Like many people you may not know much about your catalytic converter or that at some point you may need a Catalytic Converter Replacement. All street vehicle manufactured in the past several decades has at least one catalytic converter mounted within its exhaust system. Many luxury cars have two, or even more. The purpose of the catalytic converter is to superheat unburned particles in your engine’s exhaust gases. As your engine warms up, the catalytic converter will heat to an operating temperature of 500 – 1200°F. This allows it to burn harmful particles in the exhaust gases, converting them to water vapor and carbon dioxide.
The catalyst inside is usually made of precious metals such as platinum, rhodium, or palladium, which means that catalytic converters usually cost several hundred dollars. Over time your vehicle’s catalytic converter is no longer able to burn off the unburned hydrocarbons in the exhaust, your exhaust gases may begin to smell abnormal, your engine may run rough or misfire, and your check engine light will most likely come on and this may indicate you need a replacement.
If your catalytic converter isn’t operating efficiently, the check engine light will come on and your engine’s power and fuel economy can begin to diminish. If it becomes completely clogged, the check engine light will begin to flash and your engine may stall or refuse to start. In extreme cases, a clogged catalytic converter can even create enough excess back pressure to cause internal engine damage. Your vehicle will also fail a emission test, meaning that you will not be able to register it. Here at Perez Auto Repair of Phoenix, we recommend that you get any symptoms related to catalytic converter failure checked as soon as possible.
If you consistently take short trips with your vehicle, the catalytic converter may not be heating up enough to operate as it is designed to, which can result in it getting clogged. To prevent this, you should make sure to take your vehicle for the occasional drive on the highway for 15 minutes or longer, which will allow the exhaust to heat up sufficiently and burn off any deposits forming in your catalytic converter.
Replacing the catalytic converter is usually a relatively labor intensive job that requires welding, not something that you can easily do at home. It may also be necessary to replace your vehicle’s oxygen sensors at the same time.
Additionally, there is also the occasional opportunist these days that may target your catalytic converters because of their high value by jacking up newer vehicle and cutting them off.
If you think that you may need a catalytic converter replacement or issue, bring your vehicle in to Perez Auto Shop, our facility is located at 429 S. 35th Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85009 where we have all the latest diagnostic equipment to read all makes and models. Or contact us via phone at 602-269-3576 or online.