What Causes a Clogged Catalytic Converter in Your Audi From the Experts in College Station
Audis are particularly prone to developing clogs in their catalytic converters. This is a device that runs underneath your vehicle. Its job is to convert the engine’s exhaust into a form that is more environmentally friendly before it is expelled.
Although designed to be quite robust, if the converter does get clogged, it can lead to problems. Here, we will discuss what to look for if you suspect that your Audi’s catalytic converter is clogged and the possible causes of such a clog.
Symptoms of a Clogged Catalytic Converter in an Audi
Because your Audi’s catalytic converter is such a key part of the vehicle’s exhaust system, most of the symptoms typically used to diagnose a clogged catalytic converter are related to problems with emissions and exhaust. Here is a list of the most common signs to look out for:
- The Check Engine light has come on. Although there are many different problems which can cause the Check Engine light to come on, it could be that your catalytic converter has become clogged.
- Your Audi fails an emissions test or you smell chemicals coming out of the exhaust. Because a clogged catalytic converter is unable to perform its function, this will cause failed emissions tests and/or the car’s exhaust to exhibit a chemical smell.
- Your Audi’s performance isn’t what it should If you notice a change in your Audi’s performance, such as rough acceleration, it could indicate that it is having trouble with air intake and exhaust, which decreases engine efficiency.
- There has been a dip in fuel efficiency. Since a clog in the catalytic converter negatively affects engine performance, it will also cause a noticeable decrease in fuel economy.
- Your converter has been rattling. If the catalytic converter is making a rattling sound, it could indicate internal damage done by pressure buildup due to a clog.
- The engine has been misfiring. A misfiring engine can cause the catalytic converter to overheat and eventually become clogged.
Factors that Can Cause a Clogged Catalytic Converter
Faulty Spark Plugs
One of the more common reasons for a catalytic converter becoming clogged is the spark plugs having gone bad. When the spark plug fails to Ignite all of the fuel, whatever fuel is not burned makes its way into its exhaust system. There, the extreme heat ignites the unspent fuel, causing engine damage.
Sometimes a leaky valve can be behind a clogged catalytic converter. If one of your valves has malfunctioned, it could have allowed things into the converter that shouldn’t be there, such as oil or antifreeze. This causes a thick layer of black soot to build up inside the converter, eventually blocking off air flow.
Driving on Rough Roads
If you are a fan of off-roading, or frequently drive in areas where the roads are littered with potholes or other imperfections, that could have been the ultimate cause of your catalytic converter becoming clogged. Driving in rough conditions can lead to a part of a catalytic converter called the catalytic honeycomb, which breaks easily, to become damaged. Little pieces of the honeycomb then move freely inside the converter, which messes up air flow.
Not Running the Engine Long Enough
The most surprising reason that your catalytic converter may be clogged is that you haven’t been running the engine for long enough. In order to run properly, your Audi’s engine needs to reach the ideal temperature for burning its fuel. That takes time. If you are in the habit of using your Audi primarily for short car rides, your engine may not be getting hot enough to get to peak efficiency, and the unspent fuel can cause problems similar to those caused by a leaky valve.
Autowerks Can Help
Here at Autowerks, we understand how distressing a problem with your European import can be. Luckily, we specialize in the maintenance and repair of European automobiles. We are a family-owned independent automotive service faculty that offers a less expensive alternative to dealer services.
Located in College Station, TX, we also have offices in Navasota, Madisonville, Caldwell, Bryan, and Brenham. If you suspect that your Audi or other European automobile may be in need of repair, stop by today or give us a call at 979-690-3032. You will receive fast and friendly service at a reasonable price, guaranteed.