Your car's catalytic converter is an essential component of your vehicle that works to control the emissions coming out of your engine. A catalytic converter that is failing or broken can have dire consequences for the operation of your vehicle.
Understanding the warning signs of an aging or worn catalytic converter can help you make the decision to head to a mechanic to have it replaced before it turns into a serious issue.
Decreased Engine Performance
One the easiest-to-notice signs that your catalytic converter needs to be replaced is if your vehicle suddenly and inexplicably begins performing noticeably less well than it has before. This usually manifests itself as a slower rate of acceleration and lower overall top speeds.
This is usually due to a clog in the catalytic converter, which means that the emissions from your engine cannot be cleared quickly enough. A slower rate of emissions flow will prevent the engine from working as efficiently.
Reduced Fuel Efficiency
In a very similar vein to the above point, a clogged catalytic converter can severely reduce your vehicle's overall fuel efficiency. This is because your engine cannot clear its emissions quickly enough, and is operating in suboptimal conditions, which will mean that it will burn more fuel to generate the same amount (or even less) power.
If you notice that you're heading to the gas station at an increasingly constant rate despite little or no changes in your actual driving habits, your catalytic converter may be to blame. Leaving this problem alone can be costly, as you will have to pay to fill up more often. Head to a muffler professional straight away to solve this early and save you money in the long run.
A rattling sound coming from your car's exhaust system, especially when turning the ignition or while driving at high speeds, can point to damage to the catalytic converter. Sometimes, your muffler system simply has a loose screw, which is a simple and inexpensive fix, but other times, the mesh inside your catalytic converter has broken down due to age.
This means that it is not filtering your emissions properly and has structurally begun to fail - issues which require the catalytic converter to be replaced immediately.
Ignition and Starting Issues
A severely clogged catalytic converter will not allow emissions to leave your engine at the proper rate. This means that you can sometimes experience issues while trying to start your car, as the emissions can build up in the engine and choke out the ignition system.
A non-functioning catalytic converter can cause your engine to suddenly and inexplicably shut off, or even refuse to start. This can be a serious safety hazard, as your vehicle could turn off while you are driving because the catalytic converter is not venting emissions quickly enough. As such, you should have this issue addressed by an automotive specialist immediately.
Finally, if you are experiencing consistent misfires while driving your vehicle, you should probably have a mechanic take a look at your catalytic converter. While the converter may not be causing the misfires, it can become severely damaged by them, breaking down the mesh inside which filters out your engine's emissions and causing some of the issues discussed above.
If you have any questions about your vehicle's catalytic converter or want to schedule any sort of maintenance or repair for your vehicle's muffler system, contact the professionals at Seeburg Muffler Of MO, Inc. Our trained professionals can help with all of your inquiries and quickly and easily diagnose any problems you may be having with your car.