Most original equipment Converters should last the life of your vehicle. Converter failure is usually due to problems upstream of the exhaust. We have listed the most common points of failure below. These failures listed below are not covered by your warranty, so be sure to repair the issue that caused the failure of your Converter before replacing it.

Overheated Substrate

A substrate that is overheated for extended periods of time will eventually melt and/or fail. The most common causes of substrate melting/overheating are:

• Worn or failed O2 sensor causing poor fuel control
• Air cleaner restricted
• Fuel quality is substandard
• Engine load is excessive
• Inadequate engine compression
• Inadequate spark
• Weak ignition

In lab testing at reCatalitico, we have been able to melt convertor substrate in less than fifteen seconds by disabling spark on two cylinders on a V8 engine while at highway speeds!

Substrate Poisoning

There are several things that are poisonous to the substrate of a catalytic convertor:

Leaded Gasoline – using in a vehicle with a catalytic converter will cause catastrophic damage; the fuel lines must be flushed or replaced should this happen.

Antifreeze – if present in the exhaust system indicates a leak within both the cooling and the exhaust system, the leaks must be located and repaired immediately. Cross-contamination can cause severe damage to both systems.

Zinc (present in some oil additives) – carefully read all labels to insure no zinc is present

Certain silicon sealants – carefully read all labels to insure no zinc is present

reCatalitico tests all failed convertors for lead and zinc before replacement. If either is present, your warranty will not cover replacement. Convertors failing due to antifreeze leaks will be have plugged substrate. This is also not covered under warranty.

Substrate Coated with Oil

The presence of oil either on or in a catalytic converter’s substrate can indicate a leak in the vehicle’s engine.

A common symptom of this is a dramatic increase in oil consumption. Your car using increasing amounts of oil could be a result of excessive engine wear. In this case, repair/replacement of your vehicle’s engine should be done before convertor replacement.

Generally oil consumption amounts over one quart per 1000 miles will damage a convertor.

Structural Damage to Catalytic Converter

A catalytic converter can be damaged in a variety of ways. Denting is very common from potholes, road debris, or collision damage. External damage to catalytic converters is not covered under warranty.