What Are Catalytic Converters? A Quick Guide


Did you know that in 1963 the United States government passed the Clean Air Act to control air pollution? This act was largely a response to the huge amount of emissions being caused by the automotive industry.

To address this problem manufacturers introduced the catalytic converter. But exactly what are catalytic converters? And how do they help vehicles run more cleanly?

In this article, we’ll teach you everything you need to know about this now essential car part. Let’s get started!

What Are Catalytic Converters?

A catalytic converter is a component that’s found in the exhaust system of modern cars. In the past, car emissions weren’t regulated at all. That means harmful gases like carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, hydrocarbons, and nitric oxide were being released directly into the atmosphere.

And, as anyone familiar with the greenhouse effect knows, this wasn’t good for the environment at all. That’s why manufacturers introduced catalytic converters.

These components are responsible for turning these dangerous gases into less harmful substances, like water vapor and carbon dioxide. They do this through chemical reactions that break apart the pollutants.

What Are the Different Types of Catalytic Converters?

Many people think there’s only one type of catalytic converter. However, the reality is that there are three popular types. The first type is the steel converter. The biggest benefit that comes with this type is it’s common and durable.

The second type is a ceramic converter. While these aren’t as durable as steel, they are more affordable. They’re also better for the environment. The final type of converter is aftermarket ones. These can be either steel or ceramic.

The only qualification is that they aren’t made from the original manufacturer. Make sure to check out this article if you want to learn more about the different types of catalytic converters.

Why Do Some People Steal Catalytic Converters?

In recent years we’ve seen an unprecedented rise in catalytic converter theft. The main reason for this is supply chain issues. The precious metals in these converters are getting harder to come by.

So, thieves can make good money by taking the components off of random cars. If you want to make it harder to steal your converter, then you can try welding it to the vehicle frame.

Want More Content? Keep Reading

We hope this article helped you answer the question, What are catalytic converters? As you can see, catalytic converters are a vital part of controlling the emission levels from cars.

As such, it’s important to get yours checked out regularly if you want to pass inspection for your vehicle.