Updated at: 04-04-2022 - By: micdot

The hazardous emissions from a vehicle’s exhaust are lessened when a catalytic converter is installed. Yours needs to be fixed if it’s broken. Here’s a rough estimate of how much it will cost.If you’re looking for an expert on this subject, you’ve come to the right place. More information is available on the about page.Automobile manufacturers are moving towards electric automobiles for a variety of reasons.

The primary goal is to lessen the amount of gases and particles that are emitted from the vehicle’s exhaust pipe. As a result, we will have to rely on catalytic converters until the internal combustion engine is completely eliminated.When it comes to automobile emissions, what is the purpose of a catalytic converter? Near the exhaust manifold, it acts as an emissions control device, reducing tailpipe pollution. You’ll likely fail the smog test if you have a failing one.Fortunately, we’ve put up a comprehensive guide about catalytic converters that covers everything you need to know.

We’ll start by getting a better understanding of what it is and how it functions. Then, we’ll take a look at some of the most common indicators that yours is in trouble (or has already failed).Before concluding this article, let’s talk about how much it costs to repair or replace a catalytic converter.

Let’s begin with the fundamentals!

List of Chapters


What Is A Catalytic Converter And What Does It Even Do?

Hydrocarbons, an organic substance made composed of hydrogen and carbon, are the building blocks of gasoline. In a perfect world, a harmless mixture of carbon dioxide and water would be produced by igniting all of these (including oxygen).However, the reaction isn’t ideal because of the heat inside the engine.As a result of this process, it forms molecules that do not exist naturally. Carbon monoxide, a poisonous gas that depletes the ozone layer, is produced as a byproduct. Hydrocarbons are also discharged into the atmosphere if they aren’t burned completely.

What Is A Catalytic Converter And Why Do You Need One?

In 1950, a French chemical engineer named Eugene Houdry patented a catalytic converter, which is what we’re talking about here.What is the procedure?

As a result of the components inside, these dangerous compounds are converted into something less damaging. The name catalytic converter is derived from this.In a catalytic converter, what do you find? Ceramic, which doesn’t react with anything but gets extremely hot, is the first type of material that allows the reactions to take place.Catalytic converters are a common target for thieves, in case you didn’t know. Why? Because they contain platinum, palladium, and rhodium, all of which are extremely rare metals. Catalytic converters have a high price because of this.In order to remove the oxygen from nitrogen atoms, platinum and rhodium are used.Carbon monoxide is used to form CO2 by platinum and palladium, which then consume the remaining oxygen molecules. Not only that, but when they travel through, they’ll also oxidize any remaining hydrocarbons.Describe how your engine makes the most of these reactions. Using two distinct oxygen sensors, the electronic control module (ECM) is able to operate it. Before and after the catalytic converter are both located.It should be easier to comprehend the workings of a catalytic converter now that you know more about them. You may notice any of these symptoms if yours is on the verge of breaking down.

What Are The Signs Of A Faulty Catalytic Converter?

Decrease In Fuel Economy

Fuel mixture optimization is done by the ECM using data from sensors in the engine.Prior to and following the catalyst converter, there are two sensors, as we previously explained. If the ECM detects an obstruction, it will increase fuel injection to make up for lost efficiency.

The Exhaust Smells Like Rotten Eggs

The next time you smell rotten eggs in your car, don’t immediately point the finger at your fellow passengers. It could be your catalytic converter.Why? A small percentage of the sulfur in gasoline is transformed during combustion into a gas known as hydrogen sulfide (H2S).Sulfur dioxide, which has no odor, is the end product of the sulfur sulfide being converted in the catalytic converter.H2S will leave the tailpipe before it is converted, resulting in the sulfurous odor.

Your Car Failed Its Emissions Test

An emissions test is required in most jurisdictions to verify that your vehicle isn’t releasing too many harmful substances into the air. Most certifications are good for 1-3 years and cost $30-$90 on average.If you’re pulled over for driving a vehicle that isn’t certified, you’ll be hit with a fine. They will also refuse to renew your registration on a car that has failed an inspection because you are trying to renew it on a vehicle that has failed an inspection. If you find out that your car failed its smog test, it’s likely that your catalytic converter is to blame.

The Check Engine Light Appears

When it comes to the check engine light, most individuals feel torn between affection and repulsion. When something like this happens, it’s always scary, and it usually means that you’ll have to shell out some money to get it fixed. It’s possible to avoid anything from getting worse if you question about the source right away. The two oxygen sensors on the catalytic converter feed data to the engine control module (ECM). The ECM will illuminate the check engine light if it detects that the exhaust gases aren’t catalyzing properly. The catalytic converter is not always the cause of an illuminated engine check engine light. However, if you want to be certain, you can take your car to a mechanic or utilize an OBDII scanner.

Engine Performance Drops

Weak acceleration is one of the most typical indications that your catalytic converter may be malfunctioning. This usually happens when the temperature within the device gets too hot over an extended period of time, melting the components.This might lead to a restriction in exhaust flow inside the vehicle. Repair or replacement will be necessary in this instance. As an alternative, there may be some carbon deposits that can be removed using a particular cleaning.

What Causes A Catalytic Converter To Fail?

What Causes Catalytic Converters to Fail? - News | Viper Motorsports in  Weatherford, TX, Fort Worth, TX, and Mineral Wells, TX

The good news is that, due to the lack of internal moving parts, most catalytic converters have a lifespan of 10-15 years.However, this does not imply that the surrounding components will also have a long lifespan. Catalytic converters can last less time if they aren’t performing properly. The following are a few possible reasons why it might go wrong:

Fire extinguisher antifreeze

faulty ignitor

It’s a faulty oxygen sensor

Exhaust gas with unburned fuel

Exhaust system clogged with oil

How Much Does It Cost To Repair/Replace A Catalytic Converter?

Catalytic converter repairs can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $2,500, but there is no set price.What factors play a role in the final bill?

Your vehicle’s make and model

Diagnosis charges as well as additional problems

Hours spent replacing a part

The replacement part’s quality is an important consideration. It’s all about rarity and complexity when it comes to the manufacturer and model. The cost of replacing a 92 Civic’s catalytic converter is significantly cheaper than that of a BMW X3 or a Saab 9-3. Purchasing a universal fit catalytic converter rather than a model-specific one can save you money in the long run. Nevertheless, remember that aftermarket parts will never replace an OEM product’s quality or performance and may invalidate any remaining factory warranties. In most cases, it is best to replace a catalytic converter rather than repair it and discover what caused it to malfunction in the first place. It is feasible to unclog a clogged one on occasion; however, you must first understand what caused the obstruction in the first place.