A catalytic converter is an exhaust emission control device of your vehicle that is responsible for reducing the amount of pollutants and toxic gases from the exhaust gas. Exhaust gas is the result of the internal ignition of the engine of a vehicle. It contains a lot of pollutants and toxic gases that harm the environment after coming out through your vehicle’s exhaust pipe.
To reduce the amount of toxic gas and pollutants released into the environment every day, catalytic converters are used in the exhaust system of a vehicle. It comes with a mechanism and some elements that can reduce the amount of toxic gases as much as possible. Typically, catalytic converters reduce carbon monoxide, NOx gases, and hydrocarbons. As a result, the exhaust gas released into the environment becomes less harmful to the environment.
Since the 1970s, using catalytic converters in vehicles has become mandatory because of the negative impact of exhaust gases on the environment. So, the catalytic converter is not just a part of your exhaust pipe which is big in diameter. It is a significant part of the exhaust system that tries to keep the environment safe for us.
Why Catalytic Converters are Loved by the Thieves?
You may see that thieves steal catalytic converters a lot. Many people have experienced that this part of their vehicle has been stolen by thieves.
So, a question might appear- why do thieves love catalytic converters?
The answer is in the structure of a catalytic converter. So, if you want to know the answer, you should know what is inside a catalytic converter.
Interested? Let’s see.
What is inside a Catalytic Converter?
On the inside of a catalytic converter, there is a ceramic-based composite that comes in a honeycomb layout. But this is not the thing that has made it a favorite to the thieves.
With the honeycomb layout, a catalytic converter contains some expensive materials that work as catalysts to detox the exhaust gas. The honeycomb layout is used to make sure that the exhaust gas is coming in touch with the catalysts as much as possible. It ensures that the exhaust gas is as clean as possible.
So, this is the basic assembly of the internal structure of a catalytic converter. Now, let’s see the names of the expensive materials that are used as catalysts inside a catalytic converter.
To become a catalyst inside the converter, copper, nickel, iron, cerium, manganese, platinum, rhodium, and palladium are the perfect candidates. The reason is- these have the exact chemical composition that is needed to make anything a catalyst in the exhaust system.
But the chemical composition is not the only matter. Copper, nickel, iron, cerium, and manganese are too soft to be a catalyst or corrode too easily. So, these can’t work as sustainable catalysts.
The remaining three are- rhodium, palladium, and platinum. Among these three, rhodium is way too costly. So, there are only two left- palladium and platinum. Both of these two are strong and long-lasting. Also, these can withstand extreme heat. Besides, these are expensive, but not as expensive as rhodium. So, these two are the metals that are commonly used in a catalytic converter.
As catalytic converters come with such expensive metals inside, and the ways to extract the metals are available on the internet, thieves love to steal this part of the vehicle. Stealing one catalytic converter may bring around 100+ bucks easily. So, why won’t thieves steal this if you leave enough scope for them?
Does Catalytic Converter Affect the Performance of the Vehicle?
Using a catalytic converter has a negative impact on the performance of the vehicle. As vehicles come with catalytic cleaner installed in the exhaust system, from the very beginning, you’re getting the performance that is a bit reduced than the exact performance your vehicle can provide.
As you’re getting used to the reduced performance from the very beginning, you might not know that the catalytic converter is stopping your vehicle from performing its best.
The exhaust gas created from the combustion of the engine comes out through the exhaust system. The catalytic converter is a kind of barrier that makes the gas flow slow. As a result, your engine experiences a back pressure that doesn’t allow it to work properly.
Thus, a catalytic converter affects the performance of your vehicle engine. Because of the limiting effects of the catalytic converter, your vehicle engine loses a good amount of horsepower.
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Can You Remove the Catalytic Converter as It Affects Engine’s Performance?
Well, you can remove your catalytic converter just by taking your vehicle to a garage. But the after-effect is not such easy. You’ll have to face a lot of problems after removing it. Below are some-
You’ll have to pay a fine
Eliminating the catalytic converter from your vehicle is illegal in the US. You’ll have to cost a good amount of bucks as fine if you do something like this. Also, if you want to get legal permission, you’ll have to go through a lot of procedures in which the result might not go in your favor.
Your vehicle will fail the emission test
A vehicle that doesn’t have any catalytic converter will fail in the emission test and won’t get the registration renewed. While checking, if the catalytic converter is not found, the report will say that the vehicle has failed. As a result, it can be seized or impounded.
You may face the issue of increased fuel consumption
As your engine will have the scope of working at its full capacity, you’ll face a noticeable increase in fuel consumption. Also, without a catalytic converter, the O2 sensor reading won’t be correct. This will also make the engine consume more fuel.
Also, if you remove the catalytic converter, you’ll experience a loss in the low-end torque. And, if you think of the environment, it is unethical too. A vehicle without a catalytic converter emits a lot of toxic gases in the environment which is bad for our health as well as others on the earth. So, I neither suggest nor support removing the catalytic converter from the exhaust system of your vehicle.
The catalytic converter is a costly chunk of your vehicle and there are reasons too. The expensive metals inside it play a very important role in saving the environment by reducing the impact of the toxic gasses caused by your vehicle’s engine. So, be careful about it and take proper care of it. Remember, you’re getting a lot of benefits from the environment. So, you should be more cautious when it comes to keeping the environment clean.