What killed the Cat?
Today I would like to talk about Cadillac Converters, or Catalytic Converters! A Catalytic Converter is an emissions control device that runs the pollutants from the internal combustion of your engine through a honey comb which contains Platinum that converts these emissions byproducts into less toxic substances before being released as exhaust.
It is a common belief that to fix today's cars you simply pull the code out of the vehicle’s onboard diagnostic system, (OBD II) look the code up on the internet, and replace that part. With some parts, you may get lucky and this may work.However, the concern with converters is that you must find what caused the converter to go bad or you will be doing the job again. Catalytic Converters are designed to last the lifetime of your vehicle.If you have been told that you need a new one, there is a good chance that it is a symptom of another problem with your vehicle.Yes, occasionally a truly faulty converter will go bad on its own, but it is unlikely.Only by fully diagnosing your vehicle’s engine can a repair shop know what has caused the converter to fail. Converters have platinum in them which makes them very expensive so you want to get it right the first time.
The attached pictures show the inlet and outlet of a converter, please note that the one that is clogged up is the inlet. In this case this vehicle has a leaking intake manifold which was allowing antifreeze to go through the engine into the exhaust and then through the converter. When the O2 sensors began to see a drop in the converter’s efficiency, the Check Engine Light was activated. The proper fix was an intake manifold gasket, converter, and to replace all O2 sensors. If the Leaking Intake had not been properly diagnosed, the vehicle would have been back for another converter in a matter of months. The cost of a proper diagnosis can prevent much more costly repairs in the future and help assure that your repair is correct the first time.