What Happens When the Catalytic Converter Goes Bad?

The liver is a vital part of human anatomy. Its main job is to detoxify chemicals and metabolize drugs in blood coming from the digestive tract to ensure it’s clean and healthy before it travels to the rest of your body. Livers are designed to last a lifetime, but they can fail if clogged up with unhealthy fat.

Problems that may make you fail the test include an increased level of carbon emissions, contaminated antifreeze or motor oil or any of the other symptoms mentioned above. Finally, if your vehicle doesn’t accelerate properly when you step your foot on the gas pedal, it could be another sign your catalytic converter is clogged.

Reduced engine performance or efficiency is a red flag, as it’s another sign that exhaust is trapped in front of the catalytic converter. The good news is that just like you can treat liver failure if you catch it early enough, you can potentially clean out a clogged catalytic converter if you address it before it damages your other car components.

Can I drive a car with a bad catalytic converter?

A bad catalytic converter will give off higher emissions than allowed by the state. So a car with a malfunctioning catalytic converter will not pass a vehicle inspection. And that means you won’t be able to drive your vehicle legally.

How can you tell when the catalytic converter is bad?

Sluggish engine performance..Reduced acceleration..Dark exhaust smoke..The smell of sulfur or rotten eggs from the exhaust..Excessive heat under the vehicle.

What happens if you don't fix catalytic converter?

When this happens, the catalytic converter can become clogged, restricting the normal flow of exhaust gases through it and the rest of the exhaust system. This will directly affect the engine’s performance, to the point where you may not even be able to get your car started. You may notice: A lack of power.

Can a bad catalytic converter ruin your engine?

The catalytic converter has to convert three harmful compounds in the car exhaust into compounds that will not destroy your car or the environment. … Without getting rid of these gasses, your bad catalytic converter can ruin your engine.

Whats that wretched smell? Have you ever finished driving your vehicle and noticed the acrid scent of rotten eggs? If so, pay attention, this is often the first and most common sign that your catalytic converter is starting to fail.

Catalytic converters are located in the exhaust system between the engine and the muffler, and they are one of the last lines of defense against air pollution from vehicles. They use ceramic-coded beads and various precious metals (the catalysts) to convert pollutants like unburned gas and nitrogen oxide into harmless gases.

Some of those symptoms can also be caused by other parts of the emissions system, so its important for a mechanic to diagnose when its time to replace your catalytic converter. Keeping your exhaust, emissions and combustion systems in good shape will minimize the risk of your catalytic converter failing before its time.

Catalytic converter damage is one reason thats one of Cars.coms Top Ten Car Maintenance Crimes . In line with Cars.coms long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers dont accept gifts or free trips from automakers.

Driving with a bad catalytic converter isnt always obvious. Watch out for these signs so catalytic converter symptoms dont go undiagnosed and cost you a fortune in repairs.

This metal canister is filled with a chemical catalyst which converts gas emissions in your exhaust system so theyre either decreased or eliminated. Catalytic converters generally dont malfunction unless another connected part, like a spark plug or an exhaust valve, fails and is then ignored.

Though an illuminated Check Engine Light could mean many issues youll want a professional mechanic to diagnose, one of them may be a bad catalytic converter. If youre using a super rich fuel mixture, the chances of the catalyst-coated honeycomb-shaped mesh on the inside of your converter becoming damaged and worn out is higher. Depending on how big your tank is, you could be wasting a lot of money unknowingly and furthering the buildup in your catalytic converter if its already clogged.

Youll notice a loss in power and acceleration, jerky movements, and complete stall outs if exhaust flow is severely restricted. Replacing a bad catalytic converter is the third most common car repair related to a check engine warning light, according to CarMD[*]. Fixes for older catalytic converters tend to be simpler than modern versions, but replacing one may be more expensive depending on your cars rarity.

Catalytic Converter Theft

Those precious metals we talked about can draw attention: Catalytic converters are frequently stolen because of the precious metals inside. Converters have small amounts of platinum, rhodium and palladium, all of which have value for metal dealers.

What Does a Catalytic Converter Do?

A catalytic converter sits between your engine and the muffler in your exhaust. Its main job is to reduce emissions from your car to protect the environment.A bad catalytic converter will give off higher emissions than allowed by the state.

Your Check Engine Light is On

Though an illuminated Check Engine Light could mean many issues you’ll want a professional mechanic to diagnose, one of them may be a bad catalytic converter.Newer engines have oxygen and air/fuel ratio sensors to measure the efficiency of the catalytic converter’s pollution fighting. By monitoring the levels of gas in the exhaust, your car’s computer will know when it’s not working correctly and alert you.

A Rattling Noise In the Engine

If you’re using a super rich fuel mixture, the chances of the catalyst-coated honeycomb-shaped mesh on the inside of your converter becoming damaged and worn out is higher.When this happens, the pieces break apart and rattle around inside. You’ll notice this especially when you first start your car.Don’t ignore these rattles as they only get worse.

You’re Getting Fewer Miles Per Gallon

Feel like you’re filling up the tank more often? A bad catalytic converter often means poor fuel efficiency.Depending on how big your tank is, you could be wasting a lot of money unknowingly — and furthering the buildup in your catalytic converter if it’s already clogged.

Engine Misfires

An engine misfire is when one or more of your engine’s cylinders stop providing power to your car. When this happens, raw fuel may enter the catalytic converter. It can also overheat and melt itself, or cause an engine fire.So what should you do to prevent this destruction?