Magnificent German engineering in vehicles is hard to miss, as it makes these cars extremely impressive in terms of performance, agility, efficiency, and elegance. The Audi is one such brand that embodies all the good characteristics attributed to German engineering. With the onset of global warming, there are more stringent rules regarding pollution, including pollution through exhaust fumes. Luckily for drivers of luxury brands such as the Audi, air pollution through exhaust fumes is usually the least of their worries. This is because of a vehicle component known as the catalytic converter.
A catalytic converter is a device that is fitted at the tail end of an internal combustion engine. The purpose of this device is to regulate the emissions that come from the engine’s combustion chamber as by-products. The catalytic converter converts these by-products into less toxic compounds before they are released into the air.
The device is known as a catalytic converter because it catalyzes the exhaust products from the combustion process in an oxidation and reduction process, resulting in the less harmful gases. The catalytic converter in the Audi has been reported by many drivers to malfunction at some time in the course of their driving.
Causes of Malfunctioning Catalytic Converters
Some of the reasons why the catalytic converter in your Audi may fail include:
When oil that is supposed to burn within the combustion chamber finds its way out into the catalytic converter, the results will be that the heated engine parts will make it burn within the converter. This will in turn leave soot deposits on the catalytic converter, or worse, cause damage due to the excessive heat from the burning.
Incorrect air to fuel ratio due to faulty spark plugs
Having the wrong air to fuel ratio within the internal combustion engine will impair the functions of the spark plugs, and if the fuel mixture is not completely ignited some of the unburned fuel will find its way into the catalytic converter.
Faulty oxygen sensor
The oxygen sensor is responsible for the amount of oxygen that is involved in the redox reaction in the catalytic converter. When the oxygen sensor is faulty, it will provide wrong readings and case the too rich or too lean condition. Either of these situations are unpleasant because when the readings are too rich, the combustion in the converter can melt down the parts and when it’s too lean, the reaction does not happen and so all toxic gases are released into the atmosphere.
Rough driving or constant driving on rough road surfaces exposes the catalytic converter to the impact of debris. This can cause damage to the device and render it useless.
Effects of Catalytic Converter Malfunction
The problems in your catalytic can have certain effects on the efficiency of your car. These effects will be in the form of the following symptoms.
- The car will fail emission tests because of the failure of the catalytic converter to reduce and oxidize the by products from the combustion chamber into safer products.
- The car may also have poor fuel efficiency because of the unburned fuel that may leak out of the engine and into the catalytic converter.
- When the unburned fuel burns in the converter, the carbon particles that are produced can clog the muffler and prevent passage of air. This will interfere with the air to fuel ratio in the engine and cause the engine to fail to start when the car is ignited. The poor air to fuel ratio may also cause the spark plugs to fail and not ignite the fuel in the combustion chamber completely. As a result, the vehicle may be unable to accelerate regardless of how much you step on the gas.
Regular servicing of the vehicle will enable you to prevent the catalytic converter in your Audi from deteriorating faster. This is because in the process of service, the catalytic converter can be cleaned out to prevent blockage and any signs of leaking fuel can be identified and stopped in time.
Should your car present with the symptoms of a bad converter, you will definitely need to replace it. Master Mechanics Auto Repair has quality parts that can be installed in your Audi by certified technicians. Give us a call to schedule an appointment if you are in Battle Creek, Portage, or Kalamazoo, MI and we’ll gladly provide the repair services you need.