A catalytic converter is an integral component of the cars exhaust system. It filters out toxic emissions from the engine, thus alleviating harmful environmental contamination. If you pay enough attention to your car's servicing and maintenance needs, you may never have to replace your cat. But in other cases, a converter can get damaged, which affects its longevity and performance. Suffice to say; almost all catalytic convertor problems emanate from engine failures including imbalanced air-fuel mixture, damaged oxygen sensors and bad spark plugs. If left unattended, these problems can rapidly escalate to overheating, clogging, and physical deterioration of the cat.
So, what are the Symptoms of a Bad Catalytic Converter?
Check the Dashboard Light
A flashing light illuminating at the dashboard signifies a damaged or failing, catalytic converter. Modern cars have several oxygen sensors or actuators which monitor the exhaust gas levels and alert you in case of clogging. Besides, they also have numerous data trouble codes directly connected to the catalytic converter.
Your Engine Hesitates During Acceleration
A clogged catalytic converter leads to loss of engine power. As such, it will give you trouble when trying to accelerate, go up a hill, tow a heavy load or quickly overtake another vehicle. If the clogging is a result if the carbon builds-up in the honeycomb, you can clean it up to eliminate the blockage.
Pay Attention to the Emissions
In most parts of the United States, the federal government requires every car on the road to pass the smog and emission test. It is the only way to ensure that the vehicles do not emit toxic gasses into the environment. A damaged catalytic converter tends to release excess emissions which results in a failed emission test.
Rattling Engine Noises
Here is one of the major symptoms of a damaged cat. When the catalytic converter is subjected to overheating or physical damage, some of its internal structures become loosely attached and disintegrate. Therefore, the rattling noises which are mostly loud when the engine runs emanate from the catalytic converter itself. In worst-case scenarios, the chunks from the disintegrated materials can move further down the engine, causing a major blockage. Consequently, this can cause you significant problems when trying to start your car.
Poor Fuel Economy
A blocked catalytic converter reduces airflow and disrupts your car's engine combustion mechanism. This causes fuel inefficiency, which not only heightens your car bills but also worsens the clogging situation.
A catalytic converter translates to an underperforming, uneconomical car. If you need catalytic converter repair, feel free to bring your car to our auto repair shop today for professional assistance