How To Replace a Bad Catalytic Converter on a KIA Spectra

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Replacing a catalytic converter is expensive, but it is especially so on the Kia Spectra. The reason is the converter is part of the exhaust manifold, and the replacement unit is sold as a complete assembly. The trend among manufacturers is to place the converter as close to the engine as possible because converters only work when they are hot. The Spectra converter is easily accessible, immediately behind the exhaust heat shield, and visible as soon as the hood is opened.

Things You'll Need

  • Jack
  • Jack stands
  • 3/8-inch socket set
  • Screwdriver set
  • Aerosol lubricant
  • Jack up the front of the car and place jack stands under the lower control arms. Lower the car and make sure it is stable. Spray aerosol lubrication on the front muffler mounting bolts. The front two bolts attach directly to the catalytic converter. Remove the front and rear bolts, unplug the front oxygen sensor and remove the muffler by levering off the mounting rubber.

  • Raise the hood of the car and remove five bolts holding the the engine cover in place and remove the cover. Remove the four bolts that hold the exhaust manifold heat shield in place. There are eight nuts that attach the exhaust manifold and catalytic converter to the engine. Spray a small amount of lubricant on each nut and wait 10 minutes.

  • Remove the eight nuts from the studs that hold the manifold in place. Remove the manifold and converter assembly and set it aside. Install the new converter and manifold by sliding the manifold flange over the studs and installing the nuts. Snug the nuts down tightly and from underneath the car, install new gaskets along with the front muffler. Tighten the four attachment bolts and use a screwdriver to lever the mounting rubber back into place. Plug in the oxygen sensor.

  • Start the car and listen for exhaust leaks. If there are none, jack up the car and remove the jack stands. Lower the car and perform a test drive.

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