Car Talk

Posted: July 14, 2018 at 1:43 a.m.

DEAR CAR TALK: I have a 2012 Ford Fiesta five-speed. The check engine light is on, and the computers at AutoZone and Big O say it's the catalytic converter and oxygen sensors. This will cost me about $850 to fix. I'm pretty middle class. Since I'd rather buy lottery tickets with my money, can I just have a guy take out the catalytic converter and put in a straight pipe? We don't have emissions testing where I live, in Indiana. Please tell me how dangerous it is to drive with a "bad" catalytic converter. Will it destroy my engine? Will fumes back up into my front seat and make me drive into opposing traffic? Thanks.

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