter could be heating the exhaust. Your mechanic may be right that you need a new one (I can't examine your car from here), but I think I would look at combustion issues (fuel injection or carburetion, mixing, adequate spark, timing...) first to make sure that the real problem is not excess fuel in the exhaust. It is also possible that the exhaust is always hotter coming out of a functioning converter (I confess I don't know what "normal" is in this case - heat is normally added in the converter, but is more or less than that normally conducted out through the metal walls?) and your mechanic is either ignorant or trying to con you - get a second opinion from a reputable shop.
A good converter will usually run 100 degrees F hotter at its outlet than its inlet. Much hotter-200-500 means unburnt fuel is making its way into the exhaust.
My bet is you have fuel not being burnt. I would get a second opinion before throwing money at it.
So, I decided to go with what the vehicle was telling me was wrong and ordered an Eastern passenger side direct fit catalytic converter. Went to Autozone and picked up two new O2 sensors as well.
Good thing I didnt listen to Midas, because the passenger side was obviously clogged (as in melted honeycomb).
Over all changing out the part wasnt too difficult. The catch was that the brace that supports the transmission had to come off. Once that was done it wasnt too bad. Some bolts are tough to get to, but they are reachable and same with the O2 sensor connectors.
If anyone is reading this that is wondering about the drivers side, its much easier to take off and replace.
Interesting. thanks for the information. Just swapped out coils and plugs which led to a misfire on the passenger side (cracked plug) and now I keep geeting the P0420 code. Thought maybe O2 sensors, but scanner says they are okay. Am afraid the misfire sent enough unburnt fuel to the CAT that it fried. Truck seems to run fine, so I do not think I am having any current fuel delivery or misfire issues.
So, I had a bad plug on the passenger side that took a good while to find, with me probably putting ~20 miles on during the process. Replaced the plug and deleted the code. Drove a few days then had a (new OEM) coil go bad on the driver's side. Fixed that. Keep getting the passenger side P0420 code, but not one yet for the driver's side. Fingers crossed. The most aggravating thing is I replaced the plugs and coils chasing another problem that I thought might be a misfire, but was not, and ironically, the effort caused misfires......