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2007 Legacy (nonturbo) Cat Converter Question

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I have been lurking the threads on Cat Converters and it seems that there are many many options. I am posting this in hopes that someone can help me make sense of a few things.



I have a 2007 Legacy 2.5i Limited, 144,000mi. Never had an issue that wasn't handled by a recall, paid off so no more car payments, so she's reliable and very affordable. Took it in to my buddy to get some standard maintenance, and to help him out with some business. Had a CEL come and go the last few weeks, he told me it is my Cat Converter. I did not get an exact code, I will next time it pops.



From what I've read on these threads there are what, 3 different things that could be replaced? Front / Uppipe / Rear converter? How do I know which needs replacing?


Friend told me OEM can get pricey, but if I buy one of the many aftermarket replacements I'll only be looking at around $700 (max) parts and labor. Do all aftermarket replacements require a recoding of the ECU?


In Summation:

I suppose I'm just trying to find something to keep this car running, I'm not going for performance (although if its a comparable cost and I can get better mpg or power I'm all ears), not looking to sell the car, just want to fix the Cat Converter. Since I don't have payments to make, and have yet to be "nickled and dimed" this seems like a minor cost to keep it going another 144k mi.


Thank you in advance for your advice, direction, to helping me better understand just what I am about to get into.

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My wife's old 05 had the same issue. It started under warranty, and we foolishly thought it was the gas cap or something, and reset the ECU. CEL came back (P0420) when it was out of warranty... :(


ANyways, I first replaced the (rear I think), 02 sensor, as that was a possibility, and it was easier and cheaper to do. Reset the ECU, no code for a few months or so. Then it came back.


Finally I gave up, and bought CATS. The dealer wanted something like $1500 or so for the setup, but I got the 'good ones' on Rock Auto (I think) for about $500. That was the one with the 5 year warranty.


No recoding needed... Solved the problem. Though, fitment wasn't perfect at the flange.


Long story short, I'd go with aftermarket if you need them. You may want to do a bit of diagnosing first though, as it's a PITA job sometimes, and the parts are pricey.

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Thanks for the reply JJ. I too had been doing the Gas Cap trick, that is tightening it and pushing in to ensure a good seal. That usually worked. I will have another mechanic friend look into it as well since this one just gave me a "its your CC".


But from what I'm reading it does not sound like it is easy to narrow down the exact, offending part ?


I just went through this with my wrangler, swapping out MAP and MAF sensors left and right all to find that the manifold was loose from the headers. The difference being I like to toy with my Jeep and play mechanic. The Subaru I don't have the luxury of toying around with, it is a daily driver and I want her in tip top shape.


The CATS you bought, is that $500 for multiple parts? like Front / Back / Uppipe or was that $500 for one item?

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I wish I could remember which ones I got... This was about 3-4 years ago. The receipt is no longer in my email. I think I had it narrowed down a bit. I do remember the same parts list was nearly $1500 at the dealer though.


I'll see if I can find the receipt.


You can TRY to replace the $5 gas cap in the meantime. COULD be that. LOL

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