Ford Focus RS 2017 PH 10

Catalytic Converter Maintenance

Most everyone who drives a car knows that there are certain kinds of maintenance that must be performed to keep the car running at its peak performance. Engine oil changes, tire rotations, and transmission services are probably all things that you keep on top of. However, did you know that regular catalytic converter maintenance can help extend the life of your exhaust system? Keep reading to hear about what a catalytic converter even does and some things that you can do to help keep your functioning smoothly.

What Is A Catalytic Converter?

The catalytic converter is an important piece of your car’s exhaust system that helps to filter harmful gases from your car’s emissions. The inside of the catalytic converter is a honeycomb material made from precious metals such as platinum, palladium, and rhodium. As the exhaust gases heat the converter to its full operating temperature, a chemical reaction begins to take place. This chemical reaction converts harmful gases in your exhaust such as carbon monoxide to safer gases like carbon dioxide. This process helps make your vehicle much safer for you and the environment.

Why Does A Catalytic Converter Need Maintenance?

As these chemical reactions take place inside your catalytic converter, deposits can begin to form inside the honeycomb structure. For different reasons, these deposits may begin to build up and not thoroughly burn off. If you drive your car on short trips and your car does not reach full operating temperature for at least 10-15 minutes, then the buildup becomes worse. Gasoline that does not have proper cleaning detergents in it can cause these deposits to stay behind as well.

When the deposit buildup becomes bad enough, you will start to notice a decrease in performance. You might have a higher emissions rate which could cause you to fail a vehicle inspection or emissions test. If left unchecked for too long, your catalytic converter could become clogged. This would result in bad side effects such as decreased engine performance and reduced fuel economy. Since the preventative maintenance is easy and relatively cheap, you should not let things get that far!

How To Perform Catalytic Converter Maintenance

Maintaining your catalytic converter is relatively simple if you start early enough. Simply pour a bottle of catalytic cleaner into your gas tank every 1,000 miles or so. Since these bottles of cleaner are relatively cheap, most people can afford to do this type of maintenance. At only $5 – $10 dollars per bottle, it may be one of the cheapest maintenance items that you perform on your vehicle. If you start early, you can make sure that carbon deposits don’t build up inside your converter and it stays clean for years to come.

Maintaining a high-mileage catalytic converter might require slightly more effort, but it is certainly doable as well. If your converter has 100,000 or miles under its belt, you might want to use a cleaner that addresses the specific needs of your vehicle. If you are noticing a rotten egg smell, then try the Solder-It CAT1 cleaner. If you need to pass an emissions test, then go for the CRC “Guaranteed to Pass” Formula. You can still maintain your high-mileage converter, but just be a little more targeted in the product that you select.


Catalytic converters can be extremely expensive to replace, so make sure that you perform proper maintenance to get the most life out of yours. Maintaining them is simple and easy – not to mention cheap! Just pour a bottle of cleaner into your gas tank every few fill-ups, and your catalytic converter will thank you!

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