The Arguments For And Against Removing Catalytic Converter

The catalytic converter has been used in the automobiles since the 1970s. Its job is to reduce the quantity of harmful gases that a vehicle emits into the environment. People’s choice of removing catalytic converter is based on the fact that it decreases the engine power. There are arguments both in favor and against it.

Removing Catalytic Converter: Why Do People Want To Do It?

The converter lowers the harmful effects of the gases by releasing a kind of chemical catalyst. People arguing in favor of its removal think that it creates too much back pressure on the exhaust system and affects a vehicle’s performance by preventing it from running with its optimum horsepower. Another reason is a clogged or failed converter because replacing it with a new one is an expensive fix. Most people opt to replace it with some energy-efficient but less expensive and others prefer to get rid of it completely.

However, performance enhancement is the primary reason for removing catalytic converter. The basic principle is the engine can suck in more fresh air if it is possible to release a greater amount of exhaust gases in a short period of time. More air in the engine means it can burn more fuel efficiently, leading to projecting more power towards the operation of the vehicle.

catalytic converter removal
Removing the converter enhances the performance. (Photo Source: rac)

Taking The Converter Off Or Straight Piping

The converter is removed as a part of the process called straight piping. It creates a straighter passage for the release of the exhaust fume. Along with the converter, it involves the removal of resonators and mufflers. It basically creates an exhaust system that does not have any obstruction to the release of the exhaust smoke.

How powerful the car is going to be depends on how much restrictive the removed converter was. It will also depend if you go for an aftermarket race catalytic converter that offers a high flow of gases.

However, you should not take off any part of the OE omission system. Also, instead of throwing the converter away, you can actually enhance the performance by installing a wider exhaust pipe and less-restrictive mufflers.

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Problems Of Removing Catalytic Converter

Without a catalytic converter, you can bump up the engine performance. But, it causes so many other problems that you will be wondering whether it is a good idea to go through all those troubles just for a bit of extra horsepower.

Polluting the environment – The converter reduces the harmful effects of the exhaust smokes. Some of them can even cut the detrimental elements by 90%. Without this component, your car will discharge the toxic fume into the atmosphere directly and cause more pollution than it should be.

Breaking the lawRemoving catalytic converter without replacing it with a new one or any kind of alternative is against the law. Laws and regulations regarding automobile emissions and air quality require a car to emit within a limit. However, the limit depends on the states and city you live in.

The emission from your car should be within the emission rating in your area. Seizing and scrapping the car could be the consequence of breaking the law of emission. However, unlike the UK, there is no MOT test (an annual testing of vehicles for roadworthiness, safety, and emissions) in the USA. A car is deemed to be ready for driving on the road as long as it has functional front and rear lights and can speed up above 55 mph. But, there is an emission testing every other year (not in every city, though) that the car has to pass.

Annoying sound – Discarding the converter altogether also causes noise pollution. Without this component, there will be no muffler to suppress the engine noise. As a result, the sound will be pretty loud every time you rev up the engine.

More fuel expenses – It is exciting to find a way to boost your vehicle’s acceleration. But, remember that it won’t be saving your fuel. Removing the component means consuming more oil, increasing your car expenses each month.

removing catalytic converter
You can remove the converter without any professional help. (Photo Source: autotechio)

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How To Detach The Catalytic Converter

If you are still willing to take risks for a few notches up in the performance meter, follow the procedure to take the component off from the exhaust system:

  1. Unhitch the O2 sensor: The first step is uncoupling the O2 sensor. You can do with a special tool called an O2 wrench.
  2. Pulling off the converter: The next step is to separate the converter from the exhaust system. You have to unbolt it and slide down the exhaust pipe. If it is welded to the system, clip it off with a rotary saw.
  3. Getting rid of the converter: It is possible to scrap the converter into pieces and sell to a scrap shop. However, the core of the converter contains a precious metal. You can sell it for good money if you can separate it from the core.