catalytic converter

When To Replace a Catalytic Converter?

No car owner wishes to drive a noisy and low performing car. Whenever your car’s catalytic converter is not functioning effectively, you will have to deal with issues such as engine misfires and loss of power during acceleration.

A catalytic converter in your vehicle converts bad emissions into harmless gas. The catalytic converter usually lasts around 10 years so that’s when you should replace it. You should also replace the converter if you run into other apparent problems such as clogging, or physical damages. You should replace a catalytic converter If you do not repair or replace your car’s catalytic converter in time, you risk your engine shutting down completely. The team at Performance Muffler is committed to ensuring that your vehicle performs effectively by repairing or replacing the clogged catalytic converter. Read on to find out when is the right time to replace a catalytic converter.

Why Is a Catalytic Converter Important?

A catalytic converter (cat) is the component within your car’s exhaust system that ensures no harmful substances are released into the environment. The cat converts harmful substances such as toxic carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons into safe compounds like carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and water.

Ideally, a catalytic converter ensures your car operates smoothly by nullifying harmful chemicals within the exhaust. That’s why it is essential to attend to it immediately you detect it is failing.

But, when do you know that you need to replace a catalytic converter?

catalytic converter symptoms

Potential Issues with a Catalytic Converter: Why It Fails

Catalytic converters are designed to last for a long time. However, nature and time can affect the converter’s efficiency, especially when the engine fails to work as expected. For instance, spent spark plugs and coolant leaks can lead to overheating of the catalytic converter.

In other cases, soot buildup within the exhaust can interfere with the regular operation of the converter. If the catalytic converter isn’t working as required, it is advisable you repair or replace it as soon as possible.

Catalytic Converter Maintenance: When to Replace Yours

One of the reasons why catalytic converters are included in cars is to reduce air pollution. While this alone is a compelling reason to keep the catalytic converter in good shape, there are other practical reasons to fix your car’s cat whenever it develops problems. For example, if not fixed, the converter may overheat and eventually cause the engine to shut down.

Here are a few instances when you need to replace your catalytic converter:

  • If It’s Stolen

A catalytic converter is essential in reducing environmental pollution and ensuring that your car’s engine runs smoothly. If it is missing, it means that harmful chemicals will be released into the air. Catalytic converters are made from small amounts of palladium, rhodium, and platinum, which are valuable metals among scrap metal dealers. In case it is stolen, you should replace it as soon as possible, given that the US Clean Air Act requires that all cars manufactured after 1974 should have catalytic converters installed.

  • Engine Misfiring

The performance of your engine and the car, in general, depends on complete fuel combustion. A failing catalytic converter will lead to incomplete combustion within the cylinder. This scenario affects the efficiency of the engine and may make it challenging for your car to start. Any time you notice engine misfires, you need to have your catalytic converter changed and replaced immediately.

  • Bad Odor from the Exhaust

When the catalytic converter is in good shape, all chemicals within the exhaust system are converted into safe compounds. However, if the converter is not functioning well, you will notice the smell of rotten eggs or sulfur coming from the exhaust. This is a surefire sign that your converter should be replaced.

  • Sluggish Engine Performance

If your car’s engine’s performance degrades, the chances are high that the converter isn’t working as expected. When the converter fails, it leads to back pressure that has a deteriorating impact on the engine. If you do not replace or repair their converter immediately, it may affect the engine, forcing it to stall.

Final Thoughts

Having a properly functioning catalytic converter is essential not only for the benefit of the environment but also for your car’s performance. Given that numerous aspects can affect your car’s performance, you can tell if your cat needs replacement by watching out for signs such as sluggish engine performance, foul odor from the exhaust, and engine misfires. If you notice any of these telltale signs, Schedule an Appointment today with the experts at Performance Muffler in Phoenix, AZ, for reliable catalytic converter repair or replaced services.