Catalytic converters help to clean up poisonous gases produced by internal combustion engines. These gases are fed into one or more converters beneath most vehicles. As the gases flow over a layer of precious metals within the converter, a chemical reaction changes them into carbon dioxide and water vapor.
The most common types of converter failure are “poisoning” by antifreeze, certain engine oil additives and chemical sealants; coating or fouling related to carbon buildup within the engine; oil in the exhaust stream or the use of an improper fuel; internal melting caused by excessive pollutants in the exhaust; and structural damage from a hard impact. Note that all but one of these failure modes is related to the engine’s operating condition.
To ensure a lasting repair, ask your technician to explain what damaged your original converter. If he or she can pinpoint the root cause and assure you that it has been corrected, chances are you’re getting a comprehensive repair.
For more information on converter design, operation and troubleshooting, visit www.walkerexhaust.com.
You can find out more about what a catalytic converter is and how it helps your exhaust system at What Is A Catalytic Converter