The catalytic converter is a critical aspect of the exhaust system in your Audi. Shaped similar to the muffler, the catalytic converter features a ceramic honeycomb that is made up of elements that can clean exhaust gases that would alternatively be expelled from the exhaust system. It’s typical for Audi vehicles to have two to four of these devices.
Catalytic converters function to get rid of toxic gas from your Audi’s exhaust. They are divided into three sections called beds. Each bed performs a certain function to clean the exhaust coming from out of your car.
The first section is the reduction bed. It is covered in rhodium and reduces nitrous oxide gas to its separated form: the elements of oxygen and nitrogen.
The second bed, in the middle of the catalytic converter, is the oxygen storage bed. It is covered in cerium, which functions to maintain the best oxygen levels for use in the last chamber of the converter. It keeps and puts out oxygen that is separated from nitrogen in the first bed.
The last chamber is called the oxidizing bed. It is coated with palladium and platinum. Combustion of any leftover CO2 is completed in this bed. Oxygen is also used in this bed to burn off any remaining hydrocarbons in your Audi’s exhaust gas.
Causes Of Catalytic Converter Failure
There are a couple of typical causes of catalytic converter failure, mostly relating to other parts of the engine, as the part usually doesn’t malfunction by itself. If the engine overheats due to coolant leaks or other problems, the internal parts of the convertor can melt and thus clog the passage of gas. Aside from overheating or a problem with the engine, the only remaining cause of catalytic converter failure is significant damage caused by accidents or other impacts on your Audi.
Causes of Overheating in the Engine
Because overheating is essentially the only reason a catalytic converter can fail, let’s go over some causes of an overheated engine. Catalytic converters overheat and melt if there is an engine problem resulting in too much gas being put into the exhaust system. Typical problems with the engine that can result in this problem are:
- fuel injector leaks
- spark plug corrosion
- air leak in the intake manifold
- bad ignition timing or coil
- failed oxygen sensor
- oil or coolant leaks
- fuel pressure regulator leaks
Symptoms of Catalytic Converter Failure
There are a few symptoms to look out for when suspecting that your catalytic converter has failed.
- Check engine light: The most apparent symptom of a failed catalytic converter is an illuminated check engine light. Though this can indicate any engine problem, an issue with the catalytic converter is one of the possible options.
- Failed emissions test: If your catalytic converter isn’t functioning properly, you will have dangerous exhaust coming from your Audi. This will cause you to fail an emissions test and require an inspection.
- Rotten egg smell in the exhaust: If the exhaust system is not working the way that it should, there will sometimes be an odd smell coming from your exhaust pipe due to unregulated gases.
- Rattling sound under the car: Sometimes there are broken parts of the honeycomb system that make noise. If you hear a strange rattling sound, it could mean that the honeycomb parts of the catalytic converter are broken.
Carotech Automotive: Your Premier Auto Service Center
Located off of West Pico Boulevard in Los Angeles, California, Carotech Automotive is your area’s premier automotive repair shop. We service any model of Audi along with a variety of other types of vehicles.
At Carotech Automotive, we only use the latest factory-grade tools and equipment. Our team consists of highly-trained mechanics ready to help you get your Audi back up and running as fast and as cost-efficiently as possible.
If you notice any of the above issues with your Audi relating to your catalytic converter or anything else, bring it in to see us. We’ll be more than happy to help you get back on the road quick, with confidence in your Audi. Let us show you why we are the best garage for your Audi’s maintenance and repairs. Call us today.