How to Diagnose a Broken Catalytic Converter


The cars we use today have a component such as a catalytic converter so we thankfully won't be contributing to air pollution while we use our precious rides. When everything's working normal, this vital part of the exhaust system functions to reduce emissions. The chemical catalyst filled in its metal canister is the one responsible for converting the harmful gases into safer compounds that can now be emitted into our atmosphere.

Although it is not really common for it to just fail easily, it would be really better if we were given a heads-up instead of being surprised by your failed emissions test, right? So don't you fret. Advance Car Wreckers is here to help you out.

As your trusted car wreckers and car removal Melbourne company, we give you 5 of the most common signs and symptoms to know if your catalytic converter is already or about to be broken:

Poor Engine Performance

If you notice that your car has sluggish or weak acceleration, you might be facing issues with your cat. It will act as if there's an airlock in your exhaust system that's why the car will feel like it's having a hard time getting fuel into the engine. Many people get it wrong by thinking their muffler is the problem for having less power and reduced acceleration, but it's really your catalytic converter.

Low Fuel Economy

Now because there's a reduction in your power and acceleration, it'll most definitely affect your car's fuel efficiency as well. Minor drops in your MPG can be hard to detect. But if you're seriously noticing that you have been using up more petrol than usual, then you might want to check if you have failing cat.

Engine Misfire and Noises

There are times when the catalytic converter gets too old, worn, and damaged. When that happens to you, you might be having issues especially when starting your engine. You could hear rattling noises and notice some misfiring upon starting. In some cases, you may also experience rough idling or stalling in your vehicle.

Strange Exhaust Odors

Because it's an essential part in the exhaust system, the catalytic converter might be the culprit if you are smelling some strange odors. Your nose could just be your savior when it comes to detecting a bad cat. So if you do sense some strong and pungent smells coming from your exhaust, it might be that your catalytic converter is not working properly and it's essentially being flooded with more fuel than usual.


Your exhaust system is equipped with O2 sensors. If you want to double-check the issue with your catalytic converter, temporarily remove them from the exhaust. And if after doing so you notice that there's a considerable discrepancy in your car's performance, then it means your converter is clogged and is already going bad.

Increased Emissions

Well, if your catalytic converter is really in fail mode, then there's no doubt that your car will be producing more emissions. By seeing your car's unusual increase of emissions, that means that there is a contamination in the chemical catalysts in the converter. Some modern vehicles will have their Check Engine lights on when this happens. Well, if you do see these signs, it should be a no-brainer that you have to fix it up first before actually scheduling or going to your emissions test. If you do want to pass, that is.

Without a properly functioning catalytic converter, you are not only going to fail your emissions test, but you are also causing more pollution. So before it even escalates to more serious car issues, address it immediately.

Are you in search of reliable car wreckers Melbourne or a leading car wreckers Victoria company who would gladly take your old car with a broken cat, damaged engine, or failed transmission system? Then look no further and choose Advance Car Wreckers. We are trusted by many car owners in the area for we have been providing a fast and efficient old car removal Melbourne service. So speak with our friendly and dependable operators now and call 0405 063 700.

© 2017 Anthony Garfield. All rights reserved.
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