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Chevrolet Malibu Catalytic Converter

4 Easy Steps in Maintaining your Chevrolet Malibu Catalytic Converter

Most car owners only pay attention to the catalytic converter when it is being replaced by a mechanic, but it doesn't have to be that way. And as a Chevy Malibu owner, there are many ways that you can maintain your car's catalytic converter and avoid costly replacements.

In this guide, we'll share some helpful maintenance tips for the Chevrolet Malibu catalytic converter.

  • Clean the catalytic converters regularly.

The location of the catalytic converters underneath the Malibu makes it accumulate dirt, mud, and debris at a rapid rate, which in turn can promote the onset of corrosion. Washing the catalytic converter regularly with mild detergent and water should remove most dirt and debris, although more stubborn stains may have to be cleaned with a power washer. Make sure to rinse and wipe the converter with a clean cloth afterwards to prevent it from rusting.

  • Deal with grease ASAP.

Grease and grime, on the other hand, may not be as easy to remove with regular washing and will require the use of a degreaser. Mix a bottle of degreaser solution with hot water in a bucket, spray the catalytic converter with the solution for several hours, and rinse with a power washer.

  • Clean rust spots with white vinegar and steel wool.

Most mechanics often suggest cleaning rust spots on the converter or its heat shield with a rust remover, but you can also try using a white vinegar solution and steel wool. White vinegar has the same effect on rust as a commercial rust remover agent, but it is cheaper and less toxic to use. Simply spray the vinegar solution on the rusted area, let it sit for several minutes, and scrub with the steel wool.

It should be noted, however, that if the catalytic converter already has a severe case of corrosion, it needs to be inspected by a mechanic immediately.

  • Make sure that the engine is properly tuned.

The catalytic converter is highly sensitive to changes in the fuel-and-air mixture and the exhaust gas from the engine, so any engine problems will also affect or even damage the converter. So if you want to have your catalytic converter running in top condition, don't forget to maintain your car's engine as well.

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  • Helpful Tips in Installing the Chevrolet Malibu Catalytic Converter

    The catalytic converter of a Chevrolet Malibu is not user-serviceable, meaning that once it breaks down, the sole solution is to have it replaced. And while most mechanics are capable of replacing the catalytic converter for you, it is quite possible to do it yourself. Most Chevrolet Malibu catalytic converter kits come with instructions and the essential mounting hardware, making DIY installation of this key exhaust component an easier task.

    If you are planning on replacing the catalytic converter in your Malibu, here are some important tips to consider:

    Tip #1: Verify if you are legally allowed to remove and replace the catalytic converter.

    Because it directly influences the emission of your vehicle, several states are very strict rules regarding the replacement of the catalytic converter. So before you tamper with the converter, check with your local government first if you are allowed to. Keep in mind illegal removal and modification of this component might result in steep fines as well as your car being impounded due to being non-roadworthy.

    Tip #2: Invest in an O2 wrench.

    To ensure efficient performance, catalytic converter has oxygen or O2 sensor that is mounted inside of it. This sensor needs to be removed in order for the converter can be replaced, but it is also quite fragile. The O2 wrench is specially designed to remove this sensor from inside the catalytic converter with less risk of damaging it in the process. So consider chucking this tool in along with your new converter in the shopping cart.

    Tip #3: Remove the bolts on the converter at the back first.

    Loosening the bolts on the rear end of the converter followed by the ones at the front will prevent the weight of converter from straining against and potentially damaging the muffler.

    Tip #4: Spray penetrating oil on stubborn bolts.

    The bolts that secure the converter are known to be quite difficult to loosen, mainly because it is usually caked in rust and dirt. Thankfully, this can usually be remedied by spraying the bolts with penetrating oil. After several minutes, you should be able to loosen the bolts. Take note that you should not try and force the bolts loose, as this might damage both the bolt and the wrench.