The catalytic converter may be one of the most important vehicle components to have been invented since the diesel-powered engine. Fuel-powered engines have been proven to have harmful effects on the environment since they were invented because of the dangerous amounts of pollutant byproducts that they released into the environment in the course of driving. These pollutants caused so much pollution that vehicle manufacturers decided to design a way to keep the fuel engines on the road while also protecting the environment. This demanded the birth of the catalytic converter.
Today, all vehicle manufacturers are required to take strict measures to ensure that the vehicles that they produce leave a very light carbon footprint on the environment. In compliance, Audi manufacturers incorporated these devices into their vehicles to eagerly participate in a world going “green” to protect the future of our climate and environment.
What is a catalytic converter?
The catalytic converter is a device that is responsible for ensuring that little to no toxic exhaust products are released into the environment as the engine runs. It does this through an oxidation-reduction process that converts the harmful gases in the internal combustion chamber into less harmful gases for release into the environment.
The catalytic converter oxidizes carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons by combining them with oxygen to produce less harmful carbon dioxide and water. The reduction bit of this reaction involves reducing the nitrogen oxides into inert nitrogen gas. This redox is normally facilitated by extremely-high temperatures that can only be achieved by a running engine. This explains the location of the catalytic converter, near the engine of the car.
Causes of Catalytic Converter Issues
The catalytic converter is not immune to developing issues. Some of the common causes of catalytic converter problems include:
This can be as a result of different substances; for instance, coolant leaks from a blown gasket of dust, or road debris that may find its way into the converter, or even fuel when the engine is running too rich. This blockage will definitely cause the catalytic converter to fail over time.
Fuel in the catalytic converter
When unburned fuel finds its way into the catalytic converter, there will likely be combustion due to the extreme temperature in the engine as it burns. This burning fuel in the catalytic converter occurs mostly when the engine is running too rich and can cause structural damage to the catalytic converter. This is because the honeycomb in the converter can melt and cause blockage thus preventing the converter from functioning.
Lack of engine tune up
If the engine in your Audi has not been tuned in a long time, it is likely to start to run outside the manufacturer recommended requirements. This will lead to faults in the sensors that will in turn affect the air to fuel ratio, faults in the spark plugs as well as improper timing; all of which will affect the functionality of the catalytic converter.
Effects of Catalytic Converter Issues
When the catalytic converter in your Audi is faulty you will notice the following symptoms:
- Poor fuel efficiency as a result of unburned fuel finding its way into the catalytic converter and burning there when the engine is running too rich. You will notice that you need more fuel to cover the same distances that you’d previously cover using less fuel.
- Your car will start to lose power because of the clogged catalytic converter. This means that accelerating may not be possible, or worse, the car may not start completely.
- The check engine light comes on to signal the engine is running out of specifications.
- The vehicle will probably fail an emissions test.
How We Can Help
The only solid solution to catalytic converter issues in the Audi is to replace the faulty device as soon as possible, before the vehicle stalls completely or further damage befalls the engine. While the replacement of the device may be labor intensive, getting it done once and for all will save you loads of money, down time, and frustrations with the law down the road.
Getting your car into a reputable auto repair shop will ensure that your car gets proper service from knowledgeable technicians. Bavarian Auto is one such shop offering quality servicing and repairs to foreign models such as Audi. Call us today to schedule an appointment if you are in Ootelwah, Hixson, or Chattanooga, TN. We will be happy to assist and repair your vehicle to get you back on the road quickly.