Don’t let a minor automotive maintenance project cause your Prius to release harmful emissions. Find out how catalytic converters work, where to replace them and the common signs of a damaged system. Continue to enjoy your eco-friendly Toyota with an easy replacement task.

What Is a Catalytic Converter?

This small-but-vital component in your car uses reduction and oxidation to reduce emissions. Instead of emitting nitrogen oxides and other harmful contaminants, your car will emit nitrogen, carbon dioxide and water vapor.

This catalyst occurs by channeling exhaust fumes through the honeycomb structure of your converter. It’s safely tucked away under your vehicle and is positioned in the middle of the exhaust system.

A catalytic converter is both helpful and required. Shop for a 2008 Toyota Prius catalytic converter replacement if you notice any physical damage, clogging or other signs that it’s time to replace this essential component. Many states have emissions tests, which you will fail without a working catalytic converter.

Replacement Costs of a Catalytic Converter

A Toyota Prius catalytic converter uses rare materials, so it’s more of an investment than it may appear. This small component in your exhaust system can cost between $200 and $750. If you go to a mechanic to request a replacement, you can pay up to $2,475.

Replace your own converter to save money and make sure your car is ready for your next commute. This process requires intermediate DIY skills and some specialty tools. Head to your local auto parts store or shop online for a new converter, gasket, hangers and the right tools. Ask at a local store about a free tool loan program to save money on this process.

Signs of a Damaged Catalytic Converter

Don’t wait until you can’t start your car to inspect your catalytic converter. Even a small leak can affect the emissions of your Prius, so look for these signs of a damaged catalytic converter:

  • Dark smoke from the exhaust
  • Check engine light turns on
  • Reduced acceleration
  • Strong sulfur smell
  • Excessive heat

Dark smoke is a sign that the catalyst is no longer working. This could be due to a leak in your exhaust or a damaged catalyst material in the converter. If the converter doesn’t have any noticeable damage or excess contamination, there may be another exhaust issue.

Your check engine light may illuminate if there’s a clog in the catalytic converter. This is usually caused by an oxygen sensor before or after the converter not receiving the correct information.

Acceleration issues can be a sign of a clogged exhaust system, with the catalytic converter being a likely culprit.

A clogged converter will heat up far more than normally while your engine is running. This sign is more difficult to notice. Don’t attempt to crawl under your vehicle while it’s running or just after you park it to check the heat.

Where To Purchase a Replacement Converter?

Whether your converter is clogged, damaged or rusted out, head to a reliable auto parts store for a replacement. Review the steps to replace your own Toyota Prius catalytic converter for a cost-effective DIY project.


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