The Check Engine Light and the Catalytic Converter

Your automobile has a series of warning lights on the dashboard. The main computer chip controls these lights. Unfortunately, the catalytic converter does not have a light specific to it, so if something goes wrong with the converter, the computer chip will turn on the check engine light. This is just one sign that the converter is going bad. Here are other signs.

Sluggish Engine Performance

You may end up with an engine that is performing poorly if the converter is clogged. The reason why this affects the engine’s performance is that the exhaust that would normally flow through the converter gets pushed back into the combustion chamber due to the clog. Unfortunately, the chamber cannot produce efficient combustion when it is filled with exhaust.

Sluggish Fuel Economy

When the engine fails to produce efficient combustion, it consumes more fuel. Consequently, you will also end up with sluggish fuel economy. You will not get the miles per gallon that you normally get out of a full tank of gasoline or diesel fuel.

Black Engine Exhaust

Another thing that can happen is the malfunctioning converter can trick the main computer chip into adding fuel into the combustion chamber to improve the engine’s performance. When this happens, this excess fuel is burned away and creates black exhaust. You will see the exhaust in your rearview mirror, especially if it is excessive and thick.

Rancid Exhaust Odors

You may also detect rancid odors in your vehicle’s exhaust. This is a sign that the converter is clogged with carbon deposits. When the hot exhaust hits the deposits, they release a rancid egg odor. You will smell this odor in your exhaust. You may also smell it underneath your automobile and in the engine. This odor directly to a problem with the catalytic converter.

Undercarriage Heat

Finally, if you feel heat coming from underneath your automobile, it could be coming from the catalytic converter. You may feel the heat on your feet if you are standing close to your vehicle right after you have parked it and turned off the engine. The heat may also rise into the engine and cause the engine to overheat.

We are here to help. Our experienced technicians can generally replace a catalytic converter in less than four hours. Call us today if you are having problems with the converter in your vehicle’s exhaust system. If your vehicle is over 10 years old, the converter is likely clogged.

Photo by Daniel Tadevosyan from Getty Images via Canva Pro

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