What to do if the converter is clogged?

converter is clogged

A car’s exhaust system is equipped with an exhaust back box and catalytic converter designed to purify hazardous emissions and make them safe for human health and the environment. Converters break down due to low-quality fuel, mechanical damage, and normal wear and tear. What to do with an unusable part? The converter can be handed over to dealers for further processing.

You can check the terms and conditions, as well as prices for selling Subaru catalytic converters and prices here: https://autocatalystmarket.com/us/en/products/subaru. The part value is determined by the volume of precious metals on the converter honeycomb, the country of origin, and its condition.

What is the converter’s design and what causes blockages?

The core of the converter is a metal or ceramic honeycomb inside it. The honeycomb is coated with a layer made of precious metals:

  • palladium;
  • rhodium;
  • iridium.

The volume and composition of the valuable metal coating are determined by the converter model and the country of origin. The high reactivity of the precious spattering makes it react with the exhaust generated during the combustion of the fuel mixture.

Modern types of catalytic converters consist of three components:

  • The first element is responsible for the binding of nitrogen oxides;
  • The second one removes unburned fuel particles;
  • The third element is an actuator that analyzes gases and transmits information to the vehicle’s computer.

Subject to ideal operating conditions, the converter can operate for 60,000 to 90,000 miles. However, the experience has shown that this part may fail even earlier than the mileage specified above. The converter is usually replaced every 5 to 7 years.

What may cause the failure?

The honeycomb metal coating melts off, which is the main cause of malfunctions. This is a natural process and happens due to carbon deposits and dust that accumulate on the honeycombs over time. The converter’s incorrect operation causes the exhaust quality to become poor. The onboard computer shows that there is a problem with the engine and can block the ignition. Thus, it will be impossible to start the car.

Low-quality fuel and used additives accelerate the burnout of converter cells. Low-quality gasoline contains lead, which increases the load on the converter and reduces its service life. If the vehicle runs on diesel, additives that the vehicle user adds to the fuel in the cold season have the same effect. Engine malfunctions also affect the converter service life.

Here are the symptoms of a clogged catalytic converter:

  • The Check Engine indicator lights up on the dashboard. This signal is typical for any engine error. If there is a problem with the catalytic converter, this means that the computer received information about the incorrect readings of the sensor, lambda probe. Diagnostics with a scanner will help to find out whether the converter has failed.
  • Decreased engine capacity. The vehicle picks up speed slowly; the driver will feel the specific shuttle motion. It happens as the converter throughput has decreased. The honeycombs are destroyed and block the normal path for exhaust.
  • Rattling sounds under the bottom can be heard when driving at high transmission speed. Particles of the honeycombs hit the walls due to the gas flows making an unpleasant sound.

If technicians of a car service center find that the converter has failed, it is necessary to replace it urgently since operating a car with an out-of-operation part of the exhaust system may cause engine damage, which is very expensive to repair.

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