Chevy Cobalt Forum banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2008 Chevy cobalt with a 185000 miles about 85% of which is highway. It's also got to Eco tec engine and it's a 5 speed. I just found out my catalytic converter is bad and it's gonna run about $1100 to fix since it takes the more expensive converter.

Here's my question:
I've only spent about $300 in repairs- other than normal wear and tear- on this car since I've had it. Is this the start of many things to go bad? Shall I fix it? Fix it and keep it? Fix it and sell it?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
136 Posts
Do you have emissions to worry about? If not then just have them cut it out and weld a pipe in.
Or order a universal one offline and bring it to an exhaust shop.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
156 Posts
Someone is trying to rip you off. Find another exhaust shop.

I’m about $800 into repairs and maintenance on my new to me ‘06 Cobalt. I’ve done the work myself, but I work in a repair shop.

Honestly if you’ve done the maintenance over the years the car is supposed to have, and it’s in good condition, it’s definitely worth it. But yes, you are past due for things to be replaced of the suspension and other wearable items, like the water pump if you haven’t had to replace them yet. Things like a leaking fuel injector or bad spark plugs can lead to the catalytic converter going bad. But so can the common issue of the oil consumption these car’s engines develop.

Personally I’d buy a converter assembly, should have the down pipe and resonator. It is a bolt in unit. If you’re not into doing you’re own repairs, find someone who won’t rip you off to install it. Should be no more than 4 hours labor for the part to be installed. And at an average shop rate of $100/hour, $400+$400 part should be around what you’ll spend. I could see you spending $1100 at a dealership though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
156 Posts
Also how did you determine the converter is bad? I usually have it verified by a dedicated exhaust shop when I suspect a customer’s car has a bad converter. They usually charge a small fee to test it to make sure if I can’t do it in the shop.

I had an aftermarket weld in type converter installed in a customer’s vehicle a few months back to save some money. Total cost to the customer was around $650.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,044 Posts
you can buy an aftemarketr bolt in down pipe with a cat for around 200. Cody says no more then 4 hours, I would say maybe they charge for 2 hours labor. Any more then that they are ripping you off. The down pipe is a total of 5 bolts pretty easily accesssable form under the car. I change my downpipe every year for inspection and change it back to my catless downpipe. Takes about 20 mins on a lift when I do it. ZZP offers downpipes on their website. ZZPerformance.

As another option, any exhaust shop should be able to cut the bad cat out and weld in anew one. DO NOT TAKE IT THE DEALER TO GET IT DONE! The dealer workers are parts changers not mechanics. $1100 definiately sounds like what the dealer would charge for the OEM cat/downpipe assembly and installation.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Also how did you determine the converter is bad? I usually have it verified by a dedicated exhaust shop when I suspect a customer’s car has a bad converter. They usually charge a small fee to test it to make sure if I can’t do it in the shop.

I had an aftermarket weld in type converter installed in a customer’s vehicle a few months back to save some money. Total cost to the customer was around $650.
The mechanic I went to said the exhaust pipe broke just off the flex pipe, and that pipe is the one that holds the cat conv and all of its bells and whistles.
I'm a..... semi-literate home mechanic who can do an alternator, a serpentine belt, and a water pump or two, but nothing this major.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,044 Posts
its really nothing major. from under the car there are 3 bolts that hold the pipe to the header, and there are 2 or 3 bolts that hjold the pipe to the "catback" part of the exhaust. If you can undo 6 bolts uplug a wire and unscrew an O2 sensor you can change a down pipe.I'll provide a link to an after market one that you can simply bolt in.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Have you tried going to the junkyard, sawing a good one off of another cobalt and welding it on yours? Don’t know if that would work but it’s way to expensive to fix a cat converter
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,044 Posts
Have you tried going to the junkyard, sawing a good one off of another cobalt and welding it on yours? Don’t know if that would work but it’s way to expensive to fix a cat converter
most yards cut the cats out when they get the car
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
156 Posts
At least in Texas they arent allowed to sell used converters. Thats what the junk yards have always told me over the years.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
I have a 2008 Chevy cobalt with a 185000 miles about 85% of which is highway. It's also got to Eco tec engine and it's a 5 speed. I just found out my catalytic converter is bad and it's gonna run about $1100 to fix since it takes the more expensive converter.
Sounds like an experience I had when a local shop quoted me $1200 CDN to replace the cat converter in order to pass emissions on a Ford Focus. In addition to the Cat it had a problem with the driver side heated seat and one of the electric windows not working and A/C not working and a bit of rust forming. Because it had multiple issues I made a huge mistake and let the girlfriend convince me to sell the car to a used car lot for $200 and purchased a similar Focus from the same used car lot for $2000 that passed emissions but had less bells and whistles (no heated seats, manual windows) and working A/C. When I did the test drive in the replacmeent car the dealer already had the car running when I arrived so it seemed to run better than my old car. After paper work was signed and I came to pickup the car (from a cold start) it ran like crap for the first 10 minutes every time the car was started. I regretted giving up the old Focus with a few small issues for such a low price and buying a replacement one that ran a lot worse that the first car. After a couple years the Engine went on the replacement Focus so I had it towed to a wrecking yard (again got $200 cash for it).

Now I've got the Cobalt and trying to learn more about what's involved in repairing the issues when they popup instead of rushing into decisions that I might regret later. I lucked out with the 1st focus and wish I never sold it and spent more time looking at more cost effective ways of dealing with the cat issue to pass emissions.

I also lucked out with this Cobalt I picked up for $3000 CDN and put about $2000 worth of repairs over 5 years and feeling pretty good about the body work I just did on it myself. If I had a cat issue I'd look at ways of dealing with it. Sorry for the rambling but I had the same dilemna as you once so I can relate to being in your exact predicament.

Here's what I know now but didn't know then. Inside the catalytic converter is what looks like a honey comb shaped filter that eventually gets clogged from impurities. Apparently it's illegal at the federal level in the US to remove the catalytic converter (definitely it is in Canada). The cat does nothing to help the car, it just helps the environment so technically it can be done. You might want to do your research on this but I've read that you can clean your Catalytic converter. Apparently you can have a code popup when the Cat loses only 5% efficiency. A clogged cat causes reduced airflow that causes your engine to burn extra fuel. Not only does this increase your fuel bill and waste gas, it makes the clog worse. I've read you can add 1 gallon of Laquer thinner to your gas tank and drive it for 150 miles or so at highways speeds to burn the impurities out to make it work again. The other solution could be removing the Catalytic Converter and soaking it in a bucket of laundry detergent overnight. There's also commercial cat cleaners out there: The 6 Best Catalytic Converter Cleaners of 2020 - CarCareTotal

I regret I didn't know about or try any of these solutions when I gave up on my ford focus so I haven't tried them myself but you can look into this yourself to see if it's something that could work for you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,044 Posts
The mechanic I went to said the exhaust pipe broke just off the flex pipe, and that pipe is the one that holds the cat conv and all of its bells and whistles.
I'm a..... semi-literate home mechanic who can do an alternator, a serpentine belt, and a water pump or two, but nothing this major.
Any exhaust shop should be able to weld in a new flex pipe too. I would almost promise that will have one on hand that will fit.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,044 Posts
Sounds like an experience I had when a local shop quoted me $1200 CDN to replace the cat converter in order to pass emissions on a Ford Focus. In addition to the Cat it had a problem with the driver side heated seat and one of the electric windows not working and A/C not working and a bit of rust forming. Because it had multiple issues I made a huge mistake and let the girlfriend convince me to sell the car to a used car lot for $200 and purchased a similar Focus from the same used car lot for $2000 that passed emissions but had less bells and whistles (no heated seats, manual windows) and working A/C. When I did the test drive in the replacmeent car the dealer already had the car running when I arrived so it seemed to run better than my old car. After paper work was signed and I came to pickup the car (from a cold start) it ran like crap for the first 10 minutes every time the car was started. I regretted giving up the old Focus with a few small issues for such a low price and buying a replacement one that ran a lot worse that the first car. After a couple years the Engine went on the replacement Focus so I had it towed to a wrecking yard (again got $200 cash for it).

Now I've got the Cobalt and trying to learn more about what's involved in repairing the issues when they popup instead of rushing into decisions that I might regret later. I lucked out with the 1st focus and wish I never sold it and spent more time looking at more cost effective ways of dealing with the cat issue to pass emissions.

I also lucked out with this Cobalt I picked up for $3000 CDN and put about $2000 worth of repairs over 5 years and feeling pretty good about the body work I just did on it myself. If I had a cat issue I'd look at ways of dealing with it. Sorry for the rambling but I had the same dilemna as you once so I can relate to being in your exact predicament.

Here's what I know now but didn't know then. Inside the catalytic converter is what looks like a honey comb shaped filter that eventually gets clogged from impurities. Apparently it's illegal at the federal level in the US to remove the catalytic converter (definitely it is in Canada). The cat does nothing to help the car, it just helps the environment so technically it can be done. You might want to do your research on this but I've read that you can clean your Catalytic converter. Apparently you can have a code popup when the Cat loses only 5% efficiency. A clogged cat causes reduced airflow that causes your engine to burn extra fuel. Not only does this increase your fuel bill and waste gas, it makes the clog worse. I've read you can add 1 gallon of Laquer thinner to your gas tank and drive it for 150 miles or so at highways speeds to burn the impurities out to make it work again. The other solution could be removing the Catalytic Converter and soaking it in a bucket of laundry detergent overnight. There's also commercial cat cleaners out there: The 6 Best Catalytic Converter Cleaners of 2020 - CarCareTotal

I regret I didn't know about or try any of these solutions when I gave up on my ford focus so I haven't tried them myself but you can look into this yourself to see if it's something that could work for you.
I would not mix laquer thinner in to my fuel to try and "fix" a catalytic issue. Also if you are gong to pull the pipe with the cat converter (downpipe) to soak in laundry detergent you might as well just buy a new downpipe. All those ct cleaners and things like that are band aide fixes, sure maybe it will prolong the life of the cat slightly, but nothign beats doing it the the right way. There are plenty stock replacemnts out there. Such as: ZZP 2.5 inch Stainless Cobalt/Ion Downpipe Simple bolt in to the stock exhaust or the 2.5 ZZP exhaust.

Other options. Go to a parts store buy a Catalytic converter and take it to a shop get it cut and welded in.
 
  • Like
Reactions: MapleSyrup

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
I would not mix laquer thinner in to my fuel to try and "fix" a catalytic issue. Also if you are gong to pull the pipe with the cat converter (downpipe) to soak in laundry detergent you might as well just buy a new downpipe. All those ct cleaners and things like that are band aide fixes, sure maybe it will prolong the life of the cat slightly, but nothign beats doing it the the right way. There are plenty stock replacemnts out there. Such as: ZZP 2.5 inch Stainless Cobalt/Ion Downpipe Simple bolt in to the stock exhaust or the 2.5 ZZP exhaust.

Other options. Go to a parts store buy a Catalytic converter and take it to a shop get it cut and welded in.
I wish I shopped around a bit more instead of only getting 1 quote and deciding to sell the car for $200 CAD just because of the catalytic converter and other small issues I could've fixed myself. I didn't know about the welding in a new cat option until after it was sold and didn't have the tools or was brave enough to simply replace a few bolts. Those definitely sound like better options than trying to clean it.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top