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What Makes Catalytic Converters Malfunction?

Author: Global Refining Group
by Global Refining Group
Posted: Dec 19, 2016

The function of a catalytic converter is to convert polluting gases to more benign substances. Thus, those who buy catalytic converters are mostly vehicle owners. These converters are located at the very end of the exhaust system. Basically, a converter is made out of a honeycomb structure that is made of rare elements and gives maximum exposure to the exhaust gases. Harmful gases like carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide are removed from the exhaust stream, thus preventing the further pollution of the atmosphere.

Most catalytic converters are made of rare metals that are expensive to procure; especially the platinum group metals in the periodic table. The catalytic converter just facilitates the conversion or speeds up the conversion process. Typically, the metals in the converter do not get consumed with use and could well last a long time. Investing in a good quality catalytic converter makes sense because the use of a cheap source of catalyst does compromise on the performance of a converter unit. The efficiencies of conversion are not achieved and usually lesser amount of harmful gases is converted to more acceptable and non-polluting substances. But at times in spite of using good quality catalytic converter the device does not give optimum performance.

Laid out here are some common causes for malfunction of a catalytic element:

  • Ingress of water into the system: This could be because the exhaust system has a leaking body and tends to take in water during rains and while traversing through waterlogged roads and surfaces.
  • Fuel and oil in the system: The failure of the gasket and seals in the engine can let in oil and residues of fuel being taken into the unit. Most common results of this failure are the contamination of the element with pollutants.
  • Use of leaded fuel: The presence of lead in the fuel is a major let down in the use of a catalytic converter. At times a not so vigilant fuel station attendant can be the prime cause for this to happen. The only remedy is to replace the old converter as the damage is usually irreversible and permanent.
  • An out of tune engine: Often an out of tune engine can cause a converter to malfunction. With the proper conditions that are needed for the efficient functioning of a catalytic converter being absent in this case, the gases do not get cleaned properly before release into the atmosphere.

As can be seen, the causes of a malfunctioning converter are in fact man made. The proper observance of operating procedure and care does ensure a good working converter for years to come. In case a converter gets old, there is a scrap catalytic converter market that would take apart the unit and bring about a catalytic converter recycling. Thus, there is no such thing as a waste of money as most converters are recyclable.

With the importance that society pays to environmental pollution and its prevention, now, it is only natural that catalytic converters are given their due. The progress in research has allowed the customer to have more efficient and cost effective solutions to tackling pollution problems. As the future developments can only bring about better and more refined solutions to the problems of today, rest assured that a simple solution as a converter is truly irreplaceable.

About The Author

Benjamin Harvey is a mechanical engineer specializing in automobiles, and is closely associated with working and researching on catalytic converters. He is of the opinion that is the best destination to sell catalytic converters.

About the Author

Benjamin Harvey is a mechanical engineer specializing in automobiles, and is closely associated with working and researching on catalytic converters.

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Author: Global Refining Group

Global Refining Group

Member since: Sep 08, 2015
Published articles: 46

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