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Failures - Converter Meltdown

Failures

Failures - Converter Meltdown

A catalytic converter will rarely fail without a problem or malfunction occurring somewhere in the emission system in front of the converter. It is important to determine what caused the converter to fail so that the problem can be fixed and to prevent a recurrence of the failure. This is an example of a converter meltdown. The converter was super-heated due to a raw fuel condition in the exhaust flow. The excess unburned fuel ignited when it struck the hot ceramic catalyst and drove the temperature far above the normal operating condition of the converter.

Failures - Converter Meltdown:


Failures - Converter Meltdown:

The ceramic catalyst is unable to withstand the extremely high temperature and begins to melt. The ceramic collapses and the converter is destroyed. The melted ceramic may block the exhaust flow and cause additional damage to the engine. A converter glowing red-hot, or evidence of heat discoloration, confirms this situation. The condition that led to this converter meltdown could be the result of a number of malfunctions including faulty oxygen sensor, an incorrect fuel mixture, worn spark plugs or plug wires, a faulty check valve, incorrect ignition timing, sticking float, faulty fuel injectors or other ignition malfunctions.