How Long DoesaCatalytic Converter Last

Over the period of time, you have to change some parts of your car for smooth and healthy driving. Like other parts, catalytic converter should be replaced. Though it is thought that a catalytic converter will last the lifetime of the car, ideally for about 100,000 miles, the conception is not all the true at all. Some reasonable situations enforce to change the converter.

A catalytic converter is a metallic canister which is located in the exhaust system. It helps to scrub the polluting byproducts of the engine into the atmosphere. However, the catalytic converter emits the byproducts through a redox reduction method so that the byproducts can't harm the environment.

So, for the safety of the environment as well as for green earth, an effective catalytic converter should be used.

How long does a catalytic converter last?

The modern vehicles come with a widespread and Nanotechnological catalytic converter. Generally, a catalytic converter lasts about 100000 miles (about 160.934 kilometers). But, many other factors have an impact on the sustainability of the converter. For example, a car with short trip doesn't produce enough heat to lessen the durability of the converter. On the contrary, a long trip of the car produces much heat which excessively reduces the capability of the converter. So, after considering all the factors, you must consider changing the converter in the meantime of 70000 miles to 100000 miles.

Usually, what does a converter do for the car and the environment? It reacts with the byproduct pollutants in the chemical reaction like a catalyst. So, the pollutant nitrogen, unburned fuel, and carbon monoxide convert into old nitrogen, carbon dioxide, and water and releases into the environment.

What are the causes to damage the Catalytic Converter?

Though it is expected from a catalytic converter to last the lifetime of the car, some reasons give a prematurely due which cause ill-performance. The causes are:

  • Frequent long trips produce much heat to reduce the efficiency of the converter.
  • Some people start the engine and run it without driving the car. As the engine runs, heats produce to lessen the durability.
  • A sharp blow can interfere with the metal housing of the converter.
  • Additive fuels in the engine cause the cat to the engine.
  • Damage roads result in breaking the catalytic converter.
  • Road debris can enter into the converter and react in the chemical reaction.
  • Misfiring engine produces overheat which is harmful to the converter.
  • Damage or ill-effective engine burns excess oil to reduce the efficiency and longevity of the car.

Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Catalytic Converter

Though a catalytic converter is a part of the car, it has some distinctive signs of failure. Among them, reduced engine performance, reduced light performance, rattling sound, etc. are noticeable. Some of them are:

Acrid smell from the exhaust

Sulfur is an essential element of gasoline. Gasoline contains hydrogen sulfide which converts into odorless sulfur dioxide. So, when a converter can't work efficiently, an acrid smell comes from the exhaust. Even, the unburnt fuel can' convert into regular carbon dioxide rather it remains in the combustion. Here, the contaminated converter fails to refine the dark composite exhaust.

Reduced engine performance

How can you understand the below performance of the bad catalytic converter? Engine performance is probably the most noticeable sign. A failing converter leads to reduce the engine performance. As the catalytic converter is directly related to the engine performance, any problem inside the converter also affects the engine. Here, a clogged catalytic converter may block the engine flow or may leak the harmful gas.

Failed emissions test

The catalytic converter is one of the most important parts of the car which are tested regularly. Without an efficient converter, you can't pass the emission test to drive the car. As it has a severe environmental impact, some states have already passed the law to make the diagnostic test mandatory. So, you'll get a trouble code if you have a faulty catalytic converter.  So, if you suspect any problem in the catalytic converter, get it to a professional mechanic to find out the problem. Isn't life more valuable than the car? 

Final Remarks

A cat converter is an inevitable part of the modern car considering green earth. Though it comes with lifetime guaranty with the latest vehicles, some common factors may reduce efficiency. As you are forced to replace the cat converter to pass the test, maintain it carefully. Hopefully, your care can help the catalytic converter lasts the lifetime of the car.

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