Many of us would like to learn more about how our cars work to ensure that we can keep them running well. Some people prefer to have the work on their cars carried out by a trained Nissan technician. However, some rudimentary understanding of how your car works can help you to understand any issues that a technician may uncover. One of the least understood aspects of modern cars is the catalytic converter. Here is a brief primer on what a catalytic converter is and how it actually works.
What is a Catalytic Converter?
A catalytic converter is an essential part of the exhaust system in most modern cars. It is located near the engine, and its purpose is to break down pollution that is expelled via the exhaust system. Essentially, the catalytic converter is a metal box that cleans exhaust emissions to bring them into line with stringent environmental standards.
How Does a Catalytic Converter Work?
The catalytic converter contains catalysts, which are chemicals that speed up chemical reactions that don’t change throughout the process. These catalysts break down the exhaust gases that are generated by the regular operation of your engine. This is achieved by separating the atoms apart that make up these gas molecules.
There are usually two different catalysts present in a three way catalytic converter. The first catalyst deals with the nitrogen oxide by removing the oxygen, which is called reductions. The second catalyst, adds oxygen to the carbon monoxide and turns it into carbon dioxide and this process is called oxidation. A second oxidation reaction also occurs, which addresses any unburned hydrocarbons and turns them into water and carbon dioxide. At the end of this process, there will be less smoke and smell coming out of the exhaust pipe.
Why are Catalytic Converters Important?
The reason we use unleaded fuel in our cars is because leaded fuel prevents catalysts from breaking down exhaust pollution. If this technology was not in general use, our cities and towns would suffer from the effects of smog. The reduction in air pollution is considered to be beneficial, but some scientists have voiced concerns. Some climate bodies, have made claims that the amount of nitrous oxide produced via catalytic converters could cause long term environmental damage. However, the latest catalytic converters are far more efficient and produce less nitrous oxide than older units.
If you’re looking for Nissan parts and accessories online, contact us here at Duncan Nissan. We supply a large selection of genuine Nissan spare parts to keep your Nissan car running as intended. We only ever use genuine Nissan parts in our servicing program to ensure that your car is kept within factory tolerances. Our sales team is standing by to offer further advice and to answer any remaining questions that you may have.