Sajeev! Thank you for taking the time to read this. My dad is dealing with some bullsh@t, and we could use your advice. His daily driver is a 2006 Taurus with 155k miles. (Bull huh, I get it! Snort! -SM)
Several months ago it was diagnosed with having a bad catalytic converter. The inspection is up this month and he isn’t sure what to do. The car has been very reliable, only leaving him stranded once when the battery croaked. He got price quotes from our trusted indie mechanic ($1700) and the local Ford dealer ($1800). It’s not clogged (according to both mechanics), so he still drives it everyday, but this situation obviously needs to be rectified soon.
His brother succumbed to colon cancer recently, leaving him with a 2004 Camry with a relatively low 43k miles. The thing is, we both dislike it quite a bit. The relative refinement of the engine and transmission in the Toyota do not make up for the mediocre handling and numb steering (the superiority of the Taurus in those two areas shocked me quite a bit when I drove them back to back). He hasn’t touched the Camry since January, and its not because of the death, he just isn’t a fan.
So is a cat replacement worth it for a Taurus with this mileage?
Alternatively, I’ve though of some scenarios that might be worth discussing:
1. Repair the Ford, keep the Camry. – This is pretty much the status quo. He’ll have the Camry as a backup if he needs it.
2. Sell the Ford, keep the Camry. – Considering the issue at hand, he won’t get much for it. But it becomes someone else’s problem, and the Camry does get better gas mileage.
3. Sell the Ford, sell the Camry. – The most interesting option. I’m putting the value of the bull at $2000 (Its the SEL) and the Camry at $8500 (4 cyl LE, with lots of scratches). That’s a decent chuck of change for another vehicle, and it could get him a brand new car for a low monthly payment. He’ll also be retiring within the next two years, so it would not see the same highway mileage as the bull.
Any ideas? I’d love to hear from you, and I’m sure my dad would too.
Ya know, catalytic converters aren’t usually a problem, even at that mileage. It’s usually a problem with the engine causing a trouble light, but whatever…two mechanics looked at it, so I’ll believe them.
But…a new catalytic converter (aftermarket part) from an exhaust shop (hole in the wall) should be 300 dollars installed, so I feel that you are getting screwed. Don’t believe me? Check out Rock Auto.
I’d keep the Taurus over the Camry because I agree with your comments. After driving a 2006 model shortly after experiencing the then new Camry LE, that is. You should be on the road and fixed for way less than 500 dollars, from what I’m reading here!
More to the point: MAD. VULCAN. POWAH.
Just spoke with my dad, and he is telling me that the $1700 price was for more than just the two cats, and included replacing the y pipes and all four oxygen sensors. He also mentioned that both the indie mechanic and the Ford dealer came to the same conclusion – all those parts need to be replaced. Does this make more sense now, and do you still recommend doing the repairs?
I’m a little surprised that the whole exhaust is shot, but at that mileage and if you live in the Rust Belt…so let’s see.
- The new Y-pipe (CATCO Part # 4184 ) is $350.
- The Cat and associated plumbing (WALKER Part # 53349) is about $270.
- New O2 sensors (about $50 each) is another $200 or so.
The labor involved at a local muffler shop won’t be too much, as these are normally BOLT-ON parts. This should be around $1000, not $1700. I am missing something. You need to go to a proper exhaust shop, not a mechanic/garage.
What say you, Best and Brightest?
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