The ins and outs of the Catalytic Converter

January 13th, 2021 by

Automotive parts are little easier to explain than entire systems in vehicles (like exhaust systems, electrical systems, and so on), but there are some parts that are a little more obscure than others. While we may have mentioned it several times here at Toyota of North Charlotte, but you might have likely seen this auto part mentioned on local news headlines relating to theft. We’re talking about the catalytic converter and while it’s a coveted item to be pilfered from under Toyota Prius cars, it’s an imperative part your ride needs to operate properly. Want to know more? Follow along with us right here!

North Charlotte catalytic converter.

What is a Catalytic Converter?

Taking a step back, the exhaust system of your North Charlotte Toyota car is an integral part of how your vehicle functions. Many cars operate using internal combustion engines (ICEs) that use motor oil and gasoline generate exhaust. This smog material is highly pollutive and at one point in time was largely unmitigated. Then comes in the catalytic converter and things changed forever.

Catalytic converters were first used widely in the 1975 model year in an effort to have vehicles comply strongly with EPA regulations at the time. This auto part reduces emissions from your vehicle by taking exhaust smoke (heavily made up of oxygen, carbon monoxide, and hydrocarbons) and producing carbon dioxide and water as a result.

North Charlotte auto service tips.

Why Use Catalytic Converters?

For many vehicles that run on ICE engines, converters are absolutely necessary to mitigate generation of harmful smog and fumes from tailpipes. There are a variety of different types used in vehicles including 2 and 3 way connection cat converters.

A 2-way catalytic converter operates by oxidizing carbon monoxide to carbon dioxide. It also oxidizes hydrocarbons to create carbon dioxide and water via a combustion reaction. Essentially ensuring that toxic carbon monoxide fume gas is converted to carbon dioxide (still a harmful emission, though less harmful) and water. This type of converter is commonly used on diesel engine.

Alternatively, 3-way North Charlotte Toyota catalytic converters take converters a step further by controlling nitric oxide emissions more effectively than their 2-way counterparts. This additional type operates similarly to 2-way converters with the addition of converting nitric oxide to a less harmful emission. These are most commonly used on modern ICE engines today.


Drawbacks to North Charlotte Toyota Catalytic Converters

While catalytic converters are essential to help reduce emissions in vehicles overall, they do come with some drawbacks. The free flow of exhaust is essential for an North Charlotte Toyota to work and it can actually help your engine perform better. Classic vehicles that are relics from a pre-catalytic converter age often perform better and exert more power than modern vehicles.

Converters can also be clogged over time due to the use of wrong fuel needed for proper engine health. Fuel with lead (though not commonly used) is one of the most common pollutants in catalytic converters that can clog and ultimately damage your North Charlotte Toyota car.

Still have questions about catalytic converters and how they work? Visit Toyota of North Charlotte’s auto service center today at 13429 Statesville Road!

Posted in Toyota Service