First thing’s first, lets review what a Catalytic Converters does for your vehicle. The catalytic converter helps to reduce airborne pollutants that could harm people as well as the environment, turning 90% of harmful emissions into less harmful gasses. A well-maintained catalytic converter improves the efficiency of your car, directly affecting its overall health and performance
Now that you know the function of a catalytic converter, lets discuss what can cause it to fail.
Several contributing factors can cause your catalytic converter to fail. Its important to know how damage can occur to help keep your vehicle running efficiently. Some of those factors than can cause failure are:
Fuel Injector leakage
Defective front O2 sensor
Defective Mass Air Flow Meter (MAF)
Defective Coolant Temperature Sensor (ECT)
Defective Manifold Absolute Pressure Sensor (MAP)
Following are the more common contaminants that will affect O2 and Converter performance:
Oil – Bad rings or Valve seals
Sulfur – found in some low quality gasolines
Silicone – found in most Gasket sealants unless marked “O2 sensor safe”
Coolant – damaged head gaskets or Intake plenums
If you suspect your converter may be failing you can start by giving your vehicle a visual inspection. Catalytic converter shell coloration is a good indicator of Converter efficiency and light-off. Converter efficiency depends on factors including exhaust gas composition and temperatures Converter internal reactions (Light-off) begin to occur at Exhaust Gas Temperatures between 400 and 800Â°C. High operating temperatures should be avoided to prevent degradation of the converter. Always note any conditions that may prevent a converter from reaching Light-off temperature.
Additionally, you should check manifold and exhaust pipes for leaks. Check for any physical damage to the converter housing. Inspect O2 sensor wiring to ensure good contact at the connectors and no damage or shorted wires. Check for missing, cracked or loose substrate. Severe discoloration indicating excessive temperature. Excessive build-up of carbon, soot or oil on the inside of converter and/or connecting pipes.
When choosing a replacement catalytic converter there are several factors that should always be performed.
Choose the right converter through application look-up.
Replacement converter should be in same position as OE.
Install all Oxygen Sensors as close to OE position as possible
Maintain all heat shields for proper converter Light-off
Always check for leaks after repairs
Magnaflow Catalytic Converter
Luckily, if you have a failing Catalytic Converter, Magnaflow has got you covered. When you compare a MagnaFlow catalytic converter with any other manufacturer and you’ll see why MagnaFlow has become a leader in the manufacturing of exhaust components. Others may employ one or two of the following features, but only MagnaFlow puts them all together to create a catalytic converter that exceeds basic need and function. Years of research and development have resulted in many unique features that are exclusive to MagnaFlow. Combine efficient manufacturing techniques and state-of-the-art industrial design to produce an end process and product that sets, rather than meets, the highest standards of product performance and efficiency in the industry.
MagnaFlow converters have a ribbed body that minimizes expansion and distortion when the converter heats up. The ribs form a channel that protects the cushioning mat from direct exposure to exhaust gasses and they hold the ceramic catalyst in proper alignment.
MagnaFlow converters have a 1/2″ lap-joint where the necks meet the body. The neck does not extend into the converter body where it could hamper exhaust flow. This is the strongest and smoothest flowing inlet/outlet joint of any manufacturer.
MagnaFlow uses a monolithic honeycomb catalyst. The ceramic is designed for maximum flow and surface area. The coating method is strictly controlled to maintain exact specifications. An improper coating could result in flow restrictions or an emission test failure.
MagnaFlow uses a heavier gauge stainless steel, tip to tip. Others use mixed weights and materials.
MagnaFlow converters are seam welded close to the converter body for a strong, tight bond.
MagnaFlow installs a factory capped, 90 degree air tube on “with air” converters. This saves time during installation. There is no need for additional labor to weld on an air tube or to create a bend when only an air tube stub is provided.
MagnaFlow uses an aluminized or stainless OEM-style ribbed heat shield that creates a rigid wall of protection against heat and adds to the structural stability of the converter.
MagnaFlow de-greases and washes all fabricated components after assembly. The new converter is clean of metal dust and fragments. Every converter comes out of the box clean. This is almost an exclusive feature of MagnaFlow.
Magnaflow offers great solutions for all your vehicles exhaust needs, including the catalytic converter. With this information, and easy tips to help identify a problem you should be able to help safeguard your vehicle from further damage. If you are still unsure, you can always bring your vehicle to your local shop and have it assessed. If you’re sure you got your problem figured out, you can begin browsing the Magnaflow catalog here.