How to drill a clogged catalytic converter

Written by nathaniel miller
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Catalytic converters are essential pieces of exhaust equipment that help control the amount of harmful pollutants that vehicles release into the atmosphere. The converter is filled with a material that absorbs some of the harmful emissions prior to them exiting your tailpipe. Over time, catalytic converters can become clogged, and while not a permanent or legal fix in most cases, drilling or pounding them out can get your car back up and running in no time.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Hacksaw
  • Small sledgehammer
  • Pipe that will fit inside your exhaust pipe
  • Exhaust pipe clamps

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  1. 1

    Remove the catalytic converter by using the hacksaw to cut the pipe leading into and out of the converter itself and sliding it out from under the car.

  2. 2

    Insert the pipe into the end of the catalytic converter and pound the end of it with a sledgehammer until the contents of the converter fall out the opposite side. Discard the contents of the converter and solder the pipe in place inside the middle of the converter.

  3. 3

    Slide the converter back under the car and connect it back to the existing exhaust system by installing the converter inline with the exhaust pipe with the pipe clamps. Tighten the clamps down and start the car up.

Tips and warnings

  • This is a temporary fix that will allow the car to run long enough to get to a shop for a proper replacement of your catalytic converter. Get a new converter in place as fast as you can.

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