2003 Corolla...catalytic converter
Marc

Escondido, CA

#184 Mar 16, 2012
I own a 2003 Corolla and I am experiencing this cat converter issue. I am normally a big toyota fan however this is a costly issue. I have 175k miles and for the most part, my Corolla has taken care of me. I took the car to my trusted mechanic due to the check engine light being on and he advised me my cat converter was bad and I am not allowed to use an aftermarket cat converter. He advised I would need to use an OEM (original from manufacturer) cat converter which would run me $1200-$1300. Thankfully, I just recently got a smog test. My mechanic advised if the check engine light comes again, I could bring it back and he would reset the "code" and the light would turn off. The problem with doing that is what if my Corolla had another issue causing my check engine light to turn on? I wouldn't know the difference. There is a tool out there where you can run the diagnostic yourself and check what "code" is setting off, but sooner or later the cat would need to be replaced. Gas prices in San Diego, CA are high but I might need to trade this car in.
Bill

Bronx, NY

#185 Apr 11, 2012
I too got the check engine light when I hit 90k miles. I had a mechanic reset it and I got another year out of it. Came on again just before inspection and I got him to reset it again and crossed my fingers. Went through NJ inspection with no problems. I now have 2 more years to hope the light doesn't come on or just cover with black tape. He quoted me $400-500, not sure if that will stand up when I give them the go ahead.
Someon

New Rochelle, NY

#186 Jul 8, 2012
I got my catalytic converter done in Flushing NY for 515$ for a corolla 2000. That mechanic said would last 65k miles.
AMM

Houston, TX

#187 Sep 28, 2012
I have a 05 Corolla with 83K miles, had same check engine but my car was under the recall for ECM, which would make the check engine come up, so to fix the faulty ECM free of cost from Toyota.
Even after which the same prob existed, failed state inspection with a p0420 Code bank 1.....so had to my mech, we went to a known muffler shop got the part fixed costed $320.00 including part, labor & tax.
Rachel

Ladera Ranch, CA

#188 Sep 30, 2012
If anybody knows a place in Orange County Ca, where I can have catalytic converter replaced or repaired for less money.
Jacob

Clyde, TX

#189 Oct 20, 2012
Question: my wife has a 2003 toyota corolla and we are running into a problem with the car battery being dead in the mornings. Checked the battery it's good. Got the alternator checked it was good. The additional problem is that the headlights of the car are coming on in the middle of the night with the light switch being off. And they won't turn off until the battery goes dead.... Any thoughts or suggestions?? Has anyone had this problem?
Dame

Lima, OH

#190 Dec 5, 2012
I am being told that I need to replace the catalytic converter on my 03 Corolla for the 3rd time THIS YEAR! The dealership tells me that I should have paid the $1800 that they charge to get an original rather than pay the $800 that I did purchase since Toyota's do not do well with after market converters. This 3rd one is covered under warranty but I don't believe the problem is with the converter. Before the check engine light appears I smell exhaust fumes tremendously. Currently I am not smelling the fumes, the car is running good but I am disappointed with this car, other than it has been good otherwise. I purchased it in 2003 with 14,000 miles on it. It had the rotten egg smell that I complained about on numerous occasions. I can tell that this problem is linked to the same issue, whatever it is. My worry is that this is a continuing problem and that we are not being told what the real problem is. I spoke to 3 different managers who seem to know nothing of this. The service manager says it is ok to drive it like this, put tape over the flashing airbag. We are not inspected here in Ohio, sorry for you in Cal. and other states that are. I want to sell it outright but feel for the next owner. Like others, I wanted a good resale price. I plan to make the call to complain. Thanks for the phone number.
liner

Brooklyn, NY

#191 Dec 6, 2012
Dame wrote:
I am being told that I need to replace the catalytic converter on my 03 Corolla for the 3rd time THIS YEAR! The dealership tells me that I should have paid the $1800 that they charge to get an original rather than pay the $800 that I did purchase since Toyota's do not do well with after market converters. This 3rd one is covered under warranty but I don't believe the problem is with the converter. Before the check engine light appears I smell exhaust fumes tremendously. Currently I am not smelling the fumes, the car is running good but I am disappointed with this car, other than it has been good otherwise. I purchased it in 2003 with 14,000 miles on it. It had the rotten egg smell that I complained about on numerous occasions. I can tell that this problem is linked to the same issue, whatever it is. My worry is that this is a continuing problem and that we are not being told what the real problem is. I spoke to 3 different managers who seem to know nothing of this. The service manager says it is ok to drive it like this, put tape over the flashing airbag. We are not inspected here in Ohio, sorry for you in Cal. and other states that are. I want to sell it outright but feel for the next owner. Like others, I wanted a good resale price. I plan to make the call to complain. Thanks for the phone number.
Couple of things: I have read where Toyotas don't like aftermarket cats, so that much could be true, but I think you need someone to diagnose the problem. Rotten egg smell could be a sign of a bad O2 sensor, which could certainly be the cause of your cat problem in the first place.
Louie

San Mateo, CA

#192 Dec 28, 2012
This is exactly what I am dealing with. Did you end up buying a new converter?
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!
gregg Chicago il

Downers Grove, IL

#193 Jan 8, 2013
I ahd my ca converter changed on my 2003 Corolla last year and now my check engine light is on again but this time I am being told its the 02 senser in front of the converter. I live in Illinois and had the converter changed for around $450.00
bdiddy

Hawthorne, CA

#194 Mar 22, 2013
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!
Don't hate your Corolla, hate California Democratic lawmakers!!!
Corollagy

Fredericton, Canada

#195 Apr 22, 2013
liner wrote:
<quoted text>
Apparently, if you don't live in California, you can replace your cat with an aftermarket cat probably much cheaper than that. Yes, it's safe to drive but it won't pass inspection with the light on.
I just got an aftermarket cath. on today, hoping it lasts! I was lied to by my Toyota dealer saying it was an O2 sensor, the code that came up on the computer was for something different! I went to another mechanic who wasnt out to take all my money.

I guess I got more out of my 10 year old Corolla cath. converter and have not had all the problems others on this forum have talked about. Extremely reliable car! But I take very good care of it...

And for inspection, just reset your computer, disconnect your battery for 15 to 20 minutes before you go for inspection. It will take out the light as most times for the check engine light to come back on it takes a while.
liner

Brooklyn, NY

#196 Apr 24, 2013
Corollagy wrote:
<quoted text>
I just got an aftermarket cath. on today, hoping it lasts! I was lied to by my Toyota dealer saying it was an O2 sensor, the code that came up on the computer was for something different! I went to another mechanic who wasnt out to take all my money.
I guess I got more out of my 10 year old Corolla cath. converter and have not had all the problems others on this forum have talked about. Extremely reliable car! But I take very good care of it...
And for inspection, just reset your computer, disconnect your battery for 15 to 20 minutes before you go for inspection. It will take out the light as most times for the check engine light to come back on it takes a while.
Hopefully your Corolla will be happy with it's new cat. Regarding the engine light, all OBD2 cars(all cars since 1996)have a prescribed "drive cycle" that must be completed before the ECU will give an "all clear" for most state inspections. You can reset the light, but until this drive cycle is completed, it will not pass inspection even though the light is off, because all the sensors will be in a "pending" state. They all need to be "OK" or "N/A" before it will pass. This of course, only pertains to states that require emmissions tests.
TELL THE TRUTH

Morganfield, KY

#197 Jul 8, 2013
There was a TSB out on the CC and after replacing it the ECM has to be reset.
petethefuzzy

United States

#198 Jul 10, 2013
Hey, you guys. Change the O2 sensors first. Then see what happens. Most cases it's the sensors, not the converter itself. The O2 sensors normally live for about 100,000 miles. When they quit (get crudded up)the computer thinks it is running too lean and juices up the combustion....which then burns up the converter. The O2 sensors are CHEAP in relation to the converters! Change it as soon as the light comes on and you will save the converter.
roly

Fort Lee, NJ

#199 Feb 20, 2014
Ty to find someone who will do the inspection for you so u wont have 2 replace the cat...
Candy

New Orleans, LA

#200 Mar 7, 2014
My check engine light came on three years ago. I was told it was the sensors and I have never replaced it. The car runs just fine. I have had no problems no noises.
liner

Delray Beach, FL

#201 Mar 7, 2014
Candy wrote:
My check engine light came on three years ago. I was told it was the sensors and I have never replaced it. The car runs just fine. I have had no problems no noises.
Apparently your state doesn't require annual inspections. At any rate, I'll bet your gas mileage has suffered if it is a bad sensor. Why not just get it fixed?
Deb

United States

#202 Mar 17, 2014
I am on my second corolla, the first was a 1993, which in my opinion was the best year for corolla, wish I had never sold her, never had a single problem in the 11 years I owned it.

My second, which I still own is a 2003 corolla sport that I purchased in March of 2002, it currently has 99,500. On a recent trip my husband decided to fill the gas tank with premium fuel, about 30 minutes after doing so the check engine light came on. I took it to the toyota dealer and the diagnosis is catalytic converter, to the tune of $1700 parts and labor. My only complaint about this car is the cost of a catalytic converter!$1400!! Is it made of gold?
o3 ca corolla

Anaheim, CA

#203 Mar 19, 2014
my check engine light isnt on but it failed smog after the battery was disconnected i've driven over 100 miles still no light but when they hook up the obd for smog it says p0420 catalyst system efficiency below threshold bank 1

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