How Does the Catalytic Converter Get Clogged?

The catalytic converter is the exhaust system part that treats the engine’s exhaust. What this means is that it takes the harmful emissions and converts them into safe emissions that can be released out of the tailpipe. During this process, Advantage Auto Service advises that carbon and sulfur deposit themselves onto the honeycomb surface of the catalytic converter’s interior. This is what clogs the catalytic converter. Here are signs that your car’s catalytic converter is clogged.

Engine Power Loss

If the converter is severely clogged, the engine’s exhaust will have nowhere to go but back into the combustion chamber. Unfortunately, this clogs the combustion chamber and prevents fresh combustion. When this happens, your engine will lose power, including when you try to accelerate. Replacing the clogged catalytic converter will restore your engine’s power.

Reduced Gas Mileage

The longer you take to replace the converter the more significant the reduction of your vehicle’s gas mileage. This is because the engine uses more gasoline to produce power when it is struggling to produce power. It’s important to have the catalytic converter replaced as soon as possible not only to restore your vehicle’s fuel economy but also to treat your vehicle’s exhaust.

Black Exhaust Smoke

One sign that the exhaust being released out of the tailpipe is not treated is if it is black. You should never see black exhaust smoke flowing out of the tailpipe, even if you drive a diesel engine. This is an indication that you have a rich fuel mixture in the combustion chamber or that the catalytic converter is unable to clear the harmful emissions from the exhaust.

Rancid Exhaust Odors

As we mentioned in the introduction, sulfur deposits can clog the catalytic converter. Unfortunately, when the hot exhaust flows over these deposits, they release the rancid odor of rotten eggs. As such, your vehicle’s exhaust will carry this odor in it.

A Ton of Undercarriage Heat

Another sign that your catalytic converter is going bad is a ton of heat underneath your automobile. The catalytic converter is releasing this heat. If the heat rises into the engine, your engine will overheat, as well.

Check Engine Warning

Finally, you may end up with an illuminated check engine warning light on the dashboard. The engine control module, your automobile’s main computer chip, will turn on the light if it gets an error code from a system sensor.

Call Advantage Auto Service in Marietta, GA, today if you suspect that your catalytic converter is malfunctioning. We can replace the converter if it needs it.


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