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Problems & Malfunctions Associated with the Catalytic Converter

Problems & Malfunctions Associated with the Catalytic Converter

The emission control device, like other components of a car, requires periodic diagnostics. Even if there are no signs of damage yet, it is essential to note that the catalytic converter’s condition should be checked every 150,000 kilometers. On the surface of the active reagents, a continuous catalytic reaction takes place, which helps cleanse toxic elements and makes exhaust emissions less harmful. In the event of any malfunction, the active substances may be delivered damaged.

Andrey Levashenk, a co-founder of AutoCatalystMarket, shared his experience on this matter. Their website helps quickly find buyers for used car parts. You can check current catalytic converter prices in their catalog.

Operating conditions can lead to the following types of damage:

  • mechanical damage;
  • chemical damage;
  • thermal damage.

The emission control device can be damaged for various reasons, such as rough roads or low-quality gasoline. In such cases, the catalytic converter’s structure may change, resulting in a loss of active centers on its surface and, consequently, a decrease in performance. The presence of impurities, high temperatures, and flow rate fluctuations can render the component useless.

How to know if the catalytic converter is clogged?

If you use a car with a damaged or missing emission control device, harmful gasses will escape into the air and the car’s cabin. Clogged catalytic converters can be hazardous to the atmosphere. Normally, they convert harmful exhaust gasses into odorless and safer gasses.

If the catalytic converter is clogged, gasses won’t be converted. You can notice this by the smell of sulfur in the air and the appearance of unusual noise, which may be caused by malfunctions in the converter’s parts. 

Detached emission control device elements may block the exhaust, causing the car to stall. Overheating of the engine and issues in the ignition system can also lead to catalytic converter malfunctions, resulting in engine overheating. If any problems arise during operation, the engine’s power will deteriorate.

If ignition problems occur, a diagnostic should be carried out, as this issue can be characteristic of other cases as well. It’s also worth checking the condition of the emission control device if fuel efficiency has decreased.

Why converters break?

Emission control devices may need replacement earlier than expected. Breakdowns can occur in the following cases:

  • Elevated exhaust gas temperatures can gradually damage the catalytic elements. Sometimes, the malfunction warning system does not work correctly. It is better to address this issue immediately, as the emission control device will require immediate replacement or repair.
  • Coolant leakage into the combustion chamber is a serious problem that will harm the engine’s operation.
  • Catalytic converter malfunctions may cause certain engines to consume a lot of oil because the piston rings lose their sealing ability.
  • Driving on rough roads will eventually lead to noise under the car.
  • Frequent rapid acceleration can cause fuel residue to clog the cells.
  • Frequent traffic jams will gradually render the emission control device useless.

If the emission control device does not function correctly, you will need to constantly spend money on its maintenance. The engine’s performance will also be reduced, resulting in further losses. This should be taken into account, especially if you plan to drive with a malfunctioning converter over long distances. 

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