As the proud owner of a Honda Accord, you regularly get behind the wheel of one of the most popular car models in the world. While this vehicle is known for its quality, durability, and reliability, you will eventually reach a time when components start to wear out. The catalytic converter is an important part of any car’s emissions system, which is why it’s important to make sure it’s always in good working order. If this automotive component starts to fail, you can either take it to a mechanic for service or repair it yourself using Duralast tools. Here are some of the symptoms you should look for if you suspect failure.
How Catalytic Converters Work
Before learning about the symptoms of catalytic converter failure, you should first know how this component works. When your car burns gasoline, it produces exhaust, which contains three harmful substances:
- Hydrocarbons from unspent fuel
- Carbon monoxide, a poisonous gas
- Nitrogen oxides, which help create acid rain and smog
As your exhaust moves through the honeycomb or beads of your catalytic converter, it comes into contact with a catalyst made of palladium or platinum. The chemical reactions that occur break each harmful substance down into less-damaging compounds.
Loss of Performance
One of the biggest symptoms of a failing catalytic converter is a drastic decrease in performance. Your car needs its exhaust system to properly “exhale,” and a clogged or failing component could prevent that from happening. If you notice sluggish acceleration when going uphill or stalling while driving, it may be time to use a VIN decoder to look up the appropriate replacement parts.
Increased Emissions and Hot Temperatures
Even the best Honda Accord catalytic converters will eventually wear out, and when they lose their effectiveness, your emissions will provide the proof. As this component loses its effectiveness, its ability to break down harmful substances diminishes significantly. The temperature of your exhaust may also increase, which could lead to additional damage to other parts of your engine. When you take your vehicle in for its next smog test, a report detailing additional hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides should identify your catalytic converter as the culprit.
Check Engine Light Illuminates
This indicator on your instrument panel can illuminate to warn you of problems ranging from mundane to severe. You can try tightening your gas cap to see if it switches off on its own, but most problems require intervention by a professional technician. Once this warning lights up, take it to your local auto parts store or mechanic to have a professional read the computer code and tell you what needs attention.
Replace Your Catalytic Converter Today
Now you know some of the symptoms of a failing catalytic converter, the most common solution is the replacement of this component. While it’s possible to drive indefinitely with a failed converter, you’ll only cause more damage to your engine and emission system. No matter if you have a professional mechanic perform the repair or you plan to do it yourself, make sure you purchase the right parts for your car from a reputable supplier.