The catalytic converter is an important component of your car responsible for minimizing the harmful emissions from your car’s exhaust. It is a canister shaped unit found at the back or in the middle of the exhaust system of your car. Any issues with the catalytic converter can actually affect the performance of your car and cause permanent damages. If you found that an exhaust emission test is always failing, it might likely be caused by a faulty catalytic converter.
This component can be damaged due to many issues; for instance, engine overheating that causes its internal chemical catalyst to fail. If you feel any issues with the catalytic converter of your car, it is advised to immediately take your car to an auto repair service. Below are some vital signs of a failing catalytic converter in your car that will help you point out the issue to an auto mechanic.
Reduction in Engine Performance
Having a free flowing exhaust without any restrictions is important for the engine to generate the best performance. A failing catalytic converter can actually affect the performance of the engine as it interferes with the free flowing exhaust. The components inside a failing catalytic converter can get detached and clog the exhaust flow, which reduces the engine performance and fuel economy. A failing catalytic converter also takes a toll on the normal acceleration rates of your car leading to frequent power losses.
Failing Emission Test
If you find that your car is failing in an emission test, then a malfunctioning catalytic converter is the most likely cause for it. A failing catalytic converter cannot properly convert the harmful gases produced by the engine leading to increased emissions. These are detected in the findings of an emission test where the level of harmful gases present in the exhaust will be recorded higher than the accepted levels. A pungent or strong exhaust odor is also another important sign that indicates that the catalytic converter is not functioning properly.
Another vital sign that indicates a failing catalytic converter is the production of rattling noises while you drive the car. If rust or too much heat enters into the catalytic converter, it can damage the honeycomb structures inside and cause them to break into little pieces. These pieces will strike against the walls of the canister and the honeycomb meshes producing a rattling sound while starting or driving the car.