Do Diesel Engines Have Catalytic Converters?

All governments adopted strict regulations about environmental pollution, the majority of which is caused by vehicles, in response to the dramatic rise in pollution levels. Nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons, and carbon monoxide are the main pollutants here.

Today’s National Emissions Standards Act requires automakers to comply with non-toxic emissions standards. The catalytic converter is an emission-controlling component of your car’s exhaust system.

By transforming harmful gases and fumes your car’s engine produces into less harmful ones, the device lowers the number of harmful emissions from your vehicle. Follow the lead to learn more about catalytic converters & whether or not they are used in diesel vehicles.

Do Diesel Engines Have Catalytic Converters?

In the same way as their gasoline-powered counterparts, diesel engines can also be constructed using catalytic converters. This is because the catalysts inside the converter are necessary for the emissions system to balance the hazardous pollutants before they’re released through its exhaust pipes.

If you’re debating “Gas cat converter vs Diesel catalytic converter,” you should know that the converters used in diesel engines are significantly different from the standard ones used in gasoline-powered engines.

Diesel engines have catalytic converters that are 2- or 3-way designs, with DOC and SCR reductions, respectively.

Typically, the two primary phases of diesel engine emissions—selective catalytic reduction(SCR) or diesel oxidization catalyst (DOC)—start the chemical processes that help detoxify dangerous pollutants before being released/discharged into the atmosphere.

Do diesel vehicles have DPFs and catalytic converters if that is a question you have? EGR & DPF are two additional diesel engine emission stages. The DOC & SCR, the system’s final two stages, are where the main emissions neutralization job is done, while these two stages are the system’s first and second, respectively.

Also Read: Does a Cold Air Intake Make Your Car Louder?

Does a Diesel Engine Need a Catalytic Converter to Run?

Do Diesel Engines Have Catalytic Converters

Naturally, your diesel engine could function without a cat converter because the device is not necessary for a vehicle’s mobility. Driving without a converter, however, will affect the engine’s overall performance and make the automobile make unappealing noises while moving.

In addition to the consequences of not having your catalytic converter, a car without one will probably not pass the emissions trial. This is because driving without a catalyst converter is completely prohibited and because the pollutants from the vehicle’s exhaust pipes endanger the atmosphere.

Thus, it is the Environmental Protection Agency’s responsibility to ensure that every car produced after the year 1975 is equipped with at least one catalytic converter. This perfectly complies with the Clean/cleared Air Act of 1970.

In light of the fact that your diesel engine can function without a catalytic converter, don’t take the chance to do so. If you do this, you run the risk of receiving a failing or fine on your subsequent emissions test.

When the component is perfectly fine on your vehicle, what’s the sense of removing it? The element not only gives you a leg up in passing an emissions trial but also shields you and everyone else from harmful exhaust pollutants.

Do recent diesel engines have cat converters? You might be wondering.

Naturally, they do! Keep in mind that the 1970 Clean Air Act has been in effect for all vehicles since 1975.

What does the Diesel Catalytic Converter do?

The catalytic converter performs the crucial task of transforming poisonous substances into non-toxic outputs. 2 ceramic blocks containing thousands of tiny cells each make up the interior of its metal case, which has a honeycomb-like appearance.

Metals like platinum and palladium are applied to the vehicle ceramic blocks as coatings. Because of its proximity to your engine, its catalytic converter frequently heats up & catalyzes chemical changes that change harmful gases into innocuous byproducts before they are released into the air.

Diesel engines and gasoline engines operate thanks to the DOC similarly. They use metal catalysts to catalyze the conversion of carbon monoxide into water & carbon. They also convert hydrocarbons and volatile wastes into less dangerous compounds, reducing the release of toxic gases.

The diesel-based catalytic converter, however, differs from the gasoline kind of catalytic converters in that it lacks rhodium. In addition, your diesel cat has a diesel particulate filter (DPF) attached to it to remove the particulate matter that the gasoline-based catalytic converter does not.

The SCR, often referred to as DEF, uses an ammonia-based catalyst to catalyze the breakdown of nitrogen oxide (NOx) car emissions and turn them into nitrogen and oxygen. NOx emissions are changed into water and nitrogen via a chemical reaction as the exhaust and reductant pass over its SCR catalyst.

Your open-loop SCR system reduces NOx emissions between 75 and 90 percent. In contrast, the vehicle closed-loop technology used in stationary engines can attain an efficiency of greater than 95%. Additionally, SCR lowers hydrocarbon emissions by 8%. Utilizing fuel with low sulfur content can enhance its execution.

How long does a diesel catalytic converter last?

Typically, the diesel cat lasts for 100,000 kilometers or ten years. But it will also be based on how long the journeys that the car takes. Short, intermittent excursions could cause your catalytic converter to wear down more quickly than lengthy, continuous ones.

This occurs because the engine is turned off before your catalytic converter reaches the ideal temperature range for fully catalyzing the reactions. A vehicle catalytic converter must occasionally be inspected for internal and external damage, even though it typically has a lengthy lifespan. It is pricey to replace if it is destroyed.

What Are Some Diesel Engine Catalytic Converter Issues?

Do Diesel Engines Have Catalytic Converters

Diesel engine catalytic converters have issues, just like any other vehicle catalytic converter. They can face a few difficulties that you will need to take intentional steps to avoid happening or address once they do. Typical issues with diesel engine kind of catalytic converters include:

1. Contamination

Engine coolant may have a chance to leak from a damaged cylinder head and enter other spaces, such as the diesel engine catalytic converter. In addition, it may automatically affect how easily exhaust gases pass through the catalytic converter.

2. Blockage from carbon deposits

Carbon accumulation in the catalytic converter over time has a tendency to clog the system. The converter won’t be capable of carrying out its intended purpose if it becomes obstructed.

3. Limiting the free flow of exhaust gases

A vehicle’s engine needs a steady flow of air to operate well. Inhibiting the free gas flow from your exhaust system will automatically impair the air supply, which eventually has a negative impact on the engine. Using the catalyst converter presents this problem frequently.

4. Excessive heat

Faulty and leaky exhaust valves and glow plugs are two reasons diesel fuel is not properly burned. Overheating is looming when this happens because that unburned fuel might be directed to the cat converter so it can burn correctly. This will undoubtedly hamper the converter’s operation.

5. Physical harm

A vehicle’s cat converter is placed from below, in line with the vehicle engine & the exhaust system. Unfortunately, doing so subjected the part to mechanical actions that can cause a long-term tear, wear, or damage.

The element is also susceptible to the elements of the weather and the road, which can quickly harm the component when they come into touch with it. However, the vibration resulting from moving on unpaved roads is another risky element.

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How To fix Diesel Engine Catalytic Converter Issues

If you can locate the root of the problem, repairing the diesel engine catalytic converter issue will be simple. Therefore, it would be better to carefully identify the precise problem by inspecting or diagnosing the component. However, the suggestions that follow can be used to repair a damaged diesel engine cat converter.

1. Clean the converter

First, if carbon buildup is to blame for the cat converter problem, clear it out with hot water and a degreaser mixture. Once the solution is prepared, soak the cat converter inside it for around an hour.

Then, get any pressure washer & turn it to low. After gently rinsing the component with water, let it dry properly by allowing the water to empty it. Reinstall the element after that. Be aware that you could also utilize a diesel cat converter cleanser to complete the task.

2. Replace any damaged associated parts.

Make sure to replace the precise component if a defective head gasket, Oxygen sensor, etc., caused the issue that resulted in the cat converter issue. Before making a replacement, though, carefully analyze the issue to pinpoint the precise faulty component.

3. Change the Catalytic Converter

Ultimately, if all other attempts have failed and the cat converter still malfunctions, replace the damaged part. It is true that changing a catalyst converter could be rather expensive, but it is best to deal with an issue now rather than wait for it to get worse.

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Frequently Asked Questions

When did catalytic converters first appear on diesel vehicles?

Gasoline-powered cars have used catalytic converters for a long period of time—38 years, exactly. In the latter half of the 1990s, catalyst installation for diesel-powered cars started.

Is there a catalytic converter on a Duramax?

Catalytic converters are present in current diesel-powered automobiles, although they function differently from those in gasoline-powered cars. However, they still serve the same fundamental purpose, which is to lessen the number of pollutants that the car’s exhaust releases.

Where is your diesel truck’s catalytic converter located?

The catalytic converter is often found in the exhaust system on the underbelly of an automobile or truck, between your engine as well as the muffler.

Do diesel cats have any value?

The scarcity of precious/special metals like palladium, platinum & rhodium means that the value of diesel engine cats is frequently not very high. Nevertheless, there are several diesel catalysts that are reasonably valued. You can provide our experts with images of the diesel cats for a precise quote.

Do criminals steal diesel cat converters?

According to recent statistics/data in the United States, catalytic converters are frequently targeted by thieves.

Are robbed catalytic converters covered by insurance?

Is insurance coverage available for a robbed catalytic converter? You are normally protected against catalytic converter theft if you have full automobile insurance coverage. Catalytic converter replacement and related damage repair are frequently covered under comprehensive insurance.

What catalytic converters are the most expensive to recycle?

Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG Coupe 63 & Ford F250 Dodge Ram 2500 had the most platinum catalytic converters, per statistics from 2021. They could be worth between $1,000 and $3,300 due to the number of precious metals in them.

Does A 6.7 Cummins engine have a catalytic converter?

Simply put, a diesel-specific catalytic converter, often known as a DOC, is the catalytic converter. This DOC is incorporated into your 6.7 Cummins downpipe for model years 2007.5–2012, which attaches directly to the turbocharger.

Final Thoughts

The catalytic converter is a good example of more variations between gas and diesel engines than most people are aware of.

In order to offer your car the best emission reduction, they both work in somewhat different ways in addition to being manufactured differently.

In order to transform dangerous gases into less harmful ones before they are released into the atmosphere, diesel catalytic converters are constructed differently.

Last but not least, constantly be aware of your car while you are away from home, especially at night. Thefts of cat converters are commonplace. Don’t let yourself become their victim.

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