One of the most important innovative developments in the auto manufacturing industry to cut down on air pollution is the catalytic converter. Because of its importance, you should have catalytic service performed at any sign of potential problems. This could include catalytic replacement.
Generally, catalytic converters last the lifetime of a vehicle, but not in all cases. While durable, the catalytic converter can gradually start to fail over time as catalyst elements begin to wear out. Factors like an engine that isn’t functioning correctly or high mileage are the most common culprits of failure.
What is a Catalytic Converter?
Catalytic converters have been proven to be a highly reliable and efficient way to reduce noxious tailpipe emissions. A catalytic converter is a part that works by using a catalyst to convert harmful chemical compounds, nitrogen oxide (NO2), hydrocarbons (HC) and carbon monoxide (CO) in a vehicle’s exhaust into non-toxic compounds. The catalyst (in the form of palladium and platinum) in catalytic converters is coated onto ceramic beads or honeycomb-shaped materials that are located in a part that is similar to a muffler. These materials are affixed to exhaust pipe. Most modern automobiles are designed with 3-way catalytic converters, referring to the three regulated emissions it helps reduce.
Nitrogen Oxides (NOx)
Nitrogen oxides induce lung irritation and diminish the body’s defenses against respiratory infections that include influenza and pneumonia. These pollutants also play a part in the development of particulate matter and ground-level ozone. Nitrogen oxides lead to acid rain and smog.
Hydro Carbons (HC)
These pollutants interact with nitrogen oxides in the sunlight, forming ground-level ozone, a principal substance found in smog. Hydrocarbons aggravate the respiratory system, resulting in choking, coughing and reduced lung capacity.
Carbon Monoxide (CO)
Carbon Monoxide is a poisonous, colorless, odorless gas that is produced by the combustion of gasoline and other fossil fuels that is primarily emitted from vehicles. When inhaled, carbon monoxide blocks oxygen from the heart, brain, and other vital organs.
How Does It Work?
A catalytic reaction occurs as exhaust passes through the substrate located inside the converter housing. As the pollutants mentioned above move through the substrate, they’re converted into significantly less dangerous compounds, including CO2 (carbon dioxide (CO2), water (H2O, and nitrogen (N2).
Replace Catalytic Service
Even though a catalytic converter typically lasts the life of the car, it can become clogged, overheated, damaged, or contaminated by engine coolant or oil. Indications of a bad converter include the smell of rotten eggs or sulfur coming from the exhaust, a reduction in acceleration or excessive heat under the car. Because some of these symptoms can be attributable to other sections of the emissions system, it’s a good idea to have an experienced mechanic diagnose the entire exhaust system before performing catalytic service.
When you need catalytic service, get it done by someone you trust. Call us today