What is a Catalytic Converter: Driving with a bad catalytic converter

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When the catalytic converter of your car is bad or clogged, one question that comes to mind is can drive a car with a bad catalytic converter and if so how long? In this post, we will talk about if driving with a bad catalytic converter is safe and How Long Can You Drive with A Bad Catalytic Converter

What is a Catalytic Converter: Driving with a bad catalytic converter

clogged catalytic converter symptoms

So before we get started lets first look at what is a catalytic converter that way you will understand the importance of resolving your catalytic converter problem whenever you notice one.

And for you to notice when the catalytic converter has issues, you might have to read this article earlier on 5 Symptoms of bad and clogged Catalytic Converter.

I also responded to the question “Can a clogged catalytic converter cause a misfire” in the article and some other topics on a clogged catalytic converter which is not discussed in this post.

So let’s get started:

What is a catalytic converter and how does it work?

In a simple term, we can say that a catalytic converter is a component or device in a car exhaust system which regulates gas emission within the internal combustion system of the car.

A catalytic converter is set up in the exhaust systems to deliver the right oxidation and to reduce toxic by-products like carbon Monoxide from fuel to a less harmful substance like carbon dioxide and others.

So if vehicles were to be running without a catalytic converter, the thing is we will be having the car produce so many harmful by-products that would hot us all.

Dangerous gasses like nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, and hydrocarbons which could have been overly abundant and causing more considering the number of vehicles produced and use on a daily basis. 

But because there is catalytic converter in cars, it reduces the production of these toxic waste and instead it converts them to less hazardous and harmful ones like carbon dioxide, water vapour, and nitrogen gas are what is produced.

Related article:

Driving with a bad catalytic converter

So if your car catalytic converter goes bad is okay to still drive with it and how long can you drive with a bad catalytic converter? Well if you want my honest opinion, I will say it really not right for your continuous drive with a bad catalytic converter.

And here are my three main reasons for this.

  1. Pollution- You will be polluting the air badly and if everyone were to leave their catalytic converter unattended to, you can imagine what will become of nature, ozone layer and the air we breathe.
  2. Performance issue– You will be reducing the life value on the vehicle and endangering your car engine.
  3. Legal Issue- Driving with a bad catalytic converter is illegal in some countries. So if you drive your car with a damaged catalytic converter not only will you be harming yourself and the environment, but you will be attracting a huge fine for not obeying the law.

So the next question popping in your mind now is “How Long Can You Drive with A Bad Catalytic Converter?”  and we are getting into that.

How Long Can You Drive with A Bad Catalytic Converter?

The answer to this question will depend on how badly the catalytic converter is damaged.

So if it is just a minor issue on the catalytic converter then your car could still be driven indefinitely but if the catalytic converter is clogged or blocked to the point where the outflow of gas from exhaust is not easy going, then you might be able to drive the car for some kilometres before the car starts losing power and it keeps decreasing in power till there is now not enough power supply to continue running the car.

Mind you, though you can drive indefinitely with a bad catalytic converter, I don’t support this because a long time driving your car with a bad catalytic converter can cause unexpected problems to other components of the car that will eventually affect your car engine.

I am sure you know if your car engine is bad it very expensive to repair or replace? So why not start by solving the lesser problem on your car so they don’t deteriorate and cause bigger problems.

You might want to read this article to see how expensive to it is to replace the car engine. 

And for ways that bad or clog on the catalytic converter could damage your car, please read this post on Can a clogged catalytic converter cause a misfire

How To Diagnose a Bad Catalytic Converter

Conclusion On Driving With a Bad Catalytic Converter

So I hope I have been able to respond satisfactorily to the question How Long Can You Drive with A Bad Catalytic Converter?

In most cases, the problems from a bad catalytic converter do not affect the functionality of your vehicle directly, but if you let it linger for so long, it could after other relating components that directly affect running your car. things like your exhaust and engine Besides, it is illegal if you keep driving your car with a bad catalytic converter in some country. So the best thing is to do is to change it, repair or clean it, if it is having a clogged related issue. If you like this post Driving with a bad catalytic converter please share it.

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