When you drive your car, it’s important that all of its parts, especially the catalytic converter, work as they should.
But if something goes wrong with your catalytic converter, can you still drive your car? Here’s what you need to remember.
Even though you can technically still drive your car if the catalytic converter is broken, in most states it is against the law to do so. The catalytic converter is located between your car’s engine and muffler. It is an important part of keeping your car’s emissions as low as possible.
Remember that the rules for cars’ emissions are getting stricter in more and more states!
When your catalytic converter starts to break down, it means that your car’s exhaust system is putting out more pollution than your state allows.
So, your car won’t pass a vehicle inspection. You’ll get a reject sticker on your car and won’t be able to drive it legally until you fix or replace the catalytic converter.
Even though your car’s emissions may not meet the standards in your state, driving a car with a broken catalytic converter is not dangerous.
Many times, a catalytic converter won’t work because a piece of it is clogged with different kinds of junk.
If this is the case, fixing it is usually easy and inexpensive.
But if you drive with a broken catalytic converter, it could hurt the gas mileage of your car. Your exhaust system won’t work as well as it should, so your engine will have to work harder than usual.
When this happens, your car’s fuel efficiency may go down, but it probably won’t be a big drop unless you keep driving with a broken catalytic converter for a long time.
What Happens if You Drive a Car with a Bad Catalytic Converter?
When your car’s catalytic converter starts to break down, it won’t be long before you notice that something is wrong with your car. Most cars will start to have problems like the engine misfiring, losing power when you try to speed up, fuel vapours coming out of the car, or dark smoke coming out of the exhaust pipe.
Even though driving your car with a broken catalytic converter isn’t dangerous, you shouldn’t ignore the problem for too long.
For example, if you see dark smoke coming out of your exhaust pipe, it means your catalytic converter is in worse shape than you thought. You should have a mechanic check it out as soon as possible.
If only a small part of your car’s catalytic converter is plugged, it won’t make much of a difference in how well your car runs.
But if the whole catalytic converter is blocked, it’s likely that your car won’t run at all. When this happens, it’s likely that the converter is completely blown, which means it needs to be replaced right away so you can get back on the road.
Some cars’ catalytic converters will eventually burn out completely, which will also mean they need to be replaced right away.
When this happens to your car, it’s usually because the engine is using too much oil, which means you now have another problem that needs to be fixed.
Can a Bad Catalytic Converter Ruin Your Engine?
Even though it’s not dangerous to drive your car with a broken catalytic converter, you shouldn’t let this problem go on for too long. If you do that, there is a small chance you could damage the engine of your car.
Most cars are made with catalytic converters that will last at least 10 years, and in many cases, they will last much longer. But as you drive your car, dirt and other debris may get stuck in the catalytic converter or make it dirty, which can cause it to overheat.
When this is combined with an engine that burns too much oil, it causes the converter to burn out and need to be replaced right away.
When your car’s catalytic converter is physically damaged, which can happen when it gets too hot or when something hits it while you’re driving, it can make your engine run slower and slower until it shuts off completely.
Even though your engine running slowly is a sign of trouble, you probably won’t know it’s about to shut down until it does. This means it could happen anywhere and at any time.
If your catalytic converter is plugged, you might start your engine and have it stop soon after. If this keeps happening, you should have a mechanic check out your converter. Even if it doesn’t break your engine right away, it won’t help it in the long run.
Can You Drive Your Car if the Catalytic Converter is Missing?
If there is one thing to remember about catalytic converters, it is that most vehicles can still run and be driven normally without them.
Even so, we would not suggest that you do this as a long-term plan. You may or may not know that removing a catalytic converter is common, especially when a driver wants to increase the horsepower of their engine.
As we’ve already said, states have strict rules about how much pollution cars can make. This means that your car’s catalytic converter is needed to keep the exhaust system in check.
If you take it off and get pulled over by the police, you could get a ticket and have to pay a fine of up to $250.
If you think that police won’t notice a car without a catalytic converter, you’re wrong. Unfortunately, cars without converters stand out a lot when they are on the road.
The most obvious sign that a car doesn’t have a catalytic converter is that it makes very loud noises, especially when it starts up or speeds up. In fact, it will sound like your car is roaring.
Also, your car will speed up in a way that is very uneven and jarring. This will make your car stand out to everyone, including police officers.
Why are Catalytic Converters Stolen from Cars?
If you are like a lot of people, you might wonder why thieves want to steal catalytic converters from cars so much. Since it’s part of the exhaust system, it seems to be no more useful than your muffler or exhaust pipe at first glance.
But this isn’t true, and thieves know it. Even though most of your catalytic converter is made of ceramic, it also contains rhodium, palladium, and even platinum, which are all considered to be precious metals.
Thieves steal catalytic converters because they contain these valuable metals.
After stealing a converter, thieves can sell the metal as scrap and make a good amount of money.
If you don’t know much about your car’s exhaust system, you might be surprised to hear that a catalytic converter is easy for thieves to steal.
In fact, thieves who have done this before can do it in just a few minutes. They just cut the converter out of the exhaust system to do this. If you do this, your car will get damaged, and fixing it will cost you thousands of dollars.
How Much Does it Cost to Replace a Catalytic Converter?
When your car’s catalytic converter needs to be replaced, either because it was stolen or because it broke down over time, we’re sorry to tell you that it won’t be cheap.
In fact, replacing a catalytic converter is often one of the most expensive repairs for most cars.
Even though the job itself won’t be too hard for an experienced mechanic to do, the total cost of the job is usually at least $1,000 and for many vehicles will easily be over $2,000.
Most of the cost of replacing the catalytic converter will come from buying a new one, which could cost up to $2,200. Easy to put in, and almost always very low labour costs for the job.
Since this repair job can be expensive, you may want to think about whether it’s worth it for your car. If your car is old, has a lot of miles on it, or has had other problems, you might be better off buying a new one.
If your catalytic converter is giving you trouble, remember that you can still drive your car for a long time without much to worry about. But don’t put the problem on hold for longer than you have to.
Fixing the problem as soon as possible is smart because putting it off could hurt your engine or get you a ticket from the police.