A catalytic converter is a particle converter, it cleans the exhaust gases and prevent the air from being flooded with pollutants and toxic gases produced by your exhaust. They have been a legal requirement on all new petrol and diesel cars since 1993 so your car likely has one.
Your exhaust creates emissions like hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide, which are harmful and damaging to the atmosphere. The catalytic converter reduces the total amount of these pollutants. It does this by converting them into water vapour and gases which are less harmful, by catalysing a redox reaction (an oxidation and a reduction reaction).
The average life for a catalytic converter is 100,000 miles. You should then consider either getting your converter regenerated or replaced. Regenerating a catalytic converter is essentially just cleaning it.
What happens if I don’t get a catalytic converter replacement?
In the event that your catalytic converter is damaged and you don’t replace or repair it, it can have a negative effect on how your car performs.
In the early stages of breakdown, the converter does not immediately affect the engine of your car. However, the longer it is left without being repaired, the more damage occurs to the engine – to the point that it will deteriorate significantly in performance.
This in turn also affects the exhaust, as it becomes blocked. This impairs your car’s functionality. Catalytic converter issues also mean that while your car is running, there is an increase in harmful exhaust emissions, which are dangerous to the atmosphere. A damaged converter can lead to your engine shutting down entirely if left without repair or replacement.
Signs that you need a catalytic converter replacement
While having to replace parts of your car can be bothersome, replacing your catalytic converter is certainly cheaper than having to pay for a new car. One of the best ways to prevent any lasting damage is to identify any issues with your catalytic converter as soon as they happen. Some of the main symptoms of an ineffective converter are:
– Slow engine performance
– Reduced acceleration range
– Additional heat from under your car
– The smell of rotten eggs or sulfur coming from your exhaust
– Dark smoke coming from your exhaust
These symptoms can be the result of other issues, however, you should take your car to be checked as soon as possible so that the cause can be diagnosed. By ensuring that your car undergoes regular maintenance checks, you can reduce the chance of any issues falling under the radar.
If you’ve got any concerns about your car or catalytic converter, drop in to Roadwheel or give us a call and we’ll be happy to take a look.