OEM vs aftermarket catalytic converter

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Technical Discussion' started by Ananda13, Oct 21, 2021.

  1. Ananda13

    Ananda13 Junior Member

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    newbie here.

    My catalytic converter was stolen from my 09 prius and my insurance paid for a replacement from a local exhaust shop. I haven't picked up the car yet but I was reading online the importance of getting an OEM part vs. aftermarket so I called the shop to get more info on the part they installed.

    He said he installed a "direct fit" part, not a "universal" and they even if I had the work done at the dealership it would be the same part and the only way to get true OEM would be to go back in time and get it from the assembly line.

    So my question is, how important is it to get "OEM" and how is it different than "direct fit" or whatever he likely installed? Should I push my insurance to pay for a more expensive replacement?

    Thanks in advance for you help!
     
  2. SFO

    SFO Senior Member

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  3. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    In California the visual inspection of the smog test requires the inspector to confirm it is an OEM or the most expensive non-OEM replacement cat ($700-$2K). If you lived in a different state you could put on a cat that costs less than $200. Some people have gotten away with this more affordable replacement cat in California if the inspector doesn't follow the rules / is lazy, but that's relatively rare.
     
  4. Another

    Another Active Member

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    The repair guy is an idiot.
     
  5. TMR-JWAP

    TMR-JWAP Senior Member

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    The only way you'll know for sure is to look at the receipt and get the manufacturer and part number of the system they installed. Perhaps they installed the new aftermarket CAR approved model. I would find it hard to believe a repair shop, performing an insurance repair, would install a 'not legal for sale in California' model. And if they installed the 'legal' replacement, which was approved, then it should be perfectly fine.

    An OEM replacement component is "Original Equipment Manufacturer". In this case, that would be Toyota. Toyota still manufactures and sells this catalytic converter assembly and it is exactly identical to the ones used on the assembly line when the car was built, unless there have been improvements made. It does not mean the actual 'original' piece installed during assembly. So, in this case, the repair guy is significantly uneducated.

    Most automotive repair parts are available from several different manufacturers. OEM would be Toyota (or whichever manufacturer built the car) and would be most likely to be a perfect fit and have the longest life. An "Aftermarket" manufacturer would be everyone/anyone else who reverse engineered the part and built their own version, usually these are less expensive, and potentially lower quality with a shorter lifespan. Some aftermarket companies do a great job and are equal to or better than OEM.
     
    #5 TMR-JWAP, Oct 22, 2021
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2021
  6. alftoy

    alftoy Active Member

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    Direct fit are available as low as $180 vs $2000 for OEM
     
  7. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    But California legal????
     
  8. dolj

    dolj Senior Member

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    No, but the aftermarket that is legal is in the same ballpark as OEM.
     
  9. Another

    Another Active Member

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