IPD sale XeMODeX - Experts in Volvo Electronics Volvo modules repair and programming
Please use the MVS Amazon link when you buy anything at all! It helps this site. Thanks very much!

Get email notification of topic replies. Log in or register (free). Amazon Link Buy anything with this and it helps MVS!

Proactively replace catalytic converter due to age and wear?

Help, Advice and DIY Tutorials on Volvo's extremely popular car line -- Volvo's 1990s "bread and butter" cars -- powered by the ubiquitous and durable Volvo inline 5-cylinder engine.

1992 - 1997 850, 850 R, 850 T5-R, 850 T5, 850 GLT
1997 - 2000 S70, S70 AWD
1997 - 2000 V70, V70 AWD
1997 - 2000 V70-XC
1997 - 2004 C70

Post Reply
User avatar
FireFox31
Posts: 183
Joined: Mon Aug 14, 2006 10:32 am
Year and Model: 2000 V70 manual
Location: New Hampshire
Has thanked: 7 times
Been thanked: 5 times

Proactively replace catalytic converter due to age and wear?

Post by FireFox31 »

What's the lifespan of a catalytic converter? Should I proactively replace an 18 year old, 270k mile catalytic converter while installing an expensive stainless Ferrita exhaust?

Four years ago, the cat gave me a P0420 "Catalyst Below Efficiency" code, I added a gallon of lacquer thinner to my gas, and the code went away. Last year, I found one spark plug fouling, likely passing unburnt fuel through the cat and exhaust. I wonder if these problems and age have worn out the cat, so it might damage this nice new exhaust.

Will an OEM cat purchased from a dealership be lower quality than the original one on my car? This was surely true of the OEM exhaust which rusted after only four years.

Thanks for your input.
Last edited by FireFox31 on Thu Oct 25, 2018 1:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
-
FireFox31
2000 V70 manual, reborn
User avatar
SuperHerman
Posts: 1585
Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2014 1:28 pm
Year and Model: 2004 & 2016 XC90
Location: Minnesota
Been thanked: 174 times

Re: Proactively replace catalytic converter due to age and wear?

Post by SuperHerman »

If it is working leave it alone. There is no magic formula for the life of a Volvo cat lifespan. Overall they have proven very robust. Failures are rare and usually caused by engine related issues. How many miles are on yours? Physically how is the exterior condition? Have you looked at the inner honeycomb structure and inspected its integrity? Have you looked up the cost of a new OEM Volvo cat? They are expensive. After market cats are affordable, but not all are legal in all 50 states. An OEM cat is superior in every way, but many times more expensive.

Are you installing the Ferrita exhaust yourself? I would install it in a manner that allowed the cat to replaced in the future in the least intrusive manner. I am not familiar with your specific model, but most Volvos have flanges on both ends of the cat assembly. Replacing it doesn't really disturb the rest of the system so were it me I would just put in the new system and leave the cat replacement for the future if ever.

What you don't want to happen is having the flange removed (if it has it) and a weld being used in replacement. This will complicate future repairs, but for a competent muffler shop or mechanic not really a big issue, just not ideal.
User avatar
oragex
Posts: 5077
Joined: Fri May 24, 2013 6:20 am
Year and Model: S60 2003
Location: Canada
Has thanked: 100 times
Been thanked: 302 times
Contact:

Re: Proactively replace catalytic converter due to age and wear?

Post by oragex »

See above. The original one is really expensive and has lots of precious coating. Aftermarket are a joke - even if they don't throw CEL

I've read genuine replacement may simply not last more than aftermarket ones in terms of pipe. There was a guy in europe with a rotten genuine replacement exhaust pipe after 3 years
User avatar
Rattnalle
Posts: 1674
Joined: Fri Sep 01, 2017 2:10 am
Year and Model: 2004 V70 2.5T
Location: Sweden
Has thanked: 20 times
Been thanked: 124 times

Re: Proactively replace catalytic converter due to age and wear?

Post by Rattnalle »

The replacement pipes aren't the same as the originals. They don't even look the same when new since they're shipped in parts.

Regarding the cat at least with European fuel standards, probably equivalent to not driving on the cheapest option and well known chains in your end, they don't have a life span as long as the car doesn't brake down and kill it with a lot of oil for example. That or only driving very short trips so that it's never allowed to operate at temperature for a while. They usually last the life of the car even if that is 500' km or more.
User avatar
FireFox31
Posts: 183
Joined: Mon Aug 14, 2006 10:32 am
Year and Model: 2000 V70 manual
Location: New Hampshire
Has thanked: 7 times
Been thanked: 5 times

Re: Proactively replace catalytic converter due to age and wear?

Post by FireFox31 »

SuperHerman wrote: Thu Oct 25, 2018 11:10 am What you don't want to happen is having the flange removed (if it has it) and a weld being used in replacement.
This is the heart of my problem. My cat pipe flange was removed - it's a long, painful story. The Ferrita exhaust will need its flange cut off to be welded to the cat. Before I make that drastic alteration, I'm evaluating if I should replace my cat, giving me back its flange, keeping all the parts intact.

Since you guys are confident that the original cat is robust, I'll leave it and have the Ferrita welded to it. I never could get that flange to seal perfectly, so welding is strictly better.
-
FireFox31
2000 V70 manual, reborn
User avatar
E Showell
Posts: 3189
Joined: Thu Oct 16, 2008 4:00 pm
Year and Model: V70R '06 AWD Auto
Location: Long Valley, N.J.
Has thanked: 35 times
Been thanked: 81 times

Re: Proactively replace catalytic converter due to age and wear?

Post by E Showell »

If you do happen to scrap the original CAT at some future date, ask the installer for it back and take it to a scrapper -- I got somewhere on the order of $70 for mine due to precious metals content. Tuck that away. Most people don't consider it.
'98 V70 NA FWD 5 spd, silver sand metallic (sold)
'99 V70 NA FWD Auto, dark blue (sold)
'99 S70 NA FWD Auto, black (sold and resurrected -- Don't cry for me Argentina . . . )
'07 S80 3.2 FWD Auto, Barents Blue Metallic
'06 V70 R AWD Auto, Sonic Blue Metallic
'04 XC70 Ruby Red Metallic
'95 855 auto (sold)
'86 245 manual (sold)
'05 V70 T5 M (totalled)
'06 V70 FWD Auto (totalled)
Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post