Catalytic Converter Repair - Doable, Yet Difficult
As we all know, a catalytic converter is designed to reduce the toxicity of combustion engines. However, what happens when the converter fails or needs repair? If the converter fails or needs repair, you’ll fail a vehicle emissions test. In many states, this makes the car illegal to be on the road, so it’s best that you get catalytic converter repair taken care of as soon as possible. It’s rather difficult to repair a faulty catalytic converter, since the converter itself is a sealed part; in fact, the only way to repair one is to take the entire converter off and check to see if the unit is plugged. Plugged catalytic converters don’t happen very often, but you’ll notice it if it happens to your car.
The two most noticeable signs of catalytic converter failure are pushing down on the gas pedal and nothing happens, or if the engine flat out fails after a few minutes. A drop in fuel efficiency is a possible warning sign, but that could also correspond to several other different problems. If you’re a heavy user of fuel additives, that could also play a role in catalytic converter failure. If your converter is plugged, it’s time to take your car to a shop or a local dealer for catalytic converter repair.
If you happen to fail a state-required emissions test, a slight adjustment may be the only catalytic converter repair you need; on the other hand, the converter pressure may need to be checked to see if there is adequate exhaust flow pressure. A mechanic can perform a test to see if the pressure is where it needs to be by checking the exhaust flow pressure before the converter and shortly after it in the exhaust pipe. Wildly differing readings is a sign that exhaust pressure in the catalytic converter is low.
If your car is relatively new, you’re in luck. All catalytic converters come with a federally mandated 7-year/70,000 mile warranty. So, if you’re covered under the warranty, you can get your catalytic converter repair for free. If your converter falls outside of this warranty, you’ll have to pay out of pocket, and repairing a converter isn’t cheap. Replacing a converter can easily cost over $1,000, and repairing one that can be repaired may cost as much as that figure as well. While catalytic converters are designed to last, they can be one of the most expensive parts to repair on a car.