How To Fix Catalytic Converter Without Replacing? 4 Expert Methods

A catalytic converter is an essential part of your exhaust system designed to last your vehicle’s lifespan or at least ten years. It is also an expensive part. So when it fails, it’ll drop expensive repair bills on the table. Since replacing a bad catalytic converter is expensive, you may wonder what is the cheapest way to fix a catalytic converter.

The cheapest way is to fix the catalytic converter without replacing it. In this article, I’ll explain how to fix a catalytic converter without replacing it in simplified methods. Grab a seat while I uncover all you need to know.

how much to fix catalytic converter

How to Fix Catalytic Converter Without Replacing It 

It is easy to fix a catalytic converter without replacing it only when it has not rattled, warped, discolored, or emitted a rotten egg smell. In other words, it is easy to fix the catalytic converter without replacing it at the early stage. The process is as simple as adding lacquer thinner to your gas tank, removing and washing the cat con, or driving aggressively for a while.

01. Using The Fuel additives

You can fix or prevent catalytic converters from damaging by simply adding fuel additives to the gas tank. Fuel additives enhance engine performance and clean the catalytic converter. It is a quick fix for the catalytic converter. However, you don’t need fuel additives if you use premium or super-premium gas because these fuel types have additives.

If you’re having slight engine performance issues, bad fuel mileage, P0430 and P0420, or any other catalytic-related issues, try using super-premium or premium gas for a while and see if that’ll address the underlying problem.

If you don’t have much to spend on premium gas, add lacquer thinner to the gas tank. However, you need the correct measurement for the right result. I advise adding 1 gallon of lacquer thinner into a half tank. After that, drive the vehicle at highway speed for 150 miles. You can also try other fuel additives to improve engine performance and clean the cat con.

I published an article that explains how to fix the catalytic converter check engine light. If this little monster light is illuminating your dashboard, check out that article to learn how to clear it.

02. Clean/Wash the catalytic converter

The next method requires taking off and washing the catalytic converter with water and detergent. Of course, you need to roll your sleeves and get your hands dirty. To clean the cat con, raise the vehicle and support it with jack stands.

Get a mechanic mart and slide under the vehicle. Locate the catalytic converter on the exhaust pipe and disconnect the bolts holding it in place. Most people won’t like this method because it may sound technical, but it is not as challenging as it sounds.

Once you remove the cat con, get a bowl, fill it with hot water, and add degreaser or laundry detergent. Now, soak the catalytic converter in the bowl and leave it overnight. Pressure wash the catalytic converter the following day, let it dry, and reinstall.

You can also visit a mechanic if you don’t want to get your hands dirty. All you have to do is to search for “cheap catalytic converter repair near me” or “fix catalytic converter near me” on your phone browser to locate local mechanic shops around you.

Cleaning the catalytic converter is quite effective than using additives. Consider this method if you need a better result.

03. Drive your car hard

Let’s be clear; I’m not asking you to turn your car into a road beast. But you have to push your car hard within the speed limit you can control. This method could be all you need to address the issue if you don’t usually push down the gas pedal on the road.

Auto manufacturers designed catalytic converters to get incredibly hot for optimal performance. So, if you only make short trips like commuting to work, taking kids to school, shopping, or going to the mosque or church, the cat con may never get to its optimal temperature.

Take your car out once in a while and hit the gas pedal. Try pushing the gas pedal to the maximum speed you can handle. Depress the accelerator to the floor, remove your foot, and wait for a while before you hit it again. Does this several times while maintaining the maximum speed you can control.

04. Delete the cat con

If you notice bad catalytic converter signs like rattling noise, rotten egg smell, discoloration, or warping of the cat con, the only solution will be to delete or replace it. Since this article discusses how to address cat con issues without replacement, you have to consider catalytic converter deletion.

Converter delete is one of the best alternatives to replacing a catalytic converter that is long gone. It requires cutting off and replacing the catalytic converter with a straight pipe.

alternatives to replacing catalytic converter

Related Queries 

Can you clean a catalytic converter instead of replacing it?

The catalytic converter cleans toxic exhaust fumes produced during combustion, making the exhaust fumes less harmful to the environment. Over time, the exhaustion clogs the catalytic converter. Instead of replacing the clogged catalytic converter, you can clean it, especially when on a budget.

What is the alternative to replacing a catalytic converter?

The best way to fix a clogged catalytic converter is to replace it. But due to the replacement cost, you can switch to premium gas or add fuel additives once you notice the cat con has failed. You can also remove the cat con, wash, and reinstall it. If none of these could fix the problem or someone stole your catalytic converter, the only feasible solution would be to delete the cat con.

Can I fix my catalytic converter myself?

You can fix or unclog the catalytic converter yourself by adding fuel additives to the gas tank or washing the cat con when it clogs. But if the catalytic converter is long gone, you can fix it by replacing the old one with a new cat con. However, if it has been welded before, you have to contact your mechanic to cut it and weld the new one.

What is the cheapest way to fix a catalytic converter?

There are several cheapest alternative ways of fixing clogged catalytic converters. They include adding fuel additives to the gas tank to unclog the cat con, washing it, and driving aggressively. Other less expensive ways of fixing the catalytic converter are deleting the cat con and installing a second-hand catalytic converter.

Final Words

Because the cost of replacing a catalytic converter can range from $900 to $2,450, most motorists choose the alternative and cost-effective means of fixing a cat con. I’ve outlined several methods on “how to fix a catalytic converter without replacing it.” Choose the one that suits you.

All the methods are effective. But if you need to increase your engine power output and make the sound more aggressive, delete the catalytic converter. Not only will it fix the problem, but it’ll give you some cash when you sell the bad one. You can check the cat con scrap value at different junk yards near you and sell it to the ones with reasonable offers.

Osuagwu Solomon

Osuagwu Solomon is a certified mechanic with over a decade of experience in the mechanic garage, and he has over five years of experience in the writing industry. He started writing automotive articles to share his garage experience with car enthusiasts and armature mechanics. If he is not in the garage fixing challenging mechanical problems, he is writing automotive repair guides, buyer’s guides, and car and tools comparisons.

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