Catalytic converter repair can be a challenging job but armed with basic knowledge about automobiles and a lot of patience, you can successfully troubleshoot any catalytic converter problems that may arise. The key is to understand how the catalytic converter works. To get an idea on how you can repair the catalytic converter of your car, here are some tips for you.
1. Check the Warranty Card
Before you tinker with your catalytic converter, make sure that you check the warranty card first. If the converter malfunctions within the warranty period, you should contact the manufacturer and send the converter back to them for repairs or possible replacement. Do not tinker with the catalytic converter during the warranty period as this will void the warranty. On the other hand, if the converter malfunctions after the expiration of the warranty period, feel free to repair the converter on your own.
2. Check the Catalytic Converter for Clogging
It is best to subject the converter to a thorough check before doing any repairs whatsoever. To determine the problem on your converter, take off the converter from the car. To do this, raise your car from the ground using a car jack and jackstands or a ramp and locate the catalytic converter. The converter is usually located in between the engine and the muffler. To remove the converter, loosen up the bolts that are holding it in place. If the bolts are stuck and won’t budge, spray the bolts will lubricant and let it stand for about an hour before you try to loosen the bolts again. After removing the bolts, pull the converter with your gloved hands.
Once the converter is out of the car, inspect it for damage and defects. Usually, a catalytic converter will malfunction when it is plugged so check for clogging on the pores of the converter. If the pores are clogged, clean it using auto cleaners. You may use the tip of a small screwdriver to remove stubborn dirt and grime from the pores.
After checking the pores of the converter, check the air passages to make sure that they are not covered with soot. If they are, clean them thoroughly.
3. Check for Damages Inside the Converter
Although the outside of the converter is made of hard and durable materials, its inside is made of thin-walled lightweight materials. As it is, the inside of the converter is fragile and susceptible to damage and breakage. The insulating mat holding the catalyst is easily damaged when the converter bounces. Breakage in the mat can collect in the smaller passages of the converter and cause constrictions. If the insulation mat of the converter has holes or breaks, replace the mat with a new one. Do not attempt to repair the mat by gluing back together the broken areas. Remember that once the mat is broken in places, it can no longer efficiently protect the converter.