With the whole fuss about catalytic converters, one may start to imagine if a car can actually run without one. Well, catalytic converters (often shortened as “CAT”) are really an important component of the exhaust system in modern cars.
It plays an important role in keeping the environment healthy for everyone.
Virtually all cars on the roads today feature a CAT; that’s to prove the importance of this component. But, can a car run without a catalytic converter?
Yes, a car can drive without a CAT, but it is not advisable due to a number of reasons. You could also get fined for driving without a catalytic converter.
Functions Of Catalytic Converters
Every car has just one CAT, and it is attached to the exhaust system. However, the catalytic converter also runs into the engine cylinders.
The basic function of catalytic converters is to collect harmful, combusted emissions from the engine and turn them into less-harmful exhaust gases removed from the exhaust tailpipe.
Without catalytic converters, the waste carbon gases from the engine will be released directly into the atmosphere, and that’s very harmful to humans and every other living thing that exists. Those carbon gases can trigger severe health crises and other issues too.
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But, when a catalytic converter is present, it mitigates the harmfulness of those gases and carbon wastes coming from the combustion chamber. The CAT performs this function with the help of the several honeycomb meshes it conceals inside.
However, the CAT can fail or get clogged, over time. When this happens, it is important that you fix the converter or replace it as soon as possible.
It is important that you repair a faulty catalytic converter quickly because its failure can affect engine performance, and in worse cases, wreck the engine totally.
Notwithstanding, some drivers may consider removing the converter when it starts giving them issues. Well, removing the CAT may seem the best decision for you, but it is never an advisable act.
Can a Car Run Without a Catalytic Converter?
Put simply, yes, you can drive without a CAT. But that means there’s be nothing to convert the harmful carbon wastes from your engine into less-harmful deposits.
While a car can start and drive without the CAT being present, for the sake of environmental safety and healthiness, removing a CAT is punishable.
If you drive a car without a catalytic converter and get caught up by the corps, you would be heavily fined depending on the city or region you’re driving through.
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Also, a car without a catalytic converter would make a loud, disturbing noise, which would draw the attention of your neighbors.
So, in simple terms, it is possible to drive your car without a catalytic converter, but you should be ready to face the consequences when you get caught up.
What Happens When You Drive Without a Catalytic Converter?
The following signs will tell that you’re driving without a catalytic converter, or the CAT is still there but it’s bad already.
- Thick dark exhaust fumes
- Loud, uncomfortable noise from the exhaust side
- Check engine light illuminates
- Your engine would often misfire and you may also experience rough idling
You can drive without a CAT attached to your exhaust system. Some drivers even remove the catalytic converter when they want to modify their vehicle for better performance. However, regardless of your reasons, it is not advisable to remove the CAT.
If yours is bad and beyond repair, you should consider getting a new one. A good and functional catalytic converter contributes to improving your engine’s performance and also helps for fuel-efficiency.
Getting a new CAT may be costly, but it’s worth doing if your old one is badly damaged.
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