Preparations You Should Make Before Using a Catalytic Converter Cleaner

Cleaning your car’s catalytic converter using a catalytic converter cleaner is not a messy process as many people imagine.

As long as your car still runs by burning fossil fuels, it will produce pollutants like carbon dioxide, nitric oxide, and carbon monoxide gases.

CO2 is a greenhouse gas that is mainly responsible for global warming since it absorbs heat from the sun and traps it in the atmosphere. Carbon monoxide, on the other hand,  is lethal to humans when present in high levels. This makes the later more damaging to both humans and the environment immediately it leaves the tailpipe of your car.

Catalytic converters are devices that are fit onto the car’s exhaust system. They convert harmful emissions like CO and NO into to CO2 and nitrogen respectively.

When your car fails an emission test, it means that it is not emissions compliant. This is something that your OBD-II should be able to indicate. This happens because the catalytic converter is either degraded or it is dirty from carbon buildup that accumulates over time.

In order to improve the efficiency and durability of your catalytic converter, it is necessary that you clean between 2 to 4 times a year depending on the size of your car. This involves the use of a catalytic converter cleaner.

A catalytic converter cleaner is a chemical that strips away carbon that accumulates on the surface of the catalyst. The use of this cleaner is simple, but you need to start by making proper preparations as follows:

Find out the cause of your high emission levels

In order to extend the lifespan of your catalytic converter, it is important to clean it regularly. Clogging of the converter with carbon from the car engine minimize or block the contact between the catalyst and harmful gases for conversion.

Sometimes the cause of high emissions may not be related to the catalytic converter but a poorly maintained engine or bad tuning. However, display of OBD2 error codes like P0420 and P0430 will indicate that the problem is in the catalytic converter which needs to be cleaned or replaced.

Find out the cause of the carbon buildup

High emission level is usually caused by excessive carbon build up. Carbon build up is a process that you cannot prevent. But you can slow it by driving within the revolution limit that gives the best MPG fuel economy. Also, make sure that your tire pressure is at the right level.

The buildup is accelerated when the air-fuel ratio is less than the optimum in a situation commonly known as a ‘fuel rich’ situation.

This simply means that your car engine is not burning all the fuel as expected. For this reason, it is necessary to check the condition of your spark plugs. Replace them if necessary before you proceed to clean your catalytic converter.

Buy a good quality catalytic converter cleaner

When your emission problem stems from a clogged catalytic converter, you need to find the best cleaner to restore it. With a huge number of cleaners in the market, you will need to go through their features and reviews to settle on the right one.

The most important feature to look out for is the ability to greatly reduce CO and NO emissions as well as remove accumulated carbon and dirt from the converter and engine.

A good catalytic converter cleaner should work on all vehicles whether diesel, gasoline or hybrid. While no miracle cleaner is best in everything, you may need to try out a few products. Find the best one with time.

Prepare to clean your catalytic converter

After confirming that your converter needs cleaning and have found a good quality cleaner, it is time to prepare for the actual cleaning.

The first preparation at this stage is to ensure that your gas tank is almost empty. The next step is to pour the cleaner into the gas tank in order to blend with the remaining fuel. After this, you need to drive your car normally for at least 50 miles nonstop before filling the tank full.

It is important to ensure that the levels of dangerous emissions that your car produces are always at the minimum. Not only for compliance purpose but also to protect the health of people and the environment.

Catalytic converter cleaners do work, and it gets even better when you use a good quality brand. Clean your converter regularly and always ensure that your car is in good condition.

Jim Thompson