Your car's catalytic converter plays a critical role in transforming hazardous chemicals into less harmful emissions. It is placed between your engine and the muffler in your exhaust and significantly helps reduce your car emissions. This further protects the environment from air pollution caused due to the combustion process. However, a bad catalytic converter radiates higher emissions than the rules allow.
Listed below are the top problems and symptoms associated with bad catalytic converters.
Your check engine light is on
While an illuminated check engine light can relate to several issues, you should always consider consulting a professional mechanic to get your car diagnosed with the root cause. For instance, air-to-fuel ratio sensors can trigger the check engine light of your vehicle if your tailpipe is emitting excessive pollution. Similarly, a faulty catalytic converter can fail due to another broken component of your car, such as spark plugs.
Your car jerks forward and gives poor acceleration
If your vehicle's engine is facing difficulty building up and managing the pressure, then a clogged catalytic converter can be the underlying cause. This is because the less oxygen your engine will receive, the harder it will have to exert pressure and the more fuel it will consume. Moreover, a choked-up catalytic converter will result in loss of power and acceleration along with jerky movements and might even completely stall out if your engine's exhaust flow is severely restricted.
Rattling noise in the engine
Using a super-rich fuel mixture accelerates the chances of the catalyst-coated honeycomb-shaped mesh of your converter becoming damaged and worn out. Thus, the pieces may break down and rattle around inside. Therefore, if you hear such rattles, make sure to take your car for repair or an upgrade to avoid unwanted circumstances.
You have problems starting your car
The constant difficulty in starting your car early in the morning is another significant symptom of a bad catalytic converter. This is because a clogged catalytic converter causes the engine to stall from increased exhaust pressure. Therefore, if your vehicle seems fine at first but starts sputtering or stalling, this may indicate a bad catalytic converter. Thus, it makes your car's engine more challenging to start quickly or at all.
Things you should remember while cleaning your catalytic converter
While cleaning your catalytic converter by yourself, you should make sure to have some of the vital equipment. This includes oil, jack stand, wrenches, tub, hand gloves, goggles for eye safety, degreaser, pressure washer, shop towels, and oxygen sensor wrench.
Moreover, the following are some things that you should consider before cleaning your catalytic converter:
- Check the slack parts
- Purify the catalyst
- Consumption of oil
- Whether the converter is packed full or not
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