As you go about your weekly car washing schedule and applying wax as you dry products to maintain your vehicle’s factory finish, have you ever thought about the health of your car’s components? It takes thousands of parts working in perfect synchronization to ensure safe operation, and one malfunctioning component could cause a failing grade from the obd2 scanner at your next vehicular inspection.
Not only does your car’s exhaust system keep it running smoothly, but it also helps protect the environment from pollution. Here are three signs it might be time to replace your catalytic converter, which is one of the most important pieces of emissions equipment.
- A Sudden Drop in Fuel Efficiency
Your engine needs clean air to efficiently burn gasoline, and your exhaust system is responsible for evacuating the combustion chamber of carbon monoxide and other gasses. A failed catalytic converter decreases the air flow out of the exhaust system, which means there’s less room for fresh oxygen to enter the motor. Without the proper air-to-fuel mixture, the car needs to work harder to maintain its desired speed. This causes a drop in fuel efficiency and more frequent trips to the pump.
- Sluggish Acceleration
It’s hard to see a decrease in fuel efficiency unless you pay attention to the number of miles you’re getting out of every tank. Because of this, many drivers don’t suspect a failed catalytic converter until much later when measurable effects start occurring. One of the first things you’ll start to notice is sluggish acceleration when you get onto the highway. The same clogs causing decreased fuel economy are also responsible for a drop in engine power due to inefficient gas combustion. While this might seem like an inconvenience, it could cause a dangerous situation if you’re unable to effectively accelerate when merging on high-speed roads.
- Failed Emissions Inspection
Depending on where you live, regular inspection of your car’s emissions equipment is a requirement to maintain vehicle registration. When you take your car into the service center, a technician will perform a number of tests while also getting a report from the vehicle’s computer. A clog in your catalytic converter will usually trigger an automatic failure and an order to repair it before a return trip for a re-check. This is one reason why you shouldn’t wait until the last minute when your inspection notice arrives.
Help Your Car Breathe Easier
These are just three of the signs you might need a new catalytic converter, but there are a number of other warnings that could pop up:
- Hard or failed ignitions
- Sulfur smells
- Check engine light
- Misfiring engine
If you experience any of these symptoms in your car or truck, make an appointment at your local service center as soon as possible. Once you have your vehicle up and running properly, it’s time to outfit it with some of the latest automotive tech such as a battery booster pack so you don’t need to wait for a jump when your auto won’t start. To get the components and accessories that bet work with your automobile, trust the staff at your neighborhood auto parts store.