The catalytic converter is made to last for the lifetime of your car, but if it becomes clogged, it can fail. This can happen in older cars, and then your exhaust gases will have trouble venting through the muffler. This disrupts the balance of air and fuel, and it can cause problems with your engine. The catalytic converter is necessary to keep your car running. It is important to know when it is going bad so that you can repair it and continue driving your car.
Your Car Might Tell You
One way that you can tell if your catalytic converter is going bad is that your check engine light may come on. It won’t tell you specifically, but it is a good idea to have your car checked when this happens. If your car was made after 1996, the diagnostic system includes the catalytic converter. It could be that the catalytic converter has something wrong with it, but there could be something else causing the problem. Make sure that you take it in for service.
In addition, you might fail an emissions test. The catalytic converter is part of the emissions system in your car, so if you live in a state where emissions testing is required, your car will likely fail the test if your catalytic converter is not working. If you pass the test, chances are that your catalytic converter is functioning correctly.
You Have Trouble Starting Your Car
A bad catalytic converter can make it hard for your car to start. Instead of pushing the gases out through the exhaust, it holds them in the car. The extra pressure from the exhaust can make your car stall. You might be able to start it, but then it may stall out or sputter. If your vehicle is having trouble starting or sputters and stalls after it starts, it may be a sign that your catalytic converter is bad.
Your Car Has Poor Acceleration and Fuel Efficiency
When your catalytic converter starts to go bad, your fuel efficiency will decline. You will get lower gas mileage because your engine is getting less oxygen and has to work harder. When your engine has to work harder, it doesn’t get good fuel efficiency. Pay attention to your fuel efficiency because when it goes down, this is a sign that something else is going on.
In addition, your car will not accelerate as quickly when your catalytic converter is going bad. When the exhaust is trapped in the front of the catalytic converter, the engine just can’t accelerate the way it should. If your car actually hitches or stalls when you accelerate, there is a good chance that the fuel is unable to reach the engine. You can get your catalytic converter unclogged to get your car running again.
It is important to address these issues when the first signs present themselves because it can go from simply needing to unclog your catalytic converter to damage to other parts of the car quickly. When you have exhaust trapped in the catalytic converter, your engine will not function well, and it may not allow your car to start at all.
Taking care of your car is important so that it will run for a long time. The best policy is to get things looked at as soon as you notice any signs that something is wrong. If your check engine light comes on, something needs to be addressed. If your car fails an emissions test, you know that you have to get it fixed to drive it legally.
In addition, make sure that your car starts, accelerates, and maintains its fuel efficiency when you are on the road. Catch these issues early so that you can get it repaired without doing further damage to the car. Take care of your car so that it lasts a long time.