Catalytic Converter – Best Converter You Can Install At Home Catalytic Converter – Best Converter You Can Install At Home

The amount of fumes that come from a motor vehicle has been drastically reduced thanks to advances in technology and science. Decades ago, cars lacked the same kind of filtration for emissions that come as a standard today. A catalytic converter is a major component of keeping automobiles emissions-compliant in today’s market.

The catalytic converter is prone to degrading and will eventually need to be replaced if the rest of your vehicle survives long enough.

We don’t want you to have to scour the internet for a fix, so we chose the five best catalytic converters for you to install at home.

What Does a Catalytic Converter Do for My Vehicle?

Simply put, the catalytic converter is like a giant air filter for the fumes emanating from your vehicle for the atmosphere.

Combustion engines produce many different fumes that are harmful to the environment, animals, and people who come in contact with a motor vehicle.

With a catalytic converter in place, your vehicle’s emissions are reduced. This helps it comply with federal regulations and maintains a safer, more efficient system of vehicle emissions with so manydrivers on the road.

As you pack on the miles to your vehicle, the catalytic converter’s ability to withhold fumes from the atmosphere will decrease, and you will need to put on a replacement.

If you know how to replace the converter, you can potentially save a big chunk of money on labor by fitting the part yourself.

How to Look for a Catalytic Converter 

When you decide to buy a catalytic converter and put it in yourself, you’ll want to look for a few different factors when buying. We’ve listed them here for your convenience.

Cost

Okay, easy answer, but seriously – you don’t want to blow your entire budget on one part of a vehicle. Cars get expensive very quickly especially if you’re working with an older model vehicle.

You can save quite a bit if you decide to go with a third-party manufacturer and skip the catalytic converter made by the original manufacturer.

We’ve chosen several aftermarket converters that won’t give you any noticeable difference in performance, other than the dollar amount that remains in your pocket after you buy.

Installation

Making a DIY project out of a catalytic converter can be time-consuming if you don’t know exactly what you’re doing. Some catalytic converters are designed to fit any vehicle, and others have specific makes and models in mind when they are released.

If you understand how to fit one converter into its respective vehicle in advance, it will save you a ton of fumbling, forcing, and (probably) swearing as you struggle with putting the converter in place. Buying a universally fitting model will save you a bunch of time in the installation process.

Shelf Life

You should purchase a catalytic converter that is built to last. When choosing a converter, look into the construction of the entire product, and choose one that hasn’t been cobbled together with subpar material.

You’ll have to compare the price with the material, as some catalytic converters are going to be expensive just by nature of the material they are built with. The value of the converter and its long-lasting durability might be worth shelling out the extra money.

Performance

A catalytic converter should not only physically fit into a slot, but you should notice the increase in engine performance as well. If you own a car or truck that’s been around for a while, you should stick to a close match to avoid any performance issues, especially since the design might be so drastically different from an aftermarket product.

What Type of Catalytic Converter Should I Buy?

There are several types of catalytic converters designed for different types of vehicles, whether the converters are aftermarket or OEM models.

The type of catalytic converter you purchase is important, as buying the wrong one might force you to go looking for another. You don’t want to go spending more money and time on one piece of equipment that you need to replace sooner than later.

Two-Way Converters

This catalytic converter is an older design, and still used in diesel engines. Normal cars stopped utilizing two-way converters in 1981 because of how little the converters were able to remove certain types of emissions from exhaust pipes.

Two-way converters use oxygen to convert unburned hydrocarbons to water and carbon dioxide. Through this process, there are two reactions, and thus you get the name of the two-way converter.

Diesel Converter

Diesel converters are exactly what they sound like: a catalytic converter used in diesel engines. For most diesel converters, they can reduce the amount of soot that leaks into the air from all of the exhaust gases emanating from diesel engines. Diesel oxidational catalysts use oxygen to turncarbon monoxide into carbon dioxide, eliminating both odor and carbon particles.

Three-Way Converter

This kind of catalytic converter takes the reactions seen in a two-way converter and adds another important reaction to the process. Carbon dioxide is created from both carbon monoxide and unburned hydrocarbons, creating a gas that isn’t nearly as harmful as the original emissions from an engine.

Picking the Best Catalytic Converter for You

Let’s get to why you came here: the best catalytic converter to install at home. Put on your work gloves and get ready to make a decision!

Flowmaster 2230130 223 Series 3-inch Universal Catalytic Converter

Flowmaster 2230130 Catalytic Converter Univ 223 Srs. S.D. 3.00"
  • Catalytic converter
  • Excellent flow characteristics
  • Engineered to keep the "MIL" light off

If you’re someone who doesn’t mind letting your neighbors know that the loud engine is all yours, this catalytic converter might be for you.

The Flowmaster gives you a performance boost without sacrificing any of the emissions filtering you should expect in a catalytic converter. It’s also manufactured so that it won’t trigger any malfunction codes when hooked up to a diagnostics tool.

Being a universal model, you won’t have any trouble slipping this converter into your vehicle of choice. Even older cars will accept this converter as if it was made by the manufacturer. The quality of the crafting in the Flowmaster ensures that you won’t see a drop in engineperformance once you have it installed.

With an efficient flow, you can be sure that you’ll get the most out of your engine while not contributing any excess pollution to the atmosphere around you.

You shouldn’t expect anything less than top performance out of a catalytic converter made from stainless steel. The material means it not only does it job with emissions, but it also won’t succumb to the elements during a particularly brutal season.

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Eastern 70318 Catalytic Converter

Eastern 70318 Catalytic Converter (Non-CARB Compliant)
  • This item is not for sale in California/Non CARB compliant
  • Converter Body Material: Stainless Steel.

Choosing the Eastern catalytic converter means that your truck or SUV stays compliant with EPA standards. 

Easternhas been around for quite a while, so they know what they’re doing with auto parts. Furthermore, they’ve adapted with evolving standards for what vehicles can emit. Like others on this list, the Eastern catalytic converter guarantees that your engine performance won’t drop despite a more efficient filtration system.

Thanks to unidirectional fitting, the Eastern catalytic converter can be positioned any way and still fit in your vehicle. You can be sure that the performance and filtration won’t be affected by which direction you choose to install this converter.

One of our favorite aspects of the Eastern model are the dual heat shields, found on the top and bottom of the catalytic converter.

Extreme temperatures, especially hot ones, will degrade a converter more quickly with time. The heat shields on the Eastern catalytic converter help to conceal the unit and lengthen its lifespan. With these shields, you can also benefit from protection against shocks caused by suddenturbulence in the road.

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Walker 16370 Direct Fit Catalytic Converter

Walker 16370 Ultra EPA Certified Catalytic Converter
  • EPA COMPLIANT - Designed for use on OBDII vehicles, 1996 & newer. Not legal for sale or...
  • DIRECT-FIT DESIGN - Direct-fit bolt-on replacement solution with OE-style hangers,...
  • KEEPS CHECK ENGINE LIGHT OFF FOR EMISSIONS CODES - OE-style high-technology washcoat and...

Another stainless steel model, the Walker catalytic converter will fit your vehicle as if you had ordered it directly from the manufacturer.

The construction in the stainless steel means you won’t notice any extra erosion from elements that come out of any seasonal weather changes. The steel can expand and contract without running into any problems with your engine’s performance.

Unlike other catalytic converters, you can adjust the bushing on this one.

With the direct fit name, the Walker model is easily adjustable to any vehicle, including trucks and SUV’s. If you need to make any modifications, it won’t cut into the performance of yourengine or the filtration systems for emissions.

You can expect the Walker catalytic converter to last quite a while, as it’s backed by a 5-year, 50,000-mile warranty.

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MagnaFlow 99205HM Universal Catalytic Converter 

MagnaFlow 99205HM Universal Catalytic Converter (Non CARB Compliant)
  • Stainless steel construction
  • Federal emissions compliant design; Not Air Tube Kit Adaptable
  • Formulated for gas and diesel applications

You won’t be able to fail an emission test with the Magnaflow catalytic converter. It’s designed for all vehicles made after 1996, and the materials ensure that you don’t see damage taken from structural problems or heat distortion.

The MagnaFlow can be fitted to any type of engine, from regular car engines to diesel trucks.

By incorporating metallic substrate, this catalytic converter works perfectly with just about any type of vehicle you can imagine. The seams are all tightly welded, making this one of the sturdier catalytic converters we have come across in our tests.

If you’re looking for a catalytic converter that can do it all, and you might want to swap it between vehicles if necessary, the MagnaFlow is an excellent universal choice.

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Walker 15036 Standard Universal Catalytic Converter

MagnaFlow 99205HM Universal Catalytic Converter (Non CARB Compliant)
  • Stainless steel construction
  • Federal emissions compliant design; Not Air Tube Kit Adaptable
  • Formulated for gas and diesel applications

The second Walker catalytic converter on our list upholds the same standards of the company name. We picked this converter if you’re looking for a perfect fit for an older vehicle, as the filtration works incredibly well on vehicles manufactured before 1995.

This universal converter is remarkable in its versatility.

Whether you’re operating a car or a truck, you’ll have no trouble finding compatibility and parity with this catalytic converter.

You’ll also appreciate the ultra-thick hangers and brackets that come on the converter. This makes installation a breeze, saving you time and energy that you can devote to other parts of your vehicle.

The Walker converter is built with a combination of stainless steel and aluminum. The pair of materials helps to keep the cost down while maintaining a quality build for the catalytic converter. This isn’t the top choice for our list, but if you’re looking to save a few dollars for a replacement, you won’t want to pass this one up.

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Finalizing Your Choice and a Quick Note about California

While each catalytic converter on this list is crafted well, our pick has to be the Flowmaster. It comes with a durability that simply outclasses everything else that we tested.

For the price, you won’t be able to beat the performance you get from your engine, which you’ll notice as soon as you install it. The price  is higher than the others, but you’ll notice a return in gas mileage as a nice trade.

Be careful if you live in California, as the California Air Resources Board (CARB) has its own set of standards when it comes to installing catalytic converters on vehicles. You’ll need to check with each individual manufacturer to see if their product can be sold in or shipped to Californiabefore you decide to install.

If you aren’t sure about the legality of a catalytic converter, California maintains a databaseon their website that allows you to search for the correct converter. You will enter the make, model year, model, and engine size of your vehicle. 

From there, the results will show you which catalytic converter is both compatible with your vehicle and complaint with the CARB regulations.

We hope you have found this list to be a huge boost in your search for a catalytic converter that you can install yourself.

Repairing one of the requirements on your vehicle doesn’t have to be an overly stressful experience – especially if you know how to install it yourself.

When you pick the correct catalytic converter, you can be confident that your vehicle will pass all necessary emissions standards for an inspection. Don’t skimp on a subpar part – make sure to use our guide to choose wisely!

See also:

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Best Car Battery Available In The Market 

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