Post Written By AutoPadre
The catalytic converter removes harmful byproducts from a vehicle's exhaust, such as carbon monoxide, converting it into carbon dioxide and water vapor.
The catalytic converter is part of a car's exhaust system on the vehicle's underside between the muffler and the engine. It is usually located towards the back of the vehicle. It is of larger diameter than the exhaust pipe.
To remove a catalytic converter, you need to cut out the large brackets that hold it in place.
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The catalytic converter has a larger diameter than the exhaust pipe. It houses active materials that convert the engine's toxic exhaust into less harmful gasses.
It looks almost like a second muffler. It can have a perfectly cylindrical shape, honeycombed, or flat shape, depending on the make and model of your vehicle.
A catalytic converter is made of active catalytic materials such as aluminum oxide (Al2O3), cerium oxide (CeO2), and rare earth stabilizer metals such as platinum (Pt), palladium (Pd), and rhodium (Rh).
These elements work to convert harmful exhaust gasses into less toxic byproducts.
Two catalytic events take place when the exhaust gasses pass through the catalytic converter:
In a well-functioning catalytic converter, the tailpipe emissions will only consist of water (H20), carbon dioxide (CO2), and nitrogen (N2).
A restriction in the engine's exhaust system will severely hamper its performance.
When a catalytic converter gets old or contaminated, it tends to clog, restricting the exhaust system.
Signs that the catalytic converter is failing are:
Problems in one system in your car can lead to problems in the parts or systems of your vehicle.
Things that can damage a catalytic converter include:
Catalytic converter cleaner can work for minor problems but is not adequate for more significant issues.
To prevent problems with your catalytic converter, follow the recommended maintenance schedule provided by the car manufacturer.
A small amount of time and cost upfront will go a long way in extending the lifespan of your catalytic converter and the other systems in your car.
This will save you time, stress, and money in the long run.
There are a few options for dealing with a damaged or failing catalytic converter.
The first is to try to repair the existing converter. The average cost to repair an existing catalytic converter ranges between $1,000 and $3,000.
The repair shop has to replace precious metals within the converter like platinum, rhodium, and palladium. Unfortunately, these are difficult and expensive to acquire.
The mechanic can attempt a deep cleaning as a second option, but this will likely only be a temporary solution and the least effective.
The third option is a complete replacement. Complete replacement will be the most expensive option and the most effective and long-lasting.
A catalytic converter replacement will start at $2,000, and you'll have to pay the labor cost on top.
The benefit is that a complete replacement is less labor-intensive than trying to repair or clean the catalytic converter, which will save some money.
Virtually all vehicles are at risk of having their catalytic converters stolen due to the high value of the precious metals contained within them.
Thieves prefer vehicles with more valuable larger catalytic converters with higher ground clearances for easier access, such as pickup trucks like the Ford F-150 and the Toyota Tacoma.
There are devices on the market to help prevent catalytic converter theft. Although not 100% effective, they may deter thieves by encouraging them to look for a less time-consuming target.
Making it difficult for thieves to crawl underneath a vehicle can go a long way in preventing catalytic converter thefts.
Park your vehicle alongside a curb or something similar that blocks access to the underside of your car.