5 Steps to Clear a Clogged Catalytic Converter by Yourself

(Updated on July 28, 2022)

The internal combustion process in the engine causes a lot of harmful gasses to be emitted. Fortunately, there is a device called a catalytic converter that is built into the exhaust system. The function of the catalytic converter is to convert these dangerous gases into ones which are less toxic. That way, they don’t end up hurting the environment as much or cause people to have health problems. The catalytic converter also allows the engine to run more efficiently and get better gas mileage for the vehicle. Therefore, it is certainly an important device to have in your exhaust system.

A lot of people don’t realize that they need to clean their catalytic converter occasionally or else it runs the risk of getting clogged. The last thing that you’d want to have is a clogged catalytic converter because it will weaken the engine’s performance and reduce the fuel economy of your vehicle. Worst of all, toxic gases will be emitted into the open air. That is why it’s important to clean your catalytic converter whenever it starts to get clogged with grime.

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5 Steps to Clean a Catalytic Converter

You’re probably wondering how you go about cleaning a catalytic converter. This is certainly not a process that a lot of people talk about. Most people may choose to have a professional auto serviceperson do it for them. However, if you’re looking to save money and clean the catalytic converter yourself, there are some important tips that you should know first.

1) Prepare for the Cleaning

Don’t just begin the cleaning process without checking whether your car is parked on a suitable surface. This needs to be a flat surface that is hard and has plenty of lighting around it. Once you’ve parked your car on such a surface, open the hood of your vehicle and position the prop rod properly to keep it up.

2) Take Out the Catalytic Converter

You need to remove the catalytic converter before you can clean it. This requires you to use a wrench on the bolts in order to loosen them and take out the converter. Make sure you save the bolts in a secure area so that you don’t lose them. You’ll need these bolts at the end.

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3) Check for Damage

If you’ve been having catalytic converter problems, then you’ll want to make sure that the converter isn’t damaged. If it’s just dirty, you’ll take care of that very soon. But if you notice any damage to the converter, you need to replace it with a completely new one in the exhaust system. Don’t just inspect the outside of the converter for damages. Shake it around and see if it makes any strange noises. If it does, then it is damaged.

4) Clean the Dirt Away

If there is no damage to the catalytic converter, then you are ready to clean it. Start with the front of the converter and wipe dirt and residue off from it with a clean cloth. There may be debris that is stuck or built up in the converter, so you need to use a power washer to push it out. Wash inside of the outlet pipes and inlet pipes. Hot water and a degreaser may be necessary if the dirt is difficult to remove.

5) Let the Converter Dry

Don’t just put the catalytic converter back into the exhaust system after you clean it. Wait until the catalytic converter is 100% dry first. One it is, you can proceed to put the converter back in. Secure the converter in place by reinstalling the bolts onto it with the wrench.

3 thoughts on “5 Steps to Clear a Clogged Catalytic Converter by Yourself”

  1. you have o have an automotive shop or an auto , lift to even TRY to work on a catalytic converter.NO person can do that without it,you may as while have the shop to do it

    • You could do it on a set of jack stands, which are fairly inexpensive. I bought these jack stands for a truck and I am really happy with them.

      These stands have a double locking feature for added safety. If you have a smaller vehicle, you probably won’t need 6 ton stands but they’ll certainly do the job. Just make sure you buy stands that can support the weight you need.

  2. lots of people dont know where the catalyst converter is, so this job may not be for everyone, time to call a mechanic…


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