How Can I Tell If My Catalytic Converter Is Bad?

Written by marcus baker
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How Can I Tell If My Catalytic Converter Is Bad?
White smoke from an exhaust pipe could indicate a bad catalytic converter. (exhaust fulmes image by bilderbox from

A catalytic converter greatly reduces the amount of emissions that your vehicle produces. However, when this part has gone bad it can mean trouble for your vehicle as well as the environment. Certain clues will help you determine whether your catalytic converter is failing.

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Your ability to drive your vehicle normally will be affected if the catalytic converter is bad. The speed and the power of a vehicle will fall below their normal performance levels. If your vehicle starts to have trouble with stalling, this could be a sign of bad catalytic converter.


A rise in vehicle hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide emissions is a sure sign that a catalytic converter has gone bad. An exhaust analyzer, which costs £1,950 to £3,250, can inform you whether the converter is bad by reading the emissions' levels as they exit the exhaust pipe.


The colour of the smoke coming from your exhaust is another way to determine whether a catalytic converter is bad. Blue smoke indicates that the converter might be contaminated with phosphorus, which is found in motor oil. White smoke usually indicates that coolant is leaking internally.

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