3 Signs your Mercedes-Benz Needs a New Catalytic Converter

August 5th, 2022 by

The catalytic converter is an important part of your Mercedes engine. It’s responsible for converting dangerous chemicals into less harmful ones before they leave your car. The converter uses high pressure and temperature for this conversion, and this can lead to wear. As your Mercedes dealer, we can help you if you have a problem with your converter.

Reduced Performance

The converter removes carbon as it works to convert chemicals like carbon monoxide into carbon dioxide. This carbon can build up and clog the converter. If the converter is clogged, exhaust gases won’t be able to leave your car. These gases are forced back into your engine and create a back pressure that reduces your engine performance.

The exhaust gases alter the fuel-air mix in your engine and make combustion more difficult. The fuel-rich environment and lack of air make it difficult for the spark plugs to ignite. This can cause misfiring and leads to spark plug damage. Our technicians can clear the blockage in the converter, and your engine performance will increase.

Rattling Sounds

Your converter has a honeycomb structure, which allows for a large area for the conversion of dangerous chemicals. Once exhaust gases enter the converter, it raises the temperature and increases the pressure in the system. The gases react with the platinum and other metals in the converter and rapidly change into harmless chemicals before they’re ejected from your car.

A honeycomb is strong but delicate. Damage to one part of the honeycomb will reduce the strength of the whole converter. If part of the converter is damaged, for example by hot unburnt fuel from a misfire, parts of the structure may break off. The broken parts will rattle around in the converter as you drive. Our technicians will check your converter and replace it if it’s damaged.

Rotten Egg Smell

Fuel contains sulfur, and during combustion, the heat and pressure change the sulfur into hydrogen sulfide. Hydrogen sulfide has a rotten egg smell, and it’s a dangerous, corrosive chemical. When hydrogen sulfide enters the converter, it’s changed into harmless sulfur dioxide. If you start to smell a rotten egg smell, this suggests that there’s a problem with your converter.

A damaged converter will allow the dangerous gases to pass straight through and out of your engine. This produces black exhaust smoke due to the presence of carbon and other chemicals. The damaged converter also means that you will fail an emissions test. Our technicians can test your converter, and repair or replace it if it’s damaged.

If you experience any of these symptoms, your converter may be damaged. Call our service department ASAP at Mercedes-Benz of South Charlotte.