What Are the 5 Typical Symptoms of a Catalytic Converter Clog?

Sep 16


Emily Sara

Emily Sara

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5 common symptoms of a clogged catalytic converter and how to unclog it. If in doubt, consult a when scheduling car mechanic your next car service in Reading.


You've come to this page because you're looking for information on how to unclog a catalytic converter. If you drive an internal combustion engine vehicle,What Are the 5 Typical Symptoms of a Catalytic Converter Clog? Articles you should be prepared to deal with a clogged catalytic converter. What's the deal with this?

What follows will show you how to keep your catalytic converter in good working order.

5 Typical Symptoms of a Catalytic Converter Clog?

It can be excruciatingly painful to drive a car with a clogged catalytic converter. Aside from environmental concerns, you risk damaging your car's engine. When a car's catalytic converter becomes clogged, some symptoms appear. These are as follows:

1. Engine Performance Issues

One of the issues associated with a clogged catalytic converter is exhaust backpressure. This indicates that exhaust gases have become trapped within the vehicle. To start and run properly, internal combustion engines require the proper air-fuel mixture. When a catalytic converter becomes clogged, the amount of air and fuel in the engine decreases. As a result, starting the car becomes challenging. The engine may eventually start, but after a brief sputter, it shuts down. While driving slowly, you may also notice your car engine knocking. Engine performance issues are an indication of a clogged cat converter. If this occurs, it is recommended that you search online for full car service near me and allow a trained technician to resolve the problem.

2. Problems with Fuel Efficiency

A car with a clogged catalytic converter will use less fuel than it used to. This is the reason. The engine's trapped exhaust gases reduce the amount of air and oxygen that enters it. When this happens, the car engine struggles to accelerate even with your foot on the gas pedal. Your car engine consumes more fuel as a result of having to work harder.

3. Dashboard engine warning light comes on

One of the most obvious symptoms of a clogged catalytic converter is the illumination of your dashboard lights. Catalytic converters that are clogged have the potential to activate your vehicle's sensors, which are designed to detect any emission problems. For example, faulty O2 sensors allow you to monitor the oxygen-to-exhaust-gas ratio and the fuel-air mix to detect any emission issues with your car. As a result, if you suspect that your catalytic converter is clogged, check the dashboard of your vehicle. Unless you drive an antique, your car will have a diagnostic system that will alert you if it has a problem. So, if your engine overheats and the light illuminates, it's likely that your catalytic converter is faulty. That doesn't mean your catalytic converter is clogged every time this light illuminates. Rather, you should try to figure out what's causing the light to come on, as it's an indication that your car engine isn't working properly. One of the causes is a clogged catalytic converter. Simply search online for car service near me and make an appointment for your vehicle to be serviced at a garage.

4. Failed Vehicle Emission Tests During a MOT

When the check light illuminates, the next logical step is to perform a vehicle emission test, as nothing indicates a clogged catalytic converter more than a failed vehicle emission test. This is because a functioning catalytic converter is an essential component of your vehicle's emission control system. If your vehicle fails an emissions test during a MOT, you have a clogge converter.

5. Rotten Egg Smell

A clogged catalytic converter emits a rotten egg odour, indicating the presence of Sulphur. This occurs when the catalytic converter becomes clogged and is unable to effectively catalyse pollutants.

Catalytic Converter Unclogging

At this point, you're certain about the condition of your catalytic converter and are probably looking for a quick fix. The good news is that your catalytic converter can be unclogged in two ways. There are, however, a few things to keep in mind.

It's preferable if you can ensure that the catalytic converter isn't completely clogged. You should also double-check that it is not broken. If your catalytic converter is in any of these states, seek the help of a mechanic because attempting to repair it yourself may be futile. After that, you can unclog your catalytic converter using any of the following methods:

1. Unclogging the Catalytic Converter Without Removing It

There is a disadvantage to this method. It works only if the catalytic converter is not severely clogged. It will be necessary to use a converter cleaner. This technique is also great for cleaning your exhaust, fuel, and oxygen sensors. This is how you do it:

• Purchase a compatible converter for your vehicle.

• Make sure your tank has at least 15 litres of fuel.

• Follow the directions on how to use converter cleaner for the fuel converter cleaner ratio.

• Add catalytic converter cleaner to the fuel tank.

• Drive your car at 2500rpm for about 30 minutes (or higher). The goal is to drive for a long enough period of time to allow the converter/fuel mixture to circulate throughout the vehicle and clean the system. Make sure, however, that the car does not overheat during this drive.

• Re-calibrate the OBD code before re-reading the converter.

You may have unclogged the converter if the car accelerates faster and emits less black smoke at the end of the ride. It is one of the most affordable ways to repair this converter. You should exercise caution when using some brands where the verdict is still out.

2. Unclogging the Catalytic Converter by Removing It

Use this method only after the first method has failed. The following tools will be required:

• Vehicle degreaser • Penetrating oil in a large container • A jack for the floor • Jack stands • An impact wrench • A high-pressure washer

Here's how to apply this technique:

• To avoid getting burned, allow the exhaust system to cool before using it.

• Jack the car up and suspend it using jack stands.

• Remove the oxygen sensor (s). • Use penetrating oil to loosen the bolts.

• Inspect it after removing it. If you hear a loud rattle, pull over because it's components are most likely damaged. If you do not hear anything, you should continue with the process.

• Use a low-pressure pressure washer to clean the catalytic converter.

• Soak it in hot water and degreaser for 30 minutes.

• Use a low-pressure pressure washer to clean the converter.

• Reinstall the converter after it has been allowed to drain and dry.

• Replace the oxygen sensor (s) after replacing it.


Unclogging your catalytic converter without removing it is the simplest and least expensive method of catalytic converter repair. It is, however, only a temporary solution for a clogged converter and is not as effective as unclogging the converter after it has been removed.

Catalytic converters, on the other hand, essentially convert potentially hazardous exhaust emissions into "safe" gases. Because so much smoke passes through the exhaust, it's only a matter of time before it clogs, necessitating a meeting with your car mechanic to schedule a car service in Reading.

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