Why Does a Catalytic Converter Need to be Replaced?

No vehicle owner would like to drive a low-performing or noisy car. When you find out that your car's catalytic converter is not functioning effectively, you must deal with all the issues, including loss of power and engine misfires.

Your catalytic converter can have many issues over time. If you cannot repair it, you must replace a clogged or rusted catalytic converter. You have to take the step of replacing it as you can risk shutting down the engine completely.

Why do we need a catalytic converter?

A catalytic converter is an integral part of the exhaust system of your car, which makes sure that no harmful substances get released into the environment. The catalytic converter converts harmful substances like hydrocarbons and toxic carbon monoxide into nitrogen oxide, water, and carbon dioxide.

Your catalytic converter makes sure that your car can operate smoothly by nullifying any of the harmful chemicals in the exhaust. This is why it is essential to attend your catalytic converter if it is failing and even replace it if you can't repair it.

What causes a catalytic converter to fail?

  • Unburned fuel that enters the exhaust system

Generally, an automobile's fuel powering gets fumed up in the combustion section. When any energy gets unburned via the combustion chamber, it can penetrate the exhaust system and ignite on contacting the catalytic converter. So, it might get overheated beyond its limit, and this can cause a meltdown.

  • Rust

Rust is known to be an enemy of any exhaust system component. Because of frequent under-carriage washes, you may have a rusted catalytic converter that may become damaged. As rust is inevitable, if your vehicle is a bit older and you live in a rust-prone climate, you will be required to replace the catalytic converter.

  • Having short trips

Suppose you are taking only brief trips in the area on a vehicle and don't go on extended distances regularly. In that case, there are possibilities that the catalytic converter may not be getting hot adequately for burning the hydrocarbons away. This is why driving the vehicle on a highway for a few minutes is essential to prevent the catalytic converter from clogging.

Is it worth replacing a catalytic converter?

As there is a cost involved, catalytic converter replacement should be considered the last resort. This can be true if you have an old car and it is unreliable or has lots of miles. Unless you find your catalytic converter entirely out of order, you should try a few things before spending money on a new one. 

Once you can remove any non-catalytic converter issues, you can try a catalytic converter cleaner. If this doesn't work for you, you may have to decide to buy a replacement catalytic converter. 

Final Words

Catalytic converters can change any harmful emissions into a harmless gas, and therefore, one needs to replace a damaged, clogged, or rusted catalytic converter that can't function properly. They don't consider it a regular maintenance item as they can be expensive to replace. So, it is better to research the market before you take a step to replace the catalytic converter.