How To Fix Catalytic Converter Without Replacing It?

How to fix catalytic converter without replacing it is an easy process; once you have identified what exactly is wrong with it, you can bring it back to its normal health and performance. This component is installed on the combustion engine in a vehicle, and it helps to minimize the toxic fumes produced by the car to improve the environment.

How To Fix Catalytic Converter Without Replacing

That being said, a damaged converter can cause significant problems for your vehicle’s performance and disrupt the environment, so fixing it as soon as possible is ideal. If you think a damaged converter is useless, we are here to show you that you can fix it up and get back your car’s performance in no time by following the proper instructions!

How Can You Fix a Catalytic Converter Without Replacing It?

You can fix a catalytic converter without replacing it using the Italian Tune Up technique. You can also fix it independently or go to a professional mechanic. You may also use cleaning additives to try and fix the converter at home.

If these methods don’t work, it would be best to bring your car to a professional mechanic. They will know what to do with your vehicle and will be able to fix it without causing more harm.

– The Italian Tune Up

To fix a clogged catalytic converter, this method could be suitable. If your catalytic converter is causing problems, this method will save up a lot of your money if you try it before taking the converter to any mechanic. Usually, the dust fills up in the converters of the car when you drive your car in cities with slow traffic. This is when the catalytic converter does not get into a full operating system and is not warm enough.

Then, the dust particles stick up together and get troublesome later on. It is best to use Italian Tune Up to prevent this from happening. To start, you must run your car on a high RPM for a few minutes. Make sure you are driving on a highway for this.

When you drive it at a high RPM, the rising temperature will burn the dirt stuck in the converter. The best speed you could keep it to is around 800 to 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit. Now, you have to run your car up and down the gears. Doing it at least five to six times is also enough.

You should also remember to get as near as you can to the red line of the RPM. Remember to drive safely on the highway to avoid getting injured or get a red ticket. Usually, after trying this out, all the dirt in the converters is usually cleaned up. However, there is no guarantee that this method will surely work out, and it will not work out if your catalytic converters are damaged too much.

– Catalytic Converter Cleaning Additives

When it comes to cleaning your catalytic converter thoroughly, one of the things you can make use of is cleaning additives. There are many of these products available in the market, and you should consider getting these after ensuring the brand’s reliability. You can also check the products online to understand other users’ reviews.

Catalytic Converter Cleaning Additives

Generally, these additives are relatively inexpensive. They should be available easily at a nearby gas station, and you can use them to help unclog your converter for good. To begin, you will need first to get your hands on a reliable additive and then pour a generous amount into your vehicle’s fuel tank.

Once you have done this, you can take the car for a short drive on the highway. All the while, you must ensure that the RPM is maintained at 3000 and above. After driving for around roughly 15 to 20 minutes, you can stop. By driving, you will allow the converter to burn clogged debris by gaining the heat it needs.

Compared to the Italian Tune-up method we discussed earlier, the two are similar, except for a bit of addition this time. However, it should be swift at supplying you with the results you need as long as your converter is still in a condition to be rejuvenated.

– Cleaning It Yourself

You must start lifting your car high in the air to clean your catalytic converter. It is important to jack up your car so that you can work easily. However, if you do not have a lift, using a vehicle inspection pit is also suitable to provide ease. If you have all of these items, finishing the work would be manageable.

Using one of these items will allow you to clean up your car’s catalytic converter much more comfortably and perfectly. If you do not have both things mentioned, it is best to communicate with any of your friends and get them to help you if they have the needed things. To begin, in the cleaning, you carefully have to remove the bolts while holding up the car.

The bolts keep the exhaust down and could be hard to unbolt. In that case, it is best to heat them before you unbolt them. Now, you have to remove the converter. Then, you must take a pressure washer and turn it on to its fullest level.

The water must be full so that all debris can be removed properly. When you apply the pressure, you have to move it around to get rid of the dirt. This method must be applied to both sides until the converter looks clean enough.

– Going to a Mechanic

If you want to fix your catalytic converter, it is a good solution to take it to a mechanic. To fix a catalytic converter, the right tools and skills need to be used, and if you do not have them, then it is best to try something with others. The right thing to do is to take it somewhere like a mechanic, where the work will be done accurately without causing more damage to your car.

Going to A Mechanic

You must remember that this method can require you to pay more; however, you will have the result you are looking forward to. By doing so, your car will also be driving perfectly fine. It is imperative to remember to keep the catalytic converter clean at all times. To do so, you must drive your car more, especially on the highway.

– Cutting the Catalytic Converters Off

You can also just cut off the catalytic converter of your car. However, one disadvantage to doing this is that you will fail the emissions check if you cut off the catalytic converter. You cannot drive your car without the catalytic converter when you fail it.

It will be even worse if you use an advanced model with a catalytic converter given by the factory. After the inspection, you will get very negative results, which will not work out. Remember not to throw your catalytic converter into the garbage or somewhere in the dump since you might regret it later. If you have your catalytic converter, registering your car will be possible.

You can get a new one, but they would be extremely expensive. Driving a car without a catalytic converter is also very dangerous and could intensely harm the environment.

How Can You Identify When the Catalytic Converter Needs Fixing?

You can identify when the catalytic converter needs fixing by checking the engine’s light, noticing a rotten smell, or hearing squeaking or rattling sounds. Your fuel consumption increasing drastically or continually failing the emissions inspections could also be indicators of this issue.

– Checking the Engine’s Light

If you want to know whether your catalytic converters need fixing or not, it is best to check engine lights. This is quite a common issue with converters. When the catalytic converters are broken, their light will disturb you if you do not go to a mechanic or set it. This light switches on when the O2 sensors are placed before the converters.

Checking Car Engine’s Light

The O2 sensors keep a check on the gasses that go through the exhaust system. By seeing this, they can give an estimate to the ECU on how well your car is running. If the converters are not satisfactory, the readings will also not be alright, and error codes will appear on the screen. The error codes appear on the screen when the sensor readings are not similar to the required parameters that have to be optimal.

Taking your car to any local mechanic would be best. There, your car will get to be diagnosed for all of its problems. You should connect it to any computer to make sure that it gets diagnosed accurately. On the other hand, if you possess a scanning tool, you do not have to go to the mechanic as you can do it on your own. It would also save up a lot of your money.

– A Rotten Stench

The catalytic converter will need to be fixed if you smell a rotten sort of stench from your converter, more specifically a rotten egg smell. You might smell this when accelerating your car’s engine, and if you do, it means that your converter is damaged.

You must be aware that gasoline has a small amount of sulfur. When the combustion occurs, the sulfur automatically changes into sulfur dioxide. Sulfur dioxide does not contain a bad smell; it is simply odorless.

If your converter is broken, you should change it to sulfur dioxide instead of changing the converter. Doing so will allow the sulfur to pass right through, and you will get rid of the rotten smell. It is important to remember that the putrid smell of the egg will only depart slowly.

– Failure in Emissions Inspections

When the converters of your car are either damaged or broken, there is no chance for you to pass the emissions inspection. If you enter an assessment with damaged converters, the readings for your car will not be good. Once the inspector notices this, he will immediately fail your inspection. After getting failed emissions, you must fix your catalytic converters before you bring your car back for inspection.

On the other hand, the readings could also get known all around if not much of the honeycomb is left in the catalytic converter’s box, and you are simply just running your car on straight pipes. When this happens, you will still fail and must replace your catalytic converters to pass the inspection.

– Increased Fuel Consumption

This could happen if you are going too regularly to the gas station. When increased fuel consumption occurs in the broken catalytic converters, it could cause you harm if you travel a long way in your car. When a car’s exhaust is blocked, it makes your car burn more fuel than it needs to burn out.

You are not provided with an accurate exhaust flow, making the engine think the vehicle needs more fuel to fulfill the requirements. All of this is the fault of the bad reading done by the O2 sensors. When this happens, you get unnecessary carbon build ups on the engine heads.

They could also cause the ports of your car to be blocked. First, you must separate the engine from the car to set up all this. After that, you must start cleaning up all the dirt on the engine. While cleaning, you might see different machining works and technical hitches that you want to avoid getting involved with since they will give you a lot of trouble.

– Rattling Noises

One of the signs that your converter is burned is that it will make weird, rattling sounds. The noise that it makes is really loud and disturbing. It is loud enough to wake the people in another house. When the converter gets burnt, it looks like a popcorn machine from the inside and gives off an oily smell.

In that case, getting a new catalytic converter for your car is best. Getting a new converter will be the right thing to do and solve all your problems. If you cannot find a new catalytic converter, you can take one that has been used before. A used converter can be found anywhere, such as in a local mechanical store.

However, it is important to be careful when taking a used converter. If you mistakenly take a catalytic converter just as damaged as your converter, it would be useless, so you must find a good one.

– Smoke Fumes From the Exhaust

Smoke fumes from the exhaust would mean that your converters need fixing. Now, whenever you hear a rattling sound from the converters, you should keep in mind that there is going to be plenty of smoke coming out of your car. The smoke will not come out at once. However, it will when you try to start your car. When you notice this, you can know that the car exhaust system has expired and is no longer doing its job.

Smoke Fumes From Car Exhaust

Once the system expires, it must be replaced so your car can work. On the other hand, if your car begins to smoke badly, it is best to go to a mechanic. You can also go to any local auto shop. You must find a suitable replacement exhaust system for your car there.

Once you get it replaced, your car will work perfectly fine if it is smoking badly, so you know what to do. Go to your local mechanic and find a replacement exhaust system for your vehicle. With this new system, your car will return to factory specs and run as well as new.

Can I Fix a Bad Catalytic Converter Without Replacing It?

Fixing a bad catalytic converter without replacing it is often not possible. The common causes of bad catalytic converter include age, damage from overheating, and contamination from oil or coolant leaks. Immediate replacement is recommended to prevent further damage to your vehicle’s emissions system.


In the above guide, we covered everything you need to know about a damaged or malfunctioning catalytic converter and the measures you would need to take to fix it. By now, you would also know that you don’t need to purchase a new converter just because there are some faults in the current one, and you can

fix it up just right in the ways once again mentioned below:

  • To fix the converter without having to replace it, you can try tinkering with it on your own using cleaning additives or methods such as the Italian Tune Up.
  • On the other hand, you can also go to a mechanic and get professional help if you need more confidence.
  • When it comes to cleaning your catalytic converter thoroughly, one of the things you can make use of is cleaning additives. You can also try cleaning it by yourself, just remember to take the necessary safety precautions.
  • Check engine lights to know if your catalytic converter needs fixing.
  • Other indicators include smelling something rotten from your car components or finding it rattling and squeaking constantly.

There are many tactics you can utilize when you find that this essential part of your car is not working properly, and only require you to get it replaced if there is truly no hope of getting it to work again. We are confident that if you follow the elaborate techniques discussed in the article above, you can return your converter to its original condition without any worries!

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