Catalytic converters. To many people they don’t seem like an exciting part of the car experience, but for those of us who want our cars to be all they can be, we know that a performance catalytic converter makes a big difference.
The Role of The Catalytic Converter
All cars come with a catalytic converter, one of the front pieces of the exhaust system. Developed in 1975, the initial goal of the catalytic converter, and what it continues to do this day, is reduce environment harming emissions. Cars produce a considerable amount of harmful gases during combustion. Catalytic Converters take these gases and make them less harmful before emitting them.
How It Works
One of the simplest pieces of an exhaust system, a metal like platinum or palladium is found in the catalytic converter, where the harmful gases flow. These metal catalysts cause a chemical reaction that takes the harmful gases and quickly degrades them. They become water and carbon dioxide.
The converter has a ceramic honeycomb coated with the metal that serves as a catalyst – ceramic can withstand outrageous temperatures.
Performance Catalytic Converters
Because the catalytic converter is regulated, there isn’t much of a difference between a stock converter and an aftermarket one but the difference is a crucial one. High flow converters does the same thing, just much more quickly. That’s what ups the performance – increasing the flow so that the engine can increase power. The faster the flow, the better the performance.
How They Work
To up the flow rate, the aftermarket performance catalytic converter can either have a larger surface area of honeycomb or wider spaces for the gases to flow through. The first mod allows the converter to have more passages – more opportunities for exhaust to move through the converter because degraded. The second allows for more gas to flow through at a time.
Both types of performance converters require a balance of space and materials and must be manufactured in a way that doesn’t increase flow to a point where the emissions aren’t controlled according to requirements.
Find a reputable dealer or shop so that the performance catalytic converter you add to your ride will meet the standards for emissions in your state – local inspection sites or repair shops specializing in emissions are a great resource and likely will be happy to help you as you approach this mod.