Driving around with a busted Chevrolet Suburban catalytic converter isn't just illegal but it's dangerous to your health as well. Whether your catalytic converter is impaired or it has completely failed, then you could be emitting very toxic fumes into the atmosphere, which could be hazardous to your well-being and to the environment. In addition to that, your ride's performance could also suffer, as the converter is directly connected to your vehicle's exhaust system. How can you tell if your catalytic converter is buster or not? Here are some common symptoms of a busted catcon and some troubleshooting tips to help you out.
Connect a vacuum gauge to a main intake manifold vacuum source and make certain to plug the vacuum hose that's disconnected from the intake manifold. Turn your engine on and let it idle for a few minutes. Then, with the car in its neutral gear and with the parking brake engaged, ask an assistant to accelerate and maintain 3000 rpm. If the vacuum gauge needle drops three inches of Mercury, then the exhaust is still in good shape. However, if the needle drops considerably, there there's likely to be an obstruction in your exhaust system. Do the same test again with the catalytic converter disconnected. If your gauge registers a normal drop, then your catalytic converter is broken.
Jack your ride up and prop it up on jack stands. Get under your ride and check your converter for corrosion or serious physical damage. If either of the two is apparent, then have your converter replaced right away. However, if there's no apparent damage to your catalytic converter, then tap it lightly with a rubber mallet. In the event that you hear a rattling sound, then that means that the ceramic block inside the converter is broken and that the entire component needs replacing. This doesn't apply to pellet-type converters.
Possible causes for these problems include surface contamination, congestion in the exhaust system, and a busted oxygen sensor. If you fail an emission test or if your ride refuses to start, then your catalytic converter could also be damaged. To figure out the culprit behind these problems, you can do an engine scan and perform a visual inspection.