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Catalytic Converter Failure Symptoms

By Edited May 25, 2016 0 0

Catalytic Converter Failure Symptoms

For cars that have a catalytic converter there are a series of catalytic converter failure symptoms that one should be familiar with in case this part starts to perform poorly or fail.  The converter is responsible for removing toxic fumes from a vehicle’s exhaust and converting them into more harmless substances.  While an average catalytic converter should last about ten years, there are a variety of reasons, from manufacturer’s defect to extremely high mileage that could account for a converter failing before its average lifespan limit has been reached.  Some symptoms that should make the owner of a vehicle check the catalytic converter and have the vehicle serviced include:

Loss of power - Catalytic Converter Failure Symptoms
1. A loss of power, especially noticeable when driving up hill is one of the easiest catalytic converter failure symptoms to spot.  Even the most inexperienced vehicle owner will be able to notice when a car that did not previously struggle up an incline is now doing so.

Change in the odor of a vehicle’s fumes - Symptoms of Catalytic Converter Failure
2. A change in the odor of a vehicle’s fumes that is obvious and smells of sulfur or can be described as rotten eggs is another catalytic converter failure symptom.  This means that the fuel and oxygen mixture is off in a vehicle and it is a telltale sign that there is a problem, often a clog, in the converter.  This is one of the symptoms that likely means a simple repair will not suffice and that a catalytic converter will need to be replaced.  Therefore, one should be knowledgeable about symptoms of catalytic repair like the one above and some of the others in this article to prevent damage this severe from occurring.

Physical damages - Symptoms of Catalytic Converter Failure
3. If physical damages have occurred to the converter from hitting a bump or a stone or other debris coming in contact with it, the ceramic interior of the converter may break, resulting in rattling or other unusual noises emanating from that area of the vehicle.  These noises are another catalytic converter failure symptom that should not be ignored.

Color of one’s exhaust - Catalytic Converter Failure Symptoms
4. The color of one’s exhaust should never be black if it is there may be an issue with the catalytic converter that should be addressed before further damage occurs.

Low tachometer reading - Symptoms of Catalytic Converter Failure
5. A tachometer reading showing lower than normal numbers of RPMs is also an indicator that there are catalytic converter failure symptoms.  This is another indication of reduced engine power.

Bucking or knocking - Catalytic Converter Failure Symptoms
6. Bucking or knocking when pressing the gas pedal in order to accelerate is another catalytic converter failure symptom.  Drivers often will report the vehicle feels like it is hesitating when they try to accelerate.

Signs of Catalytic Converter Failure
7.  If the engine begins to run too hot but the cooling system of the car exhibits no signs of being in ill-repair or needing coolant or other work done than the likely culprit is a bad catalytic converter.

Once one is aware that any of these catalytic converter failure symptoms are showing up in his or her vehicle, it is vital that a qualified mechanic be consulted so that further and more costly damage to the vehicle does not occur.

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