5 Symptoms of a Bad Catalytic Converter and Replacement Cost

The catalytic converter is responsible for reducing the level of carbon emissions produced by the internal combustion engine of a vehicle. It does this by lowering the toxicity levels found in these pollutants. The catalytic converter is associated with the exhaust system of the vehicle. Once the internal combustion process has taken place, the exhaust system takes care of the emissions and this is where the catalytic converter goes to work. If a vehicle did not have a catalytic converter, then it would release more toxic pollutants into the atmosphere and contribute even more to destroying the ozone layer.

The Top 5 Symptoms

If you have a bad catalytic converter then you need to get it replaced right away. Not only will this be affecting the air that people breathe, it will also affect the environment as well. Below are 5 symptoms that you can easily recognize for knowing when your converter needs to be replaced.

1) More Carbon Emissions – A catalytic converter is supposed to reduce carbon emissions and lower their toxicity levels. So naturally, if you have a bad catalytic converter then you are going to have increased amounts of carbon emissions that are more toxic than normal. Remember that the catalytic converter has chemical mechanisms which are responsible for converting the toxic emissions into low-pollutant emissions. If these chemical mechanisms are contaminated with antifreeze solution or motor oil, then carbon emissions will increase for sure.

2) Bad Fuel Efficiency – When a catalytic converter fails to do its job properly, it will have a grave impact on your engine’s fuel efficiency. Suddenly, your miles-per-gallon will decrease which means you will need to fill your vehicle with more diesel fuel than normal. Since you don’t want to do that, you would be better off replacing your catalytic converter instead.

Read also: 5 Repair Tips to Reduce Diesel Smokes in Your Car

3) Weaker Performance – If you step on the gas pedal of your vehicle to accelerate faster but it does not accelerate properly, then it could be because of a bad catalytic converter. What might happen is the exhaust will get stuck in front of the converter because of back pressure. Once this happens, the engine cannot run properly because the air can’t travel where it is supposed to go. This means it won’t move when you try to accelerate.

4) Overheating – It is possible for there to be overheating with the catalytic converter if your engine suffers a misfire. This is especially true if you are using fuel that is richer and contains more additives than the fuel that you normally use. If this is the case, the components of your catalytic converter may melt.

5) Check Engine Light – The first and most recognizable symptom is when the “Check Engine” light illuminates on the dashboard. Of course, there could be many reasons for why this light is turning on, but one of them could be due to a bad catalytic converter. If you are experiencing any of the other symptoms along with the Check Engine light being on, then you likely have a bad catalytic converter.

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Replacement Cost

The replacement cost of a catalytic converter could be as little as $900 or as much as $2,500. It really depends on the size of the vehicle you are driving as well as its make and model. You can expect the labor costs to be anywhere from $70 to $200, which is not that bad. However, the real expense will be for the part itself because that will cost around $800 and $2,200. So, even if you are mechanically gifted and like to do your own parts replacements, you will still be spending a lot of money on just the part.

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