I need to get my smog check to pass and when I went to the test center they said it wouldn’t pass because the “catalyst converter” is “not ready” (this is what they showed me on their monitor attached to my car)

He said he could make me pass the smog test somehow for $$$ OR He suggested to do something/repair/change the catalyst converter, which he said might cost around $200-$300.

My question is, browsing around Amazon I found the converters at around $70-$90. Would changing that be sufficient for me to pass the smog test?



Got my friend to check the error code and it’s the oxygen sensor. I’ll buy one online and have my friend change it and hopefully all is well. Thanks to all!! You guys are the best.

  • Your car would be giving specific trouble codes to indicate why it wasn't passing, and those codes can be interpreted to determine what parts may be at fault. Those handful of parts would then need to be tested to determine which one was bad. So, if they would not tell you specifically what they would charge you $$$ for to pass now, they should not be trusted, and don't go back. That sounds kinda fishy the way you put it. Is your check engine light on? – JPhi1618 Jan 19 '18 at 19:24
  • Thanks for the reply @JPhi1618. No, I don’t have any check engine light on and car works fine. – GtiOwner Jan 19 '18 at 19:27
  • Where in the world are you? As far as I know, in the US, a car would have a check engine light on if there was a fault with the catalytic converter. It's possible to not be "ready" and not have a check engine light on if the battery was disconnected recently or trouble codes were cleared, but driving around for a while should reset the "readiness". Also, do they stick something in your tailpipe or just read the computer? – JPhi1618 Jan 19 '18 at 19:33
  • I live in Los Angeles. Do you have any suggestions to what I could do? I don’t have any more money to drop on the car – GtiOwner Jan 19 '18 at 19:35
  • Try a different shop? And try to get more details as to what they think is wrong. What was that guy going to do to make it pass? Also, you can get a basic OBDII reader (pretty cheap) so you can check your own readiness code. A shop could easily clear the codes and say, "Oh look your catalyst isn't ready". Of course this could have just been a misunderstanding. Like I say, get details and write down what needs to be fixed or any specific trouble codes. – JPhi1618 Jan 19 '18 at 19:43

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