Catalytic converters remove carbon monoxide and other toxic gases that a car produces. Driving with a bad catalytic converter isn’t good for you and your vehicle. If you have a doubt that your catalytic converter is not working properly, here are the symptoms to look for,
The check engine light is one of the most common indicators of a malfunction with your car, also one of the strongest indicators of a bad catalytic converter. Modern vehicles are now designed with oxygen sensors which can easily monitor the catalytic converter’s efficiency by checking the exhaust’s gas levels.
If the exhaust gases are not being catalyzed properly for any reason, the “Check Engine Light” will come on. If it’s in the ON state then understand that something is wrong.
One of the most common symptoms of a clogged catalytic converter is an inefficient power from the engine, during acceleration such as when you need to pass another vehicle quickly.
If you notice delays while accelerating, while other parts like spark plugs, filters, sensors, etc. are fine, then it could be the catalytic converter that’s bad. To check whether the catalytic converter is clogged, keep your hand close to the exhaust pipe end and try to push the accelerator pedal, increasing your car’s RPM to 2000. If you get poor accelerating power, you might have a clogged catalytic converter.
If the mileage is not good then it’s one of the symptoms of a poor catalytic converter. On the contrary, a better gas mileage may seem like a good deal, but it can damage your engine and may cause even more expensive repairs.
Due to improper combustion of the fuel when the exhaust is clogged, it will badly affect your car’s engine and it needs to work harder for the same amount of power. A bad catalytic converter will cause a higher fuel consumption, in some cases lower consumption is also possible.
If the catalytic converter’s housing has turned blue or some other color, then it’s a sign of a clog and creates excessive heat.
This might happen when your engine is not running as it should and unburnt fuel will enter the catalyst. This may ignite the converter due to the heat and melts its inner material, thus leading to more blockages.
If any material inside the catalytic converter breaks due to excessive heat or damage, then you’ll hear a rattling sound coming from under your vehicle while idling or driving. The noise will be at the peak when you start the car. Replace the cat as soon as possible as it can affect the exhaust system and into the muffler. This blockage can make the car stall and prevent you from starting your car back up.
If the catalytic converter is clogged, the engine will get an extra amount of fuel that the engine cannot burn. This creates back pressure which will make the engine weak and struggle to get rid of the exhaust fumes.
For instance, if your car starts within 2-3 seconds and then dies, it could be due to a clogged converter. Actually, it may take 2-3 seconds for the pressure to rise in the exhaust system.
These are some of the symptoms of a bad catalytic converter.