B & G Mufflers Inc. Mon-Fri 8-6 Sat: 8-2
750 W Northwest Hwy, Grapevine, TX 76051 817-481-2298
How do I know I if I need a catalytic converter ?
Most often a customer comes to us with a check engine light on and a trouble code relating to low catalyst efficiency.
This code is the result of a failed catalytic converter test run by the car's own engine control computer. Most of the time
this code is reliable and means that your converter has degraded to the point where it cannot effectively control your car's
emissions. There are circumstances that can cause the engine computer to fail a catalyst test falsely. If any other codes
set along with a low catalyst efficiency code, they should be evaluated by a trained technician to make sure they are not
affecting the computer's ability to accurately test your catalytic converter.
A rattling coverter is also a sign of internal damage to the catalytic converter.
We often have customer's wanting a converter replaced on a pre 1996 car that has failed an emission's test. An analysis of the
exhaust gases on your failure sheet from the state inspection facility is essential to a correct diagnosis of whether or not a catalytic
conveter will fix your problem. We strongly recommend your have your car diagnosed by an ASE certified "L1" technician before you
waste your money on a catalytic converter that won't fix your problem. ( Analysis of this failure sheet is beyond the training of an
average automobile technician. We can arrange for this to be analyzed by an ASE certified master L1 technician recognized
by the state of texas as an emissions repair technician. This is by appointment only and a fee is associated with this. - Call for details.)
Why did my converter fail?
Catalytic converters fail for a number of reasons.
The most common reason is an engine misfire or fuel management problem. A misfire occurs when one or more cylinders fail to
combust or completely combust the fuel that was delivered to the cylinder. This raw fuel ultimately ends up in the converter.
The converter will attempt to break down this raw fuel into a more environmentally friendly form, but may overheat in the process if the
misfire occurs too often or for too long. An overheated converter will melt the substrate into several solid chunks that will not allow
exhaust gases to be converted. A flashing check engine light is a sure indication of a catalyst damaging misfire and should
be diagnosed immediately.
Another common reason is contamination from oil usage or other contaminants in the exhaust. To perform it's job, the precious
metals in the converter must be able to make contact with the gases flowing through the converter. If the subtrate is coated with
burned oil residue or coolant from a combustion leak, it cannot perform its job.
If you fail to diagnose the cause of your original converter's failure, you may have repeat failures that will not be covered under
warranty. Even the best converter will not survive a severe misfire or oil consumption problem.