Need Assistance? (Se Habla Espanol) Call or Chat Online

Select by Category

Select by Brand

Get Email Exclusives

Sign up for email updates on the latest exclusive offers

Dodge Ram 1500 Pickup Catalytic Converter

How to Diagnose Dodge Ram 1500 Pickup Common Catalytic Converter Problems

While they are made to last the life of the vehicle, catalytic converters develop problems over time, and these can make other vehicle components unable to function properly. A defective cat con can cause major issues in your Dodge Ram 1500, causing its engine to run poorly. It's a good thing that signs of a failing catalytic converter show up early, so you can troubleshoot the problem immediately. Here are some of the Dodge Ram 1500 catalytic converter problems and the ways to diagnose their root cause:

Backpressure and poor fuel economy

This can be caused by internal catalyst failure. When the catalyst fails, contaminants will clog the catalytic converter, thus restricting exhaust flow. This restriction can cause other problems like decreased fuel efficiency and poor engine performance. To diagnose this issue, wear a safety glove on one hand and, with the help of a thick rag, plug the tailpipe with your hand. If the engine dies, then exhaust flow is really restricted.

Another way of determining catalyst failure is by means of an exhaust pressure. All you have to do is to drill a small hole in the pipe that's positioned in front of the converter and slot in the tester tube to know if there's pressure. Absence of pressure means the exhaust flow isn't passing through the catalytic converter the way it should be.

Exhaust leak, warping, and discoloration

These problems develop in the converter's external shell, so diagnosing them is as easy as visually inspecting the cat con. It can be done by securely lifting the vehicle off the ground using a car jack and accessing its undercarriage. Carefully examine the catalytic converter for holes or cracks that may cause exhaust leak, as well as for warping and discoloration. If your working area isn't well lit, use a flashlight to see the cat con clearly. Any sign of warping and discoloration indicates an overheating problem.

Rotten egg smell and black smoke

The catalytic converter would normally filter the exhaust before it will be emitted to the environment. If you notice that the smoke being expelled is black, there might be a problem with the catalytic converter. Among the signs of a failed cat con, these are the easiest to diagnose because you only need to observe the smoke coming out of the tailpipe and smell the air from behind the car. Strong rotten egg smell can be due to the hydrogen sulfide emitted by the vehicle when the catalytic converter fails.

Dodge Ram 1500 Pickup Catalytic Converter Bestsellers View more

  • Things You Can Do to Keep Your Dodge Ram 1500 Pickup Catalytic Converter in Good Shape

    Catalytic converters rarely fail, but they can become clogged or damaged due to accidents. Over time, they also develop problems that can lead to major vehicle issues, if not dealt with properly. When the cat con starts to fail, your Dodge Ram 1500 may experience several performance issues. If you don't want this to happen, you'd better take good care of your Dodge Ram 1500 catalytic converter. Below are some maintenance tips that can help extend the lifespan of your cat con:

    • Monitor the gas gauge regularly.
    • Always check the gas gauge and find out if the vehicle is working below the fuel economy expected from it. If there's a significant loss in the vehicle's fuel economy, check the catalytic converter right away.
    • Keep the spark plugs and the oxygen sensor in good condition.
    • Spark plug misfires and failed oxygen sensor are among the factors that cause internal catalyst breakdown, so it's important that you keep them working well. You should also follow the recommended replacement interval of for these components.
    • Be mindful of the color and smell of the smoke coming out of your ride.
    • The exhaust should be filtered by the catalytic converter so they'll be less harmful when expelled to the atmosphere. If your Dodge Ram 1500 starts to emit black or very white smoke, there might be a problem with the catalytic converter. Also, strong rotten-egg smell means the catalytic converter is no longer efficient in converting harmful gases like hydrogen sulfide.
    • Make sure your Dodge Ram 1500 pickup performs well when accelerating.
    • As the truck moves forward, watch out for bucking or stuttering motions. A bad catalytic converter causes your engine to stall. If you noticed hesitation when you press the gas pedal, followed by a strong jolts as the vehicle moves forward, the catalytic converter is no longer working well. Sometimes, the engine doesn't have any trouble on startup, but suddenly stalls as soon as the gas pedal is stepped on.
    • Always check your ride's tachometer.
    • Take note of the readings that are lower than what your Dodge Ram 1500 pickup normally gives. If the engine power drops due to a bad catalytic converter, it will cause the tachometer to display lower rpm reading.