What Is a Catalytic Converter?

A Short Guide to Your Catalytic Converter — Jeff’s Auto Repair

Catalytic converters have been standard components on most vehicles sold in the United States since 1975. This coincides with federal emissions standards designed to protect the environment. Specifically, the catalytic converter changes the hazardous remains of the combustion process into a less toxic exhaust that can be released into the atmosphere. While you won’t have to replace this component too often, schedule an appointment with Jeff’s Auto Repair in Seattle, Washington, when you do need emissions system repair. We’ve been in business for more than four decades, so our certified technicians have experience with all makes and models.

Catalytic Converter Overview 

As the United States grew, so did the pollution problem. Through the years, not only did our population increase, but so did our reliance on gas powered vehicles. All those cars spewing toxins compounded into a large problem, particularly around our larger cities. Although factories and other machinery contributed to the problem, the truth is that our large number of cars caused the most damage, allowing smog to hang notoriously over metropolitan areas. To combat this problem, The States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) began regulating and monitoring auto emissions. John Mooney’s invention, the catalytic converter, was designed to clean combustion by-products before release. Specifically, the catalytic converter changes carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, and nitrogen oxides into less harmful carbon dioxide, water, and Nitrogen before releasing the exhaust. The noble and precious metals Platinum, Palladium, and Rhodium help the component do its job. While they work well for their intended purpose, they also make the catalytic converter attractive to thieves who want to steal this expensive part to sell for scrap metal. Hot fumes make their way post-combustion from the engine, through the catalytic converter, and out through the tailpipe. Those described metals act on the exhaust, changing its chemical properties and rendering it less toxic. You’ll be glad to know that this component lasts a long time and seldom needs repair. In fact, this is why you can’t use the old-fashioned leaded gasoline in modern autos. Lead destroys those metal surfaces inside the catalytic converter, so you can fill your tank with only unleaded fuel. Other issues such as bad spark plugs or fluids (antifreeze, oil, etc.) leaking into the exhaust system can also damage the catalytic converter and necessitate repair.

Your Trusted Shop for Emissions Repair

Though your catalytic converter operates trouble free for a long time, you may eventually find that your need repair. Perhaps your car fails to meet emissions standards or your check engine light is on. For emissions system repair or any other service needs, trust your vehicle to Jeff’s Auto Repair. We have enough locations to suit your convenience, yet we offer the family-owned advantage.

Written by Jeff's Auto Repair

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