Bad Catalytic Converter Symptoms

A catalytic convertor is a vital part of vehicle that functions to lower car emissions and pollution. This part is normally found between the engine and the exhaust muffler. It is a metal canister filled with a chemical catalyst, usually a platinum and palladium mixture, and assists to convert the car’s emissions into non-dangerous gasses as they are released into the environment. When this part is damaged, it will indicate some signs which may give the owner a clue of what’s going on. Some of the signs of a bad catalytic converter include:

Reduced performance

This occurs when the exhaust becomes trapped in front of the catalytic convertor. It is brought about by back pressure, which affects the functioning of your engine and halts it from breathing. This sudden increase in back pressure can make the engine to stall and make the car jerk or feel like there is no fuel.

Check engine light comes on

A bad catalytic convertor makes the check engine light to illuminate. The oxygen and air fuel ratio sensors that a good number of latest cars are built with verify the efficiency of the catalytic convertor by checking the gas levels in the exhaust. So, when the catalytic convertor isn’t functioning well or not catalyzing the exhaust gases well, the check engine light comes on.

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Misfiring

When there is misfiring in the engine system, this can make the catalytic convertor to overheat. Also, an exceptionally rich fuel combination will show the same signs. In the situation where there is an extra rich fuel combination, raw fuel enters the catalytic convertor and is ignited. The catalyst parts can melt in such circumstances.

Low performance of the exhaust system

At times, failure of a catalytic convertor can be linked to an issue inside the fuel system. A clear sign of this is a restriction in the performance of the exhaust system, showing the melting of catalyst materials inside.

Unusual exhaust odors

If you start to hear some strange or irritating smells, you should be keen and check what the issue is. A catalytic convertor failure might cause an unusual and unpleasant smell to emerge. A strong, pungent smell is a sign that the catalytic convertor is not functioning well and is probably being flooded with fuel. Ensure that you urgently take your car to be inspected if you detect such an odor. When there is excessive heat and gasses being formed, your vehicle may become unfit for driving. This sign normal follows loss in power and acceleration.

Low fuel economy

If you notice that you are pumping more fuel than ever, then it’s time to get the catalytic convertor to be checked by a specialist. This might be connected with a bad catalyst convertor that makes you lose fuel. If left unresolved, this will cost you a lot.

Heightened emissions

When you notice that there is a raised level of carbon emissions from your exhaust, then you should take your car to be checked for a bad catalytic convertor right away. When there is contamination of the chemical systems inside the catalytic convertor, it might perform poorly due to the added substances like antifreeze and motor oil. In such a situation, you will be forced to change the bad catalytic convertor in order to fix the issue.

Fuel vapor

In case your car is fitted with a carburetor and you understand how to test the catalytic convertor, then you should go ahead and test it. When you find signs of fuel vapor suspended over the carburetor, you can now conclude that there is a clog in the catalytic convertor.

Summary

If you notice one of the signs above, you should repair your catalytic convertor right away. This is important before the issue runs out of hand and forces you to replace the entire catalytic convertor with a new one.

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