Can a bad catalytic converter cause a car to overheat? What causes a converter to become red hot?

An overheated catalytic converter is often the result of excess hydrocarbon (HC) in the exhaust stream. This will occur if raw fuel is introduced directly into the converter, usually as a result of a problem with the fuel system or the vehicle’s ignition. Improper ignition timing, fouled spark plugs and/or air pump failure are the usual causes. This is why your catalytic converter becomes red hot. The normal average temperature of a catalytic converter is between 650 and 900 degrees celsius.

 

catalytic converter overheated