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Though you may not realize it, the catalytic converter in your automobile is almost single-handedly responsible for turning toxic exhaust fumes into relatively harmless ones. Unfortunately, a bad catalytic converter is no longer capable of performing this task, thus leading to negative consequences both for the environment and for your car. If you would like to educate yourself about the signs of a clogged converter, here are three important symptoms.
There are two general ways that a catalytic converter can stop working the way it should. First, the converter may have suffered damage or corrosion that has caused it to become compromised by holes or cracks. In this case, toxic exhaust gases are able to escape before being converted. This problem can generally be recognized by the appearance of thick, dark, smelly exhaust fumes.
Second, the converter may have become clogged by exhaust byproducts and/or contaminants. These contaminants may include substances like engine oil or antifreeze that have found their way via cracks to the catalytic converter. This problem tends to be somewhat more difficult to diagnose, especially in the early stages. Below are three strong signs that you may be dealing with this issue.
Symptom 1: Poor Performance
This symptom is often tied to a clogged converter. This results in exhaust fumes that remain trapped inside of the exhaust system. Eventually these fumes will become overly concentrated and backup into the engine itself. This will lead to an engine that increasingly struggles with performance. For one thing, you may notice that your car simply doesn't have the same power that it used to. For another, you may begin to find that your fuel efficiency is dropping off.
Symptom 2: Rattling Sounds
Inside of your catalytic converter there is a dense honeycomb made of ceramic. The walls of this honeycomb are treated with the metals responsible for provoking the chemical reaction at the heart of the converter's purpose. The problem here is that this ceramic structure is relatively fragile. The accumulation of contaminants, many of which are quite caustic, can cause pieces of it to crumble and break off. Not only will this decrease the efficiency of the converter, but the broken pieces will also lead to an odd rattling sound from your exhaust system.
Symptom 3: Check Engine Light
As noted above, a clogged converter leads to the buildup of noxious gases inside of the engine. Eventually these gases will become condensed enough that they set off the oxygen sensors, thus causing the check engine light to come on. As yet there may be no noticeable changes in the handling of your car. But, when faced with a mysterious check engine light, it is a good idea to have your car checked out by a mechanic like AutoMedics. It just might be that something isn't right with your catalytic converter.Share