How to Unclog a Catalytic Converter | Technical Guide
A vehicle is incomplete without an essential part like a catalytic converter. This internal part helps convert highly chemical reactive gases into less poisonous gases before releasing them to the outside of the vehicles.
A bad catalytic converter releases harmful gas to the environment and decreases your car engine performance, which will ultimately result in engine failure.
Replacing a bad catalytic converter will cost you some money. But if you want to save money by fixing it of your own, you need to know how to unclog a catalytic converter first.
If you think your catalytic converter becomes blocked or clogged, you need to clean the clogged catalytic converter as soon as possible. The more time you take to clean it, the more damage it may have later.
Since you have already landed in the right place, we will guide you on fixing a clogged catalytic converter. Let’s move on!
What are the symptoms of the clogged catalytic converter ?
There are several warning signs which will tell you whether your car has a clogged catalytic converter or not. You should not overlook any of these signs.
- You may face poor engine performance with less fuel economy.
- You can get the rotten egg smell from exhaust.
- The mechanic can observe dark exhaust smoke.
- Reduced acceleration can also be noticed.
- You have issues to start your car and noticed rattling sound.
- Your check engine light is on.
If you notice above indications, there is something wrong with the catalytic converter.
What to consider before unclogging catalytic converter?
There are some crucial things you need to consider before finally fixing your clogged catalytic converter.
- If your catalytic converter only becomes loose, you may not need to replace or remove it.
- However, when the catalytic converters already become excessively clogged, you have no other than to unclog or change them. In some cases, you may succeed in fixing it by using special tools.
- You can use a rubber hammer to inspect whether there is any loose part inside the catalytic converter. You must replace the catalytic converter if you discover any clogged piece in the exhaust system.
- Sometimes the catalytic converter may be fully clean from the inside, but it might be extinguished from the exhaust pipe. You should check the catalytic converter by removing it to become 100% sure.
- Internal oil consumption can be a reason behind the clogged catalytic converter. The clogging issue occurs when the oil enters the cylinders and starts to burn the heated catalytic converter.
How to Unclog a Catalytic Converter
Can a catalytic converter be unclogged or not depends on several conditions. If it is highly damaged, you need to replace it.
You can't become 100% sure whether your catalytic converter is clogged or not without opening it up and giving a careful inspection.
However, you can try different methods to clean the catalytic converter.
Method 1 —Go for a Long Drive
Go for a long drive and drive your car within a speed limit of 2-3 kilometers. Look out the highway carefully and try to decrease the speed rapidly.
Press down the brakes and do the entire procedure again. The catalytic converter might be unclogged if you find out any performance improvement in the vehicle.
Method 2 —Visit a Mechanic Shop
An expert mechanic has years of experience to instantly find out whether your catalytic converter is clogged or not. Besides, he knows the best method on how to unblock a catalytic converter efficiently.
You need to replace the catalytic converter if the ceramic material is liquefied due to the action of heat. He will do the job professionally and advise you on how to prevent clog for the catalytic converter. However, if you don’t want to visit a mechanic shop, you can follow the third method.
Method 3 — Doing It Yourself
If you want to do the unclogging process yourself, you first need to be aware of what you are doing.
Things you will need
- Hot water
- Fresh towel
- Protective eyewear
- Power washer
Step 1 —Prepare your car and yourself
Park the vehicle in a well-lighted, hard, and flat place. Keep the car's hood open by placing the prop in position and increasing the prop rod's height. Don't forget to wear glasses to guard your eyes.
Step 2 —Take out the catalytic converter
To loosen and to take off the bolts, you can use the wrench and make sure to keep the bolts in a safe spot as you need them to secure the converter in position. Now, it is time to take out the catalytic converter from the exhaust mechanism. Be cautious while removing catalytic converter.
Step 3 —Check out the catalytic converter
Check out the converter whether it has damage or not. Shake the catalytic converter properly and notice whether you can hear any sound from the internal part. You have to change the whole converter with an intact one if you see any damage. While changing, you should purchase Walker Exhaust or DNA Motoring Catalytic Converter according to your car model.
Additionally, you will have to replace the whole system if the internal functions clog the converter entirely and it melts off.
Step 4 —Clean the catalytic converter
A faulty fuel has a possibility to make the converter clogged up, and it mainly happens due to improper fuel injections. You can use a catalytic converter cleaner or cataclean to clean the converter, which cleans the engine’s exhaust system primarily.
Plus, you can remove the filth from the converter by heating the exhaust system. After pushing out all the grime, use a fresh fabric to rub out the grease from the converter's mouth. Use a mixture of hot water and a degreaser if you think the converter has some debris inside it.
Step 5 —Let the converter become dry
Make sure the catalytic converter becomes completely dry before you put it back to the exhaust system. Finally, tighten the bolts properly after installing the catalytic converter.
A catalytic converter can be clogged or blocked due to the unburned fuel entering the exhaust system. As a result, it is essential to know how to unclog a catalytic converter. If you don’t know how to clean out a catalytic converter, you have to take it to a mechanical shop.
If the catalytic converter is fully damaged, make sure to purchase a new one, and it should be the best catalytic converter for your vehicle. Hopefully, you now have enough idea on how to fix a catalytic converter without replacing it.