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What Are the Signs of a Bad Catalytic Converter?

A catalytic converter is in charge of converting toxic chemicals, created by our vehicle’s engine into harmless gasses. In other words, it plays a major role in limiting emissions. Even though catalytic converters are made of durable metals that are intended to last a very long time doesn’t mean your car is resistant to problems. A common problem with old cars and catalytic converters is clogging. 


Over a long period, the catalytic converter is exposed to an abundance of gasses. It can collect build-up and clog up the cat, causing it to falter. When your catalytic converter stops functioning, it can release harmful fumes into the air. Beyond the negative environmental impacts, the leaked fumes can harm your engine’s performance and spread damage to surrounding components.


When it comes to the exhaust system, you can use many of your senses to detect trouble. Dark exhaust smoke may be an indication that your converter is clogged and expelling higher concentrations of pollutants.  


An illuminated check engine light can also mean that your catalytic converter is clogged. This light can be linked to many problems, big and small, so it is best to have a professional mechanic run diagnostics.  However, you shouldn’t rule out the possibility of a catalytic converter issue. 


A faulty catalytic converter can also cause your engine to work harder than necessary to properly expel its byproducts. As a result, you may notice a decrease in fuel efficiency. Fuel demands will increase to meet your engine’s desired performance.


A strong sulfur smell is a dead giveaway that something is wrong with the catalytic converter. Sulfur is one of the elements that should be offset by the converter. If you smell a rotten egg smell, it means your catalytic converter can’t handle the job of transforming these chemicals.


Last but not least, a rattling noise and engine misfires can also be linked to a broken catalytic converter. It can cause pieces inside the converter and engine to fall apart, leading to these unusual noises. 


It is not safe to drive without a working catalytic converter. If you need your old and damaged catalytic converter replaced, please turn to the vehicle repair experts at Luke’s Auto Service. Feel free to give our shop a call or schedule an appointment online with us today.