If you suspect that your vehicle is running with a bad catalytic converter then you need to take it in an automotive repair shop as soon as possible. The catalytic converter, which converts pollutants such as carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides into harmless water and CO2 is vital to the clean operation of your vehicle. If it fails, consequences can include overheating, stalling of the engine, and a failure to pass a state clean emissions test.
Signs That Your Catalytic Converter Is Failing
Here are the major symptoms of a bad catalytic converter.
A Sulfur Smell
Don't ignore any sulfuric "rotten egg" smell that may be emanating from beyond your car dashboard. This means that the precious metals inside the converter are unable to clear the toxic gases from your engine into harmless substances.
The Engine Light Turns On
Any build up of gases in the catalytic converter is going to illuminate your engine light, alerting you to the problem. An automotive repair expert will scan the light to see if it was triggered by the P0420 code that indicates catalytic converter malfunction.
The Engine Chokes Or Won't Turn On
If the catalytic converter is obstructed by toxic gases, it creates an excessive pressure that cause your vehicle to stall to choke. If the converter is completely blocked, then the vehicle will fail to start. However, long before this happens, oxygen sensors in the converter will usually turn on your engine alert light. It is not a good idea to keep driving and ignore the engine alert light.
Replacing a catalytic converter can be expensive, so if you suspect it needs cleaning or repair, bring it in to our automotive dealership for maintenance, repair or replacement as soon as possible.