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Catalytic Converters: How to Know if There’s a Problem

Catalytic converters use a catalyst to convert harmful and dangerous compounds into harmless compounds, so it’s important to identify issues with converters.

Catalytic converters focus on reshaping hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides. As we all know, carbon monoxide is poisonous, but what you may not have known is that nitrogen oxide can lead to smog and acid rain. How then, do you know if there is a problem with your catalytic converter?


Understanding Catalytic Converters

A catalytic converter is part of your car’s exhaust system, and you can find it on the underside of the car. The converter is normally located underneath the passenger seat, and it will actually resemble the shape of a muffler. When trying to identify problems with a catalytic converter, you will want to know its exact location.

How a Catalytic Converter Works

While a trusted mechanic will know exactly how a catalytic converter works, it doesn’t hurt for you to understand how a converter operates. Understanding how a catalytic converter operates will help you understand some of the issues that may arise. The inside of the converter has a set of passageways or ceramic beads that are coated with catalysts. The catalyst supports a chemical reaction to reduce the harmfulness of pollutants, and the passageways allow for exhaust gas to flow. The catalysts in your converter work together to reduce carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide, and issues are most often found during emission tests.

Problems with Your Catalytic Converter

Now that you know some of the basics about your catalytic converter, how can you tell if you have an issue? Converters can fail when it becomes clogged, and a catalytic converter can actually become poisoned as well. You can sometimes tell if your converter is clogged because your car will not go faster when you try to accelerate. A clogged converter can also affect your gas mileage. Unfortunately, there aren’t always noticeable signs that a catalytic converter isn’t reaching a peak performance and you may need a mechanic to replace the converter to notice a change in performance.

Because of the harm it can cause to the environment as well as the negative effects a malfunction can bring to your car’s performance, it’s important to fix any issues with a catalytic converter as soon as possible.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015 at 6:59 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.