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

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Mazyar

8 years of experience
464 reviews
Mazyar
8 years of experience
Dodge Caliber L4-2.0L - Catalytic Converter - Fairburn, Georgia
Mazyar is highly skilled, very punctual, and professional. He worked on my car twice and I have been very satisfied.
Dodge Journey - Catalytic Converter - Lithonia, Georgia
My experience was great. Mazyar arrived on schedule, he reviewed the job order with me and made sure everything was correct, his service was A1 he’s professional with a friendly attitude, a few hours later he was done, we test drove it and I was happy my car was fixed. He even checked my oil and tires and prepared a quote before he left.

Michael

36 years of experience
69 reviews
Michael
36 years of experience
Chevrolet Traverse V6-3.6L - Catalytic Converter - San Antonio, Texas
A+++ service and labor was quick. Michael was also knowledgeable and assuring when it came to fixing my vehicle. Would recommend to anyone!
Hyundai Accent - Catalytic Converter Replacement - San Antonio, Texas
He was totally amazing. He explained everything so I understood it all and even gave me some fair suggestions on things I didnt even noticed I needed to get done! I would 150% ask for his help again! Great, Great service and he was fast too!

Patrick

33 years of experience
1408 reviews
Patrick
33 years of experience
Hyundai Accent L4-1.6L - Catalytic Converter - San Marcos, Texas
Patrick was on time and started working on my car right away. He was friendly and trustworthy. I will highly recommend Patrick.

Bryan

2 years of experience
87 reviews
Bryan
2 years of experience
Nissan Altima L4-2.5L - Catalytic Converter - Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Even though I had the wrong part this gentleman still tried to get work done and explained to me everything I needed..and was very professional and on time. I would hope to select him again once I get the correct part. Thanks again!!

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