Auto Body Group: Collision Repair Center | Catalytic Converter Replacement Helps Your Car and the World Around You
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Catalytic Converter Replacement Saves Planet and Your Wallet

Catalytic Converter Replacement Helps Your Car and the World Around You

Catalytic converter replacement or repair can be costly but, as is the case with so many integral car components, timely attention to any issues with your catalytic converter can actually save you money. While you’ve probably heard of the catalytic converter before, you may not realize why it is so integral to not only your car but the environment around you. The catalytic converter is a vital piece of your car’s exhaust system, regulating the harmful emissions and air pollution that your car produces. Using specific chemicals, this cylindrical component actually transforms these emissions into gases that are less harmful to the world around us. In many states, a fully functioning catalytic converter is essential to passing smog and emissions testing linked to vehicle registration. So, other than failing one of these tests, how can we tell if we’re experiencing any catalytic converter problems?

The Link to Performance

example of a catalytic converter

An example of a catalytic converter.

While a catalytic converter may seem like more of a courtesy to the world around you, one of the first signs of the need for a catalytic converter replacement is a notable drop on your car’s performance. There are a few different ways this can manifest but you may notice your engine stalling out, your car may occasionally stutter while driving, or you may feel little to no response when pushing down on the accelerator. This is most often due to emissions getting stuck at the front of the catalytic converter, producing a pocket of gas that chokes your engine. If you’re noticing a marked decrease in fuel economy, your catalytic converter may have been compromised through either a clog or a crack.

Contamination from Oil and Antifreeze

Sometimes, simple contamination can be at the root of problems resulting in a catalytic converter replacement. Often, this contamination is specifically from antifreeze or oil. Since this results in increased hazardous emissions from your exhaust system, contamination is often a direct reason why car’s fail state regulated emissions testing. In most cases, situations of contamination require full catalytic converter replacement as opposed to simple repair. It is in your best interest to replace the part immediately as sustained use in this condition can lead to a full exhaust system failure.

Other Signals of Catalytic Converter Replacement

check engine light can signal need for catalytic converter replacement

The “Check Engine Light” can signal the need to replace your catalytic converter.

There are insistent, yet less obvious methods of detecting issues with your catalytic converter. Often, a failing catalytic converter will trigger your car’s “Check Engine” light, though this indicator can point to various issues. If your “Check Engine” light illuminates and you don’t have your own code reader, it’s always a good idea to have a trained professional read the code immediately. If you notice your “Check Engine” light in conjunction with any of the issues above, it’s a strong indicator that catalytic converter replacement is in your future. Since 1996, every car has been manufactured to trigger the “Check Engine” light if issues with the catalytic converter are detected. Another non-committal symptom is a pronounced rattling noise; the sound of a damaged catalytic converter.

The cost of catalytic converter replacement can often exceed the $1000 mark due to the cost of parts more than actual labor costs. To meet state compliance, it’s often best to leave any catalytic converter repair or replacement to a trusted professional mechanic. While the catalytic converter may seem like an altruistic auto component at first, it’s vital to the personal performance of your vehicle. However, when you get the replacement bill, it may help to think that the money is not only going to the good of your car but the good of the world around you.

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