Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Can catalytic converter particles damage the engine?

asked by on

2005 Nissan Sentra. code P0420. Tried the laquer thinner tip and it worked. Now every two to three gas fillups, the light would come on and off. The dealership said the particles in cat can enter the engine and damage it. Is that true?

A: Not really if you think about it. You'v...

Not really if you think about it. You've got a a catalytic converter which is on the exhaust system. The hot gas comes out of the engine in the manifold and then goes through the exhaust system to the catalytic converter. Pieces from the catalytic converter cannot get inside of the engine because the pressure is blowing it in the opposite direction.

The only thing that can really happen with that is, if the catalytic converter pieces do break up, they could go further down the line and they might clog up the muffler. I've seen the ones that were really worn do that. Pieces from the catalytic converter break up and then go on and jam in the muffler. Then the car doesn't run right, and when I take the muffler off, I find that it is jammed and packed full of catalytic converter pieces. Then you've got to replace the catalytic converter and the muffler. But it can't get into the engine because they flow is in the opposite way. You may want to have the Check Engine Light checked to determine what repair is needed.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Save up to 30%

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Crank no start - 2003 Dodge Grand Caravan

Hi. Some of the codes you have will cause drivability problems and may cause the van not to start. The code p0118 deals with your coolant temperature sensor and a bad coolant temperature sensor will cause the car not to...

Q: Could my accident have caused motor mount damage?

Unfortunately, there is no definitive way to tell for certain if the broken motor mount was caused by the rear-end impact. It may have been possible in an extreme situation, but again, it would be hard to prove. If there...

Q: Cable harness worn

Depending on how much the harness was damaged, a replacement might be necessary. There could also be secondary damage from non-insulated wires touching each other after the harness was cut. If it was only a few wires, the harness might...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
How to Renew Your Car Registration in Oklahoma(DELETED)
Having your car registered with the Oklahoma Tax Commission is an important part of driving legally in this state. You will need to do this within 30 days of moving to Oklahoma...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...