Troubleshooting the Acura RSX catalytic converter is very important to know whether it already needs to be replaced or you can still go on with it for a few more months. Basically, the converter decreases the dangerous emissions from the exhaust by transforming them into harmless gases. To find out if yours need to be replaced with a new one, here are some tips to help you troubleshoot at home.
Once oil or antifreeze enters the exhaust system, it can block the passage of air, thus creating heavy carbon filth that can cover the catalyst. This can cause two problems: first, carbon deposits could clog up the pores in the catalyst and block the exhaust flow; second, the carbon deposits keep the catalytic converter from lessening the dangerous emissions from the exhaust flow. Check if there are defective valve seals, worn-out piston rings, damaged gaskets, or deformed engine components because these are some of the reasons why antifreeze or oil enters the exhaust.
Take note that the fuel is supposed to burn in the combustion chamber alone. If this leaves the chamber unburned, it could go into the exhaust and light off once it reaches the catalytic converter. This will result in heating up the converter above the usual operating conditions and will melt down. Inspect if there are any wrong fuel mixture, rotten spark plugs, defective oxygen sensor, wrong timing, sticking float, damaged fuel injector, or a check valve failure. These are usually the causes why surplus fuel enters the exhaust.
If there are problems occurring in the catalytic converter, an engine tune-up may be required. The damage that's caused by an out of tune engine is usually because of wrong timing, misfiring spark plugs, or incorrect fuel⁄air mixture. If this is not attended to, it could lead to catalytic converter failure or damage.
If the spark plugs do not fire anymore, it can cause unburned fuel to enter the exhaust system. If this happens, the unburned fuel lights up inside the catalytic converter and will cause it to melt down the catalyst. Check the spark plug or the spark plug wires once in a while for cracks or damage. If they no longer fire, these need to be replaced.