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Knowing about What causes a catalytic converter to go bad will help you to take care of your car and will save a much bigger amount of bills that would be waiting for you if you don’t take care of your car.
The job of a catalytic converter is to reduce the toxic gases and to control emission gases, if a catalytic convertor gets bad for any reason it will for sure disturb the way your car run.
Table of Contents
Driving with a bad catalytic converter
- Your car will consume more fuel
- Your car would feel heavy and underpowered
- You could get fined for releasing an excessive amount of harmful gases
- It would hurt the environment too
- Rattling noises from the exhaust
Do you have a car that feels underpowered? Do you have a brand new car and want to know what causes a catalytic converter to go bad. we will be discussing the main points that causes a catalytic convertor to go bad.
Unburned fuel can be the main reason due to which your catalytic convertor is getting damaged. when the fuel enter the engine it is meant to be burned properly if the system is pushing more than required fuel in to engine it will obviously left unburned and it will pass through the exhaust.
The exhaust system is already running real hot like it from 932–1293°F which in result burns the leftover fuel due to which it would produce more heat and eventually damage your exhaust and also can damage your catalytic converter.
As your catalytic convertor has a honeycomb structure from inside and continuous damage from excess fuel can damage your exhaust. if your car seems to be consuming more fuel than normal do get it checked.
Oil consumption of an engine can be another cause of damaging your Catalytic convertor. Most of the engine starts consuming oil when the engine has clocked many more miles but sometimes other issues with engines such overheating and many other reasons can cause the engine to consume oil.
Oil was never meant to be burnt in engine and when it burn it starts to form carbon deposits in engine and with your car having a catalytic convertor will lead this carbon to block the honey comb structure of the catalytic convertor.
If your catalytic convertor gets blocked with carbon your car would feel underpowered when you drive, it would be disturbing the flow of exhaust gases which can cause overheating of the engine.
Another major thing would be that your car would start releasing unwanted gases that would harm the environment. You will also fail the emission test if you would keep on running the engine which is consuming oil.
So driving with a bad catalytic convertor does not seems to be a good idea.
Coolant leaks can be another reason for a bad catalytic convertor. As the coolant entering an engine cause other problem such as blocking air passage, forming carbon in air passage can also cause overheating problems.
If the coolant ends up burning from your engine it can reduce the performance of engine also can clog your catalytic convertor.
You should inspect your engine after 2 or 3 weeks all the fluids are in their recommended place and if coolant is less then do check your radiator are their deposits of engine oil in it.
These small checks would eventually enhance the life of your engine.
•Ignoring Check Engine Light
When ever there is a check engine light do get it checked ASAP leaving these warning unchecked can cause engine problems and most of the engine problems will either lead your car to behave differently and will lead your catalytic converter going bad.
Even if a check engine light is not directly related to a catalytic convertor. if the issues are of spark plugs or any sensor it would eventually lead to damaging your catalytic convertor.
•Neglecting Engine Tune-Ups
Neglecting your engine tune-ups can also damage your car catalytic convertor as well as other components too. If you are ignoring your car maintenance recommended by your car manufacturer then it would eventually start damaging your car.
Suppose if the spark plugs are miss firing it would eventually disturb the fuel ratio it would start damaging your catalytic converter.
If you live in an area where the roads are not in good condition, chances are that you will have to face catalytic convertor damage as if it is hollow inside when some rock or other hard thing hits it you will eventually damage the catalytic convertor.
A catalytic convertor from inside has a ceramic honeycomb structure it is tuff but not to an extent that it will bear a hard hit from the road.
Even if it doesn’t hit the Catalytic convertor, if it hits your exhaust pipe it can cause overheating your engine and will in result damage your catalytic convertor.
If you are lucky enough that your car hits from below on a damaged road and still doesn’t damage your exhaust. There are hangers below your car which hold your exhaust mostly with rubber.
If a car get a hit from below it can also damage your hanger and will lower your exhaust from one side.
Another thing which I would not recommend is lowering your car , a lowered car will increase the chances of getting a hit from below.
•Extra use of Injector cleaner
So if you see your manufacturer user manual you will often see that car companies don’t recommend the use of injector cleaner. If we see from the consumer perspective we have seen some good results for if they have used the injector cleaner.
If we see things from manufacturer if we use the injector cleaner on and off , it would eventually clean the injector too but when it passes through the exhaust it will remove some carbon particles from the exhaust and it would eventually somewhere in your catalytic convertor .
if you really want to get your injector cleaned either used the injector cleaner once and later when the problem occurs get it checked and get them replaced or get them cleaned from an injector cleaning machine.
If you want to buy an injector cleaner or thinking of getting one we have another post for The Best Fuel Injector Cleaner for Diesel Engines.
•Oxygen Sensor Issue
If you are thinking of how can a issue with Oxygen sensor will cause problems for your catalytic convertor, don’t worry I am here to explain.
The purpose of an oxygen sensor is to balance the ratio of oxygen and fuel and come up with the most efficient ratio of fuel to be used. If the oxygen sensor gets dirty or is a faulty one, the data it will be providing will not be accurate for the ECU or the brain of your car to decide the amount of fuel to be provided.
As result, it would cause more fuel to burn but a car cannot burn all the fuel it’s given so there is an amount of fuel left unburned which would be burning in the exhaust which would in result cause the catalytic converter to go bad.
This reason will let you think about how this reason can because the catalytic converter to go bad.
If you have a car that you drive very less and with the car mostly sitting in the garage, firstly if a car drives less or only on short trips what happens is your car burns fuel and some carbon deposits do get stuck in the exhaust.
when your car drives on a long drive, your car exhaust gets hot enough that it will burn the carbon deposits and will lessen the amount of carbon.
If you are driving your car less it will eventually stick the carbon deposits more are more in the exhaust and the catalytic convertor.