How Long Does a Catalytic Converter Last?

The catalytic converter converts pollutants in the exhaust system into less toxic pollutants by using a redox reduction method. The catalytic converter is located on the exhaust system of your vehicle, and is essential to controlling your vehicle’s emissions. It basically burns the emissions and converts them into water vapor and oxygen. The main emissions of your vehicle include nitrogen gas, carbon dioxide (CO2), water vapor( H2O), carbon monoxide (CO), hydrocarbons (VOC), and nitrogen oxides (NO and NO2).

Most modern vehicles are equipped with a three-way catalytic converter. The first stage of the catalytic converter is the reduction catalyst. In this stage, rhodium and platinum reduce the nitrogen oxide emissions. The second stage is the oxidation catalyst. Here, the unburned carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons are reduced by burning them over palladium and platinum catalyst. The control system is the third stage and it monitors the exhaust stream. It uses this information to control the fuel injection system through an oxygen sensor. The sensor will send information to the engine about how much oxygen is in the exhaust. If there is too much or too little oxygen, the engine’s computer can increase or decrease the amount by adjusting the air to fuel ratio. This ensures there is enough oxygen in the exhaust to make certain the oxidation catalyst can burn the carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons effectively.

The catalytic converter works at an extremely high temperature, so it is not uncommon for it to fail. For example, a misfiring engine system can cause the catalytic converter to overheat and become damaged. In addition, exhaust can become trapped in the catalytic converter, which creates back pressure and causes the engine to stop running. This will cause your vehicle to stall while you are driving. The catalytic converter can also be damaged due to impact from road debris. Watch for the following signs that indicate your catalytic converter is failing:

  • Poor fuel economy
  • Vehicle is performing poorly, such as stalling while driving or a jerking feeling
  • Misfiring engine
  • Check Engine Light
  • Rotten egg smell

Since the catalytic converter can become damaged or fail over time, the catalytic converter may need to be replaced.


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Recent Catalytic Converter Replacement reviews

Excellent Rating

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Rating Summary
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Theodore

16 years of experience
1424 reviews
Theodore
16 years of experience
Jeep Wrangler V6-3.8L - Catalytic Converter - Issaquah, Washington
Job was much harder and longer than what was quoted, but it was still done professionally and within a reasonable amount of time.
Chevrolet Express 1500 - Catalytic Converter - Bellevue, Washington
Perfect! Past the emission test and no more belt sound. Thank You so much!!!

John

27 years of experience
857 reviews
John
27 years of experience
Ford Taurus V6-3.5L - Catalytic Converter - Houston, Texas
I have used Johns several times for various repairs/diagnosis. Each time he has arrived at or before the scheduled time. He is very knowledgeable about auto repairs and goes about them very professionally. I respect everything that he has done for me, and will always use him for any future repairs. Thanks John!
Ford F-150 - Catalytic Converter - Pearland, Texas
John communicated with me leading up to the appointment and was just what you wanted. He did a great job and represented his company well. Would give him a 10!

Don

22 years of experience
7 reviews
Don
22 years of experience
Nissan Xterra V6-4.0L - Catalytic Converter Replacement - Indianapolis, Indiana
Professional. Worked great. Cleaned up any items and made sure I was satisfied with his work. I have more work that need to be done and will Be requesting him to do.

Marco

11 years of experience
18 reviews
Marco
11 years of experience
Toyota Camry L4-2.4L - Catalytic Converter - Highland, California
Very knowledgable in the nuts and bolts of vehicle mechanical repair including diagnostics and troubleshooting.

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