How A Bad Catalytic Converter Can Ruin Your Trip?

Last Update On: August 16, 2021 | Author:

The catalytic converter is a vital factor of cars by reducing harmful substances such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, nitric oxide, and hydrocarbons into less harmful substances. Now, we know how much is an essential factor for the environment as well as our cars. However, sometimes we see our catalytic converter goes bad, but we don’t know what are the bad catalytic converter symptoms. Below, we’ve discussed bad catalytic converter symptoms, how long you can drive with a bad catalytic converter, and many important questions, which might wonder you.

Symptoms of a bad catalytic converter

Catalytic converters can be clogged or bad for up to 10 years with normal operations by expert opinions. So, when it goes old, it could disappoint you_Dont panic. Now it is important to know bad catalytic converter symptoms to understand what to do. Let’s watch out for the most common sign of a bad catalytic converter.

  • Rattling Noise

Once the catalytic converter gets damaged from the fuel mixture or honeycomb inside it starts a bit rattle. Probably, rattling noise is the most noticeable factor that you can understand in a failing catalytic converter. It becomes worse than worsening; it’s better to replace.

  • Check Engine Light Is On

It would be the first sign that indicates your car is failing. There is a sensor installed in new car models manufactured in 1996 or after. Thereby, these models cars have an on-board diagnostic system that can check the catalytic converter automatically. Sometimes, a catalytic converter creates lots of pollution for a faulty spark plug, so make sure what is the reason for massive pollution.

  • Having a problem to start the car

One of the most common problems we’ve seen early in the morning, having difficulty starting our car. Meanwhile, clogged catalytic converters have the same problem when you want to start a car after a certain time.

  • Less Gas Mileage

This problem would create when the catalytic converter went terrible because the failing catalytic converter gets clogged and exhaust falls into tapped in your car engine. Indeed, if you notice your car engine decreases gas mileage within a short time, you can ensure that it is a sign of a bad catalytic converter.

  • Less Engine Performance

On the road, you are driving a car, and suddenly notice that you cannot accelerate properly, even your vehicle jerks. This is another symptom of a bad catalytic converter. When the catalytic converter goes clogged it plays jerk, it loses acceleration control. This problem has occurred because oil failed to reach the engine.

  • The vehicle failed an emission test

A catalytic converter is a part of a car’s emission system, so it clears that if the catalytic converter failed, your car failed an emission test. In the United state, most of the states require an emission test once a year. It is necessary to maintain a healthy catalytic converter for your car, and for the environment.

  • Smell Like A Rotten Egg

When you get any weird smell coming from your vehicle, you can confirm that it’s from a failing catalytic converter. By now you know that a bad catalytic converter produces harmful toxic. So it’s better to fix the problem soon.

How long can you drive with a bad catalytic converter?

You can drive with a bad catalytic converter, it’s totally okay to drive a car, when you notice any of the symptoms on your car, you can ensure that it goes bad. So, if it goes rattle, performance gets lower. Catalytic converter symptoms rattle and other symptoms prevent catalytic converter overall performance. So we already mentioned, if you see a bad catalytic converter going under control, as much as possible you should replace it.

In the USA, some of the states introduce strict laws about catalytic converters. Even, those who don’t obey the law can get fined up to $10,000.

What are the reasons for the catalytic converter going bad?

We already know that catalytic converters can sustain 10 years and more. In addition, throughout these years it could be clogged or failing for several reasons which you cannot ignore. Let’s see below the following reasons.

  • Overheated

Sometimes, we really need to ride in a car for a long time. For this reason, catalytic converters become hot than hotter, and CAT is an exhausting fumes system. So, if it exhausts fumes for a long time, it could turn down the engine as well as the damage it.

  • Physical damage

The catalytic converter is located under the engine. Here, our communicating roads are not the same all the time, sometimes it may be bumpy, sometimes it may be high and low. For this reason, there is an obvious reason to get bumped and have physical damage.

  • Become dust & muddy

Since the catalytic converter is located under the cars, it will bring lots of sand and this sand makes a difficult point to exhaust fume, making it cautious for your catalytic converter. It’s common because you are never strict on a single road. Sometimes your catalytic converter attaches with muddy which may turn into zinc.

How to take care of the catalytic converter?

We usually spent most of the time cleaning the outside of the car to look it shine. We don’t spend too much time underside of the cars, like shock absorbers, engine, wheels, and catalytic converter. However, the catalytic converter should be clean twice a year to make it sustainable. Let’s have a look at how to maintain it.

  • Remove dirt

Dirt can damage your catalytic converter to attach with for a long time. To remove the dirt you can use a cloth or you can use a steel brush if the dirt is too persistent with a catalytic converter.

  • Use cleaning spray

By using the perfect cleaning spray, you can clean your CAT in a short time. Like Cataclean, this cleaner helps to clean catalytic converters super fast. Even, all stubborn zinc & muddy are cleaned by this.

  • Using seafoam

It is really the most effective method, but also a difficult method to clean a catalytic converter. It takes too much time to clean. If you want to clean catalytic converter seafoam check this.

  • Use correct fuel or oil

To make your catalytic converter in a good position, you should always use good oil. Not only will good oil keep your converter safe, but it would also save your engine. You will get good performance by using good oil.

Should I replace the catalytic converter?

A catalytic converter could be a vital part when you think about your engine performance. A failed catalytic converter may damage engine performance slowly. Even you may go through a rough time with acceleration with a failing or bad catalytic converter.

Meanwhile, the main part of the job is to do a catalytic converter to reduce harmful gases into less harmful ones. Thereby, if your catalytic converter fails to reduce black exhaust fumes you should replace it.

About 3.7 million people die in car accidents, which is 3700 hundred people die each day. There are many reasons behind this, we mean to say, bad catalytic provides less acceleration by damaging engine capacity. Of course, if it is necessary to replace the catalytic converter, you should.

Particularly, which catalytic converters cannot pass the emission test, those owners may get fined up to $10,000 which is a lot. So, to keep yourself safe and escape from fines, if your car requires a new catalytic converter, replace it.


Now, you know what to do if the catalytic converter goes bad, how to maintain your catalytic converter. We’ve tried to discuss which wonders you most about failing or bad catalytic converters. You can comment below if you want to know more.

Author - Robert F. Lewis

Hi, I am Robert, I have an automotive shop where I sell different types of automotive for cars. Such as the Catalytic Converter, Impact Wrench, shock Absorbers, etc. Because of my business, I have to face so many customers of this automotive, I saw many clients face difficulties with maintenance, not getting the exact amount of service and comfort, buying the wrong one. All those problems they face because of their lack of knowledge about this automotive.

As an amazon associate I can earn some qualified purchase.

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