A catalytic converter performs an important job. When it’s functioning as it should, the converter helps to change the nature of the emissions created by the engine and processed through the exhaust system. What ultimately emerges is less harmful than the emissions that would be produced without the presence of the converter. Like any type of mechanical component, converters do need attention. That includes cleaning. Here are some signs that it’s time to have your catalytic converter cleaned.
There’s a Change in Fuel Efficiency
You have owned the vehicle long enough to have a good idea of what type of mileage to expect. When you notice that the fuel efficiency is not what is was before, several issues could be present. After you rule out issues like needing an engine tune-up or the need for replacing the fuel pump or some other part, that leaves the catalytic converter.
Don’t assume that just because your vehicle uses diesel fuel rather than unleaded fuel that problems with the converter will not develop. Even a catalytic converter will need cleaning from time to time. Until you have the cleaning done, expect to see your fuel efficiency continue to drop.
The Car Acceleration is Reduced
Changes in the way your vehicle responds can also indicate the time has come to use some type of catalytic converter sooner rather than later. The brakes still respond as they have in the past, but the acceleration is a different matter. When you press on the gas pedal, the pickup seems to hesitate a bit. Since you are used to a quick response, this can be a little disconcerting. Assuming there is no other issue going on, it’s likely time for the converter to be thoroughly cleaned.
The Check Engine Light Pops On
No matter how used you are to the little things that can happen with a vehicle, seeing the check engine light come on is disconcerting. Your best bet is to get the vehicle to a mechanic as soon as you can. Even if the vehicle seems to be running fine, it’s obvious that something needs attention.
That something could be as simple as adding a fuel and exhaust cleaner that helps to get rid of the carbon buildup in the catalytic converter. Once the job is done and the vehicle computer is reset, you’ll notice that the light is off and it stays that way.
The Car Does Not Pass an Emissions Test
Your vehicle normally passes emissions testing with flying colors. That was not the case this time. Now you have a grace period for correcting the situation. Before assuming there will be some major repair bill to manage, have the converter checked. If it hasn’t been cleaned in some time, removing all the gunk that has built up could correct the problem and ensure you will pass that next emissions test with no problem.
Remember that regular cleaning will go a long way toward protecting the engine as well as the exhaust system. Along with enjoying better response and superior fuel efficiency. keeping the converter clean will help you get more years of service from the vehicle. Talk with a professional today if any of these issues are occurring and see if a cleaning is in order. You’ll be glad that you did.