If your car was parked in a public place and the engine roars loudly when you start it, Trinity Automotive hates to say it but you’ve likely had the catalytic converter stolen right out from underneath the vehicle. This theft is common because the converter is made out of platinum and two other precious metals.
Unfortunately, it does not take long for someone to remove the converter from the exhaust system using a metal saw. Aside from a loud and roaring engine, you will also have the following problems if the catalytic converter is missing.
Check Engine Warning
The noise coming from the engine may take you by surprise. Another thing that might cause concern is the check engine warning light. This light will turn on and remain on because the exhaust system is not functioning correctly. The catalytic converter is missing and, as such, the exhaust manifold is pushing the exhaust into the open air. This can make exhaust system sensors go crazy.
This exhaust push is part of the reason why the engine is so loud. It is also the reason why your acceleration is jerky and punching. Every time you press down on the accelerator, the exhaust manifold forces exhaust out of it. This will make your vehicle lurch forward unpredictably. This is one reason why it’s not a good idea to drive your automobile until you have a new catalytic converter installed. You want to be able to count on your vehicle’s acceleration and how far forward your automobile will move.
Lagging at Slow Speeds
You will also notice that your vehicle cannot operate well when you are driving at slower speeds. The engine produces torque that is specific to slow speeds and high speeds. For some reason, the missing catalytic converter does not affect the torque production at high speeds. It will, however, make your engine sputter and lag when you are driving slowly, such as on city streets.
Noticeable Exhaust Odors
As you can see, a missing catalytic converter does not make your vehicle inoperable, but it does make driving it dangerous. Because the converter is gone, the exhaust manifold pushes untreated exhaust into the environment. The exhaust can easily find its way inside your car, truck, or utility vehicle. When this happens, you will smell the exhaust and it will make you sick.