logo
(866) 924-4608

We Buy All Cars, Running or Not!

(866) 924-4608 FAST CASH OFFER
Does Your Car Need A New Catalytic Converter? 9 Symptoms

Does Your Car Need A New Catalytic Converter? 9 Symptoms

Your car will need a new catalytic converter if you come across one of these nine symptoms:

Auto Repairs Are EXPENSIVE


  1. Check engine light illuminating
  2. Difficulties accelerating
  3. Impacted fuel consumption
  4. Strong sulfur smell
  5. Discolored catalytic housing
  6. Difficulties starting your vehicle
  7. Increased emissions
  8. Problems with an engine misfire
  9. Weird rattling noises

The catalytic converter is a core component in your car, and when it goes bad, there is no way your car can pass the emission test, and you'll deal with tons of other complications that impact the environment.

Understanding whether your car needs a new catalytic converter is not extremely important information because of the very high repair costs of installing a new converter. Many drivers end up giving up on their vehicles just because the catalytic converter required replacement!

This article provides you with nine potential symptoms that help you answer the question, “does your car need a new catalytic converter” once you come across any of these symptoms, you must replace the converter immediately. Otherwise, you won't be able to drive this car without dealing with complications.

Clogged Catalytic Converter Symptoms


What is the catalytic converter, and what is it do?

Before we move forward and help you answer the question, “does your car need a new catalytic converter” we must understand the main role of this converter in your vehicle to understand what could go wrong when it goes

The converter is responsible for converting all harmful gases into less harmful pollutants that could go to the environment without causing harm. In other words, the catalytic converter serves as a machine that cleans up the emissions coming out of the combustion system and gets them ready to reach the environment without causing promotion to the atmosphere and health issues to the people around you.

The unique thing about the catalytic converter is that it's made of very expensive metals, which means it's very expensive to be replaced. So, unfortunately, when the converter goes bad, your only option would be to replace it because there is no way you can get around this issue without replacing the converter.

Why Is My Car Clunking When I Hit a Bump

Does your car need a new catalytic converter?

Understanding whether your car needs a new catalytic converter is extremely important because you'll decide whether you want to proceed with repairs. So we prepared this list of potential symptoms indicating a bad catalytic converter to help you prepare what to expect and what to do next.

Let's take a closer look at the nine most common symptoms of a bad catalytic converter:

1.    Check engine light illuminating

The first and most obvious symptom indicating that you're dealing with a bad catalytic converter is when you have a check engine light illuminating the dashboard. The check engine light is a way for your vehicle to communicate with you and bring your attention to internal problems.

A bad catalytic converter can easily trigger the check engine light. However, when you see a check engine light illuminating the dashboard, you cannot immediately assume it's a bad catalytic converter because it could be something else.

That's why you have to consult your mechanic and have him perform a thorough inspection to check on your vehicle's computer and determine what's the real culprit. If you have a scanner like the OBD scanner, you can do it yourself. In other words, you can scan your computer and get an error code that you can translate by doing a quick Google search for what this code means.

2.    Difficulties accelerating

When the catalytic converter is impacted, you might notice that your vehicle is not accelerating as it should. Have you ever tried hitting the gas pedal and realized that your vehicle hesitates to accelerate? That is what we're referring to.

Keep in mind that this is a very common situation that might also be linked to a long list of potential culprits. Therefore, it is important to confirm the problem in the first place before investing in penny fixing your catalytic converter.

3.    Impacted fuel consumption

When the catalytic converter doesn't do its job, and when it's not converting the harmful emissions, you will notice a difference in the fuel consumption. So it could be that your vehicle is consuming more fuel than it should, and it could be the other way around.

For example, if you notice that you need to visit a gas station more frequently than before, this strongly indicates overconsumption of fuel in your vehicle. While there are potentially other symptoms and other culprits that could cause overconsuming fuel, a bad catalytic converter might be the issue.

Some experts mentioned that you might even deal with the opposite situation. For example, your car might start consuming less fuel than it should. While this is a wish for every driver considering the increased gas prices nowadays, it is not a good thing because it means that your converter is failing and you are getting close to a very expensive repair cost.

How To Tell If Your Car Has a Bad Catalytic Converter
How To Tell If Your Car Has a Bad Catalytic Converter

4.    Strong sulfur smell

One of the very obvious reasons that indicate a bad catalytic converter is when you notice a strong sulfur smell in your car. Here, your converter is not converting the harmful emissions that include sulfur and leaving it to get out to the environment and probably inside your vehicle.

This sulfur smell is not good, and it can be toxic in some situations. Therefore, you might deal with some health issues if you have respiratory problems while inhaling this silver smell in your car. Therefore, you must act immediately and have your mechanic check your car to confirm whether the issue has to do with the bad catalytic converter or not.

Once you confirm the issue, you'll be able to answer the question yourself, “does your car need a new catalytic converter?”

5.    Discolored catalytic housing

If you would like to answer the question, “does your car need a new catalytic converter,” you can perform a quick visual inspection yourself. For example, take a look at catalytic converter housing. If you notice that it has a different car than before, it could indicate a bad catalytic converter.

If you don't know what the discoloring is and if you've never seen a good catalytic converter, you can perform a quick search on Google to determine What Car should the catalytic converter be so you can know whether it's weird or different or not.

6.    Difficulties starting your vehicle

A bad catalytic converter might cause difficulty starting your car. Difficulty starting your vehicle is typically linked to a bad battery or probably alternator pots on some rare occasions, the castle to converge or could be the culprit.

Therefore, if you've checked everything and still have issues starting your vehicle, consider inspecting the catalytic converter because it could be the culprit. Remember that a bad catalytic converter might impact your vehicle's starting process, but it will show other symptoms that you should notice before getting to this point.

8 Signs Of A Bad Catalytic Converter

7.    Increased emissions

Unsurprisingly, when the catalytic converter doesn't do its job, you will be releasing more harmful emissions into the atmosphere. That's why and as we mentioned before, your vehicle won't pass the emission tests.

Not only because of the emission test, but we all should work together to protect the environment, and if there is something simple as keeping a good kettle to the converter to help the environment, we should do so.

8.    Problems with an engine misfire

When dealing with a bad catalytic converter, you might also deal with engine misfiring. Again, this is because the catalytic converter has to deal with the amount of oxygen in the combustion process. As a result, it could somehow impact the combustion process by either reducing oxygen flow or causing other problems to prevent air from getting inside the cylinder with the required amounts.

Engine misfiring happens because of a problem with one of three important components column the air supply, the fuel supply, or the spark timing. So if there's an issue with one of those, your vehicle will complain, and you'll see its engine misfiring or a check engine light illuminating.

9.    Weird rattling noises

Finally, I bet scheduling to converter can easily lead to some rattling noise, especially if you're dealing with the physical damage in the converter itself. It will start hitting the surroundings because of loose connections or damage.

When you notice this strong noise, you must take action immediately. But, first, you must consult your mechanic to resolve this issue as soon as possible before it gets more complicated and causes damage to other components around the converter.

catalytic converter replacement cost

How much does it cost to replace a catalytic converter?

As we mentioned earlier, fixing a bad Catalytic converter is very expensive. Typically, it should cost you between $945 and $2475. This includes both labor and parts costs.

Keep in mind that labor costs might be a significant component if he decided to go to a dealership versus a small independent shop. Unfortunately, replacing the catalytic converter is not something you can do yourself because it requires a certain mechanical skill set. If you don't have that level, you might introduce mistakes that could cost you thousands of dollars on repair.

Is it worth fixing a bad catalytic converter?

It all depends. As you might notice, the Catalytic converter is very expensive, and before we spend a penny fixing it, you have to evaluate the situation closely.

Typically, automotive experts recommend calculating a total number for repair costs. But, first, you need to include all potential costs your vehicle is due. For example, if your car is due for a tire rotation or oil change, you must add all these up and calculate the total number.

Then, determine the value of your vehicle as-is. In other words, it can let you can use tools like Kelley Blue Book or edmunds.com. These tools should give you information about the minimum and maximum value your vehicle can make. However, keep in mind that these values are just estimates and do not consider any repair costs. Therefore, to accurately represent your vehicle's value, you need to subtract all potential repair costs.

Finally, compare your vehicle's value to the total repair costs. If you found that repair costs are getting close to 75% or more from your car's value, it's not worth their peers because it won't add much to your vehicle's value. Therefore, you should think of ways to sell your car and use its value to purchase a better vehicle that doesn't have any problems with the catalytic converter.

How to Fix A Catalytic Converter Without Replacing

Final thoughts

The catalytic converter is one of the most expensive to fix components in your vehicle. Unfortunately, if your mechanic says that your converter requires replacement, you must think twice about that.

To prevent dealing with this situation and get yourself ready to expect what's coming next, you must familiarize yourself with different symptoms indicating that your car needs a new catalytic converter.

Once you confirm the issue, you have to evaluate the situation and determine whether it's worth installing a new converter or selling your vehicle instead. If you've ever thought of selling a car with a bad catalytic converter, Cash Cars Buyer is always here to help you!

Cash Cars Buyer is one of the top-rated car removal companies in the nation that guarantees to pay you the top dollars and provide you with free towing despite your living location around the United States.

Our process is very straightforward and doesn't take more than a couple of days to get your car removed safely and for the most money.

All it takes you is to:

  • Describe your car's type and condition
  • Receive our instant free quote
  • Accept the quote
  • Get your car removed and receive your cash payment on the spot!

To learn more about our process and our team, you can reach out to us by calling us at (773) 781-4363 or visiting our home page click on the free instant online offer.