Question about 2003 Toyota Camry

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Aftermarket Catalytic Converter for 2002 Toyota Solara (camry)

I have a 2002 Toyota Solara. According to a local mechanic, both of my catalytic converters are bad so I need 2 new ones. I do not doubt his analysis. After that statement, he recommends getting the Toyota cat because the aftermarket cat always has problems.

I don't believe that. There are so many people driving around with aftermarket exhausts that I can't believe that one. Anyway, I would like insight on whether this is true. I called another place that does custom exhaust and they aren't allowed to touch the front cat. They recommend I take it to the dealership but they were willing to look at it since the conversation took place on the phone.

I would like the option to install a aftermarket converter if it is going to perform just as well and prevent me from spending $1500 during this economic times.

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  • drwej Feb 05, 2009

    Yes, I live in Maryland so we have tests every 2 years. Sometimes the tests are detailed and other times they are not. Sounds funny but I heard that if your check engine light isn't on, then you automatically pass. I am not sure how true that is but one of my coworkers needed a new converter and his check engine light was on. Right before going in, he used some device, OED II?, to reset/clear the codes and he passed.



    I have 3 cars. For the most part, my tests last about 5 mins. I had one test to take maybe 15 mins. and I still passed. At the time, nothing was wrong with my car so I wasn't surprised. The tests can be vigorous and I believe it has something to do with how detailed the emissions technician wants to be. Anyway...



    Yes, my check engine light is on. Basically, my car was fine without any lights. I did notice heavy exhaust on Mondays when I started my car. It didn't last long so I didn't think much of it. I thought it was because my car sits on weekends because I drive the SUV.



    For the winter, I went in and got 4 tires, radiator drain/fill, and a new serpentine belt. That same day, I used fuel injector cleaner for the first time. I was ready and feeling good! The next day, my check engine came on. I thought maybe they didn't connect a vacuum hose or something properly.



    I took it back to the shop and the diagnostic check came up with 2 codes. The codes referred to both converters. I was surprised that it happened so quick! The mechanic told me that one had a small crack and the other was rusted. Also, he said that I could drive the car but it wouldn't pass emissions. His recommendation is to get it fixed right before emissions.



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You can Install ANY Catalytic Converters that you wish on the Car. There are only Sensors Before the Converters. The only forseen Problem that I can see is: Do you have Smog Tests in the Area Where you live???? If so, You may have no Choice but to Install the Expensive ones or it May not Pass the Emissions Smog Tests. Here in Oklahoma, We do Not have Smog Tests and can Run any Exhaust that we Want But, Not everywhere in the US Is like this. Please Rate My Response! Thanks!

Posted on Feb 04, 2009

  • Travis Humphries
    Travis Humphries Feb 05, 2009

    You could get them Fixed Before Emissions Check But, If you are Like Me, Cash Flow is Few and Far Between Right Now. You can Try getting a Couple of Cans of B12 Chemtool from your Auto Parts Store or Wal-Mart in Automotive. This Cleans the Entire Fuel System and Burns Totally Clean and is Also the Best that I Have Ever Used! Put a Can in the Gas Tank with every fill up or Every Other. If they let yall know when the Inspections are, You can just Pour in a Can and Let it Run for a Little Bit and it should Clean up a lot of the Emmision from the Exhaust and Keep it Running good and Clean. This way you can wait to get these Replaced when you have the Funds available! Please Rate My Response! Thanks!

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It is possible the converter has gone bad but I would be making sure there is not a computer reflash from Toyota to address this problem. Was the check engine light on and did they tell you the code? You can use aftermarket cats but to keep the light off sometimes this must be done. It is what Toyota says in one of their Technical Service Bulletins.......
The Engine Control Module (ECM) (SAE term: Powertrain Control Module/PCM) logic has
been modified to improve this condition.

In layman's terms, the computer software has been updated to keep the light off.

Posted on Feb 04, 2009

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