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Ford Expedition Catalytic Converter

How to Tell If a Ford Expedition Catalytic Converter is Damaged

Your Ford Expedition catalytic converter is the one responsible for reducing impurities in your car's emissions. This is particularly what makes your vehicle pass the emission test. And as it constantly gets exposed to toxic chemicals during your drives, it's no surprise when it gets damaged. We have compiled the following indicators to help you tell if your Ford's catcon is compromised:

Rough idle

Rough idle is one of the most common symptom of a damaged catcon. It includes a loud noise and a slow engine. At times, this can cause an engine backfire because of the excessive backpressure.

High emission levels

High emission levels result when the converter has plugged or contaminated substrates. This in turn causes an inaccurate air-fuel ratio, increasing the amount of carbon deposits in the exhaust. And so, when the accelerator is stepped on, your Ford will be emitting high levels of hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen oxide. At this state, you cannot expect your vehicle pass the emission test.

Rattling

Rattling comes as a result when the catalytic converter comes in sudden contact with snow or anything of extremely low temperature just after reaching a full state of heating. The converter housing will contract as a result of the sudden temperature change, which in turn will cause the ceramic monolith to crack inside it. Try to tap the housing with a rubber mallet, and if you hear a rattling noise inside, there is a high possibility that the ceramic core is indeed broken.

Stalling

When stepping on the accelerator doesn't bring your car up to speed and you hear a whistling or choking sound at the same time, you can conclude that it is caused by the failure of the catalytic converter. A worse effect of this is loss of power, shutting off your engine altogether.

Blue-gray smoke and rotten odor

The gases that are supposed to be broken down by the catalytic converter are normally blue-gray and they usually contain sulfur. If you see this blue-gray smoke coming out of the exhaust, it's a sure sign that your catcon is compromised. Aside from this, if you smell something similar to a rotten egg, that's exactly how those toxic sulfur-containing substances smell like.

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  • Caring for Your Ford Expedition Catalytic Converter 04 March 2014

    There is no standard procedure to get your Ford Expedition catalytic converter cleaned up after a few thousand miles' use. This is because the honeycomb ceramic catalyst will be rendered useless once cleaned out with water or other cleaning agents. You will have no choice by then but to get a replacement catcon. There are simple ways, though, to prolong its useful life by avoiding the common culprits that lead to its premature failure. Consider the following measures:

    • Have regular engine tune-up.
    • An out-of-tune engine causes a number of problems in the catalytic converter, leaving it damaged and worn out sooner than it should be. When the engine does not operate properly, it results in inaccurate air-fuel ratio, incorrect timing, and misfiring plugs. All these lead to definite catcon damage and/or failure. That's why a complete tune-up is necessary every 50,000 miles or so, depending on the model year of your Ford Expedition.
    • Replace spark plugs and spark plug wires on schedule.
    • When the spark plugs don't fire, the unburned fuel may enter and ignite in the catalytic converter. This results in the meltdown of the catalytic converter. Don't wait for this to happen to your Ford; change the spark plugs every 60,000 miles.
    • Drive carefully on rocky or damaged paths.
    • When driving along rough and rocky paths, all types of road debris may strike your catcon, causing the thin-walled ceramic inside to fracture. We recommend that you drive carefully or slowly on such road types to avoid any high-impact strikes on the catalytic converter.
    • Install properly.
    • When installing a new catalytic converter, make sure the clamps hold it securely. A loose hold makes it shake and vibrate when you drive, causing catalyst fracture. Also, make sure you regularly check under your car to guarantee that every part, specially the catcon, is intact. Check for any signs of oxidation of the clamps and have them replaced when necessary.
    • Make sure there are no leaks.
    • Leaking gaskets, piston rings, faulty valve seals can let oil or antifreeze to enter into the catalytic converter. This may cause a higher-than-normal working temperature or clogs, preventing its proper operation. Make sure that there are no leaks in any of the hoses, valves, etc. Use high quality gaskets. In the long run, you will not only be protecting the catalytic converter but every other part as well.