What exactly is a catalytic converter? Simply put, it is a metal box device in your car’s exhaust system whose purpose is to filter out, convert, and control gases and pollutants your car is emitting.
Many states today require vehicles to have catalytic converters as they aim to reduce toxic emissions from cars. The goal is to lessen harmful gases such as hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen oxides.
Not only is it wise to invest in a high-grade catcon to adhere to these environmental laws, it is also good to help prolong the life of your car.
However, because your catalytic converter handles a ton of harmful gases, it is not uncommon for it to eventually malfunction. To know if your catcon is on the brink of failing, better keep an eye out (and ear) for these four common catalytic converter failure symptoms:
When the honeycomb-like block catalyst inside your catalytic converter breaks apart, it shatters into smaller pieces. Over time, these fragments get bigger if the meltdown inside worsens. They eventually form a ball-like structure that bounces inside the catcon, producing a rattling catalytic converter noise.
If you hear your car making noises louder than normal, you need to check your catcon immediately or schedule your car for a tune-up.
Reduced Engine Performance
If your catalytic converter is clogged, your whole exhaust system will suffer, affecting the overall performance of your engine. How to tell if your catalytic converter is clogged, you ask? Well, if you suspect that there is a problem with the flow of your exhaust gases, it’s best to go to the nearest auto shop and request for an emissions test. Failing this test will confirm there is clogging inside your catcon.
Clogged passageways in your catcon will restrict exhaust gases’ flow, resulting in congestion and overheating that can lead to cracking and leaking. Make it to a point to also check your ignition system and cylinder gasket because they also contribute to clogging.
Check Engine Light Comes On
Another catalytic converter failure symptom is a check engine light that’s turned on. As mentioned, a failing catcon is usually associated with an issue with the engine. If your check engine light is giving out a signal, aside from checking your engine system, you might want to inspect your catalytic converter, too.
On the other hand, there can also be other triggering factors for the light to come on, so be sure to use scan tools or code readers to verify the problem you’re dealing with.
Unusual Levels of Emission
Your vehicle will either have too less or too much emission when your catcon is damaged. A bad catalytic converter can lead to abnormal levels of carbon emissions: either almost nothing is coming out of your car because the passageway is clogged or there is too much because the catalytic active material’s ability to filter is already faulty.
Consider these symptoms. If you’re experiencing them, you should definitely check and, if needed, replace your catalytic converter. Replacing it protects your exhaust system from further damage and will also keep you from violating environmental policies.
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