What’s a Catalytic Converter?

We all want to make sure we’re doing our part to reduce our impact on the environment. A big part of that is making sure your vehicle is in tip-top shape, minimizing harmful exhaust emissions. That’s why, in Maryland, we’re all required to have our vehicle’s emissions systems inspected every two years to make sure it’s functioning properly.

A major portion of your emissions control system is the catalytic converter. It’s part of the exhaust system and contains a ceramic honeycomb called a substrate. That substrate has precious metals like platinum, palladium, rhodium and cerium embedded in it. Hot exhaust gasses pass through the substrate and the elements act as a catalyst, causing a chemical reaction in the gasses. That reaction changes the chemical makeup of the exhaust and results in cleaner emissions and, of course, a cleaner environment.

Catalytic Converter

Looking into a properly working catalytic converter from the rear. You can see the “honeycomb” substrate. You also can see the oxygen sensor that tells the vehicle’s on-board computer how well the catalyst is working.

Now, it’s important to keep your engine running properly. Misfires can cause the material inside the catalytic converter to overheat, causing the substrate to melt or break into pieces. Catalytic converters are inherently expensive to replace, given the precious metals in it. If your vehicle isn’t running right or if your check engine light is flashing, give us a call right away!

Catalytic Converter

Looking into a failed catalytic converter. You can see a large portion of the substrate material has melted away.

Here at Motor Works, we routinely perform complete emission systems diagnosis and repair. We also partner with the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection.


Learning Zone

Fire Update - We Are Moving!

Thankful Thursdays Introduction

Wellness: Our Top Priority

40 Weeks of Paying It Forward

ADAS Systems.... Going to Take Some Getting Used To!

New Year, New Look, New Brand... New Everything!...

Holiday Update

T.A.P. (Teacher Appreciation Program) Announcement!

“Are We There Yet?” Season is Almost Here!

Spring Car Care Tips!

What the heck is Variable Valve Timing?

Airbag Recall – Questions, Answers and Updates

Decoding your Dashboard

Blue Seal of Excellence

The Right Part for the Job

Inside the Tech: Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)

Inside the Tech: Lane Departure Warning

Greg’s Take: Things Break!

Greg’s Take: Nationwide Technician Shortage

Squeezing a few extra MPG from your car!

Caliper Slide Pin Boot – What is it?

Traction Control Systems

What’s a Timing Belt?

What’s a CV Boot?

Where the Rubber Meets the Road – Check your Tires!

Oil Light? Stop Right Now!

Client Spotlight – Aviation Author

What’s a Catalytic Converter?

Client Spotlight – Champion Irish Dancer

“Gregsplanation” – What’s a Cabin HEPA Filter?

Keep Your Car Looking Like New

“Gregsplanation” – Why does water drip from my car on hot days?

What does VTEC mean?

200,000 Miles and Counting

The 2016 Civic is Here… And it looks amazing!

Motor Works: Ethics Certified!

Vehicle Wiring is Tasty… to Rodents!

Rock Stars in and out of the shop!

The Value of Maintenance – 334,000 Miles and Still Going Strong!

Foggy Headlights? Restore instead of replace!

Wheel Alignment 101

Veterans Day 2015

Colder weather could trigger Tire Pressure (TPMS) Warning Light

Get Your Car Ready for Fall!

Motor Works Featured in “Remarkable Results”

Car Optometry – Aiming the Honda LaneWatch System

Differential? What’s That?

Odd Fix of the Day – Sienna Brake Lights

When should I change my oil?

Check Engine Light On? We Can Fix It!

Famous? MWI featured in Shop Owner Magazine

Video: Consumer Compass

Honda and Toyota products definitely hold their value over time. Smart!

Prevention is Primary: Radiator Hose

Prevention is Primary: Maintenance Schedules – Confused?

Use our Diagnostic Worksheets

MWI Consumer Checkbook Top Quality Rated…Again!

Video: AARP Modern Maturity – 1985 TV show Clip at MWI

Video: He Did it for Love – Technician buys car for his mother!

Motor Works is committed to ensuring effective communication and digital accessibility to all users. We are continually improving the user experience for everyone, and apply the relevant accessibility standards to achieve these goals. We welcome your feedback. Please call Motor Works (301) 424-2800 if you have any issues in accessing any area of our website.