What are the symptoms of a bad catalytic converter?

What does a bad catalytic converter cause?  What happens when you have a bad catalytic converter?  What are the symptoms of a failing catalytic converter?

The catalytic converter is a very important part of the emissions control system on your vehicle. It’s usually good for the life of a vehicle, but occasionally it does fail. The best thing you can do is be alert for signs of trouble and head for a service facility if you suspect that the catalytic converter is malfunctioning.

Technicians will put your vehicle on an electronic diagnostic machine to locate the source of the problem, possibly remove the oxygen sensor from the exhaust manifold or exhaust pipe ahead of the catalytic converter to see if that changes things, and replace the catalytic converter, if necessary.

A wide range of dysfunctions can result from a malfunctioning catalytic converter. Any issue related to the engine can indicate an issue related to the converter: engine can't start, car won't speed up, incoherence of fuel tank indication, check engine lights on. If the car fails an emission test when you get your vehicle checked, it shows a dysfunction from the converter.

 

problem caused by a failing catalytic converter