A catalytic converter is a part of the exhaust system in the engine. Generally, a catalytic converter converts pollutants into exhaust gas from internal combustion. It might seem an external process but this device is completely related to the internal combustion system. Moreover, it has many effects on the engine.
So, you might be confused about whether a bad catalytic converter can cause misfires or not. Well, you have to know details about the catalytic converter. Moreover, knowing the impacts of a bad catalytic converter on the engine will show whether it will cause misfires or not.
Can a bad catalytic converter cause misfires?
A bad catalytic converter can cause misfires. Generally, you can’t say that a bad catalytic converter will directly cause misfires. But when a catalytic converter is a clogged or faulty converter, it will overheat. Moreover, a bad catalytic converter will damage engine parts and cause misfires.
However, misfires can be an indication of different problems. Even different states of catalytic converter might induce misfires. Sometimes, it has a direct impact on the engine, or sometimes it indirectly induces misfires. So, let’s see how a bad catalytic converter can cause misfires.
Clogged catalytic converter:
A bad catalytic converter can be a clogged catalytic converter. Generally, a catalytic converter converts pollutants into the exhaust gas and helps to continue clean combustion. But whenever the pollutants don’t convert easily and can’t go out, the catalytic converter will be clogged.
This clogged catalytic converter can’t release exhaust gas effectively. As a result, the converter will overheat. Moreover, the passing of internal gas and exhaust gas will lose their continuity. So, the engine will not get enough power to start. Thus a clogged catalytic converter induces misfires.
The misfire is not only in the engine, a clogged catalytic converter will also cause multiple misfires and random misfires.
Faulty catalytic converter:
A faulty catalytic converter means there is a problem with the catalytic converter. For example, the catalytic converter might go bad or be clogged. So, when a faulty catalytic converter is present in the exhaust system, it will not perform its actual job.
Generally, a catalytic converter is an essential part of the exhaust system since it is related to the engine. Moreover, it reduces gaseous pollutant emission from the internal combustion system. For example, the release of carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and hydrocarbons is reduced by the catalytic converter.
So, a faulty catalytic converter will affect these processes. As a result, sufficient power will not reach the engine and a misfire will occur. Moreover, this will lead to random misfires. Besides, the faulty catalytic converter will cause the cylinder to work less effectively. So, a misfire in the cylinder will also occur.
What problems can a bad catalytic converter cause?
A bad catalytic converter will reduce the overall performance of the vehicle. So, when there is a bad catalytic converter in the system, it will cause multiple problems. Let’s see what problems a bad catalytic converter can cause.
Sluggish engine performance:
A catalytic converter can go bad by different means. For example, a catalytic converter can be contaminated or clogged or has physical damage. So, if there is a bad catalytic converter in the system, it will make the engine performance slower.
A bad catalytic converter will lead to slow the process of releasing exhaust gas. As a result, different pollutants will affect the engine and the engine will get less power to run. So, a bad catalytic converter leads to sluggish engine performance.
Engine misfire and damage:
One of the common reasons for misfires in the engine is a bad catalytic converter. When a catalytic converter goes bad, it will overheat. Generally, the engine is close to the catalytic converter. So, if a converter is overheated, it will also affect the engine.
So, the parts of the engine can be damaged. Ultimately, the engine will not be able to work with greater efficiency and cause misfires.
Smoke and odor:
A bad catalytic converter will produce dark exhaust gases and the odor of rotten eggs from the exhaust system. When the bad catalytic converter doesn’t work well, it will not convert the toxic gases. So, internal combustion will also be polluted. That’s why dark smoke and bad odor will be produced and reduce the performance of different parts.
What are the symptoms of a bad catalytic converter?
A bad catalytic converter will lead to various problems in the vehicles. You might also be able to identify the reasons for noticing some common symptoms. So, here are the symptoms of a bad catalytic converter.
Difficulty to start the engine:
Generally, when a bad catalytic converter doesn’t work well, the first thing it will affect is the engine. Because the engine is located close to the catalytic converter.
A bad catalytic converter can overheat the engine, damage engine parts, cause less power supply in the engine. These problems will cause a misfire and ultimately you will face difficulty starting the engine.
Bad fuel efficiency and poor mileage:
A bad catalytic converter allows less oxygen to the engine. So, the engine will not work efficiently if it gets less oxygen. As a result, the engine will take more fuel to work properly. So, you will need to provide more fuel for a shorter distance.
These problems will lead to more fuel consumption with poor mileage.
Unusual exhaust gas and odor:
When a bad catalytic converter doesn’t work properly, it will release unusual exhaust gas. This exhaust gas is released with dark smoke and sulfur odor. Moreover, if you notice under the vehicle, it will remain hot. So, all these problems lead to unusual exhaust gas release that is toxic for the environment.
Poor acceleration and rattling noise:
Another sign of a bad catalytic converter is the poor acceleration of your vehicle. Generally, a bad catalytic converter reduces the efficiency of the vehicle that will lead to poor acceleration.
Moreover, a bad catalytic converter will cause rattling noise in the converter. When you start the vehicle, the noise will be louder.
How to test if a catalytic converter is bad?
You can’t always tell that a certain problem is caused by a bad catalytic converter. Because many of these problems are common for other problems in the vehicles. So, if you want to test the bad catalytic converter, you have to test it. Let’s see how to test a bad catalytic converter.
- At first, you have to stop driving the car and let it cool for 30 minutes.
- Then you have to loosen the exhaust pipe that is located between the manifold and catalytic converter.
- After that, you have to let the engine rest for some time and let the engine work again.
- If you notice that the engine is regaining its power, the catalytic converter is clogged.
- Then for ensuring the problem, you can use a vacuum gauge and measure the pressure.
- If the pressure is from 15 to 22 inches to mercury, that means the catalytic converter is bad.
Can you drive with a bad catalytic converter?
Generally, a bad catalytic converter will not cause any dangerous accidents. But you should not drive with a bad catalytic converter. Because sometimes, a bad catalytic converter will lead to misfires. So, you will face difficulty to start the engine.
Moreover, it will give poor mileage and efficiency. Besides, a bad catalytic converter will produce dark exhaust gas and a bad odor. So, these will lead to environmental pollution. So, you should not drive with a bad catalytic converter.
How long can I drive with a bad catalytic converter?
You can drive pretty long distances with a bad catalytic converter. Because a bad catalytic converter might not stop you in the middle of your distance. But it can reduce the performance of your vehicle.
The fuel efficiency will be reduced. So, you will have to provide more fuel to make the engine work properly. You can drive with a bad catalytic converter. But you should replace the converter since it creates some other problems with the car’s efficiency.
Can misfire damage catalytic converter?
Yes, a misfire can damage the catalytic converter. Generally, a good catalytic converter is long-lasting. But if your vehicle has a problem with the engine or other parts, it might cause a misfire. As a result, the misfire will cause other problems too.
For example, a damaged misfiring cylinder or the engine will reduce the useful life of a catalytic converter. As a result, the catalytic converter will not last long.
A bad catalytic converter can cause an engine misfire, cylinder, or random misfires. Generally, a clogged, damaged, contaminated catalytic converter is called a bad catalytic converter. A bad catalytic converter will overheat the engine and make the engine less efficient to start.