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When should you replace the catalytic converter?

When should you replace the catalytic converter?

Most vehicles’ internal combustion process leaves a considerable number of emissions, and a catalytic converter’s job is to turn them into less harmful ones. Those parts are very efficient and reliable in modern cars, so around 90 percent of nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide, and hydrocarbons are converted into slightly less harmful ones. When they reach their end, there are warning signs, and now we will talk about five.

We imagine that you are not a mechanic or engineer. Still, sometimes it is easy to hear rattling sounds coming from under the car. Probably because there is some damage to the catalytic converter. Sometimes it is the result of old age or lousy fuel mixtures. This rattle is caused by the mesh inside the converter, which is going bad. And it is loudest when the car starts cold.

When the check engine light turns on. Of course, there are many reasons for that, but in modern vehicles, air-fuel and oxygen sensors detect a problem and can show it on the dashboard. Most mechanics can check and look for problem codes to see or verify where the trouble comes from.

The engine doesn’t work as it used to. In many cases, this is an early sign of a converter problem. So, pay close attention to car performance because it is an excellent way to tell if something is off the charts. It could be lousy acceleration, massive fuel usage, or even slightly reduced car power. Sometimes you can even feel a strong sulfur smell coming from the exhaust system. When the catalytic converter is coming to an end, sometimes it leaves unburnt fuel in the exhaust. It is something like a rotten egg smell.

Sometimes the problem is more minor than it seems. In some instances, it is a clog in a catalytic converter, which can be easily cleaned by your local mechanic. Usually, it’s removed by a pressure washer. Only sometimes are a trained professional required; if you have some car experience, you can do it yourself. There even is a liquid converter cleaner. It helps to get rid of clogged particles that may be inside.

In some cases, there are other exhaust system fails that are causing false diagnostics results. It could be a leak in the exhaust, its worn gaskets, etc. Sometimes it’s even more expensive than catalytic converter replacement. So, if you are sure, first ask for a professional mechanic opinion.

Of course, it can be prevented by regular car maintenance at your dealer or mechanic shop. In other cases, those problems can lead to a damaged catalytic converter beyond repair. So that’s why you should pay attention to the check engine light on your vehicle dashboard. As with all car problems, preventing them before they arise is always the best plan. Regular spark plug changing also helps because if they are damaged, it could be a reason for carbon build-up. Sometimes, even driving at low speeds can be bad for a car, so going on a highway for at least twenty minutes a week could help the engine and exhaust system. If you are planning to change it, do not forget about catalytic converter recycling.