A component like the catalytic converter is an emissions control that is located in your vehicle’s exhaust system. You most likely know that much already. Just how long is a catalytic converter believed to last? There are countless variables to take into consideration.

A normal catalytic converter can evidently last for up to 10 years or more. However, generally, these components are intended to last the life of the motor vehicle. But yes, that doesn’t for all time happen. Occasionally, catalytic converters just wear out over time, as well as in other instances, they stop working prematurely because of engine performance problems.

Keeping your car running correctly is the finest way to broaden the life of your catalytic converter. Although you don’t drive on a hybrid-electric motor vehicle, if you own a car in any way, chances are it’s set with a very vital piece of “green” equipment. That thing would be the catalytic converter — a metal cylinder that scrubs polluting by-products from your automobile engine’s exhaust prior to they can escape into the atmosphere.

The truth is, on present vehicles, the catalytic converter must last the life of the truck or car, given an “average” life of on 100,000 miles that is about 160,934 kilometers. Good thing, too, since this auto part uses rare, precious, and consequently expensive metals like gold, palladium, or rhodium. They work as catalysts in chemical reactions that exchange air-polluting oxides of the nitrogen, unburned fuel as well as carbon monoxide into pure old nitrogen, carbon dioxide with water.

What Are The Signs Of A Bad Catalytic Converter?

The main reason for the catalytic converter is to turn damaging emissions into non-toxic carbon dioxide as well as How Long Does a Catalytic Converter Last? in 2020water. Therefore, you can think of maintaining it like your involvement in decreasing air pollution on the road.

To guarantee that it’s working flawlessly, be certain to replace the catalytic converter when it starts showing signs of stoppage. Be on the look forward to the following symptoms:

It is vital to note that diagnosing a defective catalytic converter gets more than just searching which among the signs above is widespread in your vehicle.

What Causes A Catalytic Converter To Fail?

It is vital to note that, in lots of cases, a catalytic converter does not stop working on its own. There are a number of factors that can cause it to break down. Here are a number of the most common causes:

Incorrect Air Or Fuel Mixture

While the engine’s air or fuel mixture is excelling out, the converter possibly will begin to overheat, come apart, and ultimately become restricted.

Pieces of the spoiled converter possibly will clog other exhaust components also.

Pollution From Fluids

Fluids, like engine oil along with coolant, that go into the exhaust stream can pollute the catalytic converter.

Engine Misfire

An engine misfire can make extreme temperatures within the catalytic converter, making the device to melt.

Engine Overdue For Service

Overlooking engine-related troubles or skipping routine service can reason the troubles outlined above, all of which can give to catalytic converter breakdown.How Long Does a Catalytic Converter Last? in 2020

Impact Damage

The force from driving over trash on the road can pound the converter, damaging it inside. Damage to the arrangement of the catalytic converter can also be caused by corrosion and rust.

Extreme Idle Time

Within extreme cases where the vehicle idles almost every of the time, the catalytic converter possibly will run hotter than usual, ultimately leading to its early failure.

At What Time Should You Replace A Catalytic Converter?

If your car is giving up signs of having a bad catalytic converter, you must go ahead and replace it? Not unavoidably.

It is suggested that you bring your motor vehicle to an expert mechanic first as well as have it diagnosed correctly. Nevertheless, the symptoms outlined above could extremely well be credited to others out of order or bad components. It’s best to let a specialist decide whether or not your catalytic converter requires replacement.

One more reason why you possibly will require getting a catalytic converter replacement is if it gets stolen.

Yes, you read that correctly—stolen. Catalytic converters include precious metals, which make them striking targets to sneaky thieves. Metal recyclers will supposedly pay on $50 to several hundred dollars intended for one catalytic converter.

For some reason, if your catalytic converter gets stolen, you’ll be familiar with it immediately. With the component gone, your car’s engine noise will no longer be quiet by the whole exhaust system, and, as a result, your car will sound extremely loud.

Even as you must be able to drive it for some duration, ensure to get the stolen component replaced immediately you can.

The Durability Of A Catalytic Converter

Approximately every catalytic converters contrived through the automotive industry are positioned within a stainless steel shell. The purpose is to let the outer shell a lot of more years of durability than an aluminum metal shell. A shell is made of a weaker metal that could with no trouble fail because of exposure from bad weather conditions. Weaker metals are weak to deterioration and can reason exhaust leaks that would straight affect the reason for the catalytic converter. Since of their exterior plan, the inner components of a converter are more susceptible than the exterior.How Long Does a Catalytic Converter Last? in 2020

The interior as well as the exterior design of a catalytic converter has countless elements that can protect its intended longevity. Even as a standard lifespan of seven to 10 years–conditional on the elements and state of the vehicle–are common for most unique converters, aftermarket converters typically only survive for half that amount of time because of low-grade construction.


The exterior of the shell is just one of the variables concerned in the durability of a converter. A vehicle that not often sees adverse weather situations, where sand, as well as salt, is applied toward the surfaces of roads, will last a great deal longer than one that faces them frequently. Though, the external shell of a converter has not anything to do with how it works. The internal part of the catalytic converter can be compromised through a badly performing engine or a defective oxygen sensor.

Air as well as fuel needs to be mixed correctly together intended for a combustible engine to produce pollutants. Oxygen sensors check this even mix. If the fuel gets too deep or too lean, more pollutants will be free into the atmosphere, and the catalytic converter is able to be compromised by being out to the wrong temperature or increase of carbon. While the oxygen sensor stops working, it as well fails to correspond correctly with the engine’s computer. The engine makes alterations to let the vehicle run under any situation, and also too much fuel or as well much oxygen is then exposed toward the catalyst.

Too much fuel makes more unsupervised heat within the exhaust, melting the inner catalyst. Too much-unverified oxygen allows possible pollutant particles to not burn correctly and afterward adheres to the catalyst, thus clogging it. A finer running engine which has had severe maintenance repairs for tune-ups, fuel injection clean-ups with oxygen sensor replacements, will add to the durability of the internal catalyst.

What Is The Function Of A Catalytic Converter?

Catalytic converters first came into the picture in the mid-1970s to stop harmful pollutants from reaching the atmosphere. By the time, they were termed as two-way catalysts since they minimized the emissions of carbon monoxide as well as dangerous hydrocarbons. Vehicles produced today make use of three-way catalysts that as well help get rid of nitrogen oxides from reaching the atmosphere.How Long Does a Catalytic Converter Last? in 2020

Platinum as well as palladium are coated by ceramic and produced to honeycomb or beads, and placed within a chamber in the external shell. The combustible engine generates harmful exhaust as well as the converter transfers the exhaust into less damaging substances. The catalysts assist to convert carbon monoxide to carbon dioxide, as well as hydrocarbons to carbon dioxide and water. The three-way catalysts at present convert the nitrogen oxides to less damaging nitrogen and oxygen.

Burn Unburned Exhaust Gases

The major purpose of a catalytic converter is to burn up unburned exhaust gases that outlet to a vehicle’s engine. By burning these unburned exhaust gases, a catalytic converter decreases the production output of a vehicle’s exhaust.

Obstruct Normal Exhaust Flow

A catalytic converter makes exhaust system impedance, which results in the exhaust exiting a vehicle’s engine toward slow down, a procedure that provides the catalytic converter additional time to execute the exhaust gases.

Decrease Hydrocarbon Exhaust Emissions

Hydrocarbon emissions, which are formed when air and gas are burned within a vehicle engine, considerably decrease through the burning procedure of a catalytic converter.

Mandate Unleaded Gasoline Use

Every vehicle outfitted with catalytic converters needs the application of unleaded gasoline, which is a cleaner-burning kind of gasoline that derives from lower exhaust emissions. Leaded gasoline or racing gasoline is extremely harmful to a catalytic converter plus cannot be used in cars outfitted with one.

Decrease Carbon Monoxide Emissions

Carbon monoxide release emissions are considerably reduced through the burning procedures of a catalytic converter. Carbon monoxide gases are natural by-products in engine combustion, and catalytic converters assist to lower these emissions through re-burning in exiting engine exhaust gases.

Quick Fixes For A Clogged Or Stopped-Up Converter

Partially Clogged Stopped-Up Catalytic Converter

It will decrease power since the exhaust system is not being allowable to breathe correctly. A totally clogged How Long Does a Catalytic Converter Last? in 2020converter will stop the engine from running. It possibly will startup, however, once the backpressure of the exhaust builds up among the manifold with the throttle, it will obstruct itself out. Any quick fix to let the vehicle run should be measured as a temporary solution to bigger trouble.

Entire Removal Of Catalytic Converter From Vehicle

With the aim of extracting the platinum from in a catalytic converter, the converter has to be removed totally from the vehicle. The majority of catalytic converters just bolt on toward a vehicle’s exhaust system by a series of threaded bolts. Slackening and then removing these bolts by a trouble-free socket wrench lets for a catalytic converter toward be pulled (removed) as of a vehicle. If time is of vital essence, a cutting torch can be implemented to just cut the metal attachments connecting a catalytic converter toward a vehicle’s exhaust system, letting for speedy catalytic converter removal.

Elimination Of Catalytic Converter Catalyst Material

Platinum, which is implemented as a catalyst accelerant product inside the majority modern catalytic converters, is positioned deep within a catalytic converter. It guides as a coating on top of the major catalyst elements. The elements that light up incoming exhaust gases that go through a catalytic converter, or else recognized as catalyst pieces, look similar to portions of burnt charcoal. These catalyst pieces, which turn out to be white-hot in reply to incoming exhaust gases, are covered with platinum to accelerate the rate at which they erupt and blaze exhaust gases. To eliminate the platinum coating on top of the catalyst pieces, these pieces have to be removed as of the converter. This is done just by turning up the catalytic converter along as well as hitting on one end by a blunt tool until the catalyst pieces begin to fall out of the lower, open ending of the converter.

Removal Of Platinum Coating

Once the platinum-coated catalyst substance has been detached as of a catalytic converter, the platinum can be removed as of every individual piece of catalyst. The platinum, which resembles as a silvery and bronze color positioned on the outer surface of each piece of catalyst, be able to be picked and peeled off through hand or by means of a flat-head screwdriver or couple of box cutters. The platinum usually flakes off into small pieces. As every piece is broken off, it can be set sideways and placed on top of a clean towel or rag. Total platinum removal as of the converter catalyst material must take 30 to 45 minutes in favor of a standard-sized catalytic converter.

Extend The Life Of A Catalytic Converter

It is ideal that you stick to unleaded fuel since it is well-matched with catalytic converters. The leaded fuel is able to deposit on top of the converter and reason it to clog up and turn into deactivated. Consequently fuel choice is actually important in this case. Even as we are on the matter of fuel, it is as well vital that you try to keep a complete tank at all tank. This is since the low on fuel or an unfilled tank can concern the performance of a How Long Does a Catalytic Converter Last? in 2020catalytic converter also. Avoid driving on terrain that possibly will damage the surface below your car; this can yet reason the catalytic converter physical damage.

If you are experiencing a number of car breakdowns, do not under any situation make use of bump-start toward restart your car. In its place, choose for jumper leads or cables since they do not include any unfavorable effects on your converter.

Even though a catalytic converter is a quite hardwearing piece of equipment, there are for all time measures that you can like to keep it working powerfully for a long period. These take in some routine steps and protective measures that are actually effective.

Take your automobile for standard checks at your local garage. Just as a standard physical exam is vital for humans, the same is necessary for automobiles. Confirm that the garage you get your car uses methodical testing to guarantee that every component of your car, with the catalytic converter, are functioning correctly. This is also vital if you want to avoid getting scammed since a converter is rather expensive, and not everybody is fully capable to deal with it.


There are a large number of aspects to think about when it is about taking care of your catalytic converter. Additionally, you have to be watchful to have it fixed or replaced if the need grows to keep yourself and your vehicle from damage.

Characteristically a catalytic converter can last about a solid 10 years. It is not a bit that needs to be replaced regularly unless it is required. This is mostly while the converter itself gets broken. The major causes of damage take in overheating, clogging, or pollution by fluids within the engine. There is as well a probability of physical damage which can happen if your vehicle going to any physical suffering.

Even though there are a number of models with types of catalytic converters available in the market, most accessible models work well and can last you a good span even as before they require to be replaced. In the majority cases, a converter can rather last as long as your motor vehicle itself.