If you have been driving your car for a while and notice that it is getting harder to start, or if the gas mileage has dropped off recently, then there may be a problem with the catalytic converter. In this article, we will discuss what happens to your car when the catalytic converter goes bad.
A car catalytic converter works with the engine and fuel system to reduce harmful emissions. It is a u-shaped pipe attached on top of your car’s muffler, which contains cells coated with chemicals that help convert carbon monoxide into less harmful substances like nitrogen gas and water vapor (which come out through your tailpipe). The key components inside the catalytic converter are its three basic structures: the ceramic honeycomb, metal substrate, and precious metals.
Actually what happens when the catalytic converter of your car goes bad:
The car will run rough and bog down, especially when accelerating
The engine runs very rich (too much gas) which can cause backfiring in the exhaust system, sooty deposits on plugs and mufflers, overheating of the sparkplugs due to too much gasoline, and a decrease in fuel economy.
Sluggish Engine Performance
In some cases, the sluggish engine performance may be attributed to a faulty oxygen sensor. In this case, your car is burning too much gas and not enough air. This will cause poor fuel economy but won’t emit as many pollutants into the atmosphere because there’s less unburned gasoline in your exhaust system.
Reduced Rate of Acceleration
If the gas is less efficient, you will notice a lack of power when trying to accelerate or climb hills. The vehicle may also not be able to attain top speed without losing power and/or running very rough. Therefore, if you notice these signs, you should consider the possibility that your catalytic converter has failed.
Smoke in Exhaust System
If you are able to see smoke coming out of the exhaust, it means there is a problem with either an oxygen sensor or one of the cylinders themselves. If this is happening, you will need to have your spark plugs replaced and check for any leaks. You will also need to have your catalytic converter checked since this is one of the major causes of smoke in the exhaust system.
Unusual Sounds from Vehicle
If you are able to hear odd sounds coming from under your hood when starting up or driving, it may mean that there is a problem with either a sensor or a part of the exhaust system. For example, there may be a rattling sound when starting up which means you need to get your oxygen sensor checked and replaced if it is faulty or corroded. It could also mean that there is loose debris in the catalytic converter housing so have this looked at as well by an auto shop mechanic for repairs/replacement.
Reduced Top Speed
A car’s engine RPMs (revolutions per minute) increase in proportion with its speed; the increase in RPMs means more fuel is being burned. When the catalytic converter fails, it cannot process enough harmful toxins out of your car’s exhaust to keep up with the engine speed which results in a limited top-end speed.
The Smell of sulfur or rotten eggs from the exhaust fumes
The smell of sulfur or rotten eggs from the exhaust fumes is a strong indicator that you have a faulty catalytic converter. The smell may not be apparent when driving but can become very noticeable while idling for extended periods at stoplights, etc. Driving with this defect will result in your vehicle burning more fuel than it would without the defective catalytic converter.
In some cases, the catalytic converter will make a loud noise when the vehicle is running. A hissing or rattling sound from under your hood can be a sign that it needs to be replaced soon before damage occurs in other parts of your car’s emissions control system such as oxygen sensors and/or fuel injectors.
A spoilt catalytic converter can cause so many problems in your car’s fuel efficiency, emissions control system, and eventually the overall performance of your vehicle. It is better to get it replaced at an early stage before you are stranded on the road due to no fault of yours.
Using a car with a spoilt catalytic converter is a sure way to cause more damage to your car’s emissions control system and fuel efficiency. Moreover, you will be polluting the environment with highly noxious gases from your car’s exhaust.