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Ron, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Mazda
Satisfied Customers: 35530
Experience:  35 years as a automotive tech
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My 2002 Mazda MPV needs a new catalytic converter. It still

Customer Question

My 2002 Mazda MPV needs a new catalytic converter. It still runs fine, with 147,600 miles, but each morning on the first start, it spews a tick gray cloud of toxic smoke for less than a minute. After that, it's fine for the rest of the day. How much longer can I get away with driving it before iot starts smoking all the time? It just started doing this a couple of weeks ago, but O2 sensor and check engine light have been an issue for a year. I don't need to have another SMOG test done for a year, but I don't want to have to replace it under emergency circumstances, either. My mechanic says he wouldn't recommend repairing it. Is it time for another car now, or should I bide my time and hope it makes it for another year before it has to be smogged again? I now wake up at 5am just to start it up for that first time so the neighbors don't complain about the smoke.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mazda
Expert:  Ron replied 1 year ago.

Hello and thank you for your question,

As long as the engine starts and runs fine and you are not feeling any lack of power you are okay to keep driving it. There a very good chance you can get away with driving it till your ready to get rid of it. A failing converter will usually not fail all at once and in most cases you will begin to notice a loss of power under load as it begins to restrict. Its not likely going to fail at once and leave you walking.