A catalytic converter is one of the most “important” components in your car. It is important because it is directly connected to your engine, and of course, anything connected directly to the engine should be carefully taken care of so that your car would keep running smoothly.
But, just like every other component that makes up a car, the cat converter can go bad, get clogged, or even be physically damaged. This happens based on quite different factors, which include bad driving style, collisions, leaks, or another faulty component that isn’t fixed.
But can a clogged catalytic converter cause rough idle? Simply, yes, a clogged catalytic converter would cause rough idle, which means that your engine will often hesitate when you turn on the car.
This article explains how a bad converter could cause engine rough idling.
What is Rough Idling?
“Idling” simply refers to running an engine while the car is not in motion. For example, some people wake up in the morning and idle their car for some minutes in a bid to get the engine ready for the day’s drive.
When an engine is idling smooth, you’d know that through the RPM readings, which should fall between 600 – 1,000. Also, your engine “idles” when you get stuck in traffic or any place that made you stop your car whilst the engine is still running.
Okay, now that’s what “idling” means, so, what is “Rough Idling?” In simple terms, rough idling is when your car seems to shake, make silly noises, or showing incorrect RPM readings while it idles. There are pretty several reasons why your car idles roughly, and that includes a bad catalytic converter.
Can a Clogged Catalytic Converter Cause Rough Idle?
Truth be told, a clogged or bad catalytic converter triggers various signs, which included engine hesitation when started, rough idling, and in worse cases, it makes the engine not to start at all. Yes, cat converters can cause all of that because they connect to the engine directly.
A catalytic converter is designed to “convert” wasteful emissions from the combustion chamber into steamy exhaust fumes that are removed through the exhaust system’s tailpipe.
However, when there is a leak in the engine, the “Cat” converter’s honeycomb meshes can get clogged; thus, preventing the converter from carrying out its functions as efficiently as supposed.
More so, the emissions from the combustion chamber must be removed through to exhaust because they are “harmful.” Even as they are released through the exhaust pipe – after going through several processes – the emissions still pollute the environment.
Therefore, if the converter gets clogged, and the emissions can’t pass through the clog, most likely, the “harmful” carbon wastes would bounce back into the engine.
When this happens, the engine’s internal components would be clouded with soot, and that’s when you start noticing a drop in your car’s performance.
This drop in performance can come along with increased fuel usage, engine misfiring, rough idling, rattling noise from the exhaust side, burnt smell, engine overheating, and the list continues.
Of course, all of these that have been mentioned shouldn’t be happening because they put your engine at great risk.
If a clogged catalytic converter is not fixed on time, over time, as the symptoms persist, it could prevent your car from starting up, because there may be so much carbon deposit (soot) inside the engine, and this would cost you more to fix thing back.
What Should You Do?
It’s apparent, unclog the converter and put new oil into your engine to clean it up. Well, the part of “unclogging” a catalytic converter can be a difficult task, so you should have a professional mechanic do that for you.
Also, if you go for an emissions test while your converter is not in good shape, your car won’t pass the test. Yes, this is because the converter is the main component that handles the emissions process in every vehicle. The catalytic converter is quite an important component you need to be attentive to.