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Hey Everyone...I have a 2003 beetle convertible and my check engine light came on about a year ago. I left it alone because my car seems fine but I am an idiot and waited last minute until my car needed to go through inspection.

The check engine light code of P0420. I know nothing about cars and brought it through the inspection hoping it would pass because NJ only checks for emmissions now. However, I failed..and now I have a red "reject" sticker. I took it to a mechanic referred by a friend and they checked it out said the catayltic converter needed to be replaced and that it would be about 900 bucks to replace.

I may not know anything about cars but I am not about to spend close to 1,000 bucks. I watched a video on youtube on how to change a catalytic converter but it was not for a beetle. It seemed pretty easy and I am confident that I could do it myself.

My question to you guys is has anyone ever changed their own cat converter and is it the same as changing others? I know a lot of you will laugh when I tell you I am a 22 year old female border line girly girl who is about to attempt to do this...but why not?
 

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A year ago, it may still have been under warranty, based on the date in service and the mileage. That's behind you. There are alternatives. An aftermarket for one, there was a recent post (last two weeks). Do a advanced thread search entering catalytic convertor with a time frame of last two weeks.

Edit: Redid the math and it is conceivabkle that it could still be in warranty, if the mileage hasn't killed the warranty. Check in your Owner's Manual (if it is the one that came with the car) for the date in service or call a Dealer with your VIN and ask for the date in service.

Actually, go here -
http://newbeetle.org/forums/2-0-liter-gas/51802-second-catalytic-converter.html#post750547
p/m smileybug for details if you need to, she is always more than helpful.

MORAV

The '03 Cat Warranty -
 

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That code could be a number of issues: 16804/P0420/001056 - Ross-Tech Wiki

16804/P0420/001056 - Catalyst System; Bank 1: Efficiency Below Threshold
Possible Causes
Leakage in Intake and/or Exhaust System
Catalyst faulty
Oxygen Sensor(s) faulty
Oxygen Sensor(s) Control faulty
Possible Solutions
Check Intake and Exhaust System for Leaks
Check Catalyst
Check Oxygen Sensor(s)
Check Oxygen Sensor(s) Control
Perform Oxygen Sensor(s) Aging Check

The cat being one of them; which engine do you have and how many miles are on the car? It would be nice to get a correct diagnosis before you start throwing parts at the beetle (if you take the mechanics diagnosis at his word, replace the cat); of course, if you did it yourself... it would be cheaper! :)

A quick google reveals; some basic pricing, it depends if you have the 2.0L or 1.8T: catalyic convertor 2003 new beetle - Google Search

If you bought the whole assembly(from exhaust manifold to cat); you may not need to have any welding done by some else, as there is a clamp that comes undone.

Here is a illustration of the parts are that make up this exhaust; to get a idea of what parts are involved: https://www.partswebsite.com/stores/partsimages/parts9/9211198.gif

Its definitely doable; you will need a jack, some jack stands to hold the car up and some basic metric tools, oxygen sensor socket etc.... having a buddy to help would be nice too! :)Give us some more info and let us know how things go! :)
 

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No I deffinately killed the warranty with my miles..It was warrented up until 80,000 miles and I am now at 96,000. What is an oxygen sensor socket? How can I tell what kind of engine I have? Its a 5-speed manual but its not turbo
 

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....

I forgot to tell everyone that it failed for two codes. p0420, and p2181. I took it to the mechanic and they changed oxygen sensors first. Then they said the light didnt go away so it had to be the catalytic converter. Thats why I think it is solely the cat converter
 

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The cat is the most common culprit of the P0420 code. That's what my car threw when the cat failed.

I took my car to a local muffler shop which was recommended by my mechanic. I was out the door there in 30 minutes and paid less than $200 for part and labor. No problems after that.
 

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Smileybug..I might just do that then. I dont mind paying $200 but 900 is a little ridiculous..lol Did you buy the part before you went to the muffler shop or did they have it there?
 

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Muffler shop provided it. Price may vary based on location and the shop you go to, but the $900 was more than likely for an OEM cat, which isn't really necessary.
 

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Ok..great ! Thanks so much everyone! If anyone has anymore tips/videos/advice on how I can replace it myself please let me know!
 

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No I deffinately killed the warranty with my miles..It was warrented up until 80,000 miles and I am now at 96,000. What is an oxygen sensor socket? How can I tell what kind of engine I have? Its a 5-speed manual but its not turbo
If it's a 2003, and not a Turbo or TDI then it has to be a 2.0L, actual ehgines series is identified in several places on the car and in your owner's manual, go here -
http://newbeetle.org/forums/attachments/new-member-forum/86538d1314217637-newbie-welcome-kit-identification-labels-plates.pdf

M.
 

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I believe that replacing the cat requires some welding, its not just an unscrew some screws kind of deal. Welding well takes a lot of skill, so if you've never done it before, I would not attempt it now.
 
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