Then this article is for you. We will discuss how to remove the catalytic converter without removing it from your car to get the best results, and you may save a lot of money by doing so.
If you want to learn more about the P0420 code before cleaning it, you can check out our article about this here: P0420 code.
Things to consider before starting
There are some things that you have to consider before trying to clean your catalytic converter. In a lot of cases, the parts inside the catalytic converter will become loose, and if this is the case, you can’t repair your catalytic converter without removing and replacing it.
If your catalytic converter is so clogged that the engine will not run, you have to remove the catalytic converter and either use special tools or replace the whole catalytic converter.
Check/listen for loose parts
You can take a hammer and hit your catalytic converter carefully, and listen to ascertain if there seem to be any loose parts inside it. If you can hear loose parts, I recommend removing and inspecting the catalytic converter, because the loose parts could come even looser and clog your exhaust pipe totally, which may cause your vehicle to stop while driving.
Remember that your catalytic converter may have been cleaned inside and the parts inside it may have blown out from the exhaust pipe. This can be tough to see without removing it and if you suspect this, remove the catalytic converter and check it.
Your catalytic converter may have got clogged due to internal oil consumption, caused by oil entering the cylinders and getting combusted and burned inside the hot catalytic converter. If this is the case, you should always repair the internal oil leak before using this cure, as it may only work for a short time until the catalytic converter is clogged again. Common symptoms of an internal oil leak are clogged crankcase ventilation, broken valve seals or piston rings. Always check the crankcase ventilation first.
How to clean your catalytic converter without removing it
If you have checked and listened carefully to your catalytic converter to make sure there are no loose parts inside it and the catalytic converter is not too clogged, there are a few steps you can do to clean your catalytic converter.
Total Time: 10 minutes
1. Get Oxicat Catalytic converter cleaner
The product that you can use is the OXICAT – Oxygen Sensor & Catalytic Converter Cleaner. You tap it into your fuel tank, and it does not matter if you have a petrol, diesel or hybrid car. This will help not just to clean the catalytic converter; it will also clean your O2 sensors and the whole exhaust system.
Remember that this product will not repair mechanical faults inside your catalytic converter if it’s cracked, broken or too clogged. This is a cleaner for the catalytic converter which may have run with some oil burn before.
2. Pour the Catalytic converter cleaner into the fuel tank.
Tap this into the tank with the required amount from the manual. Make sure that you are using the required amount for your car type and engine so you are not using too much of the product – this can cause even more damages to your catalytic converter in some cases.
3. Take your car for a drive
Drive your car a couple of miles to see if your car runs better than before. You can also try to drive your car at high RPM’s over 3000 for a long distance to get the catalytic converter really hot to burn out the clog inside it. Remember to check that there is no oil or other fluids in your catalytic converter that could ignite it. Also, check the coolant temperature of your car at all times, to make sure it’s not overheating.
Check out the product on Amazon here:
The Oxicat did not work for me, what to do now?
If you tried the Oxicat catalytic converter cleaner, but the problem still persists, there is not much more to do than removing the catalytic converter to inspect it and to make sure it looks okay. Remember that there can be other causes of the P0420 trouble code like faulty O2 sensors or exhaust leaks and the problem may not be in your catalytic converter.
Removing the catalytic converter is often quite easy on most cars if you can get the rusty bolts loose. In some car’s, the catalytic converters are fitted directly to the turbo, and in these cases, the removal of the catalytic converter may be more difficult. Let an automotive workshop do the job for you if you are not sure how to do it.
If you still think that your catalytic converter is clogged and it looks okay while inspecting it, you can try to clean it in a bath with water and lacquer thinner. This does sometimes work, and it may save you some money.
Check this link for Amazon’s version of lacquer thinner: Nanoskin (NA-LTR128) Lacquer Thinner – 1 Gallon.
If you have tried to clean it and diagnosed the catalytic converter correctly to make sure it’s the parts that are damaged, there are no other choices than replacing the whole catalytic converter. Catalytic converters are often expensive and this is because there are noble metals inside them which cost a lot to produce.
- Tap on your catalytic converter with a hammer to make sure there are no loose parts inside of it.
- The cleaner will not repair cracked, broken or excessively clogged catalytic converters.
- If the catalytic converter cleaner did not work for your vehicle, check all other related parts to make sure they’re not damaged and remove the catalytic converter to inspect it.
- You can clean your catalytic converter in a bath of lacquer thinner if you are removing it.
- Catalytic converters are often expensive due to the noble metals inside them.
Have you tried this method before to clean a catalytic converter? Let us know how it worked out for you by commenting below! If you have any other car questions you are welcome to ask them at our homepage.
Hello I’m Magnus, the owner and the writer of this website. I have been working with cars since I was 16 and I’m specialized with in-depth Automotive diagnostics. Also been driving drifting for the last 6 years. I’m here to give you answers to all your automotive questions and I hope that you enjoy our content.