Your automobile’s exhaust system relies on the catalytic converter to treat the exhaust before it is released out of the tailpipe. The converter takes harmful emissions and turns them into safer ones. The average lifespan of the catalytic converter is 10 years, so if you drive an older automobile, Hummel’s Automotive Diagnostics and Repair advises that your catalytic converter might be going bad you notice any of the following symptoms of a faulty converter below.
1. Check Engine Warning
Generally, one of the first things that happens is you end up with an illuminated check engine light on the dashboard. This is because a system sensor has sent an error code to the engine control module. The catalytic converter does not have a light of its own, so the module uses the check engine light to warn you that the catalytic converter is malfunctioning.
2. Acceleration/Engine Lag
You will also notice problems with your car, truck, or utility vehicle’s acceleration and engine performance. Specifically, the acceleration will lag and your engine will start to sputter at higher speeds. This is a sign that the catalytic converter is clogged and exhaust is backing up into the combustion chamber. Unfortunately, this impedes engine performance.
3. Black Exhaust Smoke
You may also end up with black exhaust smoke flowing out of the tailpipe if the catalytic converter is unable to treat the exhaust. A clogged catalytic converter can also affect the balance of fuel and air in the combustion chamber. If there is too much fuel in the chamber, the engine will burn away the excess gasoline or diesel fuel and release black exhaust.
4. Burning Sulfur Odors
There are only two instances in which you will smell sulfur coming from your automobile. One is a malfunctioning catalytic converter, and the other is a leaking battery. In the case of the catalytic converter, your vehicle’s exhaust and engine bay will smell like rotten eggs. Unfortunately, replacing the catalytic converter is the only way to resolve this issue.
5. Excessive Heat
Finally, you will also need a new catalytic converter if it is overheating and releasing excessive heat underneath your automobile. You will be able to tell that something is too hot because your engine will overheat, as well. If your engine is overheating constantly, and you’ve noticed any of the other signs listed above, you’ve got a faulty catalytic converter.
Call Hummel’s Automotive Diagnostics and Repair in St. George, UT, today for a catalytic converter inspection. We will replace the converter if necessary.