Catalytic Converter Maintenance: Is It Relevant or Not?

catalytic converter maintenance

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If a catalytic converter fails, do not rush to throw it away. This part can be sold to a scrap dealer for further processing. The cost of used converters can be checked in the price list featured on the website ACM — catalytic converter scrap price.

How long can a catalytic converter operate?

The converter transforms harmful emissions into harmless ones by changing the composition of the exhaust gas. It is achieved within its internal honeycomb structure which gets clogged over time. Also, honeycomb contamination can be caused by the use of low-quality fuel. Another reason for the catalytic converter failure is mechanical damage that occurs if the vehicle often drives on uneven roads, over pits, and bumps.

After 62,000 miles of vehicle travel, the catalytic converter, as a rule, has to be replaced due to its natural wear and tear.

Here are some tips that help understand that the converter malfunctions:

  • acceleration decreases.
  • the engine runs slower.
  • the exhaust becomes dark with an unpleasant odor.
  • fuel and oil consumption increases.

If there is a suspicion that the catalytic converter has failed, it is necessary to diagnose the exhaust system.

Vehicle users often wonder: is it possible to extend the catalytic converter service life, since it is an expensive part? Will regular maintenance of the exhaust system help?

  • Converter malfunctions are among the most common causes of vehicle breakdowns (included in the top 10).
  • Regular diagnostics will help to detect the problem at an early stage, which means that the catalytic converter may be cleaned.

If the converter ceramic parts have already melted off, there is no point in cleaning. This part is not repairable. The converter will have to be replaced with a new one or removed if the vehicle user does not plan to drive in the EU, since it is not allowed to use vehicles that are not equipped with an exhaust cleaning system in European countries.

Replacing a used converter with a new original one is the best solution, but a new part is quite expensive, and not every car owner can afford such expenses. Alternatively, you can consider installing a universal converter instead of the original one. The universal model has a lower cost.

A flame arrester can also be installed instead of the converter. Its design is selected on a case-by-case basis. Car service centers that specialize in the repair of the exhaust system have such a service. This solution is not the perfect one from an environmental point of view.

Software re-flashing

If a non-genuine converter is installed, the vehicle will not be able to pass the state MOT. In addition, the vehicle computer has to be re-flashed, since an error indicator will constantly light up on the dashboard. The software will interpret the error as engine damage, and the vehicle will go into emergency operation mode.

If you need to re-flash the software, contact the technicians specializing in it. If re-flashing is not performed properly, the settings can get busted and the system will not operate correctly.


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