Doral’s Auto Repair is the leading San Leandro auto repair shop, and among our many services we offer catalytic converter replacement in San Leandro. Catalytic converters do not fail often – it’s the recent epidemic of catalytic converter thefts that accounts for the majority of catalytic converter replacements we perform.
The type of driving you do can cause catalytic converter problems. If you typically take short drives, your catalytic converter does not have time to reach its normal working temperature. Now and then it’s good to take your vehicle for a 30-minute freeway ride, so the catalytic converter can reach its normal working temperature (which can be as high as 1200 degrees F). This extends catalytic converter lifespan by helping it to burn off any unburned fuel particles.
Another reason for catalytic converter replacement is theft. The Bay Area is a hot spot for catalytic converter theft. Most often targeted cars are Toyota Prius Gen 2 and Honda Element, though we have seen catalytic converters stripped from Ford vehicles as well. If you own a Prius or Element, we recommend parking it in a garage.
What is the function of a Catalytic Converter?
As you probably know, catalytic converter cleans up vehicle’s engine emissions. Unburned fuel particles and exhaust gases (gasoline does not burn up completely in cylinders) pass through a honeycomb made of precious metal ( hence catalytic converter thefts) that is heated up to about 1200 degrees F – in the process, they burn up completely, so the exhaust is mostly water vapor and carbon dioxide.
Signs of Catalytic Converter Problems
Symptoms listed below usually indicate a catalytic converter problem:
- Loss of power
- Exhaust gases may have an unpleasant odor (caused by unburned hydrocarbons).
- Car engine may be running rough
- Check engine light may be illuminated
- Engine may misfire
Having said that, the warning light and these symptoms may be caused by other problems, so professional diagnosis is a must – catalytic converter replacement is a very expensive repair. At Doral’s Auto Repair in San Leandro we offer a full range of diagnostics, so if you suspect that your catalytic converter may be in trouble, bring your car to Doral’s and our nationally ASE certified technicians will diagnose the root cause of the problem.
Catalytic Converter Replacement Process
California has stringent regulations when it comes to catalytic converter replacement, so the first thing we will need is your vehicle’s VIN number and engine family number. We may also need the catalytic converter serial number. Only then we will be able to order correct (California-legal) new catalytic converter for your car.
Once the converter arrives, along with other parts necessary for the replacement, we will get your car on the lift, complete the process, and test that it performs as expected. If the catalytic converter was stolen, thieves have likely damaged other parts in the process – all of those will be repaired or replaced at the same time. We also have catalytic converter anti-theft measures we can install.
Tests performed after the new catalytic converter is installed primarily involve checking that there are no exhaust leaks or problems with the converter. The final step is a road test to make sure that the exhaust system and other systems perform correctly under real driving conditions.
If you ever suspect that the catalytic converter in your car is failing, give us a call. We will perform diagnostics at our San Leandro auto repair shop – sometimes what looks like a catalytic converter problem turns out to be something else that is less expensive to fix.
When we replace the catalytic converter, we provide the following benefits:
- 36 months / 36,000 miles nationwide warranty
- Original Equipment Sourced/Supplier or better parts
- Free Digital Vehicle Inspection with Service.
- Written quotes
- Free local shuttle or loaner vehicles
If you have any concerns about the catalytic converter in your car, give us a call. For your convenience, you can set up an appointment online, or just give us a call.