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What would make the Catalytic Converter leak exhaust from under the heat shield on top toward the body of the car? Just spent $120 to have a mechanic take out the rusted OS2, and he said there was an exhaust leak, which I knew as every time I started the car, I smelled fumes. I just checked and it is coming from the Converter. Very strange place to develop a leak in my experience with cars. Would the exhaust eat through the converter?

2001 Ford Focus LT SPI SOHC 95,000 miles
 

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Luck of the draw there, no reason on earth why cat can't leak like rest of exhaust but usually thicker gauge steel used there. At welding the weld could have been too hot to melt the steel thinner there.

Make sure all bolts are present and tight at the lower cat bracket that holds it to engine, if loose the vibration can crack things.

Dunno if case is stainless or not but if not the steel can eat through just like any other steel exposed to rust making conditions.
 
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