Integrity Auto: Independent Toyota, Lexus, & Scion Specialists Blog

Replace Toyota Catalytic Converter With Aftermarket Converter?

Our practical experience would be that the Toyota catalytic converters are definitely and tremendously superior to the aftermarket catalytic converters.

They cleanup the pollution levels far more aggressively right out of the box, plus they commonly last from 5 to 10 times as long.

The newest aftermarket cats we have had opportunity exam have passed the emissions test by way of the thinnest of margins, where the Toyota catalytic converter would have effortlessly passed with room to spare.
Catalytic Converter

The Toyota cats operate considerably cleaner on abrupt accelerations as well. We have evaluated the emissions of Toyotas with brand-new Toyota catalytic converters on repetitive back-to-back snap accelerations (which results in producing maximum emissions) and the outcome continues to be that we see a high of only 50 to 60 parts per million of unburned hydrocarbons (HC). Performing exactly the same test on brand-new aftermarket cats has generated hydrocarbon readings as much as 1700 to 2000 parts per million.

Catalytic Converter

As for endurance, again and again we have seen those who have substituted their cats with aftermarket cats get stuck in a cycle in which there after they must change the catalytic converter every 2 years just making it through DEQ.

An additional downside to aftermarket cats is the fact that to be able to install the "universal" cat, the muffler shop will cut an area out from the original piping to be able to weld in the non-Toyota cat.

At that time, should the owner ever gets frustrated with needing to replace the cat again and again and wishes to go back to a Toyota cat, he must spend even a lot more than he would have, since he now has to restore the piping on each side of the catalytic converter to be able to restore the bolt-up flanges which have been cut off.

We had been recently talking about cat expenses with a Tundra owner and had occasion to calculate the expense per mile of one of Toyota's most costly catalytic converters. In this situation, the price figured out to around 1 ¾ cents per mile. It had made it through 150,000 miles. Models with less costly cats typically work out to less than half a cent per mile.

If the aftermarket cat this individual was contemplating were to fail inside a year-which is not really uncommon-then it would cost about 5 cents per mile if it survived 15,000 miles. That is certainly getting close to Three times the cost per mile. (Ok, it's 2.857 times the cost per mile.)

Even though groing through this with the customer, she pointed out that a muffler shop had informed her that they were utilizing an Original equipment manufacturer part that will be the very same as the Toyota part because theoretically OEM meant that it had been produced by the original manufacturer for Toyota. What OEM or Original Equipment Manufacturer actually means is that this organization at some point has provided some type of part for Toyota-could be anything at all, might be a gasket. What it doesn't imply is that they supplied the catalytic converters. If they had supplied the cats, they actually would not be marketing generic cats that required chopping the previous ones out and welding the new ones in.

As far as Catalytic converter breakdowns go, they are able to fail in several ways and from numerous causes. Most often, their capability to clean up emissions at some point basically dies out out and so they either don't succeed the DEQ emissions check, or, for more recent vehicles that monitor the converters, the computer are able to turn on the check engine light and will set a code saying "catalyst effectiveness below threshold."

In case your engine is persistantly burning oil, it has a tendency to leave crusty build up on the cat making it effectively inert. If those deposits continue on for enough time, at some point it plugs up the cat so you experience a serious decrease of power, for the reason that exhaust can exit rapidly enough allowing the engine to take the quantities of air it requires for power.

Operating the car having a cylinder misfiring leads to the cat to get too hot simply because it ignites all of the unburned fuel to burn within the cat itself. In this instance, it could function so hot the catalytic converter material disintegrates. This may lead to chunks of material getting stuck within the exhaust system in a manner that plugs up the exhaust to cause significant decrease of power. An additional manner in which the catalytic material can be broken up is that if something hits the outside the cat hard enough.

Topics: Toyota Repair

Hey Duke What is a Good Toyota, Lexus, Scion Car Battery?

We have a significantly strong opinion in support of Interstate batteries, that are produced by the same organization which makes Toyota's batteries, that's Johnson Controls. I've got a strong bias against batteries produced by Exide.

The Toyota batteries produced by Johnson Controls come with an superb history of durability. During the early 1990's Toyota changed over to Exide for a couple of years, and for the first-time that we're aware of they began being required to warranty numerous batteries which were failing in under Twelve months.

They changed back to batteries produced by Johnson Controls, and which I know have not experienced trouble with poor batteries since.Through the 90's we saw exactly the same final results with Exide produced batteries offered under other companies' product labels also. In that period of time, Les Schwab batteries were created by Exide, and again and again we experienced circumstances in which the customer would have trouble "that could not possibly be the battery since it is only 3 months old" that would actually end up being another bad battery produced by Exide.

We Use Interstate Batteries
Batteries tend to be more prone to failure during cold temperature, as due to mixture of the battery being at a reduced level of chemical activity when cold, and also the engine simply being much harder to crank when it's oil is thicker because of being cold. A faltering battery can have numerous signs and symptoms. A gradually faltering batter will steadily turn the engine over slower in the course of start-up. 

Quite often the progression can be so gradual that the main driver does not recognize it simply because each day it's overall performance appears essentially exactly like it did the previous day. A weak battery gets drained of charge considerably more easily as well, so that perhaps only a couple of minutes of sitting with accessories on but the motor off will discharge the battery so you cannot start the vehicle.

When the battery is discharged enough that you no longer get a slow crank from it, quite often the starter will deliver several clicks for a single turn of the key. This occurs for the reason that battery has just enough capacity to engage the starter gear with the engine, but at that time it takes a lot more electrical power than the battery has the capacity to provide, which in turn causes the battery voltage to drop so low that it won't be able to even maintain keeping the starter gear engaged. So, the starter briefly releases, and then when the higher demand is removed, the battery has the capacity to supply enough power to reactivate the starter. This happens repeatedly back-to-back producing multiple clicks for as long as the key is held to the start position.

An alternative cause of the same symptom of multiple clicks in the starter could be poor cable connections from the cables to the battery, which, once again, allow just enough power through to engage the starter, although not enough to keep engagement in the face of the greater demands produced by attempting to crank the engine. From time to time the battery or battery connections will fail at just the right total of failure to permit the starter to give just one click and then hold however, not crank. More frequently the symptom of a single click but no crank implies an issue with the starter, or with the power supply from the key to the solenoid that activates the starter. Occasionally, though, the battery and/or connections can explain the single click.

Contact Duke to have your Toyota, Lexus, Scion Serviced today! 503-408-6385

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Topics: Toyota Repair

Keep your Toyota Wheels Rolling True - [Alignment/Wheel Alignment ]

You drive your car day after day and you just adapt to how it steers, stops and accelerates. You may say to yourself "wheel alignment" my car drives and so what's the big deal? Why should I care about wheel alignment? Eventually your tire's wear gets to the point that you need to get them replaced. You spend some hard earned dollars and your vehicle gets some news shoes. But what happens when you drive your car for the first time is nothing short of astonishing. Your cars turning ability is sharp and concise, your car accelerates with ease and your car becomes a pleasure to drive. The improved driving is only a small portion of the benefits of having your wheels aligned.

Wheel Alignment Fundamentals

When properly aligned, all four wheels should be pointing together parallel to the centerline of the car if you're driving down the road straight. And, they should be close to perpendicular to the road.

If the wheels are out of alignment, then it causes the tires to wear out more rapidly, it causes the steering to be to be more unstable, and can result in decreased gas mileage. The wheels can get out of alignment by hitting curbs or potholes too hard. They can also get out of alignment due to incremental wear of steering and suspension parts.

Proper Wheel Alignment


Benefits of Having Your Wheels Aligned:
1. Less Wear & Tear On Other Parts, Having your wheels out of alignment can be stressful to different parts of your car. A car that's wheels are out of alignment causes a continually need to put pressure on the steering system in order to keep the car straight, and when you brake you often feel the car pulling sharply to one side or the other, causing the brakes to work harder on one side than the other and wearing them unevenly.
2. Better Gas Mileage, with the price of a gallon of gas getting close to $4 per gallon, getting more miles to gallon has become paramount. Proper wheel alignment cuts down on rolling resistance, which means that your car doesn't have to work as hard or burn as much fuel in order to move forward.
3. More mileage from your tires, even the slightest out of alignment can have destructive effects upon your tires. If your tires have too much or too little toe-in (the degree at which they point in toward each other at the front, a narrow strip on each tire will begin to wear down very quickly, causing you to have to get new tires sooner. By getting regular wheel alignments, you ensure that your tires wear evenly, making them last as long as possible.
4. Protects Your Tires Warranty, having your tires have excessive wearing from poor wheel alignment is that it usually voids your warranty on the tires. Most warranties only apply to the quality of the goods. If your tires wear out too soon because of something other than poor quality, then the manufacturer is not responsible. The tire manufacture will site negligence by the car's owner and void the warranty.

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Topics: Toyota Repair

Keep Your Toyota's Engine Running Smooth, Oil Change Every 3K!!

Faithfully changing your Toyota's engine oil is one of the least glamorous, but most effective steps you can take to insure that your car has a long and happy life.

One of the most important reasons oil needs to be changed is that, over time, oil breaks down due to use and exposure to heat. It becomes less effective at lubricating, which causes engine parts to rub against one another.

Maintain your engine with our Toyota Oil service.


Motor oil also gets contaminated by substances like dust, metallic shavings and even antifreeze. And did you know that the additive package, which is part of your fully formulated motor oil, will break down in time and become a contaminant, too? As contaminants are whipped into the oil, sludge is formed. This sludge will stick to parts of the engine causing the engine to perform less efficiently.  Eventually, this sludge can cause engine failure.

Bottom line replacing your engine is much more expensive than changing your Toyota's oil.

Our recommendation is to replace your engine oil and filter every 3000 miles. When performing this service, we also inspect it for any other needs that may have developed in the interim.

Contact Duke or Ryan to have your Toyota, Lexus, Scion Oil Serviced today! 503-408-6385







First Time Customer?
Get a $20 Transferable Referral Coupon for each customer you send us
Click here for first-time discount!
Keep Your
Running Smooth
Schedule Your Service Today

Topics: Toyota Oil Service, Toyota Repair

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