What are the Causes of Catalytic Converter Clogs in Audis?

by wp_germanmotorspb April 18, 2019

Audi Catalytic Converter

A faulty catalytic converter in your Audi may not have been an issue you considered, but once it gets clogged, you’ll want to know how to fix it right away! That’s partially because a clogged catalytic converter releases a signature “rotten eggs” type of smell that can get really obnoxious really fast. In order to get it fixed, however, you’ll need a little extra info on why catalytic converters get clogged and how to treat your particular issue.

How Does a Catalytic Converter Work?

Catalytic converters are important because they live beneath your car, right in the middle of the exhaust and emissions system. A catalytic converter’s job is to convert toxic gasses produced by your car into something less noxious and less harmful for the environment. That’s why when it breaks down, that’s why you’ll notice that horrible smell.

How to Spot a Clogged Catalytic Converter

Check engine light

The unexpected appearance of your check engine light is one of the easiest ways to spot this problem. While it’s hardly the only reason your check engine light will come on, a clogged catalytic converter is certainly a possible symptom, and worth checking into. If your Audi seems to be functioning as it should, you may want to take a closer look and see if this is indicative of trouble with your converter.

Unusual noises

Much like the check engine light indicator, a clogged catalytic converter is not the only reason your car might be making weird noises. As frustrating as it might be, those unexpected sounds could mean anything from trouble with your engine to catalytic converter failure. However, you can sometimes tell a converter issue apart by listening for a distinctive rattling sound that’s unlikely to be produced by other problems.

Trouble With Your Car’s Emissions

Definitely one of the major hallmarks of clogged catalytic converters, emissions issues in your Audi are a surefire way to determine if your converter needs help. You can identify this problem in one of 2 ways: failing to pass your vehicle’s emissions test or noticing a strong chemical smell coming from your car. Since your catalytic converter is what regulates odors and emissions, any type of malfunction in this area can be a worrying sign.

Although most of these issues are not inherently indicative of catalytic converter failure, they are signs that can point to a wider problem and it’s worth checking them out. And if you’re experiencing all three at the same time, you definitely want to get your Audi in to a mechanic.

How Can you Prevent Catalytic Converter Clogs?

Fortunately, your Audi’s catalytic converter was designed to withstand a lot, so it shouldn’t malfunction at the drop of a hat. But the consistent wear and tear associated with regularly driving a vehicle can damage it over time. That’s pretty much the number-one cause of catalytic converter failure, so you can’t do much to prevent its eventual decline. However, you can stall the process for awhile by doing a few easy things:

Drive slowly over speed bumps and potholes

This might not sound like a big deal, but severely jarring the underside of your car can shake things around down there and loosen your catalytic converter, leading to a faster rate of decline.

Perform regular maintenance on your Audi

A simple check-up, performed regularly, can do a lot to identify problems early on and save you money and stress in the long run. Stick to your vehicle’s manufacturer-recommended maintenance schedule and stay on top of problems as they appear.

Audi Clogged Catalytic Converter

How to Fix Catalytic Converter Clogs

For your Audi’s optimum health and safety, a clogged catalytic converter isn’t something you want to try fixing at home. A trained mechanic who specializes in German-engineered cars is your best bet for finding a lasting, safe solution. Fortunately, German Motors and Imports knows just what you need! With over 50 years of experience in working on German cars— and a location convenient to San Diego, La Jolla, Pacific Beach, and Clairemont, CA—no matter what your Audi’s issue is, we’ve got you covered. We’ll work with you to identify and fix problems so you can enjoy your Audi for years to come.