A catalytic converter is a device installed in a motor vehicle that converts harmful emissions into less dangerous gases. Catalytic converters are a relatively new invention. This is probably the reason why most car owners are unfamiliar if not completely unaware of how their vehicle's catalytic converter works. And since catalytic converters are one of the more costly components of a vehicle, then this unfamiliarity further compounds the problem. This article is intended for people who have the necessary skills in working on their car's repairs. Unless you are completely comfortable, then it would just be prudent to send your car out to a mechanic shop for the purpose.
- Get everything ready. Firstly, you have to have the replacement catalytic converter ready. Bear in mind that you buy one that is specifically for your car's make and model. Although a generic type of catalytic converter will surely work as a replacement, installing it will definitely prove to be harder. This is because the generic ones need to be soldered into the car. Brand-specific ones, on the other hand, only need to be bolted on as they have already been pre-welded. Once you have acquired the correct catalytic converter, it's time to gather the other needed materials. Have at least two trusty ramps within reach. Wrenches and drills are also necessary so have them handy. Lastly, buy some extra nut, bolts, screws and seals just in case the existing ones get damaged during removal of the old catalytic converter.
- Prep you car. With the use of the ramps, raise your car up completely on both ends. This is necessary as the catalytic converter is installed all the way to the middle section of the car's length.
- Uninstall the O2 sensor. With the use of an O2 wrench, undo the O2 sensor.
- Use the proper wrenches and screwdrivers for the removal. Undo all of the screws, nuts and bolts holding the catalytic converter tightly in place. The sizes of these nuts and bolts may vary so you will need to have several types and sizes of wrenches ready. The nuts and bolts may also be difficult to remove so sawing or drilling through them may be needed to completely undo the catalytic converter.
- Disengage the pipes. The number of muffler pipes may vary depending on the kind of exhaust system your car has. Uninstall the pipe/s holding the O2 sensor onto the catalytic converter.
- Bolt the new converter in. Just bolt the replacement converter into the space once occupied by the old catalytic converter.
- Reattach all the other parts. Bolt the pipe/s back in. After that, screw the O2 sensor back in place. Use fresh nuts, screws or bolts if necessary.
Bear in mind that you only install a new catalytic converter for your car. Acquiring a used catalytic converter for replacement purposes is punishable under Federal laws.