The catalysts are in the exhaust system, between the engine and the muffler, and are one of the last lines of defense against air pollution by vehicles. They use ceramic balls and various precious metals to convert pollutants such as unburned gases and nitrogen oxides into harmless gases.
Catalytic converters – commonly known as catalytic converters – often last for 10 years or more, but can be damaged by the contamination of other substances by overlapping or overheating. In addition, metals can attract the attention of thieves: catalytic converters are often stolen due to precious metals inside. Converters have small amounts of platinum, rhodium and palladium, all of which value for metal traders.
A potential contaminant is lead, which can destroy catalysts, although it is rarely among the most common contaminants. Even the engine cooling fluids – which can escape from the combustion system due to a defective head seal – and engine oil can clog a catalytic converter so that the exhaust gases are limited in their passage.
Automotive engines are a bit like athletes, as they require a lot of oxygen to function properly. If the drain is limited, it means that less air can enter the engine, and the performance of the vehicle suffers. If the engine responds slowly or stops after running for a while, the blame could simply be a clogged catalytic converter.
Catalytic converters may also overheat due to excessive amounts of unburned gas caused by a spark plug with no ignition or a drain valve that is lost. In addition, even a faulty oxygen sensor can cause overheating.
Finally, in many vehicles, the catalytic converter is located below the vehicle, and, like other parts of the exhaust system, can be damaged by residues on the road or climbing on a curb. In this case, the noise of the broken muffler can be heard at a great distance, and it is advisable to change it, although it could in theory be repaired with a suitable welding.