Catalytic converters are exhaust components that are intended to prevent harmful gases from escaping from the vehicle. They are one of the most effective ways to reduce emissions and have been legally required on vehicles in the United States since 1981. The best catalytic converters not only reduce emissions but also ensure maximum exhaust flow, increasing performance.
How Do They Work?
Internal combustion engines produce some very harmful exhaust compounds. The main three compounds are:
- Hydrocarbons from unburned gasoline
- Carbon monoxide from gasoline combustion
- Nitrogen oxides from the engine forcing together nitrogen and oxygen
All three of these are not only harmful to the environment but also to people, pets and other living things. Carbon monoxide is poisonous to air-breathing animals. Nitrogen oxide and hydrocarbons produce smog and create acid rain.
In short, no one wants those emissions escaping from engines. Catalytic converters use platinum and palladium as catalysts to reduce these emissions. It turns the carbon monoxide into carbon dioxide. It also converts the hydrocarbons into water and carbon dioxide. Finally, it converts the nitrogen oxide back into nitrogen and oxygen.
These catalysts are coated in ceramic in either a honeycomb or bead structure. The entire setup is housed in a unit that looks a lot like a muffler.
How Else Do they Affect the Car?
Although catalytic converters are essential for reducing emissions, they also inhibit exhaust flow which can harm performance. Fortunately, the right aftermarket performance parts can create a high-flow exhaust system. This includes a performance catalytic converter. So, you can maximize airflow while also keeping your emissions down, that is a win-win.
Find the Right Parts
Getting the right exhaust setup for your vehicle can greatly benefit performance. Customizing your vehicle with aftermarket performance parts is fun and rewarding. So, check out the pipes, catalytic converters and mufflers that will work for your car to help you get the most power and performance from your ride.