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Tech Tips: Catalytic Converter

The Exhaust Warehouse Catalytic Converter Diagram

A catalytic converter is the device used to lessen the amount of CO, NOx and HC present in tailpipe emissions. It is monitored by the onboard computer for engine efficiency and pollution control.

Catalytic converter

The modern catalytic converter performs two functions. It oxidizes (burns) the CO and unburned HC present in the exhaust stream and it reduces the amount of NOx released into the air. These fail when the engine is not tuned up, as this leads to overworking the converter, overheating and possible clogging.

Catalytic converter flow

Poor engine performance is the #1 reason converters fail. The catalyst is exposed to raw fuel and high exhaust temperatures. This shortens the life of the converter. The Exhaust Warehouse’s catalytic converters are a direct fit design, no modification required. We use a wash coat technology for even and precise catalyst loading. Catalyst loading engineered for specific year, make, model gross vehicle weight and engine family.

The Exhaust Warehouse Catalytic Converter

The flanges, mounting points and catalyst are constructed from 409 stainless steel. Interlocking flex pipes and mounting gaskets are included for a professional installation.

The PO420 diagnostic code

The PO420 diagnostic code (Catalyst System Efficiency Below Threshold Bank 1) is commonly the first sign that it is time to replace your catalytic converter. This can be generated by a variety of engine problems not directly related to the converter.

The following engine related problems are known to generate the PO420 code:

  • Intake manifold air leaks
  • Fuel injector problems (leaks)
  • Incorrect spark plugs
  • Ignition timing
  • EGR problem
  • Defective catalytic converter
  • Oil or antifreeze entering exhaust
  • O2 sensor not operating correctly
  • Road damage to converter
  • Silicone contamination

Most, if not all, catalytic converter failures are caused by a problem or malfunction somewhere in the emission system ahead of the converter. So, it’s very important to determine what actually caused the converter to fail, so that the problem can be repaired and a recurrence can be prevented.

 


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