Car engines rely on combustion in order to produce the power that lets you drive. The chemical reaction, however, also creates many byproducts. We see some of these byproducts in the form of exhaust. However, many drivers do not know that there are some byproducts of the combustion process that are particularly harmful to human health. Thanks to the catalytic converter, these chemicals never make it into the atmosphere. Here’s an explanation of the role of the catalytic converter, and clues that can help you identify a faulty one so that you know when to seek auto repairs.
- What is a Catalytic Converter?
A catalytic converter is a hugely important component in your car. Its basic function is to catalyze chemical reactions that reduce the amount of pollutants that reach the atmosphere. Modern catalytic converters catalyze two different reactions. The first reduces the amount of nitrogen oxide in the exhaust leaving your car’s engine, releasing oxygen and nitrogen instead. The second reaction helps minimize the amount of unburned hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide. Instead of these harmful compounds reaching the atmosphere, your exhaust releases carbon dioxide and water instead.
- How Can You Tell If Something Is Wrong with Your Catalytic Converter?
Catalytic converters are built to last. Indeed, they can sometimes even last for the lifetime of the car. However, it is possible that things can go wrong, requiring that you replace your catalytic converter earlier than expected. One way in which your catalytic converter can fail is that it simply starts to clog. Unfortunately, it is often difficult to determine whether this is the case on your own. In order to find a clog, a mechanic must remove the catalytic converter completely.In some cases, a clogged catalytic converter can lead to lower gas mileage or reduced acceleration.
The catalytic converter is a very important component, as it helps filter toxins from your car’s exhaust and regulates oxygen levels in the engine. To learn more about how a catalytic converter works and how it can fail, call Casey Automotive at (866) 709-3522.