Unlike other parts of a car, the catalytic converter typically lasts a long time, usually up to a decade. Still, it is an integral part of an automobile and cannot be neglected. Although they are generally relatively reliable, even small problems in the catalytic converter can result in big problems for not only the car’s performance but also the health of the driver and the environment.
In a high-quality car such as the Audi, it is even more important to keep all the parts full functioning at their highest potential so that the riders can enjoy all the nice things that a nice car has to offer. The catalytic converter, for one, is very important to keep specific things inside the vehicle while preventing harmful things from being released from it.
How Does a Catalytic Converter Work?
As its name suggests, a catalytic converter uses catalytic metals to break down (convert) potentially harmful byproducts from the engine into safer alternatives before they are released into the environment. It essentially serves as a gate between the engine and the outside. As fuel is burned by the engine, some contaminants from either the fuel, oil, or internal parts may also be burned to produce byproducts that may be harmful to the environment.
When these compounds pass through the catalytic converter, its metal catalysts react with them to reduce them to other gases that are not hazardous. Before the combustion products are released, it is essential that they are not extremely dangerous to people or the environment. The catalytic converter serves to keep everyone safe. Although the function of the catalytic converter seems very streamlined, it can undergo a lot of stress and cause problems if the other parts of the system are in bad condition.
Problems in a Catalytic Converter
Although catalysts, by definition, do not take part in the reaction of converting the harmful gases to less harmful ones, they might come into contact with other materials such as engine oil or coolant that cause them to react and be removed from the catalytic converter. Over time, the metal catalysts may be depleted, and the system may no longer be able to perform its intended function. Several factors may help detect when the catalytic converter is no longer working properly.
When the catalytic converter becomes clogged by contaminants, usually coolant and engine oil/sludge, it cannot adequately perform its function of converting harmful gases to less harmful ones. As a result, black smoke coming out of the exhaust may be an indicator that harmful gases are being released in high quantities, meaning the catalytic converter is malfunctioning. Furthermore, these gases can usually be smelled from inside the car or directly from the exhaust, and it has a really foul smell that is distinct from the burnt smell of normal gas combustion smoke.
If the catalytic converter is extremely clogged, it may even lead to reduced engine function or potentially even causing engine failure since the byproducts are not being released but rather building up inside the engine system, causing it to break down. When problems occur with the catalytic converter, they are not an easy fix.
Since the catalytic converter is well-attached to the engine system between the engine and the exhaust pipes, it is not easy to simply break it apart, fix it, and reattach it with no other problems surfacing as a result. Given the complexity of catalytic converter issues and fixes, many people prefer to go straight to the professionals for help. Not only is that the safer alternative, it will likely save a lot of headache and stress.
For catalytic converter problems, Foreign Automotive, located convenient to Kitchener, Waterloo, and Cambridge, Ontario, is the place to go. Since we are the consummate professionals when it comes to foreign cars, we can help to identify the problem with your Audi and suggest the best solution for it with good reason and experience. Not only are we the professionals at catalytic converters, we will also provide you with professional customer service that will help you unclog the situation and drive away with a well-maintenanced car that will make you feel relieved you chose us.