For some decades of years now, the problem of environmental pollution is continuously growing and becoming more harmful and destructive especially our problem of air pollution and that, automobiles contribute the biggest percentage of this problem. Due to the growing number of automobiles in almost all part of the world, harmful emissions are also growing hand and hand with it. That is why the need of finding new technologies on how these problems will be addressed requires some urgency.
Usual chemicals emitted by the automobiles during the combustion process and gasoline vaporization are the hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and oxides of nitrogen which are very harmful once they mix up with the atmosphere. Several laws, rules and regulations such as clean air act of 1977 were already passed to deal with this worsening crisis. On the manufacturer's part, coming up with several control devices and the creation of a self adjusting engine are their answers to the call for the said air pollution problem.
Among the popular emission control devices installed on the automobiles are the EGR valve, air pump, PCV valve, charcoal canister and the catalytic converter. Catalytic converters such as the Volkswagen catalytic converter is a device responsible for providing an environment for a chemical reaction where unburned chemicals takes its final combustion using platinum and rhodium as catalysts. Automotive emissions are controlled in three ways and these are: to promote more complete combustion to lessen by-products, to reintroduce excessive hydrocarbons back into the engine for combustion, and to provide an additional area for oxidation or combustion to occur, and all of these recognized by the catalytic converters.
Catalytic converters looks like mufflers, and are located in the exhaust system just ahead of the latter. Inside the converters are pellets or a honeycomb made of platinum or palladium which is used as catalysts that speed up chemical process. When the chemicals mix up with the catalysts, harmful substances are turned into less harmful ones. This process makes the exhaust dirty and the dirtier it gets, the hotter it gets thus making the exhaust susceptible to self-destruction.
DIY Volkswagen Catalytic Converter Repair
Catalytic converters are vital components of vehicles as they help cut back air pollution, which is normally a problem in the metro. If cars are not equipped with these parts, then congested areas would likely have zero visibility due to smog and the Earth's ozone layer would totally be depleted. Apart from filtering out harmful emissions, the catalytic converter likewise quiets down your car. Over time, your catalytic converter could have some issues with rattling sounds, clogging, or rotten smell. Since you cannot afford to leave these issues unattended, below are steps to help you fix your Volkswagen catalytic converter.
Difficulty level: Difficult
Things you'll need:
- Jack stand or hydraulic lift
- Socket wrench or ratchet set
- Breaker bar
- Spare bolts
- Spare lock washers
- Mechanic's gloves
Step 1: Repairing your Volkswagen catalytic converter is no piece of cake. It requires physical strength as well as knowledge on your part. DIY repair of catalytic converter is best done with a partner. This is so because you will need to make sure your car is parked on levelled ground or you risk yourself getting injured. Then, little by little, jack your car up on all fours and have them rest on jack stands. If you have a durable hydraulic lift and you know how to operate such equipment, then it can be used to lift your car off the ground for easy viewing and repairing.
Step 2: Let the exhaust cool down. As a rule, give the vehicle at least 30 minutes or so to cool down, or you could suffer from painful burns. You may test its temperature by putting on your mechanic's gloves and running the back of your hand gently along the exhaust tubes.
Step 3: As soon as it is safe to begin work, slide under the vehicle to look for the tubes of the exhaust system. The catalytic converter is easy to spot since it is the cylindrical box right in the middle of the exhaust system. As soon as you have located it, you need to check whether it is bolted or welded along with the rest of the components of the exhaust system. It would be fairly easy to remove the part if it is bolted. Given the catalytic converter is bolted, apply a lubricant to the bolts and leave them on for a couple of minutes before loosening them up. If the part is welded, you may need to physically cut it out from the pipes using your sawzall. Again, you need an assistant so that the catalytic converter would be supported while you work on removing it.
Step 4: Remove the oxygen sensor using a socket wrench or ratchet wrench. Make sure you place it far from the work area to ensure it does not get damaged.
Step 5: Upon successful removal of the catalytic converter, check for holes on the surface or particles that may have caused clogging from the inside. Small holes can still be patched up with special kits that you could buy from the local auto supplies shop. You may also want to try the so-called mallet test wherein you hit the catalytic converter with a hammer and if you hear a rattling sound, then that could indicate that the metallic catalyst has started to corrode. This is a serious problem which means you need to secure a brand new Volkswagen catalytic converter as replacement.
Know that these DIY steps are meant as short-term solution only. Should you find signs that you need to replace your Volkswagen catalytic converter, don't hesitate to bring your vehicle to the nearest auto repair shop.