So you have been told your car has a bad catalytic converter? Well, I have to first start by saying, this is RARE…but I have seen it happen a few times, but it’s pretty rare.
In the few cases where I have seen a bad catalytic converter, was not really due to the converter at all. The converter was trying to do its job (which is burn off all exhaust fumes, unburned fuel, harmful vapors etc. before leaving the tailpipe) but the catalytic converter was overloaded and physically burned ITSELF up in the process.
let me explain, when the engine is running bad, missing, backfiring, running to rich (means too much fuel is inside the engine) or running to lean (means there is not enough fuel inside the engine) the Catalytic Converter works harder than it should to help clean up the exhaust deposits coming from the poor running engine.
The converter gets SUPER hot, which is why it can burn up all the pollutants the engine produces. When the engine runs bad, the poor converter heats up even more…trying to over compensate for all the pollutants. This in turn totally destroys the inside of the converter.
So, if your engine is running bad you are taking a risk at damaging the Catalytic Converter. Fix the engine problems before it costs you more money replacing the converter.
In the video below you will see what comes out of a destroyed converter. We are still investigating the cause of the failure on this particular vehicle.