Catalytic converters that work well are not only important but also required to reduce your vehicle’s emissions. However, they may often perform poorly because of the carbon deposit, resulting in less efficient exhaust gas filtering. Using a reliable catalytic converter cleaner might assist you in resolving this issue every time. They are cost-efficient and effective at reducing emissions and improving your vehicle’s overall performance.
Using the best catalytic converter cleaner, you can easily and quickly restore your catalytic converter to good operating order. These specifically developed cleaning products help to remove the dust and debris that has accumulated in the catalytic converter, as well as unclog it. However, you’ll need a good cleaning to achieve the best results.
A catalytic converter collects a large number of particles and other material that is ejected from the engine. This implies it may become clogged and require cleaning (or if you want to learn how to hollow out a catalytic converter without removing it). Here’s what to do about it.
- Catalyst Cleaners
- How Do They Work?
- Causes Them To Clog
- How To Use It?
- Factors To Consider?
- Final Verdict
What Exactly Are Catalyst Cleaners?
Catalyst cleansers are chemicals that are used in engines to clean or increase the performance of the fuel-air mixture (FAM). Some cleaners and purifiers for air/fuel mixtures are used to clean or enhance the mixture in your engine. They’re described as carefully developed compounds that clean the complete exhaust system, EGR valve, combustion chamber, and fuel injectors, as well as remove and prevent carbon accumulation inside the car.
Catalytic Converter Cleaners: How Do They Work?
A catalytic converter cleaner uses chemical reactions to eliminate the build-up in a car’s exhaust system. This contains the cylinders, fuel injectors, and various exhaust components. Catalytic converter cleaners are solvents that, when added to gasoline, break down the carbon deposits that the fuel mixes with as it passes through a car’s combustion and exhaust systems.
The cleaner breaks down the molecular structure of the hydrocarbon particles simply by coming into touch with them, making it easier for them to be carried out of the exhaust system. As a result, the vehicle’s overall performance improves.
What Causes Clogging Of The Catalytic Converter?
The catalytic converter is an important part of the exhaust system for reducing vehicle emissions. It accomplishes this by using an oxidation and reduction process to turn dangerous pollutants in exhaust gases into less toxic pollutants and water. When a catalytic converter breaks, it must be changed right away.
The conversion of harmful contaminants from the exhaust gas is a complex process. A ceramic monolith with a honeycomb filter structure serves as the converter’s heart (to learn more, check out our guide on what does a catalytic converter look like). On top of the monolith is a precious metal film that intercepts and decomposes the toxins as they pass through the converter at high temperatures (you can confirm this with a catalytic converter temperature test).
Manufacturers promise that a catalytic converter will last the vehicle’s life. Still, it is now commonly known that it will not and need to be replaced at least once throughout the vehicle’s lifetime.
What Are The Best Types Of Catalyst Cleaners For Your Engine?
There are so many different types of catalyst cleaners that picking the right one for your engine might be difficult (for more insight, check out our guide on what does the catalytic converter do and what’s in catalytic converters, as well as what are catalytic converters). There are, however, a few types of catalyst cleaners that are suitable for most engines. These are some of them:
Ammonia is a powerful oxidant that might harm your catalytic converter. Use this cleanser to restore surfaces that have been oxidized.
2. Lysol Chemical Acid
Lysol chemical acid is a strong halogenide cleanser that can aid with converter cleaning. This cleaner is especially good at eliminating oil or fuel-related build-up on the converter.
3. Carbon Dioxide
Carbon dioxide is a powerful reducing agent that can aid in the cleaning of the converter. Clean regions that have been contaminated by carbon dioxide or other contaminants with this cleanser.
4. Clorox Chemical Acid
Clorox chemical acid is a potent halogenide cleaner that can aid in the cleaning of the converter. This cleaner is especially good at eliminating oil or fuel-related build-up on the converter.
5. Methylene Chloride
Methylene chloride is a powerful organic solvent that can aid with converter cleaning. This solvent also aids in the removal of oils and other impurities from the engine’s interior air.
Sodium hydroxide, sometimes known as “lye,” is a strong base that can aid with converter cleaning. This cleaner is especially good at eliminating oil or fuel-related build-up on the converter.
7. Spic And Span
Spic and Span is a mild organic solvent that can aid with converter cleaning. This solvent also aids in the removal of oils and other impurities from the engine’s interior air.
Why Do You Need A Catalytic Converter Cleaner?
Before we get into the core of the article, let’s go over some of the advantages of employing an exhaust system cleaning solution. The engine performance will be the first thing you notice after using a cleaning.
Hydrocarbons cling to exhaust components, causing them to malfunction. A catalytic converter cleaner is used in this case to clean the exhaust system and increase engine performance.
When the cleaner activates, it improves filtering performance and reduces the quantity of pollution it emits.
It also improves the fuel efficiency of the engine by allowing it to create greater power with less fuel. No one likes it when the exhaust system emits that rotten egg odor (for more insight, check out our guide on my car smells like rotten eggs). Fortunately, if you apply cleaning, the odor will go away.
Benefits Of Catalytic Converter Cleaners
Here are some of the key advantages that catalytic converter cleaners can provide:
1. Enhances The Performance Of Your Vehicle
When your catalytic converter is unclean, it has an impact on more than simply your car’s emissions. It also reduces the efficiency of your vehicle. In scenarios like starting your automobile from a dead stop or ascending an incline, you may discover that your engine isn’t functioning as effectively as it once did.
2. It Helps You Save Money
You may save hundreds of dollars by extending the life of your catalytic converter, which is one of the most expensive replacement parts. Of course, you’ll have to replace it eventually, but you’ve had plenty of time to save.
3. Air Purification
This is a critical worry because it affects your and your family’s health. When you drive a car with a dirty catalytic converter, the exhaust contains hazardous compounds that can harm your health. This is especially true for persons who suffer from respiratory issues like asthma.
How To Use A Cleaner For Catalytic Converters
Here’s a quick seven-step guide to getting the most out of your catalytic converter cleaner.
Step 1: Make Sure Your Spark Plugs Are In Good Shape
You might be wondering what spark plugs have to do with cleaning the catalytic converter in your vehicle. However, heavy carbon buildup on your converter is most likely an indication that your vehicle is running rich.
It means the fuel and air mixture is off, or one of your spark plugs isn’t sparking properly. It’s a good idea to change your plugs every now and again, especially if you can’t recall the last time you did.
By thoroughly burning all of the available gasoline, excellent spark plugs help to reduce the amount of carbon buildup on your catalytic converter. You’ll need to consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual to determine the type and quantity of plugs to purchase.
Step 2: Pour In The Cleaner
Once you’ve dealt with your plugs and ensured that everything is in working order, it’s time to empty the contents of the cleaner into your vehicle’s gas tank. Simply empty the bottle into the tank after opening it. Always read the instructions before using anything. So, if your cleaner comes with any specific directions, make sure you follow them.
Step 3: Fill The Tank
Fill your vehicle’s tank until it’s completely full, or around 10 gallons. Look up the suggested fuel to catalytic converter cleaner mixing ratio to figure out how much fuel you’ll need.
Step 4: Drive Till The Tank Is Empty
To receive the best results from the cleaning process, you should drive for at least 50 miles straight after the application. You should drive the car until the tank is completely empty.
Step 5: Inspect The Check Engine Light
If your car’s check engine light hasn’t turned off yet, repeat the procedure. If your vehicle used error codes to warn you of a problem with the catalytic cleaner, now is the time to clear them. Because every vehicle is different, you may need to consult your owner’s manual for instructions on how to clear the codes, or it may be automatic.
Step 6: Refill Your Tank & You’re Done
Fill up your tank and get back to your daily routine, or go check your car’s pollution levels. By now, the cleanse should have come to an end. Remember to clean your car on a regular basis.
However, how frequently you use the vehicle determines the exact time frame. Once a year is sufficient for automobiles that are rarely used, with up to three or four cleaning sessions per year for cars that are used regularly.
Factors Before Choosing A Catalytic Converter Cleaner
Because the cleaner is a type of chemical, there are a few things you should know before purchasing one and pouring it into the engine’s tank.
Don’t buy a catalytic converter cleaner until you’ve determined whether it’ll work with your vehicle’s engine. Not all cleaners were designed to work with all sorts of engines. Some car cleaners work with a variety of engines, including 2-stroke, 4-stroke, and gasoline and diesel engines.
On the other hand, some cleaners may be incompatible with specific engine types. Before you buy, check the instructions to see if your engine type is listed among the compatible engines.
2. Capacity Of Bottle
Catalytic converter bottles come in a variety of sizes and capacities. Most fuel tanks require a full bottle of cleaner, though this varies depending on the brand and type of cleaner. One thing to keep in mind is that once the seal is broken, the contents will no longer be effective.
As a result, for a typical 16-gallon tank, the best option is to acquire a bottle of roughly 10-20 ounces. You’ll also find a lot of multipack alternatives in this range. Getting a multipack is highly advised because you may require a catalytic converter cleaner on a frequent basis to maintain your vehicle. They are rather inexpensive, and the small bottles can be used one at a time.
3. Eco Friendly
A catalytic converter cleaner is a container full of chemicals, so you should know how safe it is to use in your automobile as well as how safe it is for the environment if you’re concerned about the environment.
You can check that the cleaner conforms with requirements such as the VOC and OTC regulations, as well as others like the low-sulfur content criteria.
4. Cleaning Effectiveness
The quantity and number of bottles you’ll need are also determined by how well the solution cleans. The best catalytic converter cleaners will not require a large amount of this solution to clean the fuel system.
The majority of cleaner bottles come with step-by-step instructions printed on the package. It will also tell you how much cleaning fluid you will need. When making a purchase, make sure to compare numerous possibilities and select the most efficient one in terms of reliability and efficiency.
These aren’t ordinary cleaning products; the bottles are brimming with toxins. As a result, you must determine whether it is safe to use in your vehicle. Also, ensure that the product you purchase is efficient and environmentally friendly.
6. Government Regulations
In several states, using a converter cleaner that fails an emissions test is illegal. State regulations apply to the usage of a catalytic converter cleaner, just as they do to the exhaust system. On the label of the bottle, the creators mention this. If you live in an area where chemical cleaners are not prohibited, however, you are free to use anything you like.
Another important element to consider when purchasing a catalytic converter cleaner is the cost. Yes, most of the alternatives are reasonably priced, ranging from $5 to $15. However, you should proceed with caution because your primary motivation for hiring a cleaner is to save money.
If your car fails an emission test or displays a check engine light, the catalytic converter is certainly the issue. If you decide to replace this converter, expect to pay at least $2000.
As a result, using a catalytic converter cleaner is the best option. Compare costs and features before making a purchase. Even more so because you’ll need to use it on a frequent basis to keep your vehicle’s engines in good shape.
8. Complete System Cleaning
A catalytic converter is a part of a car’s exhaust system, not the entire system. Cleaning the converter alone will not give you the solution you need if it becomes blocked and affects other exhaust system components.
As a result, ensure the cleaner can work on important exhaust system components like oxygen sensors, cylinder heads, and fuel injectors. If you believe your car’s problem is restricted to a specific component, though, you might choose a cleaner that specializes in that component.
Using a cleaner like this is an important part of car care. As a result, you’ll require the cleaning at some point in the future. To save money, purchasing a multipack that included a dozen or more of these cleansers would be great.
It is determined by your financial circumstances. If you have a lot of money to spend on your car, go with the cost-effective multipack choice. There are a range of single cleaners to choose from if you only require a solution for this time period.
What Is Cataclean And How Does It Work?
As a frequent owner of cars that require work doing at a garage, I know how costly those visits can be. If the problem is something I can fix myself I will always take that opportunity. Cataclean is the newest product that I will be adding to my list.
Cataclean is a fuel system cleaner with over 12 years of independent testing under its belt, which to me cries out reliability. It is also a straightforward catalytic converter cleaner.
Cataclean Liquid Science for gasoline engines is formulated to detox the catalytic converter. Over time carbon deposits build-up, it’s unavoidable. This build-up limits the gas flow in the exhaust, in turn reducing engine output and efficiency. Not something a driver likes to hear.
Does Cataclean Work?
Cataclean contains solvents and specially formulated chemicals that remove these catalytic converter deposits with a single application. It is a performance improver, emissions reducer, and efficiency booster. Not to mention a money saver.
Cataclean is in no way limited to gasoline cars. The products are widely used on gasoline, diesel, and hybrids. Cataclean Diesel for diesel engines has the same detox effect on both the catalytic converter and the diesel particulate filter, thus lowering particulate emissions and prolonging the need for a DPF replacement. No matter what you drive, Cataclean has something for you.
Motorcycles also have their own Cataclean product, Cataclean ‘One Shot’ Bike. Brake horsepower, torque, and throttle response all benefit with just one use.
How Does Cataclean Clear Up My Engine?
Well basically if you have a vehicle, Cataclean is going to be worth the purchase. By using Cataclean and therefore removing the build-up of carbon deposits in the exhaust system, users have seen between 5-10% increase in fuel performance, some even 25%.
Benefits Of Using Catalytic Converter Cleaners Like Cataclean
- Reduce engine smells – Over time an engine’s catalytic converter can start to smell like rotten eggs. It is not an attractive smell and can easily be sorted out with the catalytic cleaner.
- Protect your motor – To look after your engine periodic cleaning out of the catalytic converter will help ensure that the engine is getting a proper fuel supply and healthy exhaust gas flow. This means that the engine will run smoother, clean, and will cut down on maintenance.
- Clean pass emission on tests – Yearly emissions tests are essential to make sure you pass every year, a catalytic converter cleaning treatment can help. Cataclean as an example will clean out all the grime, dirt, and carbon from the engine and exhaust system. Helping pass that test every year.
- Reduce emission levels – Catalytic converters are complex parts of the car’s exhaust system (as with what is the purpose of a catalytic converter), if you are not keeping it clean, then it has no chance of working at its full potential. regular cleaning means it can run at 100%.
- Improve engine power – You may notice that you are down on engine performance. It could be a simple thing like a gunked-up catalytic converter. A quick clean with a catalytic converter cleaner might get you back running at full power without even touching a spanner.
- Save cash – You might be able to notice that regular cleaning improves your car’s MPG and will prolong the life of the catalytic converter with can cost a hundred to replace if damaged.
How To Use Cataclean Catalytic Converter Cleaner?
It couldn’t be easier. Cataclean is available in 150 ml bottles for Cataclean ‘One Shot’ Bike or in a larger 450 ml bottle if you’re buying Cataclean Liquid Science for your car. For a single application, you pour the contents of the bottle into a 1/4 full gasoline tank, drive the car as normal for 10-15 minutes and you’re done. That’s it.
As much as one application will benefit your car, Cataclean recommends that you repeat the process 3-4 times a year, just to keep the fuel system at its absolute performance best. If you wanted to be utterly organized about it, schedule the application before your next service and save on some unexpected fixing costs.
Simple Cleaning Process Steps:
- Pour the bottle of Cataclean into your tank
- Drive as normal until the tank is almost empty
- Clear any OBDII error codes if present
- Refill with normal fuel
- Drive on the roads for around 50 miles to re-calibrate on-board computer (OBDII)
How Do Catalytic Convertor Work
For those of you wanting to get technical, here is exactly how a catalytic converter works.
Where To Buy Catalytic Converter Cleaner?
Cataclean products are no trouble to pick up as you can make a quick order from their online shop. Cataclean is also available at most of the major retailers including Amazon, Halfords, Euro Car Parts, and most motor and motorcycle dealers, keeping your car in good condition just got easier.
The usual price for Cataclean Liquid Science is £15.99; Cataclean Diesel, £16.50; and finally Cataclean ‘One Shot’ Bike, £12. I can say for one that I will be going to my nearest retailer and grabbing a bottle. Of course, that’s for those of us here in the UK. For you folks across the pond State-side, all you need to do is order a bottle of Cataclean in from Amazon. As of writing, a 473mm bottle costs $24.73.
What Can I Do If My Catalytic Converter Is Clogged?
To clear your catalytic converter, you must first determine whether it is clogged. A few signs and symptoms are sufficient to make a diagnosis. However, these symptoms could be as little as a decrease in engine performance, decreased gas mileage, and so on.
So, if you’ve ever considered driving a car without a catalytic converter, the symptoms you’ll experience during its clogging will persuade you otherwise. Of course, this is not the case; a car cannot be driven without the converter. However, using a converter is always risky and not recommended since it might result in various problems over time.
Now, if you’re the type of person who pays attention to even the smallest details, such as a clogged catalytic converter, you’ll be desperate to get rid of it. The good news is that a catalytic converter cleaner may be found in any auto store or online.
The Steps Are As Follows
Step 1: The first step in unclogging the converter is to identify the right cleaner brand for your automobile and engine model.
Step 2: Never begin the cleaning procedure with less than 15 liters of gas. So, don’t drive your car until it’s been cleaned to get the gas content below this range.
Step 3: Last but not least, put the cleaner in your gas tank. It should be poured in such a way that no catalytic cleaner is lost throughout the procedure. Follow the directions on the cleaner bottle to determine how much cleaner to pour.
Step 4: Finally, replace the gas cap and begin driving your automobile for roughly 30 minutes. Drive on a highway if possible to avoid overheating the engine.
Step 5: Continue driving until the tank is empty or nearly empty. You should then repeat the converter reading after clearing the OBD code and letting it calibrate.
This procedure is ideal for a non-clogged catalytic converter.
Facts about Catalytic Converter Cleaners
- Catalytic converters help minimize harmful pollutants released from your car’s tailpipe by converting chemicals like hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, and other similar substances into water vapors and carbon dioxide that are safer for the environment.
- Catalytic converters typically last about 100,000 miles before they may require replacement, but they can last longer.
- Signs that it may be time to clean or replace your catalytic converter include heightened fuel consumption, dark exhaust smoke, and the smell of sulfur from your exhaust pipe.
- A catalytic converter cleaner is a formula that can be put into your fuel chamber to clear out carbon deposits in your catalytic converter and fueling system, including fuel injectors.
- There are a variety of catalytic converter cleaners available, including CataClean Fuel Cleaner, Rislone Cat Complete Fuel, Exhaust and Emissions System Cleaner, CRC Guaranteed To Pass Fuel System Cleaner, Chevron Techron Fuel System Cleaner, Gumout Regane Complete Fuel System Cleaner, STP Ultra 5-IN-1 Fuel System Cleaner, Gumout Multi System Additive, Rislone Hy-per Fuel Complete Fuel System Cleaner Gas, Sta-Bil Start Your Engines Fuel System Revitalizer, and Berryman 4 Step Professional Air And Fuel System Maintenance Kit.
- The CataClean Fuel Cleaner 16.7oz can reduce hydrocarbon emissions by 50%, decrease carbon build-up within the fuel system, and clean out the entire fuel system (including oxygen sensors, fuel injectors, and the catalytic converter).
- The Rislone Cat Complete Fuel, Exhaust and Emissions System Cleaner 16.9oz can help switch off the check engine light and clean out the soot, carbon build-up, and residue in your fuel system to restore the efficiency of your fuel system.
- The CRC Guaranteed To Pass Fuel System Cleaner 12oz offers a money-back guarantee if you don’t pass an emissions test and should be used every 3,000 miles to improve fuel economy, acceleration, and reduce emissions.
- The Chevron Techron Fuel System Cleaner 12 oz’s proprietary blend of polyetheramine (PEA) can clear out the entire fuel system and is safe for catalytic converters and oxygen sensors.
- The Berryman 4 Step Professional Air And Fuel System Maintenance Kit 6oz And 16oz 4 Piece is one of the more expensive options on the list, but it has four formulas that clean and maintain air and fuel delivery systems, including sensors, air intake and throttle, the intake valve and combustion, and fuel systems, to support the performance of your catalytic converter.
Final Verdict – Catalytic Converter Cleaner
Do you follow an environmentalist’s code of ethics? Did you know that you may reduce your vehicle’s carbon footprint? Your car or bike emits harmful gases into the atmosphere, but your catalytic converter mitigates the damage. To ensure that your vehicle’s converter runs smoothly, you’ll need the best catalytic converter cleaners.
Dirt, oil, and other buildups accumulate in the catalytic converter over time. As a result, it may function poorly, and your car may fail the emissions test. Alternatively, the check engine light may appear regularly and refuse to go away despite your efforts. Catalytic converter cleaners were developed to improve the efficiency of your exhaust system.
After reading this article, perhaps you’ve discovered the best catalytic converter cleaning for your vehicle based on the engine type and your requirements. Simply pour the liquid into the tank, and the system will handle the rest.
Catalytic Cleaners: Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some popular FAQs:
Are Cleaners For Catalytic Converters Effective?
Yes, they are effective in the vast majority of cases. However, if your catalytic converter is broken or overly clogged, it may not be able to function properly. It will do wonders for your catalytic converter, even if it is slightly clogged.
Is It Possible To Drive A Car With A Faulty Catalytic Converter?
You can drive your automobile even if it has a faulty catalytic converter. It may only stop your car from operating in exceptional circumstances. Running a car with a faulty catalytic converter, on the other hand, will reduce engine performance and consume a lot of fuel.
What Is The Odor Of A Faulty Catalytic Converter?
It mostly smells like sulfur that has been burned. Another odor that comes from the exhaust system is that of rotting eggs.
How Frequently Should I Clean My Catalytic Converter?
The catalytic converter becomes blocked over time. However, when people drive thousands of miles without caring for the converter and the exhaust system is inadequately maintained, the converter becomes too damaged. As a result, the basic rule of thumb is to clean your car catalytic converter every 3,000 to 4,000 miles with a cleaner. It will ensure that the converter is in proper working order.
Is It Feasible To Unblock A Catalytic Converter That Has Been Clogged?
Yes, the catalytic converter may be cleaned if it is not too clogged with additives. A catalytic converter that has become too clogged will need to be changed.
What Happens If The Catalytic Converter Isn’t Fixed?
If you drive your car with a defective catalytic converter for a long time, it will eventually cease running because the exhaust needs a place to go. Backpressure, on the other hand, has the potential to affect other parts of your engine, thus it is not recommended.
Is It Safe To Use Cataclean In A Full Tank?
Yes, Cataclean can be used in a full tank. Simply calculate how much you’ll need and double-check that there’s enough capacity in the tank for the Cataclean product.
These tools have been tried and tested by our team, they are ideal for fixing your car at home.
You have written a wonderful article about catalytic converter cleaner. As a results, I was able to buy a best catalytic converter cleaner for my car. The catalytic converter cleaner on my car is set very well. So I am very grateful to you.
Thanks for this article. Cataclean is wonderful.
Cataclean is vaste solution for your cars
For us non-mechanic people, how do we “ Clear any OBDII error codes if present”?
I got the idea that the code would clear when the problem was resolved. If not, how can we mechanically clear it? Thanks.
Hello, either with a scanner or desconect the ground terminal from your batery for 5 minutes or something like that.
Does not work! Don’t waste your money….
All of these things can have detrimental effects on the fuel injectors, but the number one enemy is definitely carbon build up.
I’ve used Cataclean diesel to get rid of the rotten egg smell on my Volvo S40. First time it happened it took 1 bottle to sort it out. A year later the problem reoccured and it took 3 bottles. So Cataclean does work for sure. Cheaper than paying for a new catalytic converter.
Definitely works!! I have a finicky turbo engine that leans toward a rich gas mixture which kicks off the check engine light & reduces mpg. 1 bottle of Cataclean on a near empty tank, then fill er up, will do the trick. Just be patient as it can take a little time to go through the system.