Catalytic Converters: Burning off the Toxic Exhaust
The Catalytic Converter is always the first part we think of when discussing a vehicle's
It is also one of the few parts that is required by law to be installed on every vehicle during the manufacturing
process. To ensure the best driving experience for yourself and others, not to mention the environment, always use a
catalytic converter and make sure it's in good working order. AutoPartsNerd
has been in the business for over 40 years and offers this particular part from Walker.
Not all Catalytic Converters are the same. Know your vehicle.
Before purchasing your new Catalytic Converter, please read this page completely, with emphasis on the "Did You Know" section.
We also carry the best Oxygen Sensors
which you also might want to think about replacing.
When the topic of discussion shifts to your vehicles emissions system, the Catalytic Converter
should immediately come across as the most important component. Sure, there will be those who put a high quality
muffler with great sound above it. But at the end of the day, it won't do anything to clean the air or help the
environment. We would all love to live in a world without pollution, but the best we can do is to significantly
reduce it. That is why at the local, state, and even federal levels, the use of a catalytic converter on every
vehicle is mandatory. And while it might seem like a super complex part, it's really simple and the process it uses
comes down to basic chemistry. By triggering chemical reactions for oxidation and reduction, it greatly reduces the
toxicity of the gases being released from the tail pipe into the air we breathe. When you are in the market for
either a catalytic converter or any other part for your vehicles exhaust system,
AutoPartsNerd has it and is ready to ship fast.
Brand Coverage by AutoPartsNerd
Walker Exhaust Systems
is probably a name you know, a name you trust, and a brand you already associate with exceptional parts
for your vehicles exhaust system. Their process for taking a prospective part from design all the way to
production is what makes this company so special. Even if they were to manufacture a part that is selling
like hotcakes, and it meets every single requirement set by the industry and the consumer, instead of being
happy with it and calling it a day, they will continue working on that existing part to try and make it even
better. We live in a time where many companies are simply not willing to invest the time, money, or effort
into spending money if they don't have to. Walker doesn't believe in that and is always willing to go the
distance for their customers, regardless of the cost or current state of the economy.
AutoPartsNerd is proud to be working with such a great brand
to bring you everything from mufflers to Catalytic Converters and everything in between when it
comes to your exhaust system.
Did you know that not all Catalytic Converters are created the same?
Before purchasing, make sure to thoroughly read what we are about to tell you. It
will save you time, money, and unnecessary headaches. To figure out what you need,
you need to know how many Catalytic Converters are on your vehicle and
how many you need to replace. If you have more than one, determining if you have to replace
just one or both comes down to why it needs to be replaced in the first place.
If you sustained physical damage to just one of them, then replacing both should not be
necessary. However, if your engine or exhaust system has malfunctioned in some way, which has
allowed oil or fuel to enter you catalytic converter(s), then you will probably have to
replace both due to contamination.
But even more important than that, you need to know the make, model, and year of your vehicle.
This will help to confirm what emissions standards and regulations you need to be in compliance with in
order to obey the law. For instance, if you currently reside in the state of California, your
vehicle must be California Air Resources Board (CARB) compliant. But even if you live in another
state, the car, truck, or SUV you are driving might have been manufactured to be CARB compliant. In
order for you to confirm this one way or another, start by looking under your hood for a sticker or
plate that tells you whether the vehicle is "California" or Federal. To be more specific, look for
the words California or ODB: CA II.
If your vehicle was manufactured in 1995 or 1996, and in some cases even 1997, you also need to
know whether or not your car, truck, or SUV is using an OBD-II or Pre-OBD-II Catalytic Converter.
OBD is short for On-Board Diagnostics and it came into existence as we became more enviromentally
conscious by the mid 1990s.
Common Catalytic Converter Questions
What does my Catalytic Converter do?
It is installed on your vehicle to reduce the amount of
harmful pollutants being produced by your vehicle's exhaust
system. The internal structure of your catalytic conveter uses
a creative design and basic chemistry to transform the
toxic pollutants generated by the engine into less harmful
exhaust when it exits via the tail pipe.
What causes my Catalytic Converter to Fail?
Every catalytic converter will fail over time due to age. Rust, also referred
to as automotive cancer, will develop and eat away at it on many vehicles. But
besides that, failure can also result due to physical damage caused by an
accident or debris hitting it. Contamination due to oil or fuel entering
the converter can also destroy it. This can result from your engine blowing
a head gasket. When the honeycomb catalyst inside the catalytic converter
loses some, if not all of its functionality, the converter is toast and
will need to be replaced. Visible dents can also indicate that you might
want to consider replacing it since the airflow could be restricted.
Where is my Catalytic Converter Located?
Most vehicles will have a single catalytic converter located
underneathe the vehicle in the middle of the exhaust system. But
it's important to note that there are vehicles on the road that
have two catalytic converters installed. Dual exhaust systems
are a perfect example of where you would find two instead of
one in some cases. There are some vehicles that come with a
pre-catalytic converter installed, which is smaller than the
primary catalytic converter and often times comes as part of
the exhaust manifold so it can operate close to the engine.
How your Catalytic Converter Functions
In order to understand how your Catalytic Converter does what it does, you could refer
back to your high school or college chemistry notes. Or, and we certainly recommend this route, you can
continue reading on and actually understand it without ripping your hair out. Seriously, have you ever
seen a chemist with a full head of hair? We haven't which is why we prefer to stick to the in a nutshell
approach. OK, so let's assume that you purchased a new catalytic converter, only to find out that it doesn't
fit on your vehicle (That is never an issue you will have at AutoPartsNerd
by the way). But instead of returning it, you decide to break it open with the hopes of finding something good on the inside.
Once you do that, you might be shocked to see that the inside looks like that honeycomb you ripped down from that
tree in your front yard. But luckily for you, this time around, you won't have a vicious pack of bees chasing you
around the perimeter of your property. There are actually two of these honeycomb shaped catalysts by the way, one
for oxidation and the other for reduction. The reduction catalyst is the first line of defense and uses platinum and
rhodium to reduce the nitrogren oxide generated during combustion. It does this by separating the nitrogen atom from the
bigger molecule which converts the nitrogen oxide into regular nitrogen. The oxidation catalyst will then take over and
use platinum and palladium to burn off the carbon monoxide by oxidizing it. The end result is 2CO2 which if you don't
have your periodic table handy, means 2 molecules of carbon dioxide.
Oxygen Sensors: The
O2 Sensor should not be forgotten when discussing catalytic converters.
If you have a downstream sensor that screws into the catalytic converter, you should
probably consider replacing it at the same time if it hasn't been changed in awhile.
Even if that's not the case, if the catalytic converter was contaminated with oil or fuel,
which might be the reason you are replacing it in the first place, the sensor is probably
toast as well. You don't want to install a new catalytic converter, only to have it fail
before its time due to a bad oxygen sensor causing the air/fuel mixture to be incorrect.
This can result in unburned fuel with a rich mixture, or significantly more nitrogen
oxide with a lean mixture making it into the catalytic converter.
Learn more about your emissions here:
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