So what are the most common symptoms of a bad or clogged catalytic converter? The most common symptoms are Check engine light (PO420 / PO430), sluggish drivability or low to no engine power, high emissions resulting in a failed smog test. Catalytic converters over time can simply wear out and loose how effective they perform. The “Cat” as some refer to it can break and cause a rattling noise. Lastly the catalytic converter could melt and become plugged up not allowing emission to exit the engine
- Check engine light is on
Your vehicle has oxygen sensors that monitor the effectiveness of the catalytic converter(s). If the emission get to high then your vehicle will display a check engine light. The most common are a P0420 or P0430 depending on which catalytic converter is not working properly.
- Loss in engine performance
Catalytic converters are part of your exhaust system and can block the exhaust flow. This results in a loss of engine performance over time ( sometimes very quickly depending on how damaged the catalytic converter is ). If this occurs then limit or stop the driving done on the vehicle until you are able to get the issue repaired.
- Failed Smog Test
The function of Catalytic Converters is to reduce air pollution, such as Carbon monoxide, Nitrogen oxides, Hydrocarbons. Most converters can last the lifetime of the vehicle but depending on how regularly you service your engine and how aggressive you drive your vehicle the catalytic converter can wear down over time. A New Catalytic Converter can improve your smog test emissions.
Other symptoms include excessive oil consumption, engine misfire, faulty oxygen sensor, excessive fuel or improper mixture, and exhaust manifold leak. If you do not have the tools to test a catalytic converter, schedule an appointment to review your exhaust system.( Crownd Auto Book Appointment link).