How Do I Know If My Catalytic Converter Has Failed?

In order to understand why a catalytic converter fails, one actually has to understand how it works. It is a part of the automobile exhaust system, that converts harmful compounds into harmless ones. If you take the example of a typical passenger car, it is usually a muffler in shape. It also lies between the muffler and the engine. The converter is usually found on the underside of the car, beneath the passenger seat.

Convertors have been standard ones in the US automobiles since 1970’s. It is this instrument that helps drive the push towards the gasoline unleaded as well. The gasoline leaded eventually leads the convertor to get contaminated and clogged.

The gas in the engine passes through the convertor, depending on the maker of the automobile. The muffler shaped system is usually the convertor around here.

Causes of Catalytic Convertor failure

A convertor can fail, when it is clogged or poisoned. A clog in it, cannot actually be seen with naked eyes. The only way to judge the performance, would be to get it removed and check if the engine is functioning better.

When a clogged one is found, people usually remove the O2 sensor to notice a change in performance.

This relies greatly on receiving the right amount of gases at proper temperatures. Any additives that causes the temperature to change, reduces the effectiveness to the convertor. Gasoline leaded and the over-use of fuel additives can be reasons to shortening the lifespan of any convertor.

Another reason to the failure would be:

  1. Folded plugs, which are causing unburned fuel to overheat the counter.
  2. Exhaust valves on the engine which are bad.

Sometimes, one can also tell that a convertor is clogged if your car just does not take up speed after you have hit the gas pedal. A clogged one usually also does not associate itself with great mileage. The partially clogged convertor will often act as a engine governor, limiting the actual RPM’s to a fast idle. While a totally clogged convertor will lead the engine to stop after a few minutes, owing to the increased exhaust back pressure.

It typically has a system of warranty that is meant to exceed all warranties to a typical automobile in the heart of any city.

One can keep it running well just by ensuring that you keep the ignition in good shape. It forms an essential part to any car, and hence needs to be taken proper care of.

Auto Novice

Auto Novices is a blog, that was set up in November 2011, which tries to help inform new & old automobile owners about various subjects from keeping their car in good working order right through to tips on buying a new & used motorbikes. GUEST POSTS: If you would like to produce a guest post for this blog then please contact us via the link in the navigation menu at the top of the page.