The catalytic converter is a very important part of the emissions control system on your vehicle. It’s usually good for the life of a vehicle, but occasionally it does fail. The best thing you can do is be alert for signs of trouble and head to Hobson’s Auto Repair if you suspect that the catalytic converter is malfunctioning. The catalytic converter is mounted in the exhaust pipe. Its purpose is to superheat unburned particles in the exhaust gases that are expelled from the engine. As the engine runs, the catalytic converter warms up to an operating temperature of 500-1200 °F. At this temperature the particles in the ‘dirty’ exhaust are burned and converted into water vapor and carbon dioxide. The catalyst inside is nearly always comprised of precious metals such as platinum, rhodium, or palladium. When the catalyst isn’t able to burn off the unburned hydrocarbons in the exhaust, an unpleasant odor can occur, a rough run or misfire may be felt, or the Check Engine light may illuminate.
We will put your vehicle on an electronic diagnostic machine to locate the source of the problem. In some cases it can be an oxygen sensor. There are a few located in the exhaust manifold or exhaust pipe ahead of the catalytic converter.
How important is this service?
If the catalytic converter isn’t operating efficiently, the check engine light will come on and your engine can begin to lose performance. If the catalytic converter becomes plugged, the engine light will begin to flash and your engine may stall or no longer start. In extreme cases where the converter is plugged, the excess back pressure created can actually cause internal engine damage. If you are experiencing symptoms related to catalytic converter failure, get it checked soon.