Fixing car tools

Signs You Need To Replace Your Catalytic Converter

Your vehicle contains many essential components that keep you heading down the roadways in fine fettle. An important part of the car’s emission and exhaust system, a catalytic converter has several functions, most famously keeping the gasses that escape through the tailpipe as pristine as possible. This item, a marvel of precision engineering, uses heat and a complicated series of chemical reactions, as well as employing heavy metals such as platinum, rhodium and palladium, to render toxic gasses into safer compounds. Eventually, though, the converter will break, clog or wear out. When this happens, one or more of the following signs will likely alert you to a problem:

  • Dark smoke coming from the tailpipe
  • The smell of sulfur or rotten eggs 
  • A rattling sound near the exhaust system
  • Reduced fuel efficiency
  • A check engine light

Since any of these signs could point to other problems, it is best to verify the issue with a trusted mechanic. It is also possible to troubleshoot the problem on your own through specific measures.

How To Tell Your Catalytic Converter Has Gone Bad

A failing converter will progressively get worse. Soon your engine performance will become noticeably compromised. Not addressing the problem is not really an option, as a bad cat can lead to engine damage or failure and can even generate enough heat to cause a vehicle fire. When looking at a replacement catalytic converter cost, it is important to consider several factors. The make, model and year of your vehicle is one factor. So too are the labor costs at your trusted mechanic shop. You will also likely be able to choose from several models and manufacturers for the replacement unit. If you are skilled at repairs, you can do the job yourself and save hundreds of dollars. In general, you are looking at anywhere between $1,000 to $2,500 to get the job done. The good news is that a new unit will probably last for as long as you own the vehicle. Also, you will see better performance in your vehicle, and you will be doing your part to keep the air cleaner.

How To Fix A Catalytic Converter

When it is time to replace your unit, you can use the free VIN number lookup to find the right converter for your machine. This will ensure you get a compatible unit. You can choose from a direct fit converter made specifically for your vehicle, or a universal fit piece that will work fine but might require a trickier installation process. A few interim measures are possible if the converter is in the early stages of failure. These include adding specific fuel additives to the gas tank, manually cleaning the unit or driving more often at highway speeds. In the end, though, a replacement is probably inevitable once you start noticing signs of trouble. At this point, it is critical to find the best new converter for your car and enjoy the increased performance and cleaner emissions. To enjoy optimal performance, shop now to find quality and affordable parts for your vehicle.