When to Replace Your Catalytic Converter

What are some signs that you should replace your catalytic converter?

  1. You hear rattling sounds from under the vehicle.
  2. The exhaust smells of sulfur.
  3. There is dark smoke coming from the exhaust.
  4. Your “Check Engine” light comes on, or you have problems starting your vehicle.
  5. Your vehicle doesn’t or is slow to accelerate.
  6. Your fuel consumption is suddenly too high or too low.
  7. Your engine is not performing as well as it should.

A catalytic converter is a crucial part of any vehicle. Similar to how the liver functions in a human body, the catalytic converter is responsible for “cleaning” or lessening the emission of pollutants from your car’s exhaust system.

A standard one will generally last for 10 years, but like any car part, the catalytic converter may eventually need repair or replacement. In this article, we’re going to discuss when to replace, and where to find a good catalytic converter in the Philippines.

The most appropriate time to replace your catalytic converter is when it’s no longer doing what it’s supposed to do. Here are some warning signals to look out for:

You hear rattling sounds from under the vehicle

Rattling sounds that appear the moment your car is running is almost always an indicator of damage. Depending on where the sound is coming from, it could be caused by your catalytic converter. 

As mentioned, generally the converter should be in working condition for about 10 years. However, as time goes by, your catalytic converter goes through a lot of damage due to fuel mixtures, and the honeycombs inside can collapse. This is what creates the noise.

If you hear rattling and it’s been over a decade, then it’s likely that old age is the culprit.

The exhaust smells of sulfur

The reasoning behind this is quite simple and scientific: gasoline contains sulfur, which turns into hydrogen sulfide when the gas combusts. The converter is supposed to transform hydrogen sulfide into sulfur dioxide which has no scent whatsoever. 

Therefore, if you’re smelling something (and for reference, sulfur smells like rotten eggs), that means the converter isn’t doing as its name suggests.

There is dark smoke coming from the exhaust

There is dark smoke coming from the exhaust

As mentioned, the catalytic converter is responsible for cleaning the gas emissions from your vehicle. Nothing says “dirty emissions,” however, like dark smoke coming from the exhaust pipe. Combined with the sulfurous smell that we talked about in the previous section, you’re almost guaranteed to have a faulty converter. 

Your engine is not performing as well as it should

A functioning and maintained catalytic converter is important for your car. It helps transform toxic gasses and pollutants in exhaust gas back into energy. This improves the efficiency of your car, and improves its overall performance. 

If your engine isn’t running at peak performance, it could stem from a number of reasons, one of which could be the converter. We’ll discuss this further in the next couple of sections, but consider worse engine performance as an additional symptom if you’ve already checked some of the previous ones.

Your “Check Engine” light comes on, or you have problems starting your vehicle

Your “Check Engine” light comes on, or you have problems starting your vehicle

In order to work properly, any gasoline-powered vehicle undergoes complete fuel combustion. Combustion is a process, so if one step in that process doesn’t happen as it should, you’ll experience an incomplete combustion. 

The catalytic converter is responsible for one such step in the process. Your car will recognize the incomplete combustion, and warn you through the “Check Engine” light. Otherwise, you’ll definitely have trouble starting up your car.

Your vehicle doesn’t or is slow to accelerate

The explanation for this is similar to the previous section: it’s a matter of incomplete combustion leading to poor engine performance. Because engine performance is the result of a process, it’s not always a signal that the converter is faulty—after all, the problem can come from somewhere else. But it’s something to consider, just in case.

Other signs of incomplete combustion include unusually high or unusually low fuel consumption, excessive heat from under the vehicle, increased emission and engine misfires. Take note of these, as they could be symptoms of a faulty converter as well.

What if my catalytic converter has been stolen?

A catalytic converter is quite expensive because of the small metals inside it that conduct the gas conversions. These metals sell for quite a lot in the scrap metal market, and that’s one reason why they might get stolen.

At the same time, you can’t do without a catalytic converter. Running your car without one causes harmful chemicals to pollute the air and damage the environment, which is why there are laws in place that require you to have a converter on your vehicle. So if your converter has been stolen, make sure to replace it right away and be more prudent next time.

Key Takeaway

If your catalytic converter is faulty or broken, you have two options: repair or replace. If it’s missing, you definitely have to replace it immediately.

The good news is that finding a replacement catalytic converter in the Philippines isn’t hard to find. You can always shop catalytic converters at a reliable vehicle parts store like Roberts. If you’re not sure which type your car needs, you can read this blog to know the variations, or send us a message. We look forward to hearing from you!