Everything You Need To Know About Car Catalytic Converter
26 December, 2020
Not many people know what a car Catalytic Converter is, even though this car component has a very important function as it is closely related to air pollution. As we already know, exhaust gases from cars contain pollutants that aren’t healthy for the environment, and hence, the Catalytic Converter or commonly known as CC began to be introduced.
The Catalytic Converter is a tool installed on every car, be it diesel or gasoline, including all Wuling cars such as Almaz, Cortez, Confero, and Formo. By installing this tool, the exhaust gas in the car shall meet the Euro 2 standard. CC is a catalyst located in the exhaust channel that works to filter hydrocarbons and other pollutants as waste products of engine combustion.
Catalytic Converter was first used when Euro 2 began to be introduced in Indonesia back in 2007. The Euro standard is an emission standard guideline to ensure clean air and a healthier environment. The high level of air pollution caused by industry, especially the motorized vehicle industry, has made many countries impose standardization related to exhaust gas emissions.
The name for the Euro standard comes from the European countries that first carried out this standard. Subsequently, America and Japan also standardized exhaust emissions. However, what was formulated by European countries for the first time is considered to be a much better standard. The latest Euro standard level is Euro 6. Indonesia, at the moment, applies the Euro 2 level.
Currently, there are 3 types of Catalytic Converters used in cars, namely:
1. Oxidation Catalyst (OC)
In the type of CCO (Catalytic Converter for Oxidation), Oxygen will react with CO and HC to form CO2 and H2O which do not contain pollution. For this oxidation process to run well, the exhaust manifold must have pure air. On top of that, the exhaust gas must be recirculated through the EGR system because it reduces NOx slightly.
2.Three-Way Catalyst (TWC)
Of all the types of Catalytic Converters, this one is the most ideal. In addition to CO and HC, NOx will also be converted into non-polluting substances. The NO and O2 processes will function as components that cause burning (oxidation), while CO and HC as burning components will react and form CO2, H2O, and N2.
3. Three-Way Catalyst & Oxidation Catalyst (TWC-OC)
This type of Catalytic Converter is a combination of an oxidation catalyst and a three-way catalyst that aims to reduce air pollution even more optimally.
Catalytic Converter function
Catalytic Converter has the main function of reducing exhaust emissions. As we know in car exhaust, there are several pollutants, such as Nitrogen Oxide (NOx), Hydrocarbons (HC), Carbon monoxide (CO), and many more. The Catalytic Converter, which is located in the car exhaust, will ensure the emission of exhaust gasses to be much cleaner.
The Catalytic Converter has a honeycomb shape and is made of platinum or palladium attached to a ceramic block. The exhaust gas that touches the metal catalyst undergoes a chemical reaction and results in the loss of pollutants such as hydrocarbons (HC). In return, the exhaust gas becomes cleaner and no longer contains harmful pollutants.
The platinum or palladium metal used as a catalyst will not change its nature in the presence of this chemical reaction but will experience a decrease in its ability. The ability of this car component will decrease by 35% after 100,000 km of use, but its lifespan will be shorter if the car is used in locations with high levels of pollutants.
Catalytic Converter Theft
These catalysts are quite expensive since they are made of platinum and palladium. Moreover, as the recycling business is very developed, including in Indonesia, it’s no wonder that these catalysts often become the target of thieves. However, in most modern cars available today, the Catalytic Converter is placed in the oxygen sensor housing in the exhaust area near the engine block so that it is more difficult to steal.
As a precaution against catalytic convertor theft, you can first of all be more careful when parking your car. We recommend that you park your car in a closed garage to avoid any burglars. If it’s not possible, park your car in a position that is easy to control. You can also install additional fasteners and bolts to increase the safety of this component.
Error in Catalytic Converter
Keep in mind that a Catalytic Converter is a very sensitive component. One of the causes of its short life, besides the high congestion level, is the poor quality of the fuel, which results in incomplete combustion.
The buildup of dirt that comes from outside and gets into the engine room can also cause the Catalytic Converter to clog. Clogged Catalytic Converter decreases the performance of the car and can even cause it to break down.
You can notice a problem in the Catalytic Converter by noting the following symptoms:
- The car cannot accelerate even though you have stepped on the gas pedal. As a result, fuel consumption is more wasteful
- You smell rotten eggs or sulfur. Besides, the smoke that comes out of the exhaust is thicker than usual.
- The bottom of the car becomes hotter than usual. Usually, this occurs due to a leak in the valve.
There are two common causes of damage to this one component, due to age or collisions. Damage due to age factor, for instance, because of a porous internal part, commonly occurs when the age of use reaches 10 years or 100,000 km. However, if it is caused by a leak due to a collision, this damage can occur at any time. If you experience this, there is no other way but to replace it with the new one.
Catalytic Converter is very easy to find in various automotive shops and also authorized repair shops. However, the price is quite expensive depending on the type of car used. Generally, the price ranges from 3 million rupiahs to 10 million rupiahs.