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How to clean the catalytic converter?

How to clean the catalytic converter?

The catalytic converter is an essential part of the emission control system. However, it is also very susceptible to failure because it acts as a particle filter in the exhaust system. If you see a warning light on your car's dashboard or feel that your vehicle has less power than usual, it could be because your catalytic converter is clogged.

So you're wondering what to do if it's clogged? There are only two options: clean the part or replace it completely.  In this article, we'll take you step-by-step through cleaning your catalytic converter.

Why is it important to clean your catalytic converter?

Over time, the catalytic converter can become clogged with fuel residue, engine oil, and other contaminants. This can lead to reduced engine performance, increased fuel consumption, and even emissions problems. Regular catalytic converter cleaning is essential to keep your vehicle running smoothly and protect the environment.

How to clean a catalytic converter?

Use a Catalytic Converter Cleaner

One of the most common ways to effectively clean a catalytic converter is to use a cleaner specifically designed for use on catalytic converters. These products are generally available at automotive supply stores and can be used without disassembling the catalytic converter. Simply pour the cleaner into the fuel tank according to the manufacturer's instructions and run the engine for the recommended time. This allows the cleaner to circulate through the catalyst and dissolve unwanted deposits.

Mechanical Stripping

If chemical cleaning does not produce the desired results, mechanical stripping may be required. This involves physically removing the catalyst and cleaning it with an appropriate tool. However, this method is more complex and requires advanced mechanical skills. It is advisable to hire a professional to perform this operation.

How to maintain a catalytic converter?

It's better to prevent a catalytic converter from clogging than to have to clean it regularly. Here are some tips to help prevent residue buildup:

Use quality fuel

Choose high-quality fuel and avoid cheap fuels that often contain contaminants. Quality fuel will help reduce catalyst fouling.

Regular engine maintenance

Regular engine maintenance, including air and fuel filter changes, will help prevent the buildup of dirt and contaminants.

Avoid frequent short trips

Frequent short trips don't allow the engine to warm up sufficiently to effectively burn off residues that have accumulated in the catalytic converter. If possible, combine your short trips into one longer trip to give the engine the time it needs to reach the optimum operating temperature.

Avoid questionable additives

Some people use fuel additives or so-called miracle chemicals to clean the catalytic converter. However, these products should be avoided as they can damage the catalytic converter or other exhaust system components if used incorrectly.

Why replace your catalytic converter?

If a catalytic converter is in poor condition, your car will emit high levels of pollutants, which is illegal. What's more, your vehicle's fuel consumption will increase dramatically if your exhaust system is clogged or dirty. What's more, if you don't replace it, it could damage your engine and the smooth running of your car.

How much does a catalytic converter cleaning cost?

The price of a catalytic converter cleaning depends on many factors. If you choose to use a do-it-yourself cleaning product, the cost will typically be between $10 and $20. This product must be mixed directly with the fuel. If you prefer to hire a professional to do the job, the price will generally be between $50 and $80. It's worth noting that preventive cleaning can save you money by avoiding the need to replace expensive parts such as the catalytic converter itself or the oxygen sensor.

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