Is Your Catalytic Converter about to Fail? Consider These Symptoms


If you believe that your catalytic converter is failing or about to fail, you should go to a trusted mechanic and let them diagnose the issue. Your catalytic converter is essential to the exhaust system of the vehicle because it converts harmful gases and chemicals into safer compounds that are let into the atmosphere with less environmental damage. The part is usually between the exhaust muffler and engine on the underside of your vehicle. Catalytic converters are known to fail over time because they are subject to debris impact and overheating damage from the engine.

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Misfires

When your engine misfires, it can cause your catalytic converter to overheat. Along with such, a richer fuel mixture than normal can show similar symptoms. The raw fuel could enter your catalytic converter and ignite, which could cause the components of the catalyst to melt.

Lower Performance

If the exhaust gets trapped before the catalytic converter, you are likely to see a significant reduction in performance. It’s caused by back pressure, which can affect how your engine runs and can prevent it from getting the oxygen it needs to run smoothly. An increase in back pressure could cause the engine to stall while you’re driving. It acts like the system has an airlock, which makes your car jerk or not accelerate when you push on the gas pedal.

Along with such, a failing catalytic converter could be indicative of a problem with the fuel system. A sign that this has happened is if the exhaust system restricts performance to the rest of the vehicle, which indicates that the catalyst materials could be melting or melted.

Fuel Economy

While many things can cause low fuel economy, a failing catalytic converter could be one of the issues. In most cases, you are going to notice that you use twice as much fuel to get where you frequently travel.

Fuel Vapors

If your car has a carburetor and you can test the catalytic converter and know how to do so, it is best to do it. You are likely to need someone’s help and should remove the air cleaner first. The other person can shine a strong light near your carburetor’s intake. Look at the top of your carburetor and beyond to where the light shines and rev up the engine. If you notice that there are fuel vapors above the carburetor, this is a sign that your catalytic converter is clogged.

Oxygen

You can also tell that the catalytic converter is about to fail if you remove the oxygen sensors from your exhaust system (but only temporarily.) You need the oxygen sensors to ensure that everything is running smoothly. However, you already believe there to be a problem, so if you notice a significant change in performance when you remove them, it’s a sign that the converter is clogged and/or going bad.

More Emissions

If the chemical mechanisms in your catalytic converter get contaminated (which can be caused by antifreeze and motor oil that get into the converter), the converter is likely to perform incorrectly. When this happens, you are likely to notice more carbon emissions coming from the exhaust system. Many newer vehicles are equipped with sensors to determine carbon emissions and can alert you of the problem. If yours is an older vehicle, you may not notice the issue until you go for an emissions test and the vehicle fails. However, you are likely to have other issues and symptoms of a failing catalytic converter along with increased emissions, so you may not need to wait until the emissions test to determine that something is wrong

 

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Is Your Catalytic Converter about to Fail? Consider These Symptoms

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