Lexus Catalytic Converter Buyer's Guide
- A catalytic converter (or cat con) is a device that’s used to convert toxic substances in a vehicle’s exhaust into less harmful compounds.
- This component can typically last for several years, but contamination, overheating, and physical damage can shorten its service life.
- Aside from compatibility, legality, fit, etc., there’s one more thing you need to consider before purchasing a Lexus catalytic converter replacement: choosing between an aftermarket replacement and an OEM part.
- The price of aftermarket Lexus catalytic converter replacements range from $50 to $1370.
Established in 1989 in Nagoya, Aichi prefecture, Japan, Lexus remains one of the most revered luxury car brands today. Lexus vehicles are known for their outstanding quality, reliability, opulent interiors, and supreme riding comfort.
If you own a Lexus, you know that the catalytic converter is one of the most important exhaust system components that you need to maintain properly. How do you spot a faulty catalytic converter and what should you consider before replacing it? This guide will answer these questions and more.
What Is a Catalytic Converter?
A catalytic converter (or cat con) is a device that’s used to convert toxic substances in a vehicle’s exhaust into less harmful compounds. This device is mounted in the vehicle’s exhaust system and contains a ceramic, honeycomb-like interior that’s coated with platinum and palladium. These metals are used as catalysts to convert carbon monoxide into carbon dioxide; hydrocarbons into carbon dioxide and water; and nitrogen oxides back into nitrogen and oxygen.
A catalytic converter can typically last for several years, but contamination, overheating, and physical damage can shorten its service life. Lexus catalytic converter problems may lead to exhaust system failure, poor vehicle performance, and even engine shutdown.
A faulty catalytic converter is characterized by the following symptoms:
- Sluggish engine performance
- Reduced acceleration
- Dark exhaust smoke
- The smell of sulfur or rotten eggs from the exhaust
- Excessive heat under the vehicle
If you encounter the symptoms listed above, it’s best to conduct a thorough diagnosis to pinpoint the exact root cause of the issue before replacing the catalytic converter, Some of the signs listed above may also be caused by other faulty exhaust system components. If you’re not confident with your diagnosis and repair skills, it’s best to have a certified mechanic or technician do the troubleshooting for you.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Lexus Catalytic Converter Replacement
Before purchasing a replacement catalytic converter for your Lexus, make sure that the part is compliant with your state’s emissions regulations. A catalytic converter that’s labeled as “47-state legal” cannot be shipped to California, New York, or Maine because these states require CARB- (California Air Resources Board) compliant catalytic converters. If in doubt, check in with your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to inquire about ordinances and laws.
The replacement catalytic converter that you plan on purchasing should also be compatible with your vehicle’s year and model to ensure a hassle-free installation. It’s also good to note the location, quantity, specific application (OE replacement or performance replacement), and the fit (direct, semi-universal, or universal) of the replacement catalytic converter you need.
Aftermarket vs. OEM Parts: Which Is Better?
Aside from compatibility, legality, fit, etc., there’s one more thing you need to consider before purchasing a Lexus catalytic converter replacement: choosing between an aftermarket replacement and an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) part. What’s the difference between these two and which is the better choice?
Aftermarket replacements are manufactured by third-party manufacturers. Quality-wise, these replacements can go head-to-head with OEM parts, which are made by the vehicle manufacturer or its affiliates.
In terms of variety, aftermarket replacements take the lead because many aftermarket parts manufacturers provide more choices and allow more options for customization than OEMs.
As for accessibility, aftermarket replacements are easier to source, as they can be purchased at stores like CarParts.com for a lower price point than OEM parts. This means that in a pinch, you can rely on the availability of aftermarket parts. Many OEM parts are expensive and sometimes, you’d have to wait for the part that you need because it may be on the backorder.
How Much Is a Replacement Lexus Catalytic Converter?
The price of aftermarket Lexus catalytic converter replacements range from $50 to $1370. This range depends on a number of factors, including the part’s brand and quantity.
To get the best deals on Lexus catalytic converter replacements, look no further than CarParts.com. The site offers a wide variety of cat con replacements that undergo serious quality testing so you can be sure of their effectiveness. Shop at CarParts.com now.