The catalytic converters are probably the most well-known part of the car emissions system.
This valuable component is often stolen from gas-powered cars and trucks because of the amount of precious metal inside.
That might lead you to wonder if diesel engines have catalytic converters. We answered that important question in this guide.
We talk about how the system works on diesel-powered machines. We look at ways to tell when it is time to replace the diesel catalytic converters.
Do Diesel Engines Have Catalytic Converters?
The difference between a diesel car and a gas-powered car is that the diesel car’s catalytic converters are not the same as the gas-powered cars.
Some diesel engines have a two-way catalyst with a diesel oxidation catalyst, but it could be a three-way design that adds an SCR reduction.
Diesel engine emissions go through four stages, with the first being the Exhaust Gas Recirculation, the second the Diesel Particulate Filtration, the third the DOC, and the fourth the SCR.
When the catalysts are making chemical reactions to reduce emissions, they are in the DOC and SCR stages.
How Do A Diesel Catalytic Converter Work?
The conversion of harmful substances into non-toxic forms is done by the diesel catalyst.
There are thousands of micro-cellular units in the two ceramic blocks that are inside the metal case.
There are ceramic blocks that have a metal coating on them. The catalyst is located close to the engine, with the catalyst heating up to act as a catalyst for chemical reactions.
Toxic gasses can be converted into harmless byproducts that can be released into the atmosphere.
Similar to a gas engine, the Diesel Oxidation Catalyst is used to oxidize Diesel. With the help of metal catalysts, carbon monoxide is reduced to water.
The emissions of dangerous gasses are reduced during this time because volatile hydrocarbons and byproducts are broken down into less harmful substances.
The cat doesn’t have the same amount of rhodium as the gas engine. The particulate matter that isn’t found in the gas-centered converters is eliminated with the diesel particulate filter.
With the help of an ammonia-based catalyst, the SCR is responsible for breaking down the Nitrogen Oxide into Nitrogen and Oxygen.
A 75- to 90-percent reduction in NOx emissions can be achieved through this open-loop system.
SCR is only about eight percent effective in reducing emissions of hydrocarbons. Improving performance by using low sulfur fuel is possible.
How Long Will A Diesel Catalytic Converter Last?
About ten years is how long the diesel catalytic converter will last. How long your trips are and how the vehicle is treated will affect its health.
If you take shorter trips, the engine will be turned off before the appropriate operating temperature is obtained for the compounds.
The more often this happens, the more wear the conversion deals with.
Signs of a Bad Diesel Catalytic Converter
If you notice the signs that the conversion is failing, you can have it replaced and not miss a beat.
There is a chance that the conversion can fail early. Some of the most common causes of premature failure are listed here.
- The free flow of exhaust gasses is restricted
- The build-up of carbon deposits
- Physical damage
- Poor engine maintenance
Oxygen sensors are used in most modern cars to determine if the catalytic converters need to be replaced.
The Check Engine Light will come on when the oxygen sensors don’t receive the proper reading. It is possible to use a code scanner to figure out what is causing the issue.
The Check Engine Light is one of the things that you might see when the catalytic converter is failing.
- Poor engine performance
- Trouble accelerating
- Rotten egg smell from the exhaust
- Dark exhaust smoke
It’s not going to be an inexpensive job to have the catalytic converters replaced. It is just as expensive or more expensive than a gas-powered car.
Depending on your car model and the material of the conversion, you can expect to spend between $900 and $2,500. Both parts and labor are included in the estimate.
It is possible to save a small amount of money if you can do the replacement yourself. The majority of the costs are made up of the part itself.
Some drivers put theft-proof features on their cars to stop them from being stolen. It is possible to keep the catalytic converter protected from thieves for less than $50.
Is It Possible For A Car To Run Without a Diesel Catalytic Converter?
There is no stopping the vehicle from driving even if the catalytic converter is missing. You won’t be stranded without the engine, it will still work.
The emissions standards won’t be the same, and there could be some engine performance problems. It’s required by law that catalytic converters are required.
If you don’t have one, you could face stiff fines. You don’t have to get an emissions test if you don’t have to, but the safety inspection could flag it when you go to renew your registration.
Does Cleaning A Catalytic Converter Work?
It can become a problem if the carbon builds up inside the catalytic converters. Some people assume that the only option is to replace the catalytic converter, but that is not the case.
Most people agree that it is worth trying the products that claim to clean the catalytic converter.
If you pay a small amount for a simple cleaner, you will not need to put on a new converter.
The life of this valuable part can be maintained with the use of a catalytic converter cleaner.
Many of the products recommend using a bottle every 3,000 to 4,000 miles, but this guideline is excessive. You should be able to see the results if you use it twice a year.
Truck driver by profession, automotive lover by heart. Ricky is the main publisher and editor at Truckile.com sharing his life-long knowledge and experience in the auto industry and truck driving!