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Catalytic Converter Removal & Replacement

While your engine is running it pumps out plenty of harmful exhaust fumes. To minimise this, car makers introduced catalytic converters to reduce the amount of CO2 and nasty pollutants entering the atmosphere. 

What is a Catalytic Converter?

Catalytic converters have been part of the CO2 emissions regulations on most vehicles for decades, as they play a key role in ensuring unburnt hydrocarbons expelled by the vehicles engine are converted into harmless gas before being released out the muffler and into the air. The catalytic converter is bolted between the exhaust manifold and the muffler, and contains special materials that work to neutralise the unwanted emissions.

If an issue in the engine overwhelms the catalytic converter (often an ignition issue or fuel contamination), the catalytic converter will need to be replaced.

How do you know when it is time to replace your catalytic converter?

It's not always easy to tell if your catalytic converter needs replacing. In some vehicles a warning or check engine light may illuminate, while in others the only tell is a rough sounding engine or poor acceleration. Nowadays a mechanic will be able to tell via a diagnostic tool the CO2 emissions of your vehicle, and determine from this if it needs replacing.

What happens during a catalytic converter replacement?

The mechanic will be able to test to see what the emissions of your vehicle are by using their diagnostic tools. In order to replace the catalytic converter, they will raise you can on a hoist, then unbolt it from the exhaust manifold and muffler, before replacing it. In some cases, the catalytic converter will take some fitting to get it sitting correctly in the underbody of your vehicle.

Your vehicle will need to be run up to its regular operating temperature, before another diagnostic is completed to check the emissions again. Finally, any error codes will be cleared.

How much does a catalytic converter replacement cost?

Replacing your catalytic converter is an unusual task, and often vehicles will go their entire life without the need to replace one. That said, it is an important part in keeping the environment clean. To replace a catalytic converter will cost upwards of $1,500, however these can cost $3,000+ depending on the vehicle make and model.

Is driving with a broken catalytic converter unsafe?

No, there is not a safety risk from driving without a catalytic converter, however there is a greater risk of other issues developing with your engine.

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