How Can I Tell if My Catalytic Converter Has Gone Bad?

Your car, truck, or C/SUV will give you signs the catalytic converter has gone bad. If you drive an automobile that is 10 years old or older, Ultimate Auto Repair advises that the catalytic converter will go bad sooner rather than later. The most common problem a catalytic converter faces is that it gets clogged by carbon and sulfur deposits. This is the result of years of treating your vehicle’s exhaust so it is safe to be released into the environment.

Acceleration Lag

Once the catalytic converter gets clogged, you will notice a lag in your vehicle’s acceleration. This is because the exhaust is backing up into the combustion chamber rather than running through the catalytic converter and out of the tailpipe. Any time the chamber is filled with exhaust, this impedes new combustion. Consequently, your vehicle will have a difficult time accelerating.

Performance Lag

Unfortunately, you will also notice a problem with your automobile’s engine performance. As with the acceleration, the engine will also lag while you drive your car, truck, or utility vehicle. For example, your engine may sputter and lose power the faster you go because the exhaust is clogging the combustion chamber. Replacing the clogged catalytic converter can resolve this problem.

Poor Gas Mileage

There is an additional consequence to the engine performance problems discussed above, and that consequence is poor gas mileage. Any time your automobile struggles to produce power it will use more gasoline or diesel fuel. Consequently, your fuel economy will take a hit.

Dark Exhaust Smoke

Another sign that your catalytic converter has gone bad is dark exhaust smoke flowing out of the tailpipe. This is an indication that the exhaust has not been treated by the converter. As an aside, dark exhaust smoke can also be a sign that your engine is burning too much fuel.

Eggy Exhaust Odors

As the catalytic converter gets clogged by sulfur deposits, these deposits release an eggy odor as the hot exhaust flows over them. If you are automobile’s exhaust smells like rotten eggs, the catalytic converter is clogged with sulfur deposits and needs to be replaced.

Excessive Heat

Finally, when the catalytic converter is malfunctioning, it will release excessive heat underneath your automobile. Unfortunately, this heat can rise and make its way into your engine. When this happens, your engine will overheat every time you drive your vehicle.

Call Ultimate Auto Repair in Jackson, MI, today if you suspect you need to have your vehicle’s catalytic converter replaced.

Photo by BanksPhotos from Getty Images via Canva Pro

Accessibility Toolbar