How to Unblock a Catalytic Converter

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There may be something wrong with your catalytic converter when your car starts to feel sluggish and your gas mileage becomes poor. Catalytic converters don’t just wear out on their own. Oftentimes, the main source of the problem is a bad ignition system or a poorly functioning engine.

Common clogging causes include engine misfires and contamination or when you car runs rich. Replacing a failing catalytic converter is a must but you must also determine the cause of the clogging to prevent it from happening again in the future.

How to Know Your Catalytic Converter is Clogged

Have a mechanic check the condition of your catcon when you notice these symptoms:

Be sure to check for ignition misfires if you have a stopped up catalytic converter. If these are present and left unfixed, they may cause overheating and melt the catalyst components inside.

How to Unblock a Catalytic Converter

A catalytic converter is usually good for at least 10 years. While getting a replacement catcon is still recommended, you may try to clean your existing one if you want to save a few bucks. Follow this simple guide if you’re wondering how to unblock a catalytic converter:

Run Your Engine with a Catcon Cleaner

Use a bottle of catcon cleaner and pour all of it into your gas tank. Some find a lacquer thinner effective, too, with the ratio of 1 gallon of thinner to a half-full gas tank. Remember–these cleaning solutions may or may not work depending on the condition of your catcon, so if you want the best results, getting a replacement is still the best way to go. Next, run your engine at 2500 rpm for about 30 minutes or longer. The cleaner will run through your car and eventually burn the pollutants out of your catcon.

Manual Washing

When your catalytic converter is cool enough, remove its bolts using a wrench. Make sure to work in a well-lit place and use protective goggles and gloves for safety. Proceed with carefully detaching the catcon, then look for any signs of physical damage. You may also shake it and listen for any unusual noises.

Check the passageways to see if they are totally or partially blocked. It’s highly advisable to replace a totally blocked catalytic converter. If they are partially blocked, soak the catcon in a mixture of degreaser and hot water. Check it from time to time and once the clog has been removed, dry it up completely before putting it back in your car.

As mentioned, replacing a stopped up catalytic converter is still your safest option. If you’re looking for a high-quality but affordable replacement catcon, look no further because has a catcon for virtually any vehicle year, make, and model. Check out our broad selection of catalytic converters here:

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In the Garage with is an online blog dedicated to bringing DIYers and devoted car enthusiasts up to date with topical automotive news and lifestyle content. Our writers live and breathe automotive, taking the guess work out of car repairs with how-to content that helps owners get back on the road and keep driving.

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