Catalytic Converter

What is the Essence of a Catalytic Converter for an Automobile Exhaust System

The device of a car may seem very complicated to an ignorant person, especially if you do not go into details, and when problems arise with the catalyst, you want to know about the role of this system and why it monitors its condition in the car. Andrey Levashenko, an automotive expert and part-time co-founder of AutoCatalystMarket, shared his knowledge; he has been in the industry for over 10 years and helped us understand the role of the catalytic converter.

This is a special device located in the exhaust system of every car (including sports cars). It is this part that takes on the role of a small restraining element when exhaust gases enter the machine system. It sounds serious and many people think that the price on catalytic converter will be high. Yes, this may be true. But to save money, many car enthusiasts sell used parts on the AutoCatalystMarket website and buy new parts for themselves using the money saved.

Understanding how reselling works is not difficult at all:

  • This includes finding a new buyer for your old used part;
  • Throwing catalysts in the trash is a crime, because there are a lot of valuable materials inside;
  • In addition, it has a detrimental effect on the environment.

Remember that you can always think about nature.

Location of the catalytic converter

This part is located near the manifold, which in turn is considered an integral part of the internal combustion engine and it has features:

  • This whole system cannot work without each other and is represented by a single mechanism. If there are problems with the catalyst, then failures in the operation of other spare parts are possible.
  • Please note that the exhaust gas converter is surrounded by a special heat shield. This helps to cope with possible fires that affect the safety of all passengers in transport.
  • So under the hood, everything is protected and does not pose a threat during regular and scheduled checks.

Please note that the temperature of the parts can reach almost 600 degrees and even higher!

Design feature

Inside the catalyst, there are other different designs that ensure its full operation. We are talking about such a detail as a honeycomb structure made of ceramics. It is coated with a very small layer of alloy in the form of:

  • rhodium;
  • palladium;

All these metals affect the price of parts. You can find a buyer for a used catalytic converter who professionally dismantles such a design and can benefit from the resale of valuable metals.

How does the system clean the air?

Of course, there is no point in talking about complete cleaning, because this is not an electric car. In general, gas purification is necessary and the process is not complicated for a knowledgeable person, but we will try to describe it as simply as possible:

  1. Remains that did not burn at the beginning of their journey appear as carbon monoxide and nitrogen;
  2. They coat the surface of the catalytic converter;
  3. Inside the structure, the temperature rises to the maximum allowable limit. A special process called oxidation takes effect at a temperature of 270 degrees.

The following are processes that are important to understand if you want to know more about how your car works:

  • Carbon in the process turns into carbon dioxide, and hydrocarbons gradually turn into water;
  • All this goes into the air along with the usual black smoke from the car, and all this no longer affects nature so much, but still remains harmful;
  • Due to the large number of vehicles on the roads, this causes disasters on a global scale. Therefore, many are trying to take into account the trend towards electric vehicles that do not cause such problems.

Environmental Benefits

The primary role of a catalytic converter is to minimize the harmful emissions produced by vehicles. These harmful gases, such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and hydrocarbons, are hazardous not only to human health but also to the environment. They contribute to air pollution, smog formation, and acid rain.

By converting these harmful gases into less harmful substances, like carbon dioxide and water, catalytic converters play a crucial role in improving air quality. Without these devices, urban areas, in particular, would face even worse air pollution levels.

The Long-term Economic Advantage

Though the initial cost of a catalytic converter might seem high, its long-term economic advantages cannot be ignored. With stricter emission standards being enforced globally, cars without a well-functioning catalytic converter might face penalties, more frequent maintenance costs, or even restrictions in certain low-emission zones in cities. By ensuring that the converter is in good shape, car owners can avoid these potential financial pitfalls.

The Threat of Counterfeit Converters

Counterfeit Converters

Given the valuable metals used in the design of catalytic converters, there’s been a surge in the counterfeit market. These counterfeit converters might be cheaper but are often less efficient at reducing emissions and may not last as long. It’s crucial for car owners to be aware of this and to make informed decisions when purchasing or replacing their vehicle’s converter.


In essence, the catalytic converter is not just a piece of machinery for your car. It’s a significant component that ensures reduced environmental impact, compliance with global emission standards, and offers economic advantages in the long run. With the global push towards sustainability and cleaner air, the role of the catalytic converter has never been more pivotal. Whether it’s about understanding its functioning, appreciating its environmental benefits, or making informed buying decisions, every car owner should be well-versed with this crucial component of their vehicle.