Home Car Maintenance What is a Catalytic Converter Cleaner and Why is it Important?

What is a Catalytic Converter Cleaner and Why is it Important?



Let’s first discuss what a catalytic converter is before discussing the converter cleaner. So as pollutants leave the engine and are released into the atmosphere, a catalytic converter regulates and lessens them. 

A catalytic converter, which is found in the area between the exhaust manifold and the back pipe, uses internal catalysts to change hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, and nitrous oxide into less dangerous byproducts like water vapor, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen.

The converter cleaner is an additive that breaks down the carbon in the fuel and then gets rid of it. As a result, the amount of carbon emissions that contaminate the air is decreased. In gas-powered automobiles, it cleans control facilities just as well. 

You need to use a suitable cleaning solution that will work well and smoothly to clean different vehicle components including the oxygen sensors, catalytic converter, the vehicle’s cylinder heads, and the fuel injectors.

Hands of car mechanic.

The Catalytic Converter Cleaner

For the purpose of limiting vehicle emissions, catalytic converters are crucial. They are essential for maintaining the quality of our air and halting the release of foul odors from exhaust pipes. Typically, catalytic converter cleaner is poured straight into the gasoline tank, where it can combine with the petrol and travel through the engine and exhaust system. 

It’s crucial to select a dependable cleaner that is compatible with the fuel system of your car and made to efficiently break down and eliminate impurities. Get products from reputable companies that create additives that are both efficient and environmentally friendly. Never try to cut corners when it comes to quality. 

Why is it important? 

It is crucial since catalytic converter cleaners are made specifically to clean the catalytic converters found in exhaust systems of vehicles. The effectiveness of the emissions control system can be increased and dangerous contaminants in exhaust gases can be decreased with routine catalytic cleaning during normal maintenance. 

The emissions control system of your car can be strengthened with regular catalytic converter cleaning, lowering harmful emissions and promoting environmental protection. 

How to use a catalytic converter cleaner? 

  • Only 1/4 of the petrol tank on your car should be full.
  • Add a cleaner and clean the gasoline tank. Depending on the type of cleaner used, a different amount will be needed.
  • Drive at a comfortable speed for 10 to 15 miles. 
  • After you’ve refilled your petrol tank, carry on driving as usual. 

How do catalytic converters work?

A metal, ceramic, or surface on which chemical reactions take place can be found inside a catalytic converter.  Platinum, palladium as well as rhodium are used to coat the substrate. The hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, and nitrous oxides flow through the substrate with the proper amount of heat, react with the precious metals, and then change into less dangerous gasses that leave through the muffler and exhaust pipe. 

Which signs point to the need for a catalytic converter cleaner?

Loss of engine power is the most typical indication that your catalytic converter needs to be thoroughly cleaned. When driving up steep hills or attempting to merge onto the highway, this is frequently rather obvious. Simply said, the car could feel a little slow. 

Of course, the check engine light comes next. A PO420 or PO430 error number indicates that the O2 sensors and catalytic converter are unclean. The catalyst on the catalytic converter is unable to minimize the quantity of emissions your car is producing as a result of a buildup of carbon on the catalytic converter. 

As carbon deposits and oil sludge build up over time, catalytic converters may become clogged or ineffective. Simply said, you should anticipate a dirty converter if your car travels a lot of miles annually or uses a lot of oil. 

Don’t ignore these warning indications because doing so could cause more serious harm to your car’s engine and exhaust system. Addressing these symptoms right away can help avoid more issues later on. Not to mention reduce gasoline costs and contribute to maintaining clean air.

Is it safe to use a catalytic converter cleaner? 

The majority of catalytic converter cleaners on the market at your local auto parts store or dealership are safe to use. These cleansers often consist of solvents, detergents, and other cleaning chemicals. As the car is driven and the exhaust is heated, the cleaner begins to work on liquifying and removing deposits from the catalytic converter. 

Over time, this relatively easy procedure can increase the converters’ efficiency and even turn off the annoying check engine light.

How frequently should you use a cleaner for catalytic converters?

It depends on how often you’ve maintained and driven your car. Generally speaking, a converter cleaning should be used every 10,000 to 15,000 miles. For usage suggestions for your specific vehicle, it is always best to check with the manufacturer. 

How to deep clean a catalytic converter 

This method takes more physical effort, and it makes use of things that you most likely already have in your home. To fully clean your catalytic converter, follow to these steps: 

  • Using the right tools, remove the catalytic converter from the car.
  • A big bucket with water and dish soap in it.
  • Dismantle the catalytic converter and soak it in the bucket for the night.
  • Check whether there are no obstructions in the honeycomb of the converter.
  • If so, swap out the catalytic converter and put the exhaust system back together. 

If the soap and water don’t work, you can let it soak for a few more hours. However, if your check engine light is still on and a code for a spent converter is still being generated, you might need to replace the catalytic converter.

Wrapping it up

The engine performance and pollution emissions of your car can be significantly improved using catalytic converter cleaner. Without having to spend money on pricey new parts, it’s a terrific solution to resolve the PO420 or PO430 check engine light issue codes.

Improved engine performance, lower emissions, and significant cost savings are just a few advantages that may be gained from using catalytic converter cleaners, which provide a straightforward way to restore efficiency. 

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