Catalytic converters play an important role in reducing automotive emissions. They are typically found between the engine and the exhaust. As emissions leave the engine, they'll pass through the catalytic converter. The purpose of the catalytic converter is to filter the harmful emissions so that they aren't released into the atmosphere. Catalytic converters can become damaged, however. To protect your vehicle's catalytic converter from damage, consider the following tips.
#1) Look for the CEL
If you notice the Check Engine Light (CEL) illuminated on your vehicle's dashboard, you should investigate it. There are instances in which an illuminated CEL can damage the catalytic converter. If your vehicle is running rich, for instance, the engine will burn an excessive amount of fuel. Some of this excess fuel may travel through the catalytic converter where it causes damage.
#2) Perform a Visual Inspection
It's a good idea to perform a visual inspection of your vehicle's catalytic converter once every few weeks. Depending on the type of vehicle you drive, you should be able to find it either inside the engine bay or below the undercarriage. When inspecting the catalytic converter, make sure it's secured to the exhaust system and not loose, punctured or otherwise damaged.
#3) Wash Your Vehicle Every 2 Weeks
In addition to performing a visual inspection of the catalytic converter, you should try to get into the habit of washing your vehicle at least once every two weeks. Catalytic converters typically consist of a metal housing unit that contains a honeycomb-like filtering system. The metal housing unit, of course, can rust. If you rarely or never wash your vehicle, the catalytic converter may rust. As rust eats through the catalytic converter, it will no longer be able to filter harmful emissions.
#4) Watch Where You Drive
Driving over potholes, speed bumps and other irregular surfaces could damage your vehicle's catalytic converter. Most catalytic converters are found below the undercarriage. And like engine oil pans, they are susceptible to driving-related damage. To protect your vehicle's catalytic converter, try to avoid driving over irregular surfaces. Instead, stick to flat and paved surfaces.
#5) Get It Welded
You may want to get the catalytic converter welded onto your vehicle. Most catalytic converters are secured with fasteners. The problem with fasteners is that they offer little or no protection against theft. There are thieves who specifically target catalytic converters because they contain precious and valuable metals. By getting the catalytic converter welded onto your vehicle, you don't have to worry about it being stolen.