Regular maintenance checks of your vehicle will help you avoid a catalytic converter that looks like this resulting in large repair costs which is what our team here at Autoworks in Ithaca want to avoid at all costs! We feel that every customer has a need to know what repairs are in their future and exactly how to budget for them if need be so we check your vehicle thoroughly and keep you informed.
There are several indicators that your catalytic converter isn't functioning at maximum capacity such as:
Reduced engine performance - One of the first symptoms commonly associated with a bad or failing catalytic converter is a reduction in engine performance. The catalytic converter is built into the vehicle's exhaust system, and as a result, can affect the performance of the engine if it develops any problems. A clogged converter will restrict exhaust flow, while a cracked one will leak. Both can negatively affect engine performance and can cause reduced power and acceleration plus reduced fuel economy.
Rattling noise - If you hear rattling you have a problem as it is an indicator that your catalytic converter may be old or damaged internally from excessively rich fuel mixtures. The catalyst coated honeycomb meshes on the inside of the converter can collapse or break apart, causing a rattle which could be more obvious when you start the car or truck. Note: It will get worse over time.
Bad odor - The odor will likely be strong and consistent, which means you have a faulty catalytic converter that is probably overflowing with fuel. At this point, you should have your catalytic converter examined right away because excessive amounts of gases and heat are going to be created from this. Then, your car will not be safe for driving. Usually, these odors will come up after your vehicle loses acceleration and power.
Check Engine Light Comes On - Never a good sign, but a bad or failing catalytic converter can also cause your check engine light to come on. The oxygen and air-fuel ratio sensors that modern vehicles are designed to monitor the efficiency of the catalytic converter by monitoring the gas levels in the exhaust. If the computer detects that the catalytic converter is not operating correctly, or not catalyzing the exhaust gases properly, it will set off the Check Engine Light to alert the driver that there is a problem. Of course, it could be a different issue, but anytime your check engine light comes on it is always a good idea to see us here at Autoworks to get a professional diagnostic assessment of the issue.
Thank you for visiting Autoworks in Ithaca, NY. Count on our automotive repair technicians to keep your car, truck, suv, or van on the roads longer and safer.