Five Signs Your Catalytic Converter Is Clogged Or Going Bad

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You don’t realize how important the catalytic converter is until it goes bad. Part of your vehicle’s exhaust system, the catalytic converter takes carbon monoxide, a natural byproduct of any gas-burning engine, and switches it to carbon dioxide before it is released in the engine’s exhaust. This protects you and the environment, and Auto Fix can replace your catalytic converter if it goes bad. Here are signs of trouble.

1. Dark Exhaust

If you read our blog regularly, and we hope that you do, you read previously that black engine exhaust is not normal. If the exhaust is thick and really black, your vehicle is burning too much fuel somewhere in the engine. Dark exhaust can also be a sign of catalytic converter problems. If the catalytic converter is clogged, fuel will build up in the exhaust and turn it black.

2. Excessive Heat

When the catalytic converter is clogged, leaking, or malfunctioning, you might end up with excessive heat underneath your automobile and/or an overheating engine. The converter itself will overheat if there is an issue in the exhaust system, such as a leaking exhaust valve or malfunctioning oxygen sensor, or if there is excess unburned gas in the combustion chamber.

3. Reduced Acceleration

Your vehicle’s exhaust actually helps power your engine. A combustion engine uses air, gasoline, sparks, and vacuum to generate power. The catalytic converter helps with the airflow into the engine by allowing exhaust gases through. If the catalytic converter gets clogged, the airflow to the engine is compromised, and you will find your vehicle’s acceleration sluggish.

4. Sluggish Engine Performance, Too

Depending on how badly the converter is clogged, your engine performance will suffer at higher speeds, as well. For example, if you have a leaky head gasket, engine oil and coolant can leak into the catalytic converter and jam it up. Once the exhaust flow is restricted completely, your engine won’t run. It could stop running while you’re driving or refuse to start.

5. Sulfur Smells

Finally, a clogged or leaking catalytic converter will release sulfur smells. Sulfur smells like rotten eggs, so if your engine is giving you trouble and/or overheating, pull over and pop the hood. Take a whiff to see if you smell rotten eggs. If you do, your catalytic converter is likely clogged or dying, and it’s important to get this fixed as soon as possible.

Located in Franklin, TN, Auto Fix would be happy to test your catalytic converter if you suspect it’s going bad. Give us a call to set up an appointment.


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