First let's cover what a catalytic converter is for your vehicle. A catalytic converter is a car component that works to reduce vehicle emissions and pollution. It is a metal canister installed in the exhaust system. It is filled with a chemical catalyst, usually a platinum and palladium mixture, and helps to convert the vehicle's emissions into non-harmful gasses. Typically, a damaged catalytic converter will show one of five signs that will alert the driver that replacement may be required. We, at Masters Touch Automobile, put together the list for you so you know what to keep an eye and ear out for:
1. RATTLING NOISE
A loud rattling noise from under your vehicle is a sign of a bad or failing catalytic converter. If a catalytic converter becomes old or damaged internally from extremely rich fuel mixtures, the catalyst coated honeycomb meshes on the inside of the converter can collapse or break apart, causing a rattle. The rattle may be more obvious when starting the vehicle and will worsen over time.
2. SULFUR SMELL FROM EXHAUST
A correctly working catalytic converter will convert hydrogen sulfide into odorless sulfur dioxide. When it is failing, you may notice a sulfuric or a rotten egg-like smell coming from the exhaust. Unburnt fuel left in the exhaust by the bad catalytic converter produces the odor and may even cause dark exhaust smoke.
3. REDUCED ENGINE PERFORMANCE
One of the first things that you may notice is reduced performance of your car. The catalytic converter is built into the vehicle's exhaust system, and as a result, can affect the performance of the engine if it develops any problems. A congested converter will restrict exhaust flow, while a cracked one will leak harmful gas. Either fault can harmfully affect engine performance and cause a reduction in power and acceleration as well as fuel economy.
4. CHECK ENGINE LIGHT COMES ON
A bad or failing catalytic converter can also cause your Check Engine Light to turn on. The oxygen sensor and air-fuel ratio sensor in modern vehicles monitor the efficiency of the catalytic converter by tracking the gas levels in the exhaust. A variety of other issues can activate the Check Engine Light, so it is recommended to have the vehicle scanned for trouble codes to be certain of the issue.
5. FAILED EMISSIONS TEST
If you live in one of the states in the U.S. that still require a diagnostic check of the engine's computer to pass an emissions test. A trouble code will be stored in the car's computer if it has a faulty catalytic converter. Should this pop up, the car will fail the test.
THESE ARE JUST THE MAIN WARNING SIGNS IF YOU HAVE A FAILING OR FAILED CATALYTIC CONVERTER, IF YOU SEE, HEAR, OR SMELL ONE OF THESE SIGNS. CALL MASTERS TOUCH AUTOMOBILE IMMEDIATELY TO SCHEDULE A REPAIR! OUR SHOP WILL GET YOU ON THE ROAD FAST.