catalytic converter symptoms

Bad Catalytic Converter Symptoms: A Diagnosis Guide

The catalytic converter plays a significant role in your car’s exhaust system. For instance, it prevents environmental pollution by converting harmful substances within the exhaust into safer compounds.

When the catalytic converter is not functioning correctly, it will have far-reaching impacts on your vehicle, such as a drop in the car’s fuel efficiency. It is crucial, therefore, to ensure your catalytic converter is working well at all times. Read on to learn some of the telltale signs that your catalytic converter needs urgent repair or replacement.

A catalytic converter is one of the long-lasting components of your car’s exhaust system. However, they often overheat, get clogged, damaged, and contaminated causing a decrease in engine performance and eventual shutdown.

The potential issues with a catalytic converter include leaded gas contamination, overheating caused by incomplete combustion, or a failure in the oxygen sensor. Thus, you should be aware of the significant signs of a failing catalytic converter.   

Reduced Acceleration Power

If your car is losing power when going uphill or accelerating, the chances are high that your catalytic converter is clogged. Most mechanics usually fail to diagnose the cause of loss of acceleration power, mostly where the catalytic converter is partially obstructed.

You can use your hand to check the exhaust’s status to help you determine whether your catalytic converter is clogged. Place your hand at the tailpipe while someone is holding your vehicles’ rpm at around 1800 and 2000. If you feel a hot exhaust flow, the catalytic converter is clogged. 

Engine Misfires

An engine misfire is one of the surefire symptoms of a bad catalytic converter. Whenever your car has a misfire, it indicates incomplete combustion within the cylinder, implying that the catalytic converter isn’t functioning effectively.

Usually, a clogged catalytic converter will overheat and can have damaging impacts on your car’s engine. Anytime you experience an engine misfire, contact a reliable mechanic right away for catalytic converter repair or replacement services.

Increased Emissions

Increased carbon emission from your car’s exhaust is a significant symptom of a failing catalytic converter. If your car’s converter is faulty, it will not reduce the amount of gaseous emission within the exhaust system. Should you experience a higher carbon emission level from your vehicle, it is an obvious sign that the converter is clogged. If you do not repair or replace such a converter in time, it can damage the whole exhaust system.

Reduction in Engine Performance

Another bad catalytic converter symptom is degraded performance. A failing car’s catalytic converter will create a significant backpressure that lowers your car’s engine performance. Whenever this happens, you will notice your car shaking frequently, and if there is a sudden outburst of pressure, the engine can stall even when on the road.

Illuminated Check Engine Light

There are many reasons why the check engine light alert appears on your car’s dashboard, and having a bad catalytic converter is one of them. Modern vehicles are designed with air-fuel ratio sensors, which monitor the exhaust’s gas levels.

Anytime the Check Engine Light alert appears, it is a simple notification that the converter isn’t working correctly. However, since other mechanical issues can also activate this alert, you must have your car checked by experienced mechanics for proper diagnosis and repair.

Catalytic Converter Maintenance – Schedule an Appointment Today!

There is no doubt that a catalytic converter plays a crucial role in any car’s exhaust system. It is advisable to take your vehicle for professional inspection and diagnosis anytime you get the Check Engine Light alert, or you notice reduced engine performance, increased emissions, decreased power when accelerating, or when your car’s engine misfires.

Not sure where to take your car for catalytic converter repair and replacement? The performance Muffler team has earned an outstanding reputation throughout Arizona for its professional and unmatched service in catalytic converter repair and replacement. Schedule an Appointment Today and have your car’s catalytic converter repair or replaced as needed.