Yes you can take it to a muffler shop and either have it drilled out or replaced. They are bad when they are clogged, so if you are in a state that requires no inspections then I would just have it drilled out to unclog it. it's a whole lot cheaper than the dealer is telling you.
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Remember that cats are made up of precious metals inside-the cheaper ones are cheaper because they are use less of the expensive materials,and your check engine light WILL come on after a short period of time with a cheap cat.
Alternate brand: Magnaflow 53004ca cats for the 2 upfront and used a 94006 for the center one just before the muffler.
They fit perfect and work just fine and are way cheaper than stock.
No check engine lights or anything as someone suggested, LOL! People always with doom and gloom! I never had to change an O2 sensors and the truck is running fine.
there should be 4 sensors in the system two are normal O2 sensors that are located after the cat converter and two are heated sensors HO2S sensors located before the cat converter. Use the special sensor removal/installer tool so that the wires are not damaged . If you only replace d 2 sensors then you may have missed the faulty unit. The check engine light will stay on until you reset it with a scanner
Some companies make aftermarket cat's that are cheaper. (Bosal, eastern catalytic)
Check with www.rockauto.com for ideas
These may not fit perfect, but are usually cheaper, so use a good installer to put it in place.
Also, you might want a second opinion, as there is other issues that can cause a "cat condition."
THAT PARTICULAR CODE IS CAUSED BY A CATALYTIC CONVERTER DEFECT. YOUR OIL BEING LOW SOUNDS MORE LIKE IT COULD BUT MAY NOT POSSIBLY BE YOUR STALLING PROBLEM. IF THE CAT IS STARTING TO GET CLOGGED U WILL START TO GET STALLING MORE ON THE ACCELERATOR THEN OFF. YOUR BACKPRESSURE FROM THE ENGINE NEEDS TO BE CHECKED. THEY SHOULD HAVE NEVER LET U TAKE THE VEHICLE HOME WITHOUT FINDING THE SOURCE OF YOUR OIL LEAK. THE ONLY FLUID ON THIS EARTH THAT DISAPPEARS OVER TIME IS WATER. YOUR OIL IS GOING SOMEWHERE AND IT NEEDS TO BE FIXED. SORRY TO SAY BUT U HAVE MORE THAN ONE PROBLEM. THE CATALYTIC CONVERTER ISSUE NEEDS TO BE FIXED AND YOUR OIL LEAK FOUND. SOME OF THESE DEALERS ARE CROOKS. IF YOUR CAR IS STILL STALLING ALWAYS TRY TO GO BASIC FIRST SOME OF THE SIMPLEST THINGS COULD BE CAUSING YOUR STALLING.
There was an issue with the catalytic converter heat shields, but not for the cats themselves that I am aware of. You don't have to use factory cats though - there are universal cats out there that can be fitted to your car with some cutting and welding of pipes. They are priced starting around $100 each - I'd look into that method.
The vehicle will run fine for a while until that cat goes out all the way, the only thing that might get you away cheaper than $1,000 is a wrecking yard cat, but then you still take risks. If the cat is bad its bad nothing to do but replace it.
I have a 1999 ES 300 with the same problem. I took it to an independent repair center, (Big O Tires). They ran the codes and it told them it was one of three oxygen sensors in the car. There are two sensors for the engine, (one on either side of the V6 engine), and one for the catalytic converter. The bad part is this sensor is located AFTER the cat. converter, which means it could be the converter, (about $1500.00), or the sensor, (about $250.00). After checking all sensors, it was determined it was PROBABLY the sensor after the converter. I had the sensor replaced and so far the lights have not come back on. Seeing that your car is a 2003 model, I really don't think it could be the converter. If you have been dealing with a reputable repair center, go there. Otherwise go to the dealer and see what they say. If they recommend the converter, push for the sensor. That way you are only out $250.00! Good Luck!!!