Motorists Choke On Price Of Catalytic Converters

Catalytic Converters are costing motorists a small fortune. That’s the small box on the front exhaust pipe of a vehicle that reduces emissions and converts those nasty gases in to a less harmful puff of smoke.’ Cats’ as they are fondly known, have become one of the most common failure part on a modern vehicles.

All Cars and Vans supplied after August 1992 is fitted with a Catalytic converter. A normal lifespan For a ‘Cat’ would be just three or four years. Faulty ‘Cats’ are often picked up on the MOT when a vehicle fails the emissions test. Another sign is a rattling noise where the “Cat” has been dented and the ceramic breaks away inside. Some motorists will notice a loss of power in mid range acceleration as the Cat breaks up. Cats can fail due to a simple engine misfire. Running a vehicle on the wrong type of fuel is also enough to kill a Cat.

Replacing a Catalytic Converter is normally no more difficult than replacing a piece of the Exhaust system.

Just four or five nuts and bolts and a spare half hour is all that is normally required.

Dealers such as Audi, BMW and Mercedes and many of the Japanese car dealers can charge over a thousand pounds for a Catalytic Converter. Other vehicle manufacturers rarely leave motorists with much change from four hundred pounds. The Manufacturers excuse for the cost of a Catalytic Converter is that they are manufactured from precious metals such as platinum and rhodium and this is reflected in the high price.

One of the largest suppliers of replacement Catalytic Converters disagrees and says the Dealers are making a mint out of Motorists.

Mark Cornwall from Mail Order specialist Carparts-direct.co.uk said, “Dealers are making a killing on Cats - the car manufacturers are charging up to three times the price for a Catalytic Converter. Mercedes charge around £1,200 for some of their cats. We supply a replacement unit, manufactured to the Mercedes original equipment specification, complete with a two year warranty for less than £300. We even offer free carriage to the customer’s door anywhere in the UK and still manage to make an adequate profit.”

There is one thing worse than needing to replace a Catalytic Converter on your vehicle. That’s if you need to replace two; Some high powered vehicles have a pair of Cats fitted. That’s double the cost for some motorists and twice the profit for the dealers!

1 September 2005 Staff
 

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