For the past few decades, a lot of improvement has been achieved with regards to the fuel to mechanical energy conversion of internal combustion engines. Indeed, our vehicles today are equipped with engines that are more fuel efficient and produce less harmful exhausts. But while these improvements have created a better engine technology, such technology is still a long way from being perfected. It remains a reality that every vehicle today, including your favorite Cadillac, that is equipped with internal combustion engines continues to be a potential cause of air pollution that can greatly damage our environment.
As an initial remedy for such environment-related problem, vehicle manufacturers have equipped their vehicles with catalytic converters. Catalytic converters are emission-control products designed specifically to convert a vehicle's harmful exhaust into less harmful or completely harmless substances. Fuel combustion inside the vehicle's engine creates harmful byproducts like carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxide, and it is the sole function of the catalytic converters to convert these substances into less harmful ones before they are emitted to the outside air.
Most vehicles today are equipped with three-way catalytic converters. These catalytic converters are often composed of two catalysts: the oxidation catalyst and the reduction catalyst. The oxidation catalyst is often made up of platinum and palladium, and is responsible for converting carbon monoxide and other hydrocarbons in the exhaust into less harmful substances like carbon dioxide and water. The reduction catalyst, on the other hand, is made up of platinum and rhodium and is responsible for converting nitrogen oxide into pure nitrogen and oxygen gases.
Every Cadillac vehicle that goes off the assembly line is equipped with a high quality Cadillac catalytic converter that can efficiently convert your vehicle's harmful exhaust into harmless substance. However, Cadillac catalytic converters are not immune to damages. If your Cadillac's "cats" gets damaged or clogged for any reason, it is important that you replace it with a new one or have it repaired or restored. A defective catalytic converter can lower your vehicle's gas mileage, make it an environment hazard, and makes it illegal in various American states.
Cadillac Catalytic Converter Buyer’s Guide
- Damage from constant exposure to extreme heat and various contaminants, damage due to corrosion, and general wear and tear can result in a bad catalytic converter.
- When the catalytic converter fails: you might fail your emissions test, your vehicle’s fuel efficiency might decrease, and your vehicle’s performance may suffer.
- Aftermarket catalytic converters can either be a direct-fit replacement designed to perform similarly to the original part or they can be designed as a performance upgrade.
- The cost of a replacement catalytic converter for your Cadillac can start at $50 for a basic replacement part and go up to over $2500 for a performance aftermarket upgrade.
As one of the oldest car brands in the world, General Motors-owned Cadillac unsurprisingly pioneered or adopted for the US market some of the best automotive technologies and inventions. Upholding its reputation for innovation, Cadillac was one of the first brands to truly embrace the introduction of catalytic converters.
What Happens When the Catalytic Converter Fails?
The Cadillac catalytic converter is designed to be as well-crafted and dependable as the rest of your vehicle, but they are not completely impervious to failure. Damage from constant exposure to extreme heat and various contaminants, damage due to corrosion, and general wear and tear can result in a bad catalytic converter.
The main purpose of the catalytic converter is to convert harmful pollutants, such as carbon monoxide (CO), hydrocarbon (HC), and nitrogen oxide (NOx), in your exhaust fumes to less harmful gases such as oxygen, water, and carbon dioxide. When the catalytic converter fails, your vehicle will release these harmful exhaust gases into the atmosphere without being converted. This means that a bad catalytic converter could cause you to fail your emissions test.
Aside from legal issues, a failing catalytic converter also has an impact on your vehicle’s fuel efficiency. Bad fuel efficiency means less mileage from your fuel and poorer vehicle performance. Because of all these issues, it’s important to replace a bad catalytic converter as soon as possible.
Choosing a Catalytic Converter Replacement
When choosing a replacement catalytic converter, one of the first decisions you need to make is whether you’re going with an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) part or an aftermarket replacement. OEM catalytic converters perform the same way as the original part because they are made by Cadillac parts manufacturers themselves. Aftermarket catalytic converters, on the other hand, can either be designed to perform similarly to the original part or they can be designed as a performance upgrade. Both are equally good options.
If you decide to go with an aftermarket catalytic converter, it’s important to check the materials it’s made of and to check if it’s the right fit. For instance, if you need a 2005 Cadillac CTS catalytic converter, you need to double check the part number or ensure that the part is listed as compatible for your particular vehicle. The housing of performance catalytic converters are typically made with stainless steel, unlike the cast iron typically used for stock catalytic converters. This makes them more resistant to corrosion and heat damage. As for the catalyst used, OEM, aftermarket direct-fit replacement, and performance catalytic converters all use precious metals such as platinum, palladium and rhodium.
Another important thing to check when shopping for a replacement catalytic converter is to check where it’s legal based on emissions laws. Catalytic converters can be classified as 47-state legal to 50-state legal. Make sure that the one you get is right for your particular purpose and location.
Average Catalytic Converter Price
The cost of a replacement catalytic converter for your Cadillac can start at $50 for a basic replacement part and go up to over $2500 for a performance aftermarket upgrade.
Closer Look at Cadillac Catalytic Converter
The Cadillac catalytic converter is an important exhaust component, helping to reduce the level of dangerous chemicals released into the air with the vehicle exhaust. There are many chemicals produced as byproducts of engine combustion, some harmful to humans and the environment. With the numerous vehicles that travel the crowded highways and roads these days, the air would be choked with hazardous pollution were it not for the function of the Cadillac catalytic converter. Among the poisonous chemicals emitted by the engine are hydrocarbons, which are produced by the evaporation of unburned fuel and contribute to the smog that has become a large problem in many heavily populated areas. Carbon monoxide is produced by the process of engine combustion and is very poisonous to humans, carrying no odor or color to warn of its presence. Another chemical that creates environmental issues as it is emitted into our air by the engine is nitrogen oxide, which is a contributor to the problem of acid rain, and an irritant to the mucus membranes. The Cadillac catalytic converter helps to keep these chemicals to a minimum in the exhaust of the vehicle, sifting out a great portion of them as the fumes pass through. This is done with a ceramic structure within the Cadillac catalytic converter, made with a honeycomb design and coated with a catalyst metal. The catalyst creates a chemical reaction with the toxic molecules causing them to become trapped or burn, never to reach the outside air. We carry a selection of quality Cadillac catalytic converter replacements in our online catalog, all at very reasonable prices. Ordering your Cadillac catalytic converter will be safe and easy on our secure site or you can place your order via our toll-free phone line.