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Out-of-operation catalytic converter: how to determine the failure without professional assistance?



2021-09-22 10:56:41 Automotive

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Any automotive assembly or part has a certain service life, and the exhaust system converter is no exception. Working under critical conditions or normal wear and tear cause the failure of the catalytic converter, which is responsible for exhaust gas purification.

When the converter becomes clogged or damaged, it cannot be repaired. A part unsuitable for further use can be handed over for recycling to the collection point of a company involved in the disposal of vehicle parts. All the terms and conditions of selling used auto parts for scrap are featured on the relevant platforms. To check the prices for BMW catalytic converter please follow this link: https://autocatalystmrket.com/ - BMW catalyst.

Converter breakdown: how to understand that it happened?


Any observant vehicle owner can understand that a catalytic converter has failed since many factors will indicate it, including the following:


  • Engine capacity decreases. Even a person who does not know anything about vehicle construction will notice that the engine capacity decreases. The loss of power is especially noticeable when going uphill.

  • Fuel consumption increases. Refueling at the same gas station, it is easy to notice that the vehicle consumes more fuel.

  • Damage. A catalytic converter is a fragile part; its inner surface can be ceramic or metal and consists of many honeycombs. If even one cell of the honeycomb is damaged, others will also begin to clog. You can see that the converter is clogged by sight check with a regular flashlight. Honeycombs may be damaged due to driving on uneven roads, over pits, and bumps.

  • Overheating. Visual inspection of the converter will also help to see whether the elements are melted off. Deformation of the inner casing is often caused by thermal impact from the fuel mixture overheating. If the fuel is of poor quality, its unburned particles enter the converter and burn out there, melting it off.


Symptoms of failure



  • If there is mechanical damage to the converter, rattling sounds will be heard. Sometimes, the converter’s internal elements are damaged by small stones coming out from under the wheels on the road.

  • The smell of the exhaust will become unpleasant and the color of the smoke will be darker. Such results may be caused by failure to comply with the norms of the air-fuel mixture. At this stage, it is no longer possible to stop the destruction of the converter.


If the condition of the exhaust system is closely monitored, timely cleaning may still help at an early stage of converter contamination. If the catalytic converter has already melted off and is heavily clogged, it is no longer possible to repair the part or clean it.

An out-of-operation converter should be handed over for recycling - this is the civic duty of every vehicle owner since throwing out a part causes great harm to the environment. Dealers that buy used auto parts cooperate with recycling companies. Even a catalytic converter that is unsuitable for operation will still serve for the further production of new parts and equipment.


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