Your Audi needs a dizzying array of parts to run smoothly, and you may be neglecting to monitor your catalytic converter. Your catalytic converter greatly reduces the amount of pollution your car emits, mitigating the impact on human and environmental health. It also ensures that your car runs as efficiently as possible.
Unfortunately, your catalytic converter may be defective, meaning it likely needs replacement. We will take you through the causes of converter problems, signs your converter needs replacement, signs of converter theft, and how we can help.
Causes of Catalytic Converter Failure
- Overheating: Problems such as misfired spark plugs or defective oxygen sensors can cause your catalytic converter to overheat, leading to damage.
- Contaminated fuel: Using bad fuel can damage your catalytic converter. If you use leaded fuel (granted, this is not usually the case in the US), your gasoline could be the problem. We would recommend ensuring you use the manufacturer’s recommended grade of unleaded gasoline to prevent such damage to your catalytic converter.
- Clogs: If you have a broken cylinder head gasket, your catalytic converter could become clogged with fuel from the engine. Catalytic converter cleaner may be able to help if the clogs are minor, but you will likely need to see a mechanic for clogs of any significance, since they can cause significant damage to your car.
Signs Your Catalytic Converter is Defective
- Dark exhaust smoke: Your catalytic converter should reduce your car’s ability to emit noxious pollutants. Dark exhaust smoke is a sign that this is failing. This smoke is an environmental scourge, just as you might guess, and is also a sign of problems that might reduce the efficiency of your car.
- Sulfur smell: The pollutants neutralized by a catalytic converter include sulfur compounds, so you may be able to identify problems by scent. Sulfur has an extremely recognizable smell, like rotten eggs, that may be noticeable if your catalytic converter is not doing its job properly. If you notice this odor from your car, consider going to a professional mechanic to get it checked out. After all, you almost certainly will want this smell to go away.
- Engine problems: Your catalytic converter’s deficiencies may cause engine problems. For example, you may have trouble accelerating, something that will seriously reduce the quality of your rides. Such symptoms may result from numerous problems. If your engine is underperforming, you should take your car to a mechanic, who can help identify the problem, whether it is your catalytic converter or something else.
Catalytic Converter Theft
The problem may be that your catalytic converter is missing, not broken. A catalytic convertor contains extremely valuable metals, such as platinum, and you might be surprised to learn that converter theft is a widespread problem.
There are specific signs of a missing catalytic converter, and their sudden onset can distinguish a theft from mere defects. Without a catalytic converter, your Audi may make a rumbling noise as you start it. This sound will be even more apparent when you use the gas pedal. Your Audi will accelerate roughly if you have a missing catalytic converter.
If you suspect the device has been stolen, you should inspect the underside of the back of your car. The catalytic converter is a round component connecting two segments of exhaust pipe. There will be a hole apparent if the converter has been stolen, and you also may notice that the thief has cut part of the piping. Obviously, a stolen catalytic converter will need to be replaced, so you should take your Audi to a mechanic.
H&A Service and Sales Will Help
Luckily, a damaged catalytic converter can be identified, and you should not drive with a defective catalytic converter any longer than you have to. If you want to optimize your Audi’s performance and minimize its environmental impact, take your car to a mechanic if you suspect a catalytic converter malfunction. Though one can repair a catalytic converter instead of replacing it, it may be cheaper in the long run to replace it and start with a brand new device.
The skilled mechanics at H&A Service and Sales in Marietta Georgia, located in Cobb County, are happy to help. In addition to Marietta, we conveniently serve areas such as Kennesaw and Woodstock. Call us today for a convenient appointment.