What a catalytic converter does in a car is an aspect that most drivers and motorists need to understand. Every car owner should know how a converter works and how every part of it operates. In case of any breakage, he should see the emergency measures to undertake, be it cleaning or repairing. Every driver must ensure that each part of their automotive works well and is in good condition.
What is a Catalytic Converter?
A catalytic converter is an emission control device that controls the emission of pollutants produced by an automotive device. It is modified in a particular way to convert 98% of exhaust fumes produced by a car engine.
What are the Common Catalytic Converter Problems?
Certified converters are durable and are known to last for more than ten years when kept in good condition. However, they get easily damaged when clogged, contaminated, or when physically destroyed.
Here are common catalytic problems that you must familiarize yourself with:
A failed oxygen sensor can cause overheating in the Converter due to unburned gases in the exhaust system caused by a faulty exhaust valve.
2. Road debris
Curbs can quickly destroy most catalytic devices located under the vehicle on the road. Such an incident might happen while the car is moving.
3. Lead gas contaminant
Lead gas can ruin the catalyst when it leaks into the combustion engine. It tends to clog the catalyst hence preventing exhaust gases from moving out of the Converter.
Where is the Catalytic Converter located?
Your car converter situated between your vehicle header and the muffler. It is part of the exhaust system, and its configuration design solely depends on the make of your vehicle. Most automobiles have one Converter, while modern cars with new high-ends, have two exhaust systems installed.
What is a Catalytic Control device made of?
The emission control device is constructed in a unique way to reduce toxic fumes and consists of the following major components;
It has a ceramic interior that looks like a honeycomb with porous walls to allow more reactions to occur freely.
2. Durable and special metals
It is made up of a hard metal from the outside to insulate the device from dust and rust. Moreover, the inside of the machine has the coatings of precious metals such as palladium, platinum, and rhodium.
Consequently, these precious gems will, in turn, aid in transferring electrons that will convert unwanted gases produced.
3. Oxygen system
It also has a control system that regulates the amount of oxygen that gets to the exhaust stream. It helps to alert the Converter when the oxygen runs out and when it is time to pump in more oxygen to the system.
What are the uses of a Catalytic Converter?
Is the Converter essential? Many automobile owners have a converter installed in their exhaust system, but they have no idea what it does. It is one of the most critical parts of the vehicle, but most people never pay attention to this vital device.
Hence, the exhaust emission device has the following significant functions in your motor:
- Exhaust gas catalyst serves to convert harmful carbon monoxide to harmless carbon dioxide gas
- It also changes toxic hydrogen oxides emitted by an automobile to less toxic nitrogen gas and oxygen.
- Lastly, it also converts dangerous hydrocarbons into less harmful carbon dioxide gas and water.
Signs of Clogged Converter
What are the Signs of a Clogged Converter?
Do you sometimes find it challenging to start your car engine? That is a significant sign of a clogged converter that needs to be changed soonest before it causes more harm. Remember, as your converter ages, it tends to crack and block due to accumulated toxic substances in the device.
Therefore, here is a guide to help you know when to purchase another exhaust gas purifier.
- Excessive burning and too much heat in your engine
- Presence of sulfuric smell in your exhaust system.
- Production of dark, thick exhaust smoke from the care engine.
- Finally, when you notice that your engine performance has reduced.
Ensure that you lookup for these signs every time you start your vehicle primarily if you have used your car for more than ten years. This idea will help you plan for a new exhaust converter.
Moreover, before you purchase a new catalyst, ensure that EPA certifies it. Certification will assure you that you are buying a durable converter.
What to do with a Clogged Catalytic Converter
Do you have to clean your exhaust emission device? The answer to this is a big YES! To boost the performance of your catalyst, you can decide to clean your exhaust purifier. Such a technique is favorable, especially when you are on a tight budget.
You can opt to clean your catalyst by either removing it or not. Before you start cleaning your catalyst, there is one crucial aspect that you need to pay attention to:
Firstly, before you start cleaning your catalyst, lookup for any destroyed parts. If some parts seem broken, you have no option but to buy another exhaust purifier. Converters are usually costly because of the valuable metals inside that cost a lot of money to produce.
What to do if your Converter is not Damaged
On the other hand, if your purifier has no cracks, purchase a specialized converter cleaner. Since most catalyst issues are as a result of cracked and blocked purifiers, cleaning them can be appropriate in most circumstances.
How to Clean your Catalytic Converter without Removing it
If you are to tidy up deposits clogged in your Converter, using a specialized cleaner is the best way to do it. In this way, you don’t have to remove the whole honeycomb necessarily.
Here is a step by step process that will allow you to clean your catalyst without taking it out.
Step#1: Ensure that the detergent is compatible
Before you purchase gasoline or diesel, ensure that it is compatible with your vehicle. Please read the manufacturer’s guide first to make sure that it is appropriate.
Step#2: Purchase enough quantity
Buy enough quantity of the detergent. If your car is significant, it will require a considerable amount of detergent. You wouldn’t want to make multiple trips to the store because of inefficiency.
Step#3: Follow the instructions of the application
Read the instructions’ leaflet carefully before you start applying the detergent into the gas tank. Apply the right amount to the tank then start your engine to circulate the detergent. Drive for a specific time indicated in the instructions.
It is not a secret that catalytic purifiers today are an essential part of an automobile system. Understanding how it works in a vehicle and how to clean it is an additional plus to any driver or car owner. However, you shouldn’t worry if you have no idea what this device is and how it works. Because this guide has the right information on what you need concerning an exhaust emission control unit. So, if you want to comprehend well what a catalytic converter does, this article is meant for you.