How long can you drive with a bad catalytic converter?

Vehicles have a severe impact on the environment. By burning fuels, cars continually pollute the atmosphere with carbon and other gas emissions. However, when this fact was discovered, a tool was invented to resolve this problem. We named this tool a catalytic converter. But can you drive with a bad catalytic converter? Let’s know the facts step by step.

So, what’s a catalytic converter?

The catalytic converter was invented around 1950. It’s a tool that converts air polluting gasses into less harmful gases and reduces air pollution. While burning the fuel, the vehicles produce some very toxic gases such as nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitric oxide, and hydrocarbons. These are very harmful to Mother Nature. A catalytic converter changes these gases into other gases that are not much harmful to nature. Some of those converted substances are carbon dioxide and water vapor. There are different types of converters that can do this job on a regular basis while we drive our cars.

But can a bad catalytic converter do this job efficiently?

How does a catalytic converter work?

In a vehicle, the catalytic conversation is attached with the exhaust pipe. There is a honeycomb casing made of metal in the converter. The honeycomb is coated with three different gases such as Pt (platinum), Pd (palladium), and (Rh) rhodium. The converter works as a catalyst here. When the cars emit harmful gases, a chemical reaction occurs inside the converter, and the car exhaust emits less toxic gases.

how catalytic converter works
A Catalytic Converter that Converts

How long can you drive with a bad catalytic converter?

So, we already know what a good catalytic converter is and how it does work. The next two common questions come into our mind that when should I change the catalytic converter, and how long can we drive with a bad one?

Continue reading to know the solution.

Sometimes, we face different types of problems with the catalytic converter while starting a car. Those problems can be engine misfiring or fuel vapor. You may become confused about whether to change the converter!
In simple words, a catalytic converter can be used for a very long time duration.

Driving with a bad catalytic converter is not that much dangerous. When some of the parts of a catalytic converter are blocked, it will result in a bad performance in that converter. It will make noise. But you can still drive the car. But what happens if all of the parts of the converter are blocked?

If you do not take care, all of the parts of the catalytic converter will be blocked soon. In that case, it will prevent the car from running.

So, till it’s completely blocked, you can run the car. But there is some problem with running a vehicle with a bad converter. The car will start consuming more fuel. It will result in wastage of money. Also, burning excessive fuel will harm the converter badly, which may lead to the burning of the converter.

So, if you experience that the catalytic converter in your car is terrible and most of the parts are plugged, you should replace the converter immediately. Follow this buying guide if you want to purchase the best catalytic converter available in the market.

What are some symptoms that the catalytic converter is bad?

You need to be observant to know if you need to change the converter. Here we are discussing some points that may help you to know if the converter is terrible!

First, the performance of the engine will be going bad, and over time, it will worsen. Consequently, it will be making a bad noise. The engine will not remain responsive as before. You will be noticing the differences between stepping the accelerator and being accelerated off the car. Finally, it is one of the easiest symptoms that you will be noticing the smell of rotten eggs.

So, if you find any of the symptoms we discussed above, you may think of replacing the catalytic converter.

Bottom line

A catalytic converter is one of the essential parts of a car. Over time, the performance can go down, but still, it can be used for a very long time. However, if you do not want to harm the performance of the car, you should replace it as soon as it seems to be performing badly.

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