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Is a clogged catalytic converter a big problem?

What is an exhaust system composed of?

An exhaust system is composed of several major parts including exhaust manifold, silencer and exhaust pipe. Currently, all cars are also equipped with a catalytic converter and, in case of Diesel cars, also a particulate filter. The exhaust manifold is located next to the engine block and it collects exhaust gas directly from the combustion chambers of the individual cylinders. The exhaust manifold houses lambda sensors which analyse the exhaust gas composition. The final component of an exhaust system are silencers connected to the exhaust manifold with an exhaust pipe. In most of the cases two types of silencers are used which are arranged in series i.e. one downstream the other. Such a solution involves one absorption silencer to control high frequency noise and another one of chamber design to damp low frequency sound. The catalytic converter is located between the exhaust manifold and the rear silencer.

What is a „cat”?

A “cat” or, actually, a catalytic converter is a component of an exhaust system. Its main purpose is to reduce the content of harmful chemicals in the exhaust gas before it is emitted into the atmosphere. It resembles a metal can when viewed from the outside but what can be surprising is hidden inside. There you can find many channels with a structure similar to that of a honeycomb. The channel walls are coated with noble metals such as platinum, palladium or rhodium. The operation of a catalytic converter consists in chemical reactions with exhaust gas. Catalytic converters can be divided into two types according to the material they are made of: ceramic or metal.

Symptoms of a clogged cat

One of the most frequent problems with the exhaust system is clogging of the catalytic converter. Remember that the effect of a chocked exhaust system is similar to pressing a brake pedal. Performance of your car is drastically reduced, the acceleration is much slower and, in extreme cases, you can feel vibrations, particularly at idle. If the “cat” is completely clogged it will not be possible to start the engine. We must remember that the main reason for clogging a “cat” is the fuel supply system failure and too lean mixture, in particular. Additionally, it should be noted that a catalytic converter is a consumable part with the estimated life of approx. 200,000 kilometres.

What to do with a clogged catalytic converter?

If you find that the catalytic converter has failed the best solution is to replace it with a new one. You should never try to remove the core. The removal of a catalytic converters in modern vehicles will result in irregular run of the engine as the computer monitors the exhaust gas composition downstream the converter. Unfortunately, a new catalytic converter is not cheap. Therefore, the best solution is to sell the old one at a collection point to reduce considerably the expenses you have to bear. When selecting the collection point pay your attention to the reliability of price estimation and a price guarantee i.e. the price on the date of the sale should be identical to that on the price estimation day. The leader in the catalytic converter buying-in the market is DS AUTO Sp. z o.o. Chrzanów -> https://katalizatorychrzanow.pl/

If your catalytic converter gets clogged the best solution is to sell it at a collection point and buy a new one.


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