When car engines are running, they emit harmful gases into the environment. To reduce pollution, car manufacturers fit catalytic converters in cars. A catalytic converter converts harmful emissions such as nitric oxide and carbon monoxide from vehicles into less toxic substances.
Ford Mustang has four catalytic converters. There are two pre-catalytic converters and two primary catalytic converters in the Ford Mustang. One of the main catalytic converters (cat-con) is placed on the exhaust manifold on the right, while the other is on the left.
Catalytic converters play a vital role in conserving our environment. However, they can be costly and prone to theft, as you will discover. Keep reading to understand why the catalytic converters cost a lot to buy or replace. You will also learn how it works, its functions, and the different types of catalytic converters.
What Function Does a Catalytic Converter Play?
Your car’s catalytic converter performs an essential function of turning toxic emissions into less toxic substances, thus reducing air pollution. It is located underneath your car between the muffler and the exhaust manifold.
During turning harmful substances into safe substances, the catalytic converter uses two pipes and a catalyst. One of the pipes is connected to the engine, and gases pass through it into the converter.
Once inside the converter, the catalyst breaks down the pollutants into less toxic materials. After this, the materials are pushed into the tailpipe using the second pipe.
Inside the converter is a honeycomb structure that holds the catalyst that causes the reaction of the pollutants. The most common catalysts used in catalytic converters include rhodium, platinum, and palladium.
Since these catalysts are precious metals, thieves may target your car to get these metals from the converter.
To achieve their functions, catalysts may work by reduction or oxidation process. These processes involve:
- Reduction Catalyst: This catalyst works by reducing the nitrogen oxide from the engine into nitrogen and oxygen. After the reduction process, the converter traps the nitrogen and releases harmless oxygen.
- Oxidation Catalyst: Rather than reducing the harmful emissions, the oxidation catalyst works by adding oxygen to toxic carbon monoxide to convert it into Carbon (IV) Oxide. The catalyst also converts nitrogen oxide into Carbon (IV) Oxide and water.
Since you have understood the function of a catalytic converter and how it works, let’s check out the types of converters that your car might have.
Types of Catalytic Converters
Catalytic converters come in different types depending on their working mechanism. There are two-way and three-way catalytic converters.
- Two-way Catalytic Converter: If your car was manufactured before 1981 in the United States, it has a two-way converter. The two-way catalytic converter only uses the oxidation catalysts that turn Hydrocarbon (HO) into Carbon dioxide (CO2) and water (H2O). It also changes Carbon monoxide (CO) into Carbon dioxide.
- Three-way Catalytic Converter: Unlike the two-way converters that only work through oxidation, the modern three-way converter uses oxidation and reduction processes.
Besides the above converters, manufacturers fit special diesel catalytic converters to diesel cars to help reduce the harmful effect of emissions from the diesel engine. The diesel oxidation catalyst has advanced exhaust treatment features such as:
- Diesel particulate filters: Used to trap soot
- Selective catalytic reduction: Removes Nitric dioxide and nitric oxide (NOx) using AdBlue urea solution injections.
Signs that Your Car’s Catalytic Converter Has Issues
The cat-con is an essential part of your vehicle. Therefore, when it fails, it will affect the normal functioning of your car. If you experience some of these signs in your car, the catalytic converter might be clogged or damaged:
- Reduced fuel efficiency: When converters clog, they reduce the airflow in the engine, which in turn makes the motor burn more fuel resulting in reduced fuel efficiency.
- Odor smell: If the catalytic converter has internal damage, it may fail to convert the harmful gases resulting in an odor smell that resembles rotten eggs.
- Failed emissions test: If your car does not pass the emissions test, your catalytic converter might not be functioning correctly.
- Engine-start problems: A clogged or malfunctioning catalytic converter may result in your car sputtering or stalling whenever you try to switch it on.
Besides the above signs, you might experience the following symptoms if your car’s catalytic converter has issues:
- Your car jerks or stalls when you accelerate
- Check engine light is ON
- Engine produces a rattling noise
- Dark exhaust smoke
To prevent the costly replacement of catalytic converter, you should always perform regular car checkups and maintenance. You should also ensure that your car systems are perfect, such as combustion systems and exhaust.
Ford Mustang Catalytic Converter Replacement Cost
According to statistics, Ford Mustang has the 5th most expensive catalytic converter among all other vehicles. The Ford Mustang’s catalytic converter is valued at about $1500 without counting additional costs for the mechanic or other exhaust parts.
Catalytic converters use rare metals as their catalysts, making the converter expensive. Most catalytic converters use platinum which goes for about $1,135 per ounce. Therefore, they are targeted by thieves who later sell this valuable vehicle part.
Depending on your Ford Mustang model, repair costs for a catalytic converter may cost you between $1500-$3000. Buying the catalytic converter and other necessary parts may be around $1500 or more, while the labor may cost you about $100.
Since replacement costs for catalytic converters are costly, you should ensure you maintain them properly to last for the longest time.
You should also ensure that you take your car for regular checkups by a qualified mechanic. These professionals can detect issues before they spread and offer solutions, saving you money.
There are over 78 million cars produced every year, which can lead to devastating environmental pollution if the necessary measures are not taken. However, pollution is reduced significantly by the use of catalytic converters.
Were you wondering how many converters your Ford Mustang has? The number depends on the model and year of manufacture. You can always be sure that your Ford Mustang has more than one catalytic converter since they produce much power.
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