Is Your Catalytic Converter Going Bad?

The exhaust system is one of your vehicle's most important systems. It expels harmful gases from the engine, allowing it to "breathe" and run better. The most important component within your exhaust system is the catalytic converter. It burns off these gases and pollutants for safer emissions.

If your catalytic converter is damaged or clogged, you can usually still drive the vehicle. However, it will potentially lead to some more significant issues. You will generally lose fuel economy. Exhaust leaks can develop. Worst of all, engine damage can occur and it probably won't be cheap to repair. At the first sign of catalytic converter failure or any other exhaust system issues, you will want to bring your vehicle to a professional auto repair shop.

Colorado Springs' own LightHouse Automotive has identified these 6 signs that your catalytic converter might be going bad:

1. Sluggish Engine 

You can usually tell when your engine is acting sluggish. You give it power, but it just doesn't respond like it normally does. Sometimes this can be the result of a transmission or fuel system issue, but it could also be a clogged catalytic converter that is not allowing the engine to breathe properly.

2. Check Engine Light

A failing catalytic converter is one of the most common reasons why your check engine light might come on. It could also be a tripped or damaged oxygen sensor, which is another typical exhaust system problem. Any time your check engine light comes on for any reason, it's a good idea to get it checked out by a professional mechanic so that the issue can be identified and resolved properly.

3. Dark Exhaust Smoke

If you notice that there is dark smoke coming out of your car's tailpipe, it means there is some kind of exhaust system issue and there's a good chance it's a problem with the catalytic converter.

4. Rattles and Vibrations

Many drivers have also reported rattling sounds and vibrations associated with catalytic converter damage. Again, any time you hear or feel something odd with your car, it's best to have a professional provide a thorough mechanical inspection and run diagnostic tests.

5. Bad Smells

If your car smells like sulfur or rotten eggs when it's running, that is a common sign that the catalytic converter isn't working correctly and the exhaust gases aren't being burned off as they are supposed to.

6. Excessive Heat Under the Vehicle

This could be a hard one to notice unless you actually get under your car. Still, you might feel an unusual amount of heat on your legs when you step outside the vehicle after it's been running for awhile. Excessive heat is often a result of a struggling catalytic converter.

If you are in the Colorado Springs area and notice any of these issues or other potential problems with your engine or exhaust system, call LightHouse Automotive at (719) 465-0302 or schedule an appointment online. We'll uncover the source of the problem and recommend the necessary automotive repairs.

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