The catalytic converter is connected to your vehicle’s engine and tailpipe (or “exhaust pipe”). This large, oblong metal box secured beneath the vehicle is designed to convert the pollutant gases generated by your vehicle’s engine – including carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds (or VOCs) and nitrogen oxides, into significantly less-pollutant gases that safer for the air that we breathe. It provides a catalyst for a chemical reaction that breaks up and reduces the toxicity of the pollutants that result from burning hydrocarbon fuel with oxygen.

Since 1975, to comply with the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulation of exhaust emissions, all U.S. vehicles must include a catalytic converter as part of the exhaust system. Catalytic converters are, for the most part, built to last a lifetime. However, if your catalytic converter becomes clogged with carbon solids resulting from an influx of too much gas, it may need to be replaced.

Maintaining Your Catalytic Converter

When your catalytic converter gets clogged, the flow of gas exhaust is constricted, which compromises the performance of your car or truck. Some signs you may have a clogged catalytic converter include:

  • Fuel efficiency for your vehicle suddenly drops
  • Your vehicle doesn’t accelerate when you step on the gas
  • Your vehicle won’t start
  • Your vehicle fails to pass your state’s emissions test
  • The check engine light is on

Thankfully, regularly scheduled engine maintenance, which is something every vehicle owner should do, is your best preventive measure against a clogged catalytic converter. Damage to the catalytic converter can occur due to oil or coolant in the combustion chamber due to damage to the cylinder head’s gasket or issues with your vehicle’s ignition system. Again, regular tune-ups and maintenance will spot these problems and keep your catalytic converter running properly.

Automotive Maintenance in Katy, TX

Scheduling regular engine maintenance with Dillon’s Automotive not only ensures your vehicle continues to run smoothly, it also benefits the environment, since a healthy catalytic converter helps to keep the air we breathe cleaner and safer. Make an appointment today for your next routine vehicle check-up.


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