If you own a car, you’ve likely heard of catalytic converters. They’re a vital component of your vehicle’s exhaust system, but many car owners aren’t entirely sure what they are or do. We’ll cover catalytic converters—how they work, why they’re essential, and how to tell if they’re failing. So, whether you’re a seasoned gearhead or a new driver, keep reading to learn everything you need to know.
What Is A Catalytic Converter?
A catalytic converter reduces harmful emissions from your car’s exhaust system. As the exhaust gases flow through the catalytic converter, it uses a series of chemical reactions to convert harmful pollutants like carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides into less toxic substances like carbon dioxide and water vapor.
How Do Catalytic Converters Work?
Catalytic converters employ a honeycomb-like structure made of ceramic or metal with a coating of precious metals like platinum, palladium, and rhodium. When the exhaust gases flow through the converter, these metals help to trigger the oxidation and reduction reactions that convert the harmful pollutants into less harmful ones.
Why Are Catalytic Converters Essential?
Catalytic converters are essential because they help reduce harmful emissions that can harm the environment and public health. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires all U.S. vehicles manufactured after 1975 to have a catalytic converter installed to meet emission standards and regulations.
How Can You Tell If Your Catalytic Converter Is Failing?
There are a few telltale signs that your catalytic converter might be failing. The most common symptoms are poor acceleration, reduced engine performance, the smell of sulfur or rotten eggs, and the activation of the check engine light. If you notice these symptoms, immediately get your car to a trusted mechanic.
Now you know the basics of catalytic converters and better understand their importance in protecting the environment and public health. If you need any catalytic converter service, bring your car to a trusted auto repair shop with a team of experienced technicians. Regular maintenance and inspection of your vehicle’s exhaust system can detect problems early and prevent costly repairs.