How Long Do Catalytic Converters Last?

Trying to figure out how long catalytic converters last, or whether or not it's time for you to get a new one? Then read on to find out more!

How Do I Know if My Catalytic Converter Needs to Be Replaced?

First off, one of the main things you should know about the longevity of the best catalytic converters is when they need to be replaced! A good quality converter can last about ten years or more. It all depends on how you take care of it. However, when it starts to breakdown, it's good to know the signs!

Here are a few ways you will know whether or not you need a new catalytic converter: 

  • Your engine is running slowly, as well as feels sluggish
  • Acceleration is poor
  • Exhaust smoke is dark in color
  • You've got a bad smell coming from your exhaust.
  • The undercarriage of your car is too hot
  • Rattling noise is persistent

If any, or all of these signs show up, then it may be time to get rid of your old cat converter! Finding out more about your converter is essential to knowing whether or not it should be replaced!

How Do Catalytic Converters Go Bad?

All in all, there are a lot of causes for a catalytic converter to go bad. It could be because you've used the wrong fuel, or perhaps a bad spark plug. Not to mention a malfunctioning sensor, as well as a bad fuel injector. All of these reasons could cause fuel to get into the exhaust system and create harm the catalytic converter. 

The three top reasons your converter will fail are unburned fuel entering the exhaust system, oil consumption, as well as coolant leaks. 

Will the Check Engine Light Come On for a Bad Catalytic Converter?

Yes! If your sensors pick up any sort of malfunction with your catalytic converter then it will illuminate the check engine light in your vehicle. Be certain your computer system is up to date, as well as functioning properly. 

underneath how long catalytic converters last


What Does a Catalytic Converter Sound Like When it Goes Bad?

When it comes to knowing how long a catalytic converter lasts, knowing the sounds it makes when it is failing will help. Generally, a rattling noise is a good indicator that your converter has gone bad. Whether you've only had it a few years and use a cleaner, or it's been on for ten years, a rattling noise means you have an issues!

How Long Can I Drive with a Bad Catalytic Converter?

Overall, if your catalytic converter is only partially blocked, then you can drive with it indefinitely. However, if it is fully blocked, you may not be able to drive your car at all! Even with a partially blocked converter you will definitely see performance issues with your car. 

What is the Average Cost to Replace a Catalytic Converter?

All things considered, having to replace your catalytic converter can mean a big dent in your savings. The average cost of replacing a catalytic converter is between $900 and $2500! Because converters can last up to a decade with proper care, and taking the right steps before using cleaners, you won't have to spend all that money if your car is newer. 

What Happens if I Don't Replace My Catalytic Converter?

All in all, you can possibly cause your cat converter to become completely clogged over time. The materials inside of the catalytic converter breakdown and cause it to close up all the way! This means you will not be able to drive your car, as well as having to have the converter replaced.

Can a Bad Catalytic Converter Damage My Engine?

A bad catalytic converter CAN damage your engine. Altogether, it could cause back-pressure and harm the engine. Not to mention a bad cat converter can also cause performance issues, fuel efficiency loss, as well as other parts needing to be fixed. Try to avoid things that will lead to yours going bad, and you'll learn how long catalytic converters last because yours will be in such great shape!

Knowing More About How Long Catalytic Converters Last and Much More!

Now that you know how long catalytic converters last, as well as all of the signs to let you know when it needs to be replaced, your car is in good hands! All things considered, knowing what the consequences are of not replacing your converter, and how much it will cost can save you a lot of stress. Taking care of your car, one part at a time, means knowing when all the parts need to GO! 

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Hanna Embry

As a freelance writer, I have been creating content and writing blogs for over a decade. Not only do I love writing about cars, but I also have experience in many other fields. I have been a guest writer on many popular blogs, as well as ghostwritten novels. When I’m not writing, you can find me with my family, reading a book, or working on an art project.