What goes into a motor must come out, and the catalytic converter of a vehicle is a key component in reducing the carbon
emissions that are a consequence of running any internal combustion engine. When an engine burns gas, it emits exhaust
fumes. Catalytic converters run at extremely high temperatures, where they capture some of the worst emissions and
actually incinerate them before they leave the tailpipe.
Until the 1970s, the automotive exhaust system ran directly from the combustion chambers, through either the
exhaust manifold or headers, through a mufflerand then out the tailpipe. If you're an older car enthusiast, you might
even recall running engines with open headers not connected to exhaust pipes and mufflers. In those days of cheap
gasoline, this configuration provided extra power at the expense of being really, really loud and very effective
at polluting the environment.
In today 's exhaust systems, catalytic converters work in conjunction with oxygen sensors and a chain of other
emission control sensors. These devices monitor the oxygen content of emissions and send their feedback to the
engine computer, which adjusts fuel metering accordingly, with the converter then eliminating more emissions
farther down the exhaust stream.
When shopping for a car catalytic converter for your vehicle, you'll have to choose from either direct fit catalytic
converters or universal models. The former is an exact factory-equipment match for your vehicle, while the latter
can be used on many different types of cars. Direct fit catalytic converters are generally easier to install,
but they are not available for every type of automobile.
If high engine performance is your thing, ensuring that your catalytic converter is functioning like it did when
it was new can result in improved horsepower. Replacing an exhausted (pun intended) converter with a new one
can result in five or more extra HP, just by loosening a restrictive exhaust.
These essential car exhaust parts are typically very durable, but they do fail. If you 're in the market for a
Auto offers thousands of catalytic converters for sale from such manufacturers as MagnaFlow,
Walker, Bosal and others.