Catalytic converter is a device designed to make the exhaust of a car less toxic. Catalyst is a small container with a ceramic filter and small holes in the form of honeycombs. It is in these honeycombs that the combustion of residual fuel is neutralized. Installation of catalysts is a must, therefore, every car that leaves the assembly line today is equipped with this device.

Why drivers remove catalytic converters?

Recycling of old catalysts is a necessary measure. Sometimes the catalyst is removed in order to finalize the exhaust system. A bad or damaged catalyst creates a lot of unpleasant problems in the form of errors on the panel, increased fuel consumption, as well as a significant deterioration in dynamics. Conditions of a catalyst and correctness of its operation is monitored by a so-called lambda or oxygen sensor. Sensor monitors consistency, if the catalyst is not working, composition of changes. Sensor immediately reacts and reports a corresponding error, most often as "Check Engine".

It is not possible to repair catalytic converter. In case of failure, it is necessary to completely remove the defective catalyst, and install a new one. Catalytic converter is removed for a common reason of cost, because a new one is quite high. Removal of a catalyst means to harm the environment. On the other hand, this increases the power of a car, reduces gas consumption, gets rid of regular alerts about problems. There are no problems starting the engine.

The fused or clogged catalyst leads to a problem when exhaust gases cannot go outside and return to the combustion chamber. The combustible mixture which enters there becomes less efficient, and this negatively affects the operation of a motor.

Pros and Cons of Catalyst Removal

What may happen if catalyst is removed? You will save on installing an expensive alternative. You will improve the dynamic characteristics and reduce gas consumption without changing the driving style, type and without replacing other parts. As a bonus, motor will become less sensitive, and you also eliminate the risk of ceramic dust getting inside the engine.

Among negative issues of catalytic convertor removal, there are:

  • environmental factor;

  • problems during inspection;

  • foul odor;

  • extra sounds in exhaust system;

  • errors on the display.

What are the key Pros of removing a catalytic converter?

  1. Lower price. Replacing the catalyst with a flame arrester, for example, can cost 5-10 times cheaper than buying a new catalyst. There are no comments here. Only drivers have to decide.

  2. Slight increase in engine power and lower fuel consumption.

  3. Less resistance to exhaust gases in absence of a catalyst. Motor breathes better without catalytic converter. The increase, as well as gas economy, is not very large. It is only about 5-10%. Most drivers will not feel it. It is not worthwhile to specifically remove the catalyst for the sake of increasing power, but for those who still insist on this procedure, improving motor performance is a small bonus.

  4. Reduced quality requirements without catalytic converter. The catalyst reacts most sharply to low-quality gas. This does not mean that you can use no guarantee gas stations, but you don’t have to worry about an expensive and fragile part of catalysts, when using unfamiliar liquid.

Which are the Cons of removing catalytic converter?

When removing a catalyst one should be prepared for a whole bunch of problems and unpleasant situations. Firstly, driving without a catalyst automatically identifies the vehicle as "emergency". Car electronics will issue a legitimate error with a burning check. In case of breakdowns or technical inspection of such a vehicle, a number of problems may arise without catalytic converter. As a rule, inspection pay attention to the level of smoke emitted, as well as its smell. In addition, an unpleasant odor with environmental pollution, can enter the cabin, and expose the driver and passengers to negative effects of toxic elements on human body.

  1. Ecology. If you are proud that your car doesn’t pollute environment, then after removing catalyst, you need to stop doing this, because your car will no longer have the old Euro-4 or Euro-5. Strong penalties are applied to most vehicles all over the world.

  2. Need for computer programming without catalyst. Electronic control system is designed to use a catalyst and without it will start to go crazy.

  3. Reducing the overheating of exhaust system. Catalytic converter is the only part which is able to cope with a difficult task of lowering temperature. The risk that the muffler burns out increases.  

The failure of catalytic converter does not pass unnoticed. If you do not remove the catalyst, exhaust gases will not be able to pass through it normally. This leads to a deterioration in dynamic performance, increased fuel consumption. It may cause wrong operation of the motor itself.

Appearance of vortex flows with a collapsing ceramic catalyst leads to ingress of abrasive particles into exhaust manifold and working chamber. Pieces of ceramics in cylinder-piston group cause appearance of scoring, significantly reducing power. Therefore, it is recommended to replace or remove the catalyst, as soon as a malfunction is detected. Fortunately, there are organizations, which are ready to recycle old catalytic converter and evaluate it as high as possible.