March 7, 2008, Newsletter Issue #105: Components of a Catalytic Converter

Tip of the Week

Ever wonder why catalytic converters are so expensive? Materials and metals such as ceramics, platinum, rhodium and palladium help make up the core of the converter.

Most vehicles are equipped with one of two types of catalysts: oxidation catalyst  or the reduction catalyst. The ceramic core is coated with these metals to help with oxidation and carbon monoxide burn off.  Although some vehicle manufacturers use different methods and components, just about all use an oxygen sensor, which is mounted in front of the catalytic converter. The oxygen sensor sends a signal to the computer which relays the amount of oxygen in the exhaust. The ideal fuel/air ratio is 14.7 to 1. Sometimes vehicles will run rich or lean, meaning the fuel/air ratio is wrong. When the oxygen sensor relays the amount of oxygen to the computer, the computer will make the proper adjustments to create a cleaner exhaust.

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