2003 Corolla...catalytic converter

2003 Corolla...catalytic converter

Posted in the Toyota Corolla Forum

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Sharon

Cudahy, WI

#1 Dec 23, 2008
I have a 2003 Corolla and have had it since 2002, brand new....and have never had any problems with it before. I bought it because I wanted to buy something that was very dependable for the price.

I've been told that I need a new catalytic converter. About 3 weeks ago my "Check Engine" light went on. I took it to my mechanic (who I totally trust, btw) and they hooked the car up to see what the problem was. It was the converter, isn't running up to par. They tried cleaning it out and said that may have fixed it. But now the Check Engine light went on again. They said if this happened I'd probably have to replace it.

Isn't it unusual for a 6 year old Corolla to have this problem? It's an expensive one to fix, but I feel it's worth it because I could have many more good years from this car.
Mike D

Bloomington, IN

#2 Dec 29, 2008
I also have a 2003 Toyota Corolla LE that had the same problem. I had to have the cat. converter replaced. It costs about $1400 counting the cost of a new O2 sensor. Keep in mind that the emission control systems (including the cat. converter) are under warranty through 80,000 miles. I know this because I had mine replaced at 80,113 and Toyota refused to pay for the repair.

You may want to try and replace the O2 sensors (there are two of them) first to see if this helps the problem.
Sharon

Cudahy, WI

#3 Dec 29, 2008
Thanks for that info.....I actually was finally told that it is still under warranty. I still have 5,000 miles to go before I hit that mark so my car goes in on Wednesday.

I am so sorry that you just missed the 80,000 mile mark. That stinks....
saba

United States

#4 Jan 1, 2009
I have a 2003 corolla and my engine light went off to with the cat converter... I was told by a friend mechanic to go to the muffeler shop for a fix that would save me about $1000. Thinking about trading in my car for a new Rav 4 but if I don't next week, I'm headed to fix the cat convertor!
RAS

Brampton, Canada

#5 Jan 14, 2009
It seems the life span on the cat c. is 6 years. My 03 corolla bought in 02. Recently the converter gave in. No complaints though. This car has been places and back 6+ years and over 230,000 miles.
ACK

Highland, CA

#6 Feb 15, 2009
My 03 Corolla catalytic converter died at 86,000 miles, live in California so I am not able to use an after market converter, it will cost $1800 to fix, or half the value of the car.
Fishy

San Francisco, CA

#7 Mar 4, 2009
There seems to be a plethora of failures on this model. My mechanic said he has seen this on 2003 Corollas more than any other vehicle
JLB

Vista, CA

#8 Mar 11, 2009
I have a 03 corolla also. My check engine light went on like 6 months ago and I had someone run a diagnostic on it just to make sure it was okay to drive. They said it was the cat converter but that the sensors were probably just dirty so I shouldn't worry. I had to get smog done on it this week to get my tags and they said I failed automatically cuz my MIL light was on still. So I took it to the toyota dealership to see if they could clean the sensors so my light would go off....turns out that my cat converter is not performing at the level the car wants it to and they want 1500 for it...but my catalytic converter PASSED the smog test, I can see it on the sheet I got from the mechanic, just that stupid check engine light! So my cat converter is not bad enough to not pass but not good enough to let me get my tags....oh my goodness I hate my 03 corolla right now!!!!! I never have before this!
blasphemy

Myrtle Beach, SC

#9 Mar 21, 2009
This just happened to my 2003 corolla. I didn't know it cost so much to get fixed. Now I want to sell my car.
Joseph

Berkeley, CA

#10 Mar 24, 2009
Same here. 03 corolla 130K got catalytic converter problem.
Tazmania

Atlanta, GA

#11 Apr 7, 2009
My 2000 Corolla's check engine light just went on. I have 100K miles on it. It is the catalytic converter. My mechanic quoted me $1300 for parts and labor. They use the original Toyota catalytic converter, which will cost $1209 so labor is $91. I asked him whether I could put in another factory converter and he said I could, but they aren't as good and there will be no warranty with those. If I put in another Toyota original catalytic converter, it will be warranteed for 8 year or 80,000. He did say that it does not have to be replaced right away but will fail the next emissions test if not replaced. Has anyone had any experience with non-Toyota catalytic converters?
jun

Lutherville Timonium, MD

#12 Apr 19, 2009
I have the same problem with my toyota corolla 2003. My engine light is on and I went to the mechanic and he said the catalytic converter is the problem.And it will coast me $1500.
Sarah

Ellijay, GA

#13 Apr 30, 2009
Have a 2003 toyota corolla- Just had the same thing happen- check engine light came on- took it to a toyota dealership and they said i needed another cat. converter for $1300. My car has over 115000 miles on it- is a new cat. converter worth it or is this just a bunch of bull???
Nick

Paso Robles, CA

#14 May 12, 2009
Check engine light came on around 150,000 miles. I had the dealer test it and they said that the catalytic converter is operating below threshold. They quoted me $1300 to replace. The car runs just fine, it now has 192,000 miles, However I have to smog it for the first time in June and no one will test it because the check engine light is on. I love my Corolla. I hate the California emissions policies.
Skuby

San Diego, CA

#15 May 15, 2009
What if you clear the check light right before the smog test. Will would it pass???
davidkozisek

Washington, DC

#16 May 16, 2009
Did you guys hear any sounds coming from the cat before having to have it replaced? I hear a low grumble in low rpms which makes me suspect.
Jessie in California

Culver City, CA

#17 May 21, 2009
I am on my second catalytic converter on my 2003 Corrolla, not happy with this car at all. The engine runs great but every other component has had to be replaced. I bought the car for commuting. I have only had the car for 5 years Going on clutch number 2 shortly too. It sucks. Can't wait to get a new car - not toyota
Humayun Ahmed

New Castle, DE

#18 May 29, 2009
JLB wrote:
I have a 03 corolla also. My check engine light went on like 6 months ago and I had someone run a diagnostic on it just to make sure it was okay to drive. They said it was the cat converter but that the sensors were probably just dirty so I shouldn't worry. I had to get smog done on it this week to get my tags and they said I failed automatically cuz my MIL light was on still. So I took it to the toyota dealership to see if they could clean the sensors so my light would go off....turns out that my cat converter is not performing at the level the car wants it to and they want 1500 for it...but my catalytic converter PASSED the smog test, I can see it on the sheet I got from the mechanic, just that stupid check engine light! So my cat converter is not bad enough to not pass but not good enough to let me get my tags....oh my goodness I hate my 03 corolla right now!!!!! I never have before this!
.

If you still have this problem, Disconnect the battery for few minutes. Check engine light will go off and would remain off for atleast one or two days, spending if you drive a lot or not. Take the car immediately to inspection. Hiopefully light will remain off , once it passes , who cares if light comes on again.
Good luck
Skuby

San Diego, CA

#19 May 29, 2009
Someone told me that if you clear the check light without making the repairs, the computer will show "Pending" indicating something is still wrong. Also, I was told they do a visual inspection to make sure the CAT is not aftermarket. But I guess I could alway say I got the aftermarket before Jan 1, 2009...
Chris

Brewster, NY

#20 Jul 17, 2009
I have a 03 Corolla LE with 132,000+ miles on it. The check engine light came on at 118,000. The car runs fine. My inspection and registration are now overdue and I have been quoted $1400 for the cat converter replacement. I have been doing some searching around and saw a cat cleaner on JC Whitney with high reviews. Has anyone tried one of these cleaners? Do they work or is it a bunch of bull?

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