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Nissan Frontier Catalytic Converter

5 Tips to Keep the Nissan Frontier Catalytic Converter Healthy

The catalytic converter of the Nissan Frontier is designed to be maintenance-free, and once it breaks down, it will almost always require replacement. However, catalytic converters still need to be used and cared for properly to help prevent early onset of wear. Here are five simple tips on how to keep the Nissan Frontier catalytic converter:

  • Warm up the converter every time you start the truck.

Warming up the catalytic converter will allow the catalyst and the matting inside the chamber to expand properly, minimizing wear and helping prevent malfunctions. Start the engine and allow it to idle for five minutes. Afterwards, step on the gas and run the engine at 2,500 rpm for two minutes.

  • Avoid overheating the engine.

While warming up the converter helps keep it running in top condition, too much heat can be damaging. Aside from potentially damaging the engine and radiator, running the engine at higher-than-normal temperatures can also melt the catalyst material inside the converter. And once this happens, the melted catalyst will clog up the pipes and cause the engine to misfire. So if you notice the engine posting temperatures that are hotter than usual particularly when running on idle, let it cool down and have the engine and radiator checked by a mechanic.

  • Do not use fuel additives.

There's a reason why car manufacturers do not endorse fuel additives; catalytic converters are designed specifically to process fuel, and including fuel additives into the mix might contaminate the catalyst material and reduce its effectiveness.

  • Get the converter undergo a carbon cleaning treatment.

Many auto repair shops also now offer "carbon cleaning" service, wherein the converter is treated to dislodge carbon deposits that have built up inside it over time. Ideally, the converter should undergo this process once at least every two years or 30,000 miles.

  • Keep silicone away from the exhaust pipes.

Silicone, which is found in automotive lubricants and sealants, burn when exposed to the hot gases running through the catalytic converter and exhaust pipes. This will result in a condition called "outgassing", wherein the burnt silicone causes the oxygen sensor to malfunction and the converter to overheat.

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  • Troubleshooting Nissan Frontier Catalytic Converter Failure

    Catalytic converters for the Nissan Frontier do not usually break down within the life of the truck, but it does happen particularly if the engine and exhaust system is not well maintained. And when the catalytic converter fails, it can lead to a myriad of problems that will hamper the performance of your vehicle or even prevent its systems from working altogether.

    Repair and replacement of the Nissan Frontier catalytic converter is a complicated task that is best done by professionals, but you can take it up to yourself to identify and troubleshoot problems with the catalytic converter and their causes. Below are some ways on how you can troubleshoot some Nissan Frontier catalytic converter problems.

    There is a significant loss in fuel economy.

    If you find yourself stopping more often for gas than normal, it's a sign that your Nissan Frontier catalytic converter is no longer functioning properly. To verify, carefully take out the oxygen sensor from the catalytic converter and start the engine again. If you see a sharp drop in performance, it is more likely that the catalytic converter is broken and has to be replaced.

    The engine is misfiring.

    One of the causes of a misfiring engine is an overheated engine. When extra-rich fuel mixture reaches the catalytic converter, it ignites inside the chamber and melts the internal components. If your truck's engine starts to misfire, check the condition of the catalytic converter through the carburetor. Remove the air cleaner and, using a flashlight, peer into the carburetor intake and rev the engine. If you see signs of fuel vapor hovering on top of the carburetor, the catalytic converter is clogged.

    Strange noises are coming from the catalytic converter.

    The Frontier's exhaust system is designed to reduce exhaust noise to a minimum, so when you start hearing sounds coming from the catalytic converter, they usually indicate a problem. Whistling sounds, in particular, are indications that the catalyst material has melted inside the converter and is clogging the chamber. On the other hand, rattling noises that grow louder as you rev the engine mean that there's a loose bracket or other component that's hitting another metal object.