Catalytic Converter

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Catalytic Converter

A catalytic converter is an essential part of your car's exhaust system. It has the unique task of taking dangerous pollutants, such as carbon monoxide, and chemically changing them to something less dangerous like carbon dioxide. Many people want to know how catalytic converters work. They have catalysts that react with these compounds before they are released into the environment, and they are required for passing inspection.

What Are Catalytic Converters?
Exactly what are catalytic converters? These are part of the car's exhaust system, and they are responsible for converting harmful compounds into less harmful ones. A few of these compounds include carbon monoxide, nitrogen gas, nitrogen oxides, and hydrocarbons. The catalytic converter will make them less harmful while also reducing overall emissions.

The first catalytic converters were produced in 1975 when the government demanded regulations on exhaust. This was considered the best way to meet regulations without reducing the performance or power of the vehicle. You may notice that these parts are more expensive than most, and there's a good reason for that. They often use gold, platinum, and palladium.

The interior uses a honeycomb pattern to slow down the exhaust. This ensures that the catalysts have time to completely convert exhaust before it's released.

How Catalytic Converters Work
Here's some additional information about how catalytic converters work. They are responsible for breaking down harmful compounds into less harmful ones, such as nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide, and water. This is done through a chemical process that rapidly breaks down the compounds before they leave your vehicle.

Catalytic converters have catalysts that are capable of breaking down the compounds. The harmful compounds would naturally break down on their own, but the natural process takes far too long. Catalysts make the process much faster and break down the compounds in seconds. The majority of modern cars have a three-stage converter.

Stage one and two involve both reduction and oxidation catalysts. The reduction catalyst usually comes from radium and platinum while the oxidation one is from palladium and platinum. As you can see, platinum is used in many areas with catalytic converters. These break down the harmful compounds as they pass through.

The final stage includes the engine. The engine has an oxygen sensor, and it senses how much oxygen is in the exhaust system. Fuel injection depends on this process as the engine might either increase or decrease how much fuel is injected into the gas chambers. For example, if the oxygen is currently low and the catalytic converter needs more time, then less fuel will be injected until the oxygen levels are higher. This balances the overall pollutants emitted from the exhaust system.

There is also a two-stage catalytic converter that works a little differently. The first stage specifically reduces nitrogen oxide while the second stage reduces carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons.



How to Know If Your Catalytic Converter Needs a Replacement
So how do you know when it is time for a catalytic converter replacement? In most cars and trucks, the Check Engine Light should appear with a code to notify you if your catalytic converter's efficiency is measuring below standard. Even so, it is always wise to be closely attuned to the performance of your vehicle so that you notice indications of a problem early on. Common signs of issues might include a sudden drop in fuel efficiency, difficulty starting the engine, black smoke coming from the exhaust pipe or a sluggish feeling when driving. At AutoZone, we offer a variety of catalytic converter replacements that are easily accessible in-store or with free one day delivery. Driving with a bad catalytic converter for too long may eventually lead to an engine shutdown, so never delay in replacing it.

Things to Consider When Buying Catalytic Converters
There are several things to consider when buying catalytic converters. Since these parts are essential for meeting government regulations, they have high standards and warranties to uphold. A converter must have a warranty of at least 80,000 miles or eight years of use. Not only that, but the government prohibits the sale of catalytic converters that haven't been tested and proven to adequately reduce emissions.

Like most other parts, catalytic converters come in different grades. For example, there are both standard and performance models. While choosing a performance model might sometimes be beneficial, it's best in this case to match your car's specific needs. If you have a high-performance vehicle, then get a matching converter. If you have a standard vehicle, then get a standard converter.

You should look for a catalytic converter with a direct-fit piece. This makes it much easier to install the converter yourself. You'll also want to ensure that the piece meets state laws for emissions.

Autozone Catalytic Converters
It is important to be aware that catalytic converter troubles could be symptomatic of other complications within the vehicle. Converters are susceptible to overheating if engine misfiring causes unburned fuel to enter the exhaust system. Coolant or oil entering the engine's combustion chamber can also clog or degrade the catalytic converter. Hence, you may want to investigate whether the failure is due to age or something more. Whether you are a DIY car guru and want to tackle catalytic converter replacement on your own or would simply prefer to have a mechanic install the part, AutoZone's gets your replacement to you in no time and offers some of the lowest prices on catalytic converters that you can find anywhere. No matter where your car repair journey takes you, AutoZone has got you covered when it comes to providing affordable parts.