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Six Signs My Car’s Catalytic Converter Is Dying

Without the catalytic converter, your exhaust would not be treated before it exits through the tailpipe. Treating the exhaust is important because it changes toxic gases into safe emissions. This ensures that your vehicle is releasing the fewest hydrocarbons possible. Padron Automotive advises that the catalytic converter lasts about 10 years. If you drive an older automobile, and you notice any of the following six signs, it’s possible that your catalytic converter is dying and needs to be replaced.

1. Check Engine Warning

One of the first things that will happen when the catalytic converter malfunctions is you will end up with the check engine light warning on the dashboard. The faulty catalytic converter can skew the amount of air and fuel in the combustion chamber indirectly and cause a system sensor to report an error. Once the error is reported, the check engine light will come on until the error is resolved.

2. Acceleration Problems

Part of how the catalytic converter skews the air and fuel in the combustion chamber is it unintentionally fills the chamber with vehicle exhaust. If the catalytic converter is clogged or malfunctioning, the vehicle exhaust is not processed through the converter and then exited out of the tailpipe. Rather, the exhaust stays in the combustion chamber and impedes your vehicle’s acceleration.

3. Sluggish Engine

This exhaust can also cause your engine to become sluggish, especially at high speeds. This is because the engine needs to be burning fresh air and fuel all the time to maintain combustion and momentum. If exhaust fills the combustion chamber, there is no room for fresh air and fuel.

4. Black Exhaust Smoke

Another sign that your catalytic converter is going bad is black exhaust smoke flowing out of the tailpipe. The color of this smoke suggests that the catalytic converter has not converted the toxins into safe emissions. Unfortunately, your vehicle will pollute the air with the black exhaust flowing out of the tailpipe. This will continue until you replace the catalytic converter.

5. Rotten Egg Odors

In addition to the exhaust smoke being dark, it will also smell like rotten eggs if the catalytic converter has died. You may also detect the rotten egg odor underneath your automobile and in the engine bay.

6. Excessive Heat

Finally, a malfunctioning catalytic converter gets too hot and releases excessive heat underneath your car, truck, or utility vehicle. When this happens, the heat travels upward into the engine and overheats your engine.

Padron Automotive in Topeka, KS, is here to help, so call us today. We’d be happy to test your catalytic converter and replace it if necessary.

Photo by BanksPhotos from Getty Images Signature via Canva Pro
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