Car maintenance and repairs can be pricey, and some repairs are necessary to keep your car safe to drive.
Other repairs are important if you want your car to run well and smoothly.
So how does a broken catalytic converter affect how you take care of your car?
Let’s start by going over how a catalytic converter works.
It is a part of your car that gets rid of hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, and other dangerous chemicals in your exhaust.
If your engine misfires, loses power, and gives off ugly fuel vapours, it’s likely that your catalytic converter is broken.
To replace the catalytic converter can cost up to $2,000, which is not cheap.
Because it can be expensive to replace, you may be wondering if it’s safe to drive with a broken one.
Will it hurt you more if you don’t do anything?
Let’s talk about some of your choices and how to decide which one to go with.
Even if driving with a broken catalytic converter doesn’t pose a safety risk, you should still take care of the problem.
If the catalytic converter is clogged, you can still drive your car, but it will cost you.
Your car’s performance will go down, and you might even have trouble getting it to run at all.
If you see signs that your catalytic converter isn’t working right, you should plan to replace it as soon as possible.
Signs you have a problem
If your car has a strong smell and maybe some smoke or fuel vapour, it’s likely that the inner lining of your catalytic converter has worn down and is burning through engine oil, which is what’s causing the smell and smoke.
Some catalytic converters can last for a decade or more, but if yours has a problem, it could be because it is too hot, clogged, or broken.
There are many reasons for this, such as using gas with lead in it or a bad cylinder head gasket.
If any of these things happen, your car’s converter may have trouble letting the exhaust gases through.
When the engine of your car doesn’t get enough air, it slows down and could have more serious problems in the future.
Some car computers record a code that your mechanic can use to figure out what’s wrong with a broken catalytic converter.
Your car’s oxygen sensors will make a voltage that matches the charges that were set off by the problem.
These sensors measure how well your catalytic converter works and tell your mechanic what’s wrong.
Look for “service engine soon” messages on your car’s dashboard. These messages usually appear before your engine starts to lose power.
If you don’t do anything, your catalytic converter could break, which would slow down your car and shorten the life of your engine.
What are your options?
Some car owners think that if they take out the catalytic converter, they can avoid problems with it.
If your car doesn’t have a catalytic converter, your engine will make loud roaring or rumbling noises when you turn it on.
When you speed up, this only gets louder and worse.
If you don’t have a catalytic converter, your exhaust won’t work right, and your car will drive rougher than usual.
You may also hear sputtering when you change how fast you drive.
But it’s not a good idea to get rid of the catalytic converter to avoid the problem.
If your car has one, you need to keep it in good shape for it to work well.
If you take it out, it will affect the computer that is connected to your engine and helps it run well.
Sometimes, you might think that simple repairs will be enough.
But there aren’t many ways to fix the problem.
If you want your car’s engine to keep running well, you may need to replace a catalytic converter that is clogged.
Your mechanic can look at the situation and decide if it’s best to just replace the catalytic converter.
If parts of your catalytic converter are loose, you may also need to get a new one.
A light tap on the part can tell you if you can hear loose parts moving around.
Again, you need a professional to look at the state of your converter in this case.
If you don’t do anything, your exhaust pipe could get so clogged that your car stops while you’re driving.
You’ll also have to replace the catalytic converter if it’s clogged up because the engine is using too much oil.
When oil is let into the cylinders and left to burn in the hot catalytic converter, this blockage happens.
You’ll need to fix that oil leak as soon as possible, and you’ll also need to replace the broken catalytic converter to make sure your car runs smoothly and efficiently.
The costs of replacing
No one likes having to pay a lot of money to fix their car.
But that’s just part of having machinery.
Things break down, and you have to pay to fix them.
When it’s time to change a catalytic converter, the same is true.
Depending on the year, make, and model of your car, replacing the catalytic converter could cost anywhere from $1,000 to $2,500 on average.
This price includes both parts and labour, but it’s a necessary cost that’s important for keeping your car in good shape and making it last longer.
In addition to paying for the parts and labour, you will also have to pay for other important tasks when you take your car to a mechanic.
Remember that the mechanic will have to figure out what the problem is and what else might have caused it.
There are computer codes to keep an eye on, diagnostic tests to run, and other checks to make on your car’s exhaust system and engine parts.
This is why it’s so important to take your car to your favourite mechanic for this kind of repair. They have the right diagnostic tools and can figure out exactly what’s wrong with your car.
Some of the problems that a broken catalytic converter can cause are problems with your muffler, a few of your oxygen sensors, and even your tailpipe. These are all parts of your exhaust system that can be fixed when you fix your catalytic converter.
After the diagnostic work is done, your mechanic can give you a full explanation and an estimate of how much it will cost to fix.
How long can you drive with a bad catalytic converter?
If you don’t have enough money to replace the catalytic converter right now, you might be wondering how long you can keep driving like this.
The truth is that, if the catalytic converter is only partly clogged, you might be able to drive it forever.
But if it’s more than just partially clogged, you shouldn’t drive with it and should get a new one right away.