Performance Catalytic Convertors: Are They Worth the Upgrade?

performance catalytic converters

While it has become common to add aftermarket options, ranging from a dual exhaust system to large headers, many often overlook the fact that upgrading to performance catalytic converters (also known as high-flow catalytic converters) can also bring about a noticeable difference in a vehicle’s performance. 

But are they worth the investment? Turborevs gives the verdict below. 


What Is the Function of a Catalytic Converter?

A car’s catalytic converter can be found in-between the exhaust system and the exhaust manifold (although some may be located directly on the latter). A lot of new models now have more than one catalytic converter. It is an integral part of the exhaust system as it is responsible for reducing the amount of harmful emissions that are released into the outside air. It has a honeycomb structure that is coated in different metals, mainly palladium, platinum and rhodium. When gases (which are produced from the piston and exhaust manifold) are passing through the catalytic converter, they come in contact with a chemical catalyst. This reaction results in the conversion of carbon monoxide, sulphur oxides and nitrous oxides to less harmful substances like carbon dioxide and water.

However, catalytic converters may not always be as efficient in allowing the gases to pass through. This is mostly because they are are not usually designed for a specific vehicle. This issue could also arise if they are old or of poor quality. This is where performance catalytic converters come in. 


What Is the Function of a Performance Catalytic Converter?

A performance catalytic converter works similarly to a standard catalytic converter, with the difference being that it catalyses the exhaust gases at a much faster rate. It also has a honeycomb design, but of a larger size with wider passages and fewer restrictions — thus, enabling more gases to flow through. In addition, it has more catalytic material inside it to speed up the reaction process.

As the exhaust flow gets more optimised, so does the performance of the car. However, it is important to note that a much more significant increase in the car’s horsepower can only be achieved if this works in conjunction with other vehicle modifications. 


Should You Buy a Performance Catalytic Converter?

If you have already made modifications to your car’s exhaust system and are looking to boost its performance a degree more, you should definitely opt for a high-flow catalytic converter. With the exhaust system being one of the key components of your car, the catalytic converter should not be disregarded. Even if you are only just replacing an old one, it is worth considering switching to a more modern version. It can also help in preventing improper fuel mix and boosting fuel economy.

However, a few factors should be kept in mind before getting one installed in your car. Firstly, and most importantly, check the laws of your state to verify that you are not in any violation. If your car is 8 years old (or more), or if it comes with a cheap catalytic converter, then upgrading it would help you recover some power that is being lost due to its inefficiency. 

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