Q: I have a check engine light on due to the catalytic converter. Can I still drive?

asked by on

Wondering if I'd be able to drive 20 mins and back and not have to worry about breaking down

My car has 125000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hi, thanks for writing in. I’d be happy to offer my insight about your catalytic converter warning light.

The catalytic converter as you may know is what converts toxic exhaust gases into less harmful materials to be expelled into the environment. When this is clogged (think of a backed up sink) or damaged, it causes the exhaust gases to not be released properly. This can cause the converter to become red hot. This can cause a fire hazard if, within those 20 minutes of driving, you were to run over anything in the road (i.e. trash or garbage bag), or were to park somewhere with leaves or anything flammable. Additionally, in terms of breaking down, depending on how bad the converter is, the car computer may shut it down or force it into a "safe mode" if the O2 sensors detect too much fuel present in the exhaust gases.

If you would like help, consider having an expert automotive technician from YourMechanic come to your home or office to inspect your catalytic converter for you, and make or suggest any repairs as needed.

Hope this helps and best of luck.

Was this answer helpful?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. I have a check engine light on due to the catalytic converter. Can I still drive?

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Do you know where the horn relay is located in a 1997 Honda Odyssey?

Hello, thank you for writing in. The main fuse box which houses the horn relay is under the hood to the left (passenger) side of the vehicle. When you remove the lid to the fuse box, turn it over and...

Q: I was told that p1273 code for my 2004 Nissan maxima is gonna keep coming on until I get oxygen sensor from actual Nissan dealersh

Hi there. When it comes to replacing O2 sensors or any other sensor, it is always recommended to use an OEM or original equipment manufacturer replacement part. The sensor is designed to collect data and transmit it through an electrical...

Q: Hi - I have the 2014 wildtrak. The powertrain light came on Friday after about 30 minutes of driving no more than 65km. It came of

The powertrain warning light is intended to alert you to a malfunction in engine controls, the transmission or traction control/ABS. If the problem resolves itself the warning light may turn off. For example, if you have a heavy load, perhaps...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
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...
P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...