A car’s catalytic converter plays a pivotal role in multiple aspects of performance and safety. It helps convert the harmful exhaust gases into safer gases that can be released into the surrounding air.

A malfunctioning catalytic converter compromises not only the well-being and performance of your engine but also carries the risk of polluting the environment.

Every car comes with a reliable catalytic converter that goes a long way without needing maintenance. However, over time, these can get overheated, clogged, or damaged in other ways and lead to reduced performance.

In such a case, your converter will not push out the exhaust gases as efficiently and may make your engine work harder. For this reason, you will also be yielding a lowered Gas Mileage and higher costs as you burn fuel.

Some dangers involved with a damaged converter include gas contamination, incomplete combustion, or oxygen sensor failure.

It is therefore essential to constantly check on the well-being of your catalytic converter. The article contains five crucial signs you should look out for when assessing the health of your catalytic converter.

1. Reduced Acceleration Power

A properly functioning catalytic converter will allow you to accelerate in a short time without overexerting your engine. The catalytic converter may be clogged if your car is not working as efficiently when moving uphill or accelerating.

Most cars can have a clogged catalytic converted remain undetected during a standard health check. This can be especially true when it is only partially obstructed, making detection harder.

A quick test for clogged converters is to run your engine at around 1800 to 2000 RPM while keeping your hand against the tailpipe. If you can feel excessively hot air, it means the catalytic converter is clogged.

2. Engine Misfires

An engine misfire happens when one or more cylinders on your engine cannot produce any power. Whenever your car’s engine does this, it is a sign of incomplete combustion within those cylinders.

In most cases, a clogged catalytic converter can cause further damage to your car’s engine as it causes overexertion. Continual overheating and incomplete combustion will eventually lead to full-blown failure of the converter.

3. Increased Emissions

The primary purpose of any catalytic converter is to minimize the emission of harmful carbon dioxide by transforming it into safer compounds. When it fails to do so, it is simply damaged.

Also, when the converter is faulty, it will not react with the gases and cause either incomplete or no gas combustion. This will lead to higher carbon dioxide levels being released through the output pipe.

When not replaced or repaired in time, such a converter can cause damage to the entire exhaust system of your car.

4. Reduction in Engine Performance

Degraded performance where your car cannot accelerate as quickly or reach its top speed and horsepower can be a sign of a damaged converter.

A faulty converter creates much back pressure that adds additional strain on your engine. This, in turn, causes loss in engine power and lowered performance.

Illuminated Check Engine Light

Check Engine light is a helpful indicator on your car that gets illuminated whenever there is a mechanical fault in your vehicle. If you suspect a lousy catalytic converter and also see this light turned on, you may be right.

Most new generation cars come equipped with an air-fuel ratio sensor that keeps track of the gas levels within the exhaust. This sensor notifies the Check engine alert when the converter is not combusting or performing properly otherwise.

However, simply having this light illuminated does not indicate a damaged converter. This light can become turned on even if there is another mechanic problem within your car.

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