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Mercedes S500 Catalytic Converter

Four Common Signs behind Mercedes S500 Catalytic Converter Problems

If your vehicle has already reached 100,000 miles, then this can be the first sign that your catalytic converter will begin to slowly wear down. Although there can be other signs of catalytic converter malfunction, that mileage level can already indicate the start of some catalytic converter issues. Aside from this, here are other symptoms you should look for to determine if you already have a problematic Mercedes S500 catalytic converter:

Decrease in the engine's power

There are different reasons why your car's engine can suddenly lose a significant amount of power, and one of these is a worn-out catalytic converter. A catalytic converter in poor condition causes a buildup of soot and restricts the flow of the exhaust gases. This restriction causes the decrease in the engine power and poor performance.

Leak in the exhaust system

A well-maintained catalytic converter burns excess fuel from the combustion chamber efficiently by using extreme heat and a chemical reaction. A clogged, malfunctioning converter, on the other hand, builds backpressure and sends the exhaust gases back into the exhaust manifold gasket or header joints. To see if the catalytic converter is burning fuel efficiently, the casing of the converter should discolor similar to a multi-colored rainbow pattern under high temperature.

Failure of the oxygen sensor

The oxygen sensor is a part of your car's emission control system. It transmits data to the engine management computer. If the catalytic converter is malfunctioning, then it will cause the oxygen sensor to send inaccurate readings of the oxygen amount in the exhaust system. This problem will lead to poor engine performance and low fuel economy because the computer won't be able to determine the correct air-to-fuel ratio.

Emission of a thick, black smoke and foul smell

When you can already see black smoke coming from your car's tail pipe or smell a foul odor similar to rotten eggs, then these signs already indicate a catalytic converter problem. This may be caused by a poorly conditioned converter that failed to burn the rich, fuel mixture from the engine. Aside from the tail pipe, the converter itself can be the source of the foul smell and black smoke. Its housing should be checked for holes or cracks as well.

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  • Mercedes S500 Catalytic Converter: How to Keep It in Good Condition

    To reduce the emission of harmful gases from the exhaust system-that's the main purpose of the catalytic converter in your Mercedes S500 sedan. Through years of constant exhaust filtering, it will gradually wear down; and as a result, it will be no longer be as effective as it was before. To make sure that you maximize the use of the catalytic converter in your luxury car, here are a few maintenance tips:

    • Wash the catalytic converter.
    • The catalytic converter can be removed from your car's exhaust system and checked internally for carbon build-up or soot. If it rattles when you shake it, then there's probably a contaminant or debris inside. A high-pressure wash can be done from both the inlet and outlet pipes of the converter. Once this is done, a high-pressure air hose may be used because the converter must be dried thoroughly.
    • Perform a complete engine tune-up.
    • Your Mercedes S500 catalytic converter can clog-up because of excess hydrocarbon that has already accumulated. This may be a result of overly rich fuel mixtures caused by misfiring cylinders. A complete tune-up of the engine's cylinders will ensure there are no cylinder misses. By advancing the engine timing a few degrees and installing 'hotter' spark plugs, more heat can enter the catalytic converter, thus burning excess or unburned fuel.
    • Check the condition of the converter's shell regularly.
    • Since the catalytic converter is located under the vehicle, it is very prone to road debris especially to pebbles and rocks. In an unlikely event that sharp road debris hits its shell, it may leave a tear which can cause some exhaust gases to escape. Perform an ocular check-up routine under the car, so you can immediately detect this type of problem.
    • Limit short distance driving.
    • Driving only for a short distance will not raise the optimum temperature of the engine and catalytic converter. This will leave unburned fuel in the honeycomb of the converter. Aside from that, cold starts and continued idling may also cause this problem. You have to drive your car for an extended period of time to ensure that the catalytic converter is hot enough to function efficiently.