The catalytic converter is an emissions control device that prevents air pollution. It was created in response to regulation introduced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 1975.

Continue reading to discover why the catalytic converter is a helpful car part that deserves your attention. I’ll also share some cost-saving tips that could help you prevent an expensive ($1,000 or more) catalytic converter repair.

Catalytic Converters Prevent Air Pollution

Exhaust systems release poisonous gases like carbon monoxide. In excess, these substances would damage the environment. Catalytic converters change those emissions into less harmful substances such as carbon dioxide, nitrogen, oxygen, and water.

Catalytic converters aren’t smart enough to do their job without feedback. They receive input from oxygen sensors in real time so they can eliminate pollutants as efficiently as they can. Here’s a fun and easy way to look at this concept. If the catalytic converter is peanut butter, the oxygen sensor is jelly.

Oxygen sensors constantly monitor the amount of air and fuel in your engine. The results are passed along to your vehicle’s power-train control module, which determines how much fuel should be sent to your engine. It takes a different combination of air and fuel to break down each pollutant, so your air/fuel mixture fluctuates based on the information gathered by oxygen sensors.

Catalytic Converters Cost an Awful Lot of Money

As you can see, this is a complex process! A lot of communication happens under your hood. Now let’s save you some money. It’s not cheap to replace a catalytic converter (expect to pay $500 in labor alone). Catalytic converters don’t die without cause. They are killed. Often, by a common culprit – oxygen sensors.

Considering how much the catalytic converter relies on the oxygen sensor, this should come as no surprise. It is smart to begin any auto investigation by looking at the most likely cause! If your red “check engine” light comes on, that’s the first sign of a problem. Ask a trusted mechanic to examine your oxygen sensor for potential problems.

Find a good mechanic as soon as possible. The longer you delay, the more likely you will get stuck with an expensive repair. Trust me. I’ve had to deliver bad news to a lot of drivers who didn’t take action in time. It’s never fun to tell somebody their negligence caused a $100 problem to turn into a $1,000 problem.  Please share this post with your friends so they can prevent an awfully expensive catalytic converter repair like you.

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