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.