What to know about the Catalytic Converter:
The catalytic converter is an emissions related device that is fixed in the exhaust pipe. Its function is to super-heat unburned particles in the exhaust gases that are expelled from the engine. As the engine runs, the catalytic converter warms up to an operating temperature of 500-1200 °F. At this temperature the particles in the ‘dirty’ exhaust are burned and turned into water vapor and carbon dioxide. The catalyst inside is nearly always comprised of precious metals such as platinum, rhodium, or palladium. When the catalyst isn’t able to burn off the unburned hydrocarbons in the exhaust, an unpleasant odor can occur, a rough run or misfire may be felt, or the Check Engine light may light up.
Facts to Note:
Most cars will need the aftermarket Catalytic Converter to be welded to the exhaust pipes. Mobile mechanics can only do this work if you have a direct fit catalytic converter bought from a dealer.
When changing the catalytic converter, it may be necessary to change oxygen sensors too.
Catalytic converter signs are often similar to other more straightforward issues. Get the Check Engine light analyzed anytime it lights up.
How to Fix:
The vehicle is raised and held on jack stands
The faulty catalytic converter is detached
The new catalytic converter is fixed and the vehicle is started to check for any leaks
The vehicle is lowered off the jack stands
The vehicle is road tested for proper operation
If you are frequently taking short trips with your vehicle, the catalytic converter may not be getting hot enough to wholly burn away the hydrocarbons. To stop the catalytic converter from getting clogged, take your vehicle for the occasional drive on the highway for 15 minutes. This enables the exhaust to sufficiently heat up and burn off any deposits in the catalytic converter.
Common symptoms indicating you may need to change the Catalytic Converter:
Check engine light is on or flashing
Car has little or no power
Smell of rotten eggs inside the car or out of the exhaust
Poor fuel economy
Backfiring and rough running
Importance of this service:
If the catalytic converter isn’t operating efficiently, the check engine light will come on and your engine can begin to lose performance. If the catalytic converter becomes plugged, the engine light will begin to flash and your engine may stall or no longer start. In extreme cases where the converter is plugged, the excess back pressure created can actually cause internal engine damage. If you are experiencing signs related to catalytic converter failure, get it checked soon.