HOW TO CLEAN YOUR CAR'S CATALYST? HERE ARE THE STEPS TO FOLLOW
Any motorist wishing to maintain his car will certainly read this file carefully! This guide will walk you through the guidelines for cleaning a catalytic converter. Not only will this save you money, but you will also learn more about your vehicle and how it works.
What is the Catalytic Converter used for and why Replace It?
This device reduces pollution in the air by reducing or eliminating polluting gases by means of a catalysis system. This is a part that belongs to the car exhaust line. For a gasoline engine, the car catalyst converts nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide into non-polluting substances. On the other hand, it is responsible for transforming hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide into water and carbon dioxide in the case of a diesel engine. Cold driving, acceleration under full load, air-fuel mixture problem, timing shift, faulty ignition ... certain malfunctions or special conditions can be the cause of a clogged or even clogged pot, which will lead to the catalytic converter warning light. If this happens, the car will not only pollute a lot, but it will also consume a lot. The driver will also notice a loss of power to the engine. So you understand why it is important to replace or at least clean the catalyst. Good to know: This device is not very expensive. It is therefore better to buy a new catalytic converter to maintain the performance of your vehicle.
When and How to Replace It?
The catalytic converter in a car has an average life of 100,000 km. If you mostly drive around town, you might need to replace it more often, or at least inspect it periodically. There are several signs that can indicate a catalytic problem :
- Metallic noise in the exhaust line.
- Ignition and starting problems
- Difficult acceleration
- Recurring adjustments
- Abundant and thick exhaust smoke
However, these different symptoms can be attributed to other dysfunctions. Hence the need to carry out a self-diagnosis with a suitcase. By neglecting to replace the catalyst, you run the risk of damaging your vehicle's engine and making it very polluting. Better to change it. This device is usually located between the manifold and the rear silencer. To replace it, here are 4 steps to follow:
Step 1: Lift the car:
You must jack up the car, taking care to chock the wheels and engage the handbrake.
Step 2: Remove the Pot:
Remove the catalytic converter at each end and remove the rubber fasteners. To easily loosen rust on gaskets and screws, consider using penetrating oil.
Step 3: Install the New Pot:
If possible, replace the gaskets and fixing devices (screws, clamps, etc.). During assembly, take care not to put the frame and the pot in contact.
Step 4: Do a Long-Term Test:
Rest the vehicle on the ground. Start the engine to check the tightness of the assembly. Perform a motorway test for at least 1 hour to operate the pot in optimal conditions.
Points to Remember:
- Wait for the engine to cool before removing the catalytic converter, otherwise, serious burns could occur.
- If the clogging of the pot results from a failure of the motor, remember to have it repaired before installing a new device.
In all cases, call a professional to do quality work. Thanks to his expertise, a mechanic will be able to show precision and thoroughness while offering you advice on the purchase of a cheap catalyst and the maintenance of your car in general.
How to Clean a Catalyst?
As you will have understood, replacing an autocatalyst is recommended if it can no longer fulfill its role, namely to reduce air pollution. However, if you don't need to replace it immediately, but just want to clean it, here are the steps you can take:
1) Add a Cleaning Additive to the Tank:
This product cleans dirt and residues encrusted in the exhaust line, whether in the turbo, the car catalyst, the lambda sensor, or the EGR valve. To use it, just pour it into the tank following the indicated mixing ratio and at least half-full.
2) Carry out a Long-Term Test:
Once the cleaning product has been poured in, do a long-term test. This consists of traveling on a motorway at a steady speed (without too much acceleration or idling) for at least 1 hour. The aim is to achieve optimum operating temperatures. Good to know: If possible, check the density of the polluting gases in the exhaust in a garage. Usually, a clogged catalyst has:
- A CO value greater than 1%
- A C02 value of less than 13%
3) Evaluate the Effect of Cleaning:
Once the trip is completed, pay attention to changes in the mechanisms of your car. If the latter has regained all its power, the silencer no longer emits black smoke and you no longer notice soot at the outlet of the exhaust line, the cleaning operation is a success. Remember to redo a gas analysis to make sure that the problem is solved: CO2 must exceed 14% and the value of CO and HC must be close to 0%. If unfortunately, you are not getting the desired results, it is better to opt for the purchase of a new quality catalyst.