Diagnosing a Faulty Catalytic Converter

January 27, 2012

Your car's catalytic converter is the first line of defense against pollution and global warming causing carbon-based emissions. A faulty catalytic converter can lead to a host of problems that can range from being only a minor annoyance to drastically affecting the performance of your vehicle. So, here are some common symptoms of a faulty catalytic converter.

Exhaust Problems

If your car is producing particularly black or dark exhaust smoke from the muffler or exhaust system, it could be because of a substantial amount of carbon buildup in your car's engine or a bad catalytic converter. If you perform regular maintenance on your vehicle, and use a quality gasoline additive or premium unleaded fuel, the culprit is probably a defective catalytic converter that will need to be replaced.

Poor Performance Issues

A faulty catalytic converter can also cause your car to perform less efficiently and produce far lower levels of power. If you experience an inability to drive at normal speeds even when giving the car a lot of gas, there's a good chance that a bad catalytic converter is the problem. The car may also experience a lot of jerking and jumping when accelerating for no apparent reason as well.

Use Your Nose

One of the surest ways to tell if your car is catalytic converter is bad is to simply use your nose. A faulty catalytic converter will often produce a horrible smell that smells like a combination of rotten eggs and sulfur. The smell is hard to miss, and almost always a sign you need to replace the defective catalytic converter in your vehicle.