Signs I’ve Got a Bad Catalytic Converter in the Exhaust System

You should not drive your automobile if the catalytic converter has gone bad. You will start to have the following problems and may even be able to smell exhaust inside the passenger cabin. Naturally, inhaling your vehicle’s exhaust is extremely dangerous. If you can’t smell the exhaust, be safe and have your automobile towed to our shop so we can replace the converter.

Constant CEL Warning

When the converter goes bad, the engine control unit turns on the check engine light. Unfortunately, this light will not turn off until you address the problem. This means we need to remove the bad converter and replace it with the new one.

Rotten Performance

You will want this done anyway because your engine performance will suffer if the catalytic converter is bad. Unfortunately, the most common thing that happens to converters is they get clogged with sulfur and carbon deposits. This causes a backup of exhaust in the engine that affects its performance.

Rotten Fuel Economy

As your engine lags and sputters, it will use more fuel in its effort to produce power. Consequently, you will notice a significant reduction in your vehicle’s fuel economy. This can make life difficult if you are already living paycheck to paycheck.

Dark Exhaust Smoke

You may also see dark exhaust smoke being released because the engine is burning too much fuel. In addition to the excess fuel burn, the engine will also release dark exhaust smoke if the converter cannot treat the engine’s exhaust. You will also have high emissions levels in the exhaust.

Rancid Exhaust Odors

We mentioned previously that the converter can get clogged by sulfur deposits. When this happens, the converter will release rancid egg odors into your vehicle’s exhaust. Consequently, you will smell these odors in the exhaust, underneath your automobile, and in the engine.

Excessive Heat

Finally, a faulty converter will get too hot underneath your automobile. This will overheat the undercarriage and the excess heat will rise into the engine. When this happens, your engine may actually overheat. It will definitely run hotter than it normally does.

We are here to help, so give us a call to schedule a service visit for your automobile. We will inspect the converter to see if it has gone bad. If it is, we will replace it and get you back on the road as quickly as possible.

Photo by Daniel Tadevosyan from Getty Images via Canva Pro

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