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  1. #1
    William_Wallace's Avatar
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    Aftermarket vs OEM catalytic Converters

    So I have been chasing down and praying my P0430 and P0420 cats efficiency below threshold codes were due to a vacuum leak with unmetered air getting in somewhere after the maf sensor. I put in new spark plugs, cleaned maf, Put in new O2 sensors, upper and lower intake gaskets, throttle body gasket, pcv and new purge valve and Iím still getting codes. So my hopping and praying didnít work and Iím gonna have an expensive repair Iím gonna install myself.

    Question is aftermarket I would get either eastern or walker or should I get ford OE parts vehicle is 2013 Ford Edge 120000

  2. #2

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    Re: Aftermarket vs OEM catalytic Converters

    I went through this with a local mechanic who said he wouldn`t do anything but the OEM, he said the aftermarket stuff doesn`t have enough platinum etc. which is why they are so much cheaper, and that in a year you`ll be throwing codes. This was to try to fix an exhaust leak, BTW.
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  3. #3
    Oneheadlite's Avatar
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    Re: Aftermarket vs OEM catalytic Converters

    Cat faults are a downer.

    So, if you were getting mixture faults, the parts you replaced could definitely contribute. But, cat efficiency monitoring is usually pretty spot on for the problem being the cat/s themselves. Technically if you had an air leak in the exhaust they say it could cause cat faults to set, but in all my years wrenching for a living I’ve never seen it. Easy thing to check is just look for excessive carbon tracking on the forward part of your exhaust, or spots where you can see carbon laden water has been leaking from somewhere (like when you’ve got an exhaust clamp that leaks).

    When you did O2 sensors, did you use genuine ford parts? At our shop the only aftermarket sensors we use are ones where we know for 100% that it’s the same vendor as the factory part (most often they’ll be delivered where you can see they actually ground off the car brand’s emblem off the part).

    Ultimately, I’m afraid you’re probably gonna be stuck replacing the cats. In your shoes, I’d only go genuine Ford. Again, in all my years of doing this, I’ve seen way too many aftermarket cats still kicking efficiency faults (not to mention poor fitment). I’m a member on a diagnostic site for techs of all makes, and others have had the same stance experience.

    So, not that I would ever recommend it to anyone (), but I have heard that spark plug anti-foulers can be had with the same thread size/pitch as O2 sensors. If somehow the rear (largely responsible for efficiency monitoring) O2 sensors got installed to anti-foulers that were added to the cats, their response would be slowed due to the limited amount of exhaust gas able to reach them, thus possibly fooling the computer into thinking the cats did all that work…

    It’s been forever since I’ve seen someone use them, so I don’t honestly remember where to get them anymore. But, I know they’ve worked for more than 1 person I know. I’d bet you’d be in it for less than $50 to try it. But, if you’re in an emission sniffing state, I’d be willing to be bet they’d get caught during the visual inspection.
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  4. #4
    Oneheadlite's Avatar
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    Re: Aftermarket vs OEM catalytic Converters

    EDIT (ok, add on) - If you search O2 spacer, you’ll find what I’m referring to. Looks like purpose built ones are more expensive than I thought ($50-75 each), but there are a variety of styles to accommodate clearance issues you might have.
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  5. #5
    William_Wallace's Avatar
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    Re: Aftermarket vs OEM catalytic Converters

    @one headlight I saw those thing the spacer and almost bought them I’m in PA We have some type of emissions test I don’t know if anything hooks up to exhaust or if u get an automatic pass when they scan OBD.

    where is the best place to get ford parts?

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    Re: Aftermarket vs OEM catalytic Converters

    OEM Catalyst is very high quality, the only Aftermarket company worth installing on a vehicle is Magnaflow. I have friends in the Automotive Industry that had installed Magnaflow Catalysts on Daily Drivers resulting in zero issues, for years. If you haven’t replaced any of your O2 or AFR sensors, now would be a good time to replace them all.
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  7. #7

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    Re: Aftermarket vs OEM catalytic Converters

    William_Wallace:
    When I saw this post, I was afraid that someone had cut off and stolen your catalytic converters from your vehicle. Don`t laugh, it is a HUGE problem on the West coast. Thieves steal catalytic converters to get the precious metals rhodium and platinum. Scrap metal recyclers can turn those precious metals into cash, and in many cases, they may be acting within the law and are unaware of the theft. Each converter could bring in anywhere between $20 to $250 in recycling value, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau. Apparently, Toyota Prius`s are the most-targeted vehicle. Go figure.

    Anyway, thanks for this information on catalytic converters replacements. Hard to believe all that service work and the replacement parts on your 2013 Ford Edge will double its used-vehicle value, even with 120K on the odometer!!! OK, maybe not in today`s used vehicle market.

    It also underscores a "conundrum" for ALL of us who have a high-mileage vehicle. Years ago, when the used-car market was "less volatile" and prices were "more sane", someone with your vehicle condition MIGHT have forgone this type of costly repair and traded it in on a newer vehicle or sold it themselves through Craigslist or other used-car for-sale websites and then looked for another slightly-used but newer vehicle. TODAY you cannot find such a vehicle and when you do, the price is outrageous for a vehicle with "low-mileage" on it. So the high-mileage vehicle owner is stuck between spending more money on labor and parts repairs to keep it running and operational rather than looking for brand-new or newer-slightly-used vehicle as they would have in the past. I think we can all relate to the proverbial "that-vehicle-is-nickel-and-dimeing-me-to-death-in-repairs" or" I-am-NOT-sticking-another-penny-into-it-and-I`ll-drive-it-`til-she/he-dies". Well, welcome to 2022 COVID-induced automotive economics, where we are making those costly repairs to our high-mileage vehicle because we HAVE to out of economic common-sense (Kind of).

    Remember when the Obama Administration came up with the "Cash for Clunkers" program (actually called the Car Allowance Rebate System or CARS. What an aptly-named acronym!) to "incentivize" the American consumer to trade in their high-mileage vehicle on a new one to help the struggling automotive industry sell their vehicles during that economic hardship. We have the same thing today. It`s called inflation, except there are no new cars to be had!
    GB detailer
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  8. #8
    William_Wallace's Avatar
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    Re: Aftermarket vs OEM catalytic Converters

    Thanks for the answers I kinda have heard the same the after markets don’t have the same amount of catalytic material and fitting might be an issue and I wouldnt dare touch a welder nor do I have the skills but things I can wrench on are usually doable for me outside of a trans and interior engine or wiring.

    @Lonnie in the summer I rebuilt the whole front end steering and suspension. Inner and outer tie rods, cv half axels, axel seal, struts, caliper, rotors, ball joints and 4 new wheel bearing, the sway bar stabilizers and bushings. I did most on the rear to. If I didn’t do this yea trade in would be my 1st choice. I usually try to get to 150,000 miles then trade in.
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  9. #9
    ShaneB's Avatar
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    Re: Aftermarket vs OEM catalytic Converters

    Not sure if something is available for your make/model but a long time ago I had a 2000 impala that I had an aftermarket converter put on. It did end up throwing a code however this was expected and I was able to install an O2 simulator in place of the oxygen sensor after the converter and the code went away. I believe the sim was like $10-$15. You leave the sensor in the exhaust and the sim just plugged into the harness instead of the sensor.

    This was back when i was in college for auto mechanics and I took my car into class the day we were talking about exhaust emissions and we put an exhaust sniffer in the tail pipe to see just how efficient the converter was, it was still very clean based on the days standards (mid-late 2000s).

    The post cat sensor has nothing to do with engine performance and is there strictly to monitor the efficiency of the converter. You get a CEL because the car is “polluting” more than usual, even if just slightly. An O2 simulator is just a small chip that simulates the signal of a normal OEM converter so the engines computer thinks all is well. Obviously if something does go wrong with the converter you may never know but that’s extremely rare and you’d probably have other issues arise to indicate a problem.
    shanesautodetail.com
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  10. #10
    William_Wallace's Avatar
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    Re: Aftermarket vs OEM catalytic Converters

    Just googled 02 simulator

  11. #11

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    Re: Aftermarket vs OEM catalytic Converters

    Quote Originally Posted by ShaneB View Post

    The post cat sensor has nothing to do with engine performance and is there strictly to monitor the efficiency of the converter. You get a CEL because the car is “polluting” more than usual, even if just slightly. An O2 simulator is just a small chip that simulates the signal of a normal OEM converter so the engines computer thinks all is well. Obviously if something does go wrong with the converter you may never know but that’s extremely rare and you’d probably have other issues arise to indicate a problem.
    Must have been "invented" by VolksWagon. They seem to have something to do with bypassing emission standards.
    (Always the joker, Captain Obvious)

    The CEL acronym threw me for a second, until I realized it stood for Check Engine Light. Ah yes, the all-encompassing "Idiot Gauge" for today`s electronically-controlled emission engines. I laugh to myself when I hear how many high-mileage vehicle owners have this "Idiot Light" come on and they totally ignore it and say, "Yeah, it`s been on for the last year or so, but the car still starts and drives OK." Obviously they live in an area where the Department of Motor Vehicles does not require a yearly emissions inspection test and the required DMV sticker that proves their vehicle has passed such a test.
    GB detailer

  12. #12
    Oneheadlite's Avatar
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    Re: Aftermarket vs OEM catalytic Converters

    Quote Originally Posted by William_Wallace View Post
    Just googled 02 simulator
    Just be careful, some cars play nicer than others with those. I know they sell them for older BMWs that do cat delete, but I`ve heard of someone that tried them for an Audi and it smoked his engine computer. Obviously many things can come into play here, but still - I wouldn`t want to be the one forging new ground with a computer at risk.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lonnie View Post
    Must have been "invented" by VolksWagon. They seem to have something to do with bypassing emission standards.
    (Always the joker, Captain Obvious)
    Oh come on now. I remember back in the middle of dieselgate reading an article where someone overseas did sniff testing on the road of different diesels and a bunch of them were way out of acceptable range. BMW, Mercedes, Mazada, and I can`t remember which others.

    I`d try to find the article, but I can never find a thread on this forum that I remember reading let along finding something on the internet from 5+ years ago...

  13. #13
    William_Wallace's Avatar
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    Re: Aftermarket vs OEM catalytic Converters

    Quote Originally Posted by Oneheadlite View Post
    Just be careful, some cars play nicer than others with those. I know they sell them for older BMWs that do cat delete, but I`ve heard of someone that tried them for an Audi and it smoked his engine computer. Obviously many things can come into play here, but still - I wouldn`t want to be the one forging new ground with a computer at risk.




    Oh come on now. I remember back in the middle of dieselgate reading an article where someone overseas did sniff testing on the road of different diesels and a bunch of them were way out of acceptable range. BMW, Mercedes, Mazada, and I can`t remember which others.

    I`d try to find the article, but I can never find a thread on this forum that I remember reading let along finding something on the internet from 5+ years ago...
    Good point I don’t need another bill. I settled on ford parts. If this job will take a mechanic 2 hours it will take me a noob about 10 hours but I have always enjoyed tinkering Im gonna get all the hardware to bolts, gaskets ect. Bank 1 looks doable bank 2 is going to be something haven’t figured it out. I have also just spray cosmoline and fluid film all over to prevent rust. So will be messy
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  14. #14

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    Re: Aftermarket vs OEM catalytic Converters

    Quote Originally Posted by Lonnie View Post
    The CEL acronym threw me for a second, until I realized it stood for Check Engine Light.
    Maybe you prefer MIL?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oneheadlite View Post
    Oh come on now. I remember back in the middle of dieselgate reading an article where someone overseas did sniff testing on the road of different diesels and a bunch of them were way out of acceptable range. BMW, Mercedes, Mazada, and I can`t remember which others.
    Yeah, it seemed like everybody got caught in that one, besides all the VW group companies (Audi, VW, Porsche). There were definitely others, but IIRC they fessed up to it pretty quickly after the German gov`t started arresting people (if I`m remembering right). Also remember that Hyundai is still paying people here in the US for the "mistake" they made in their EPA mileage testing, and of course the GM ignition switch thing, the Tak....that airbag thing, the Toyota unintended acceleration thing. And I could go on with other industries. We humans are a complicated bunch.

  15. #15
    wannafbody
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    Re: Aftermarket vs OEM catalytic Converters

    O2 spacers might band aid the situation. Whether it passes inspection in PA depends on your inspector.
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