The catalytic converter is responsible for keeping good emission ratings for your Kia Rio. It is made to last up to 10 years, but because of a number of factors, problems arise that may lead to its premature failure. Here is a simple guide to help you find out if your Kia Rio catalytic converter is about to breathe its last.
Take an OBD or onboard diagnostic scan tool and plug it into the fuse panel's OBD port. With the ignition key turned to the "on" position, check the readout on the OBD scan tool. If you see the fault code P0420, it means "emissions failure." If you get a P0300, on the other hand, it means "random misfire." Either fault code translates that you will need to replace the catalytic converter as soon as possible.
Check the external appearance of your Kia's catalytic converter. If you see any discoloration or any apparent warping, that is a clear indication of an overheating issue. This may be caused by misfires originating from faulty ignition coils or burned out spark plugs. Either cause will result in unburned fuel entering into the catcon. Here, the tendency for the fuel to ignite is very high. When this happens, the honeycomb substrate melts, and thus, the overheating occurs.
If you suspect that your catalytic converter is causing problems in your fuel efficiency and engine performance, you may do the backpressure test. This is done by linking a pressure gauge that connects properly to the oxygen sensor. To begin the test, start the engine and allow it to reach its normal operating temperature. Then, observe the pressure gauge when the engine is in idle. If you get a psi not higher than 1.25, there is no problem with your exhaust. Now, accelerate the engine to 2,000 rpm and check the gauge. It should read no more than 3 psi. If it does, however, then the exhaust is quite restricted. Check the other exhaust components before you conclude a failing catcon. But if you find that everything else is in proper order, you must replace the converter as soon as possible to prevent more problems.