Why Does My Car Smell Like Rotten Eggs? It’s your Catalytic Converter

Your car, truck, or SUV shouldn’t smell like anything. You shouldn’t smell gas or burning odors regularly. If you do, you should have the odor checked out by a professional auto mechanic right away, especially if the smell is hot. Your engine can catch on fire if it overheats too much, something you never want to face. Do you notice a smell that reminds you of rotten eggs? Chances are, it’s your automobile’s catalytic converter.

What Does the Catalytic Converter Do?

Your catalytic converter plays an important role in your car, truck, or SUV’s emissions. It takes the toxic gases carbon monoxide, nitric oxide, and unburned hydrocarbon and converts it (hence, its name) into safe gases that are okay to be released into the environment. Depending on the toxic gas, the catalytic converter will change it to carbon dioxide, oxygen, or just plain, old water. The catalytic converter also prevents these toxic gases from making their way into the cabin of your vehicle, which would definitely be a problem for you and your passengers. 

What Can Go Wrong?

Many things can go wrong with your automobile’s catalytic converter and your vehicle will tell you when that happens. Usually, you’ll smell the problem as discussed in the intro, but another common symptom of catalytic converter trouble is failing an automobile emissions test. The reason why the vehicle fails is that the catalytic converter cannot switch carbon monoxide into carbon dioxide, for example, and this is when it’s time to have the catalytic converter replaced. Comprised of many parts that work together, conversion failure is a sign one or more of these parts have failed.

How Can I Tell if My Catalytic Converter Is Having Problems?

Aside from smelling rotten eggs or, as some people describe it, sulfur, and failing a smog check, other signs you have catalytic converter problems include your dashboard’s Check Engine light coming on, poor gas mileage, problems accelerating your vehicle, and problems starting your car, truck, or SUV. Because of its role in vehicle emissions, it’s important to have your catalytic converter inspected right away if you suspect there is a problem. Your vehicle might not only release toxic gas into the environment; it can also release it into the cabin and harm you and your passengers.

We service and repair vehicle emissions systems, so bring your car, truck, or SUV to us if you suspect there might be a problem with the catalytic converter. You can set up an appointment by calling us today at our Grand Ledge or Lansing, MI, locations. We’ll inspect and repair your emissions system.


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