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Hi. I own a 2002 Toyota Celica. She has been my baby for 5 years, but because I've had 2 children and money is tight I haven't kept up on things. She didn't pass smog and the attendant there at the smog station said it was the catalytic converter. I live in California the state of Fines and over-regulation! California I hear has to have "special", much less affordable converters. So I'm looking for insight on whether this is for sure the case, and also where could I get an affordable cat conv. If it is the only way to pass smog ang get my baby registered and back out on the road (was fined 1000 bux for driving the car to look at an aftermarket cat so I'm in the hole financially) Getting back to work soon and I need my Celica to commute but haven't got the means to pay what the shops ask. I DO have a man and he has fought with me and told me that this is not really a do it yourself repair because of the welding aspect. He says that the current cat is welded on. Does that mean it's a universal? I wonder what is the true level of difficulty for this particular install? Thanks so much, I really appreciate the help.

Answers from the Automotive Experts

Amy Mattinat, Owner and Author at Auto Craftsmen Ltd Greetings Amanda, Yes, California does have very strict emissions standards. With this said, catalytic converters are never cheap. They are filled with expensive precious metals that do the job of taking very toxic waste from your engine and making it not so toxic. If the current cat is welded on, it will take torches to cut it off. Depending on which end it was welded, it may need to be re-welded to attache to the next exhaust piece after the cat. Please know that each vehicle, make, model and year take different catalytic converters. They are all different, which adds to the cost. You may be able to find a shop that would install a cheaper aftermarket catalytic converter. I call these 'one size fits nothing'. They are a pain to install, and have way less precious metals in them - so they don't hold up very well. I'm not sure about your year's cat, but it may also come with one or two sensors. One in front of the cat & one after it. Just for heads up - it may need to have the sensors replaced too. If you don't trust your current shops quote, you can always take it somewhere else for a second opinion and quote. Hope this helps!

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