Catalytic Converters in Simple Terms

Catalytic Converters Explained

What is the purpose of a catalytic converter? In layman’s terms, a catalytic converter reduces harmful exhaust fumes and creates less toxic and harmless components.

Cars today have at least one and depending on the engine size and cylinders, with most cars built with multiple converters. With regulations increasing, the need for catalytic converters is increasing as well to reduce emissions on vehicle start. Engine and converter technology advancement have resulted in cars producing much less harmful exhaust gases.

Engines contain three dangerous pollutants.

  1. Carbon Monoxide (CO)
  2. Hydrocarbons (HC)
  3. Nitrogen Oxides (NOx)

Carbon monoxide and Hydrocarbons are big contributors of smog; while nitrogen oxides are harmful to any living being.

Catalytic Converters reduce harmful pollutants.

Catalytic converters provide low emissions by converting the harmful pollutants into less harmful compounds like CO2, H2O and N2 before leaving the vehicle’s exhaust system. Without one, the vehicle is contributing to an increase in air pollution, smog and population health risks.

Signs of a bad Catalytic Converter?

Always consult a professionally trained mechanic or technician with any signs. Many factors contribute to a bad cat converter. Pay attention to:

  • Increase in smells
  • Lack of performance and power
  • Poor fuel economy
  • Loud exhaust noice
  • Check engine light (for newer vehicles)

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