The catalytic converter was designed in the 1950s to reduce clogged catalytic converters and dangerous car emissions polluting cities' air. It uses a catalyst to convert three harmful compounds (Hydrocarbons, Carbon Monoxide, and Nitrogen Oxides) in car exhaust into harmless compounds like carbon dioxide and water vapor through chemical reactions. This device was so effective at decreasing dangerous exhaust emissions that by the 1970s, catalytic converters became a standard feature in nearly all new vehicles.
The metal canister is inserted into the exhaust system and filled with chemical catalysts. The canister is most commonly a mixture of platinum and palladium, which it utilizes to convert toxic emissions from the combustion process into safer, less harmful gasses subsequently released by the exhaust.
With a bit of knowledge about how catalytic converters work, you may be able to recognize any signs and symptoms of failure before it can cause an expensive problem. Below is a list of common symptoms of a clogged catalytic converter in your Mercedes Benz.
Stalling and Sluggish Engine Performance
Sleepiness or trouble getting out of bed in the morning is one indication of liver failure. A clogged catalytic converter can have the same effect on your car, making it difficult — if not impossible — to start it.
Your Mercedes was built to be a high-performance vehicle. But, on the other hand, a clogged catalytic converter can cause gas buildup in the engine. The clog could choke the gas out and lose engine power and lower fuel efficiency.
In addition, a clogged catalytic converter allows exhaust gases to enter your vehicle. This scenario causes the engine to stall due to higher exhaust pressure. If your car suddenly begins sputtering or stalling, it could be an indication of a catalytic converter problem.
Reduced Acceleration Power
A clogged catalytic converter prevents your engine from breathing properly. As a result, the acceleration and overall performance of your car may decrease. Unfortunately, most mechanics fail to detect the source of loss of acceleration power. The loss occurs most frequently when the catalytic converter is partially obstructed. Even if you have your foot firmly pressed to the pedal, it may appear like there is no acceleration. You may also notice a decrease in fuel economy.
If you notice a decrease in your car's acceleration, take it in for an inspection immediately. A clogged converter is one of the most usually missed automotive problems, after all.
Darker or Black Exhaust Smoke
When a car burns too much fuel, black exhaust smoke can develop. This could be the result of a clogged converter. If your converter is clogged, the exhaust that flows through it will be backed up. It then leaves deposits along the inside of your exhaust system.
When these deposits are removed through your tailpipe, they cause your exhaust to become much darker and thicker than usual. Not only will this exhaust be black, but because fuel includes a lot of sulfates, it will also smell strongly of sulfur. If you notice any oddly looking or odorous exhaust coming from your vehicle, immediately take it to a mechanic.
One of the apparent signs of a faulty catalytic converter is an engine misfire. A clogged catalytic converter allows harmful and flammable exhaust gases to accumulate. When these gases are exposed to the heat of a strained converter, they ignite and cause a misfire. In addition, misfires in your car indicate incomplete combustion within the cylinder, signaling that the catalytic converter isn't working correctly.
Excessive Heat Under the Vehicle
When your catalytic converter is clogged, it has to work harder to convert toxic gases into the exhaust. The converter is one of the significant pieces surrounding the engine, and when it fails, it generates a lot of heat. This is due to the additional strain that a clog can put on it. Catalytic converters may reach temperatures of over 2,000 degrees during straining.
So if your Mercedes' converter is clogged, you may notice an unusually high level of heat radiating from beneath the vehicle. Thus, it will take a long time to cool down.
Illuminated Check Engine Light
A faulty catalytic converter is one of the many reasons the check engine light illuminates your car's dashboard. Air-fuel ratio sensors in modern automobiles measure the gas levels in the exhaust.
When the Check Engine Light illuminates, it simply warns that the converter isn't working correctly. However, because other mechanical issues can cause this alarm to be activated, you must have your vehicle inspected by a professional mechanic for appropriate diagnosis and repair.
Drive Your Mercedez-Benz With Ease
There is no doubt that a catalytic converter is an essential component of any vehicle's exhaust system. Therefore, you need to have your car inspected and diagnosed by a professional.
In addition, we advise going for a checkup whenever you receive a Check Engine Light alert, experience sluggish engine performance, notice darker or black exhaust smoke, less power when accelerating, excessive heat under the vehicle, or your car's engine misfires.
Don't know where to take your vehicle for catalytic converter repair or replacement? The North Fulton Auto Center Team has a stellar reputation for providing exceptional catalytic converter repair and replacement. So please make an appointment with us today to get your car's catalytic converter taken care of!