Signs Your Car Needs A Catalytic Converter Replacement

Signs Your Car Needs A Catalytic Converter Replacement

Is your giving you trouble? It could be the catalytic converter. Read here for signs your car needs a catalytic converter replacement.

No one likes to have looming car repairs. But diagnosing and even repairing them yourself can save you a ton of time and aggravation.

Not to mention money!

If you suspect or have been told you need a catalytic converter replacement, here’s how you can know for sure.

What a Catalytic Converter Does:

In the simplest of terms, a catalytic converter is designed to reduce pollution. Multiple catalysts work together to convert normally toxic chemicals into something that isn’t harmful.

When working properly, catalytic converters help reduce emissions of

  • carbon monoxide
  • hydrocarbons
  • nitrogen oxides

It is illegal to remove a catalytic converter from a vehicle. If yours is giving you problems, DON’T just take it off the vehicle! Also, catalytic converter replacement may not even be necessary. Before you begin tinkering with it, make sure it is, in fact, the problem.

Signs it isn’t Working:

There are several recognizable symptoms that may indicate the need for catalytic converter replacement. Here are a few examples.


Old and damaged converters can start to simply fall apart. This results in a rattling noise, most obvious when you first crank the engine. If the noise continues to get worse, it’s even more likely that the catalytic converter might be the issue.

Check Engine Light:

Obviously, check engine lights can mean a variety of things. Don’t rely on this symptom alone to diagnose issues with your vehicle. But it can be helpful if the catalytic converter is in the earlier stages of failure.

You can have your car scanned by a certified mechanic or you can do it yourself. Either way, these types of diagnostics can be extremely helpful in getting to the root of what’s going on.


If a catalytic converter is simply clogged it still needs to be replaced. One symptom of this is your car misfiring or not accelerating properly.

Lower Fuel Economy and/or Vehicle Performance:

The catalytic converter directly affects the engine in your vehicle. A clogged converter might be the problem if you’re having issues with fuel economy or power. But it could also be a leak in the converter.

Catalytic Converter Replacement Tips:

There are numerous tests in addition to the scan that can help determine if your catalytic converter is bad. Temperature and engine performance tests can be performed. Engine vacuum rebound tests are also helpful.

If you don’t have the tools and supplies you need to do this yourself, no worries! If you’re already pretty certain the converter is the problem, go to a mechanic and ask them to run the tests we mentioned.

There are multiple “how to” articles and videos on catalytic converter replacement. But keep in mind, the fines as a result of having a faulty converter are considerable. The last thing you want is to botch the repairs, thinking you’re saving money.

qualified mechanic is worth having on your speed dial any time you have need of car repairs. But especially so if your catalytic converter is the problem.

If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, give us a call. We’re here and ready to help!

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