Q: Bad catalytic converter and white smoke from tire

asked by on June 24, 2016

The report from the mechanic was that my SUV has a bad catalytic converter. I tried to drive it recently and it only drove about 15 miles. If I lightly pushed the pedal, it would go slightly only over 30 mph. Going uphill, there was no power and white smoke started coming from the driver’s side front wheel after about 12 miles of driving. For a couple of minutes, the smoke was very bad and then instantly stopped. It smelled like burning rubber. Is this problem from the catalytic converter or is it something different?

Hello. This does sound like a problem related to the catalytic converter being faulty. The smoke from the driver’s side front wheel could be caused by the front driver side caliper locking up. This may make the wheel difficult to spin and may also be causing the white smoke. When the catalytic converter is causing drivability issues, it may get very hot to the point that it turns red. The extreme heat could cause the brake fluid to boil, which may also make the front wheel lock up. I would suggest that you have a certified technician, like one from YourMechanic, come and inspect the brake system as well as the catalytic converter.

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