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Started to notice exhaust fumes inside the cabin at start up and louder than normal engine noise. Subaru dealer said catalytic converter was cracked and need to be replaced. Part alone was $1,500! Took it to an independent shop that specializes in Subarus for a 2nd opinion. They said it was definitely cracked and need to be replaced. Asked about welding new parts on but they said it would likely just be putting on a band-aid and waste of money. They were able to get an after-market catalytic converter (came with 5 yr warranty). All-in with labor was $1,200. He said the OEM part + installation would have been $2k. Posting this alternative to OEM option incase anyone finds themselves in the same situation.
 

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picture of crack? they can weld it shut you know...
It was cracked in multiple places and in bad shape overall. The weld solution was brought up until they got it on the lift and inspected it. They said they could try welding it but couldn't guarantee it would hold up very long and there was a good chance I'd be bringing it back in. This shop only specializes in Subarus and has been around for 20 yrs. They have seen it all and I trust their judgement.
 

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picture of crack? they can weld it shut you know...
Although the reference is "Cracked catalytic converter", it might in fact be the flex/expansion joint between the left and right sides that's cracked. Unlike a solid pipe, the accordion shape might well be harder to patch in a way that avoids cracking at the next fold. (There's threads here about this, with pics.)
 

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The converter is on the exhaust manifold...I had to replace it. Bought mine online and had a local dealer install it...$1000.00 all in.
 

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They were able to get an after-market catalytic converter (came with 5 yr warranty).
Outbacker, what brand aftermarket converter did you get? I'm looking around online as mine needs to be replaced, and seeing some mixed reviews.

Scoobydoo2, I'd be curious to hear what brand you went with as well.
 
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