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    Catalytic Converter

    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 replacement, Advance
    Auto offers thousands of catalytic converters for sale from such manufacturers as MagnaFlow, Walker, Bosal and others.

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    Catalytic Converter

    While catalytic converters will often last the life of a vehicle, they occasionally will fail. The best thing you can do is be alert for signs of trouble, such as: reduced fuel efficiency, lack of acceleration when you step on the gas pedal, difficulty starting, emissions test failure, or the dreaded "Check Engine" light.