What are the Best Catalytic Converters?

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A lot of people doubt the importance of replacing a bad catalytic converter. Many car owners are also not that eager to replace their faulty catalytic converters because replacement could cost hundreds of dollars, depending on the brand. But no matter how much it costs, the catalytic converter plays a vital role in reducing your vehicle’s toxic emissions, so replacing it when it’s broken is absolutely necessary.

bottom view of a car's catalytic converter
Catalytic converter helps your vehicle to be efficient and environmental friendly.

7 Best Catalytic Converters on the Market Today

Without a properly functioning catalytic converter, your car won’t pass an emissions test, which means you may not be able to drive your vehicle at all. When it comes to buying a catalytic converter replacement, remember to take note of the emission rating. Some cats are legal in 47 states and can’t be used in specific states with stricter emission standards, like California.

To further help you choose the perfect catalytic converter for your ride, we listed seven of the best replacement catalytic converters in the market to date:

Magnaflow 51356 Semi-Universal Fit

One thing that makes the Magnaflow’s 51356 Catalytic Converter a popular choice among car owners is its flexibility to fit in both gasoline and diesel applications. It features a clamshell-type body constructed from high-grade stainless steel using CNC robotic manufacturing for top-notch durability.

The main advantage of going with the Magnaflow 51356 cat is it can help increase power and improve fuel consumption. It comes with a 2.5-inch inlet and outlet and a ceramic substrate for even exhaust flow.

Features & Specifications

Compatible with: 1996-2014 models from both American and imported brands like Ford, Dodge, Chrysler, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Honda, and Volvo. It also fits notable models from Mercury, Lincoln, and Plymouth. For a complete list of compatible vehicles, visit the Magnaflow 51356 Semi-Universal Fit product page.

Evan Fischer 960301

The Evan Fischer 960301 is a catalytic converter that’s easy to install, thanks to its direct-fit configuration. This model doesn’t require any modification or additional part to install. The material is aluminized steel with silver powder coating and features an OEM-grade Y-shaped pipe design.

Evan Fischer 960301
The Evan Fischer 960301 is 47-State Legal.

Features & Specifications

Compatible with: 1999-2005 Chevrolet Silverado 1500, GMC Sierra 1500; 1999-2000 Chevrolet Silverado 2500; 2000-2006 GMC Yukon, Yukon XL 1500, Chevrolet Tahoe; 2001-2006 Chevrolet Suburban; 2002-2005 Chevrolet Escalade, Avalanche 1500

Walker 15634

This catalytic converter from Walker features a stainless-steel oval body with aluminized piping. It comes with a built-in heat shield and thick OEM-rated welded flanges, brackets, and hangers. Despite having no O2 sensor and air tubes, the Walker 15634 is Federal EPA-certified. If you have enough DIY auto repair knowledge, you should be able to install it without the assistance of a mechanic.

Features & Specifications

Compatible with: The Walker 15634 applies mostly on Jeep models like the 1986-1992 Cherokee and Comanche; 1986-1990 Wagoneer; and 1987-1992 Wrangler. Aside from Jeep, it also fits 1988-1992 Eagle Premiere and 1990-1992 Dodge Monaco models.

Magnaflow 27402

Magnaflow catalytic converters are known for their top-notch quality. The Magnaflow 27402 is an OBD-II-compliant catalytic converter for newer-vehicle applications. It is constructed using high-grade stainless steel with a metallic finish for a clean outer shell. It is Federal EPA-certified but not compliant with CARB standards. This cat can keep the Check Engine Light off by effectively eliminating emissions codes.

Features & Specifications

Compatible with: 1997-2003 Acura CL; 1998-1999 Honda Accord; 1999-2003 Acura TL

Walker 16370

The 16370 catalytic converter from Walker belongs in the mid-priced category. It is an OBD-II-compliant converter, which means it can fit 1996 and newer vehicles. Engineered to cater to special vehicle emissions, the design allows you to easily bolt the assembly onto the existing exhaust system.

Features & Specifications

Compatible with: 1998-2002 Honda Accord (LX, DX, and EX); 2000-2002 Honda Accord SE; 2001-2002 Honda Accord Value Package

Walker 16468

Walker’s 16468 direct-fit catalytic converter is a seven-pound OBD-II-compatible OE replacement with a flange-to-flange fitment. Its weight makes it a perfect choice for improving overall performance without compromising the power-to-weight ratio. It features an easy bolt-on installation that allows it to fit snugly into the existing exhaust system. The Walker 16468 also comes with a heat shield and a compact design for a more organized undercarriage.

Walker 16468
The Walker 16468 has a compact design and comes with a heat shield.

Features & Specifications

Compatible with: 2005-2011 Nissan Frontier; 2005-2010 Nissan Pathfinder, Xterra; 2012 Nissan NV1500 (additional parts may be needed for fitment)

Magnaflow 99006HM

The Magnaflow 99006HM is one of the best high-flow catalytic converters on the market. It is made using high-quality stainless steel and comes with a pre-built heat shield for superb heat insulation. Inside the assembly are ceramic honeycomb catalysts that maximize airflow without compromising the chemical reaction that breaks down the harmful elements. This cat passes all EPA requirements and may be used on both gasoline and diesel vehicles.

Features & Specifications

Compatible with: It fits a wide range of Chevrolet models from 1996 to 2013, as well as notable models from brands GMC, Mazda, Lexus, Toyota, Dodge, and Nissan. To get the complete list of vehicle fitments, visit the Magnaflow 99006HM product page.

How to Choose the Right Catalytic Converter

The catalytic converter, or simply the “cat”, was mandated by the mid-1970s with the goal of reducing air pollution from vehicles. The catalytic converter converts harmful toxins by means of chemical reactions known as reduction and oxidation, or “redox.” It does this using catalyzing materials made of platinum, rhodium, and palladium.

Although all catalytic converters use the same precious metals as their catalysts, not all have the same emission rating. This is important to note as there are different emission standards per state. This means that the first thing you need to do when replacing your catalytic converter is to make sure the one you’re planning to buy complies with your state regulations.

You should also check your car’s emission level, which you can find on the Vehicle Emission Control Information sticker. You can find the sticker in one of these locations:

a 3d model of a catalytic converter
The catalytic converter converts harmful toxins by means of chemical reactions known as reduction and oxidation, or “redox.”

The sticker should tell you whether your car complies with the Federal EPA, California (CARB), or both, which applies to all 50 states.

Aside from that, you also need to determine the correct converter grade for your car, especially if it comes with an onboard diagnostics II (OBD-II). These grades are made up of standard, heavy metal, and OEM, and would depend on the certification found on the emission sticker. Lastly, don’t forget about checking the oxygen sensor because this is important when determining the ideal fuel and air mixture for your vehicle.

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