A catalytic converter is an essential part of the exhaust system. Its main purpose is to process the exhaust gases before entering the environment. Also, if the converter is not working well, it can damage the engine and lead to many issues. Thus, it is crucial to fix the catalytic converter if it is not functioning correctly.
If you know how to fix catalytic converter without replacing it, you can not only deal with this problem promptly but also save the cost of replacing it or that you have to pay a professional for the services.
5 Symptoms of the Problematic Catalytic Converter
Following are five symptoms that indicate the need for catalytic converter repair:
- Warning lights of the vehicle are the most common indication of a problematic converter. It is an indicator light or malfunction pointer lamp (CEL or MIL) with catalytic converter DTC.
- Hydrogen sulfate is a gas with a pungent smell like a rotten egg. Its formation is a likely symptom that the catalytic converter is problematic.
- Discolored or warped converter housing start causing overheating problems.
- The catalytic converter fails its function when the engine fails to accelerate because there is a need for a clogged catalytic converter fix.
- Rattling sound of the engine and failed emission test.
How to Fix Catalytic Converter without Replacing?
One should know the different ways of how to fix a catalytic converter. There are multiple options available. Here we will look into the top three most popular ones that can fix the converter without replacing it:
1. The Italian Tune Up
The experts do not recommend this method of fixing the cat converter without replacing, but something that definitely works. You should try this option because it can save a lot of money and is also a quick fix method.
When you drive the vehicle in city areas for a long time, the contamination of the converter becomes very easy. It starts to fill up with many bad particles that clog it, and stop it from functioning. You can fix it by increasing the RPM and running it at high speed in a clean environment. The sweet spot reaches up to 1832 degrees Fahrenheit, thus it burns the clogging particles. Keep in mind that this will work only if the converter is not filled with particles. Because in this case, you will definitely need replacement rather than the need to fix the catalytic converter.
2. Get the Converter Cleaning Additive
The cleaning additives are cheap and can clean the clogging catalytic converter. To make it work, you have to follow a few steps. After buying it from the gas station or local parts shop, put it inside the fuel tank of the engine. Now take your car out and have a high-speed spin on the highway.
When you keep running the vehicle at least 3000 RPM for almost 20 minutes, it starts to burn the clogging particles. It is even more effective than the Italian tune-up because of the additional spinning movement. If the converter is too much damaged, only then it should not work and requires replacement.
3. Try Old Fashion Cleaning
This is a kind of DIY catalytic converter repair. You should start by lifting the car, and jack it up. This will help you make working space for fixing the catalytic converter. Now go under the jacked-up vehicle and open the exhaust by unbolting it. This could be hard to do, so try to get a blow torch to heat up the bolts. You can now remove them very easily.
You should also arrange a pressure washer to wash the exhaust with it. Keep the washer at the highest speed to remove even the smallest particles. Do this for both sides of the exhaust. It will get clean like a new exhaust. Now you can reverse the process, and put it back in place.
Ways to Keep a Catalytic Converter in Good Condition
Here the few ways to keep the converter in good condition:
- Clean the converter weekly, and before it is broken or congested. You can use water and lacquer thinner solution as a quick fix for the catalytic converter.
- Switch to high-octane fuel to keep the converter in proper functional condition. It will increase the life span of the converter.
- Schedule regular maintenance by changing the filters, and inspecting them.
- Quickly address the check engine light.
When should you replace the catalytic converter?
The primary purpose of a catalytic converter is to change the harmful gases of the engine into harmless form before they enter the atmosphere. Ideally, it is better to replace it once after every 10 years or when it is not working. Rather than doing it on your own, you should take professional catalytic converter mechanic help for it. After replacing the new catalytic converter, you can scrap the old converter.
How to replace the converter?
We have learned how to fix a catalytic converter without replacing it, but sometimes replacement becomes indispensable. Here we will present a few points that can help in replacement:
- Park the car, and jack up all the wheels. Make sure the car is in the leveled position.
- Locate the catalytic converter. Make sure that the exhaust is completely off and cooled down.
- Now take out the oxygen sensor from the converter, and put the oil on the bolts.
- Read the instructions from the manual of your car engine, and insert the gaskets of the converter.
- Put the converter in its place and tighten the nuts or bolts.
- Weld the converter and put the oxygen sensor back in it.
- At the end, check everything is done properly.
1. How can I temporarily fix my catalytic converter?
You can do this by removing the oxygen sensor on the front side of the converter. The resultant exhaust leak will save any damage due to clogging.
2. Does premium gas clean catalytic converter?
Definitely, it keeps the catalytic converter clean and ensures the catalytic converter care as long as you are using it. Its ignition timing is quite advanced. In other words, the burning duration is longer than the others.
3. Is it worth fixing a catalytic converter?
Yes, it is worth fixing the catalytic converter rather than replacing it. It is especially true in a situation when the person is not in a condition to bear the cost of replacing it with a new one. For this, you should know the cheapest way to fix catalytic converter.
4. What happens if you don't fix the catalytic converter?
It can cause physical damage to the engine if its malfunctioning is ignored for a long time. The reduction in the outflow of exhaust gases causes wear and tear in the engine. Ultimately, the engine stop working.
5. How much should it cost to replace a catalytic converter?
Including the replacement and labor, the catalytic converter price to fix could be between 1000-2500 dollars. The cost varies from the type of vehicle, and the service provider.
Driving the car often and keeping its catalytic converter in working condition helps us with how to fix catalytic converter without replacing it. If you follow this advice even after having a problematic converter, the temperature will get up to the required level and burn the clogging particles regularly. Ultimately, your engine will get rid of it, and your catalytic converter will not go through this ever again.