Why Is Cleaning Your Catalytic Converter So Important?

When a part of your car stops working, you want to make sure that it gets fixed as soon as possible. Something like the catalytic converter, that regulates emissions is going to not only cause performance issues but other problems in places where they have smog checks.

What Does It Do?

Your catalytic converter sits there in your exhaust system and its job is to reduce any of the harmful emissions that could affect the environment that your car’s engine generates.

It is made from either platinum, palladium, rhodium, or a combination of the three.

The things it is specifically tasked with dealing with are carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides, and it turns them into harmless substances it is then safe for your vehicle to emit.

Some places have smog checks in place, so it is important it is doing its job.

What Are The Signs It Is Going Wrong?

You may be curious how to tell if the catalytic converter is the issue, and there are a number of indicators that will point you in the right direction.

Is your engine misfiring? This can cause the converter to overheat and can make some of the components melt.

A loss of acceleration can be an issue that suggests that the catalytic converter is clogged, and you can confirm this by checking the exhaust, which will give you a hot feeling in the exhaust flow.

An overall drop in performance happens where the converter can affect the engine performing properly, and it can also cause the engine to stall while you are driving.

Can I Get In Trouble?

It depends on what kind of trouble you are talking about. In most cases having a dirty catalytic converter is not going to stop you from driving around, but it is not going to be working as effectively, and therefore your car’s performance is not going to be so good either.

If the catalytic converter’s inner fiber burns through, again you may still be able to drive, but you are going to notice the smoke and the smell.

If you live in an area with smog checks you are not going to be able to drive legally until you get the damaged converter fixed.

What Do I Do?

The first thing you are going to need to do is to remove the catalytic converter, and then you will have to clean it manually.

Once you inspect it there is always the chance that you will discover that the converter is damaged and just needs to be replaced.

If that is not the case you will need a catalytic converter cleaner which is going to help you remove carbon deposits.

You are going to wipe down the face of the converter, and then you are going to want to soak it in your cleaner. Once you have done that and you are confident that it is clean, you are going to need to make it sure it dries well, and then test it out on your vehicle.


You want your car to run well, and while it may not stop the vehicle from moving it can affect performance. One broken part can have an effect on other parts of your vehicle, so it pays to keep the whole vehicle in good condition. You also don’t want to be unable to drive because you can’t pass a smog check.