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How to Deal with Catalytic Converter Issues in Audi

Posted on April 17, 2019 by Keith Cox

Audi is a leading vehicle brand that has consistently committed to ensuring reliability and high performance in their luxurious and high end vehicles over the years. In order to maintain this impeccable profile, Audi vehicle manufacturer has gone to great lengths to ensure that owners get value for the price they pay to acquire these elegant vehicles.While there aren’t many Audi problems, one issue that many Audi owners have had to deal with in the course of their driving is in the catalytic converter.

What is a Catalytic Converter?

The catalytic converter is an exhaust control device that converts harmful and toxic emissions from the fuel injected engine into less toxic substances that are largely harmless to the environment. This enables Audi vehicles to keep their carbon footprint as low as possible while the drivers enjoy excellent performance without an ounce of guilt.

How it Works

When the combustion process is completed inside the internal combustion chamber, the resulting by-products normally contain high levels of nitrogen oxides, which are a major contributor to environmental pollution. These gases are directed into the catalytic converter, where they are broken down into more harmless nitrogen and oxygen gases in a process known as reduction by the first catalyst in the converter.

The second catalyst enables the oxidation process, in which oxygen is then used to convert the carbon monoxide into carbon dioxide, which is harmless and in abundance in the normal air that we breathe in. In the same vein, any hydrocarbons that remain unburned from this process are also oxidized to produce water and more carbon dioxide. This water is released in the form of steam.

Causes of Catalytic Converter Issues

Several factors may contribute to the development of catalytic converter issues. The major contributing factor to these issues stem from wear that occurs when the car has covered lots of mileage. This wear will specifically affect the integrity of the spark plugs and cause them to fail to ignite the fuel consistently. Faulty oxygen sensors can also cause too lean or too rich scenarios. Either of these cases can result in varying amounts of gases going into the converter, potentially causing clogs.

Other than that, coolant leaks may sometimes find their way into the exhaust, causing a blockage. Another common cause of blockage comes from carbon deposits from the inefficient redox reaction in the converter. This leaves the carbon to deposit in the exhaust and prevent free flow of gases through the exhaust.

Effects of Catalytic Converter Issues

Faults in your Audi’s catalytic converter will result in a number of signs that should alert you to the problem based on the reduced performance of the car.This reduced performance of the engine is due to the fact that the catalytic system is built into the exhaust system to contribute to its efficiency, so a fault in the system cam really slow things down.

You may also experience a pungent smell synonymous with that of rotten eggs coming from the exhaust system; this points to a faulty catalytic converter.The smell specifically shows that there may be unburnt fuel in the vehicle’s exhaust system, which is a potentially dangerous buildup. The vehicle’s check engine light may also light up on the dashboard of your Audi.This is a direct result of a faulty sensor that may affect the air to
fuel ratio in the combustion chamber.

What to Do

Regular tune ups of your Audi’s engine in the course of regular servicing will help prevent the catalytic converter from developing issues. A regular service schedule as is recommended by Audi will also make it easier to spot worn out components before they break down and cause catalytic converter failure. Should the catalytic converter in your Audi exhibit any signs of problems, you should immediately get it to a certified mechanic to determine the actual cause of the problem.

Here at Keith Cox Autobahn, our skilled mechanics have vast experience in servicing foreign models such as the Audi. We serve the areas in and around Bellingham, WA and would be happy to add you to our long list of satisfied customers. Drop us a line today and we’ll efficiently get your Audi back on the road.

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