Been trying to start your car for the past hour? There are a multitude of possible reasons why you are finding it difficult to start your Volkswagen Eurovan-from faulty wirings to a damaged ignition system, there are plenty to blame for this problem. However, the most common reason for a car to become nonresponsive is a malfunctioning catalytic converter. A catalytic converter breaks down faster than the parts mentioned above, mainly because it is always exposed to toxic chemicals. Regardless if you are driving or parked in idle, the catalytic converter works non-stop to process these chemicals to less noxious exhaust. It might be that the catalytic converter is simply clogged-in which case, it is easily repairable by cleaning it out. Below are some helpful tips on how you can diagnose a failing catalytic converter:
Make sure the catalytic converter and its surrounding parts are in good shape. It should be free from rust and cracks. Rusted clamps, flanges, and screws attaching the converter to the exhaust pipes are repairable by sanding. However, if the main converter unit is rusted or cracked, you will need to replace it the soonest you can. There is no way to repair a catalytic converter because its internal structure is complex and very toxic.
By hitting the catalytic converter with a rubber mallet-controlled force is, as always, crucial-you can diagnose its internal condition. Are you hearing rattling noises every time you hit the unit? If so, it is very likely that the ceramic block inside is broken to smithereens. Again, you will need to replace the unit if this happens.
Does the catalytic converter produce a lot of smoke when you are parked in idle, more so when you're driving? Take note of how the smoke smells. If it gives off a strong acidic odor, it means that the catalytic converter is leaking. If it gives off a strong burnt smell that is not exactly out of the ordinary, it means that the converter is clogged. If this is the case, you can clean the converter when the engine cools down.