Bookmark and Share


NINE WAY’S TO KILL A “CAT” Before you accuse me of cruelty to animals I’m talking about catalytic convertors on your vehicle. The catalytic convertor or “cat” is important in keeping our air clean that we breathe. The automobiles of the past put 70% more pollution than the cars of today. Thanks to computers and emission controls we have cleaner air than we had in the 70's. Remember the smog alerts of the 70's in California? Now we have twice as many cars with less pollution of the past. This is due to the unsung praises of the “Cat” convertor. A Catalytic Convertor or “Cat” contains small amounts of Rhodium, Platinum and Palladium. (These metals are called Nobel Metals because they don’t change when different types of chemical molecules come in contact with them) Exhaust gases contain Oxides of Nitrogen or (NOx) that when it comes in contact with the sun produce smog. The purpose of Rhodium in the CAT separates the Oxides of Nitrogen (NOx) into harmless nitrogen and oxygen. The purpose of platinum and palladium is to burn up fuel that may have made its way into the CAT from the engine BEFORE it goes out the taipipe. Listed below are the most common practices that “KILLS CATS”. (1) Removing or disabling the smog pump. This was real popular for the “DIY’S” that thought they were increasing there horsepower by removing the smog pump belt. (2) Fuel additives that contain lead or harmful contaminants. (Including the excessive use of injector cleaners) These additives can coat the metals in the CAT causing it to be poisoned and ineffective. That is why cars today require the use of unleaded fuel. (3) The wrong silicone used in installing valve cover gaskets can contaminate the oxygen sensor which in turn sends the wrong information to the computer possibly killing the Cat. (4) Secondary ignition problem such as worn out plugs and wires will make a CAT work its self to death. Possibly causing the convertor to glow cherry red and may cause the car to catch on fire or the area underneath the car. (5) Excessive fuel pressure from a faulty fuel pressure regulator or fuel pump can kill your CAT. (6) Anti-freeze from blown head gaskets will kill your CAT, making them ineffective adding insult to injury when you get the car back from the repair shop after the repair of the blown head gasket. (7) Running your vehicle out of fuel will superheat the CAT causing it to “Fuse together” restricting your engine performance and shifting quality. 8) Using the wrong type engine oil not designed for your car can kill your CAT causing the dreaded “check engine” light to come on informing you that your cat has died 9) And the number one reason that CATS die is due to the driver ignoring a BLINKING “check engine” light while they are driving. Here is the good news. Your Cat is covered by the manufacturer for 8 years or 80,000 miles. Just like your cars engine computer. So read your owners manual and be kind to your “Cat”

see above


  Return to frequently asked questions



Home :: Show :: Archives :: Links :: Contacts :: Login

Ask The Master Auto Technician © 2009