What Are the Symptoms of a Bad Catalytic Converter?


Quick Answer

A failed catalytic converter affects engine performance and fuel economy. With a plugged converter, pressing on the accelerator does not increase the speed. The engine backfires, and the car jerks while driving down the road.

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What Are the Symptoms of a Bad Catalytic Converter?
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Full Answer

Converter problems make it more expensive to operate the vehicle. A rough-running car requires more fuel to go the same number of miles. A problem with the catalytic converter often causes an error code in the vehicle's onboard computer, which illuminates the check-engine light.

One method of checking for catalytic converter problems is to remove it to see if the engine continues to backfire. A second method is to disconnect the oxygen sensor. If either solves the performance problems, the converter requires replacement.

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