How Long Does it Take to Replace a Catalytic Converter?

How Long Does it Take to Replace a Catalytic Converter

Without a catalytic converter, it is next to impossible for you to enjoy driving your car, because it will not run efficiently and smoothly.

The purpose of a car’s catalytic converter is to control the emissions of your car, and when it isn’t functioning, or when you start being uncomfortable in your vehicle, you know it’s high time to change it.

So, what if I want to change the converter? How long does it take to replace a catalytic converter?

Changing your catalytic converter takes no less than one hour and no more than two hours. It’s a bit of a strenuous process, but you should get your catalytic converter replaced in under two hours.

Does Replacing a Catalytic Converter Consume Too Much Time?

Not exactly. The highest duration to replace a catalytic converter is 2 hours, that is if you know exactly what you’re doing, or it is being done by a professional.

If you consider two hours as a lot of time, then yes, the replacement of a Catalytic Converter consumes a lot of time.

This process is quite complex, and it is costly as well because you have to overhaul the previous catalytic converter that has stopped working to put in the new one.

For a repair, or replacement of parts, however, the catalytic converter consumes a lot of time, on average. Two hours is a lot of time to fix a part of a car.

How Long Does it Take To Replace a Catalytic Converter?

It takes between one to two hours to remove the old catalytic converter on your car and install a new one. This is because there are a lot of steps to follow to complete the process.

Once you detect that your catalytic converter has gone bad, and needs to be replaced, the first thing to do, before following the steps to replace the catalytic converter is to go and purchase a new one that would fit exactly the model of your car.

Once that is done, you begin the process of replacing the old with a new catalytic converter. Here are the steps that you have to take:

  • You Have to Raise Your Vehicle: You need four jack stands to do this. You have to raise your car from the ground using jack stands set at each point of the tires, to raise the car evenly and suspend it in the air.
  • Go Under the Car to Look for Where the Catalytic Converter is Located: Usually, it is located between the engine and the muffler.
  • Remove the Connection Around It: Once you locate it, remove all the connections around it, such as the oxygen sensor with the special socket, and then take out the bolts too, to free the converter.

It is important to note that you shouldn’t put a lot of pressure on the bolts if it doesn’t loosen easily. Instead of trying to force it loose, use penetrating oil to get the job done.

Spray around the catalytic converter, wait for some minutes and then remove it.

Once you have successfully removed the old catalytic converter, it is time to replace it with the new, perfectly fitting one that you have purchased.

Replace it, affix the bolts again, and ensure they are properly tightened, then fix all the connections around the catalytic converter once more, and then you are done.

You might be wondering why it takes so much time to do something so easy, well, what makes it difficult and time-consuming most times are the rusted bolts that you might have to struggle with, as well as parts that have been welded formerly.

Even at that, you should have completed the replacement in under two hours.

When Should I Change My Catalytic Converter?

Once your catalytic converter goes bad, you should know that it is due for a change.

There are several symptoms that your car will give to let you know that your catalytic converter is bad.

Here are some of the signs you see that let you know when it is time to change your catalytic converter:

1. The Unpalatable Smell from the Exhaust

Once you start getting a very bad smell from the exhaust, then it means your emissions system, which is the catalytic converter isn’t functioning, and it needs to be replaced. Some people say that their cars smell like rotten eggs once the emissions don’t work.

2. Inefficient Acceleration

When you start having trouble accelerating your vehicle, among many other reasons, it could be that your catalytic converter is no longer effective and should be changed.

3. Smog Test Failure

If you are living in a state where you’re required to go for smog tests with your vehicle, you have no choice but to abide by the law. A car whose catalytic converter isn’t functioning any longer and needs repair will not pass a smog test.

4. Noise

You will also start hearing some kind of rattling noise from your exhaust system if the honeycomb materials inside your catalytic converter have been broken.

A broken honeycomb also indicates a bad catalytic converter. You should change it.

5. Poor Fuel Usage

When your fuel economy becomes bad, and your car is consuming more fuel than it normally does, then your catalytic converter should be suspect. It probably needs change. A bad catalytic converter can affect gas mileage.

6. Check Engine Lights

Finally, the almighty Check Engine Lights will come on to indicate an issue with the catalytic converter. If the engine light comes on, and you realize it is a problem with your catalytic converter, then you should have it changed.

What if I Refuse to Replace My Catalytic Converter?

If you refuse to replace your catalytic converter, you certainly will not be comfortable in your car. This is because, as earlier said, your car will give several abnormalities, to tell you there’s something wrong that needs to be fixed.

If you are ill, you can’t refuse to treat yourself. If you do, you will simply live in discomfort. The same thing applies to your car.

If you refuse to fix it, you have to live with an awful smell, bad fuel economy, and problems with acceleration, among other things.

Who Can Replace Catalytic Converter For Me?

This depends on how your catalytic converter is affixed to your car. Some cars have a more complex system, and you might need to take it to the repairer, while some are simple, you can do them yourself.

Also, if your catalytic converter has been wielded, you might want to take it to a proper carmaker, or mechanic/panel beater to help you with the process.

Final Thoughts

once you suspect that something is wrong with your catalytic converter, you certainly need to address issues, as the catalytic converter is one part of your car that gives comfort and efficiency to your driving.

Once it is due for a replacement, it is expedient that you replace it as soon as you can, for a better experience as a driver.