The catalytic converter has been mandatory on gasoline cars since 1993 and on diesel cars since 1997. Widely criticized when it was first introduced, this device has led to more or less significant drops in power depending on the vehicle. The interest of the catalytic converter is to meet European requirements in terms of polluting emissions. The catalytic converter is located on the exhaust line, at the outlet of the manifold and before the silencers. The lifetime of this element is generally between 120 and 200,000 kilometers.
The catalytic converter forces the air and gases emitted by the engine to pass through tiny ducts. By removing it, the engine breathes more and develops more power. The sound is also enhanced and fuel consumption can be reduced by up to 10%, depending on the car model. For instance, many motorists have removed the catalytic converter, replacing it with an Africa tube. This is moreover authorized on the sole condition that your vehicle was put into circulation no later than January 1, 1994. For the others, you put yourself in the illegality. If the catalytic converter is hated, it is mainly because it wears out with time... And its replacement can be relatively expensive. Hence the temptation to remove it from the exhaust line.
It is relatively easy to remove the catalytic converter from a petrol or diesel car, a well-informed and well-equipped amateur mechanic can do it quite easily.
#1 Lift the vehicle and place it on a stand at the front. It is essential that you ensure the stability of your vehicle.
#2 Locate the catalyst between the manifold and the intermediate silencer (or the particulate filter).
#3 Remove the screws located at the ends, using the WD40 degreaser if necessary. The catalytic converter can then be removed. Take care to remove the lambda sensor. The latter is responsible for defining the quantity of fuel to be injected according to the exhaust gases.
#4 Insert an African tube, either custom-made or purchased from a specialist site. The lambda sensor must be replaced without which a warning light will appear on the dashboard, because the catalytic converter will no longer interpret the information correctly.
# 5Don't forget to take steps to recycle your catalyst. It's your lucky day, we've just written a full article about this subject.
In front of the technical control, all cars are unequal. Some engines are more efficient to withstand the removal of the catalytic converter than others such as: Peugeot's 2.0 HDI engines, whose pollution values remain within the proper range. This is also the case for a considerable proportion of diesel cars. On the gasoline side, the results are more contrasted. When a vehicle is without a catalyst, it emits more pollution and can therefore exceed the limits. In addition, the removal of the catalytic converter can be punished by a fine of up to 7,500€. Article L318-3 of the Highway Code prohibits "removing a pollution control device." Therefore, in case of wear and tear, we strongly advise you to replace the catalytic converter in your car.
At the risk of playing the devil's lawyer, here are the advantages you might find in removing a catalyst.
- The power gain (as previously explained) ;
- The sound, the most music-loving among you will then appreciate the sweet music delivered by the engine ;
- The reduced fuel consumption, even if this argument should be put into perspective ;
- The cost of the operation.
It is often this last point that leads motorists to succumb to the temptation. A catalyst has a lifespan of between 120 000 and 200 000 km. This depends on the model you own, but above all on your driving habits.
Repairing the part in a garage (whether or not it is a brand name) can be a real eye opener. As the removal of the catalytic converter does not affect the performance of the vehicle, why should you spend several hundred pounds when the installation of an African tube costs 3 to 4 times cheaper ?
Of course, the advantages also include the disadvantages of removing a catalyst.
Passing the technical inspection. Not all cars are equal when it comes to roadworthiness testing. Some engines are better able to cope with the removal of the catalytic converter than others, such as Peugeot's 2.0 HDI engines, whose pollution values are still in the right ballpark. This is also the case for a large number of diesel cars. On the petrol side, the results are much more contrasted. In decatalysed mode, a car emits more pollution and can therefore exceed the limits.
An illegal practice. Removing the catalytic converter can be punished by a fine of up to 7,500€. We remind you that the article L318-3 of the highway Code prohibits « removing a pollution control device ».Therefore, in case of wear and tear, we strongly advise you to replace your car's catalytic converter.
Increasing the pollution of your vehicle. Who today can turn their back on the environmental cause and not care a minimum about the pollution caused by the car traffic? Admit it, it's pretty unpleasant to pass a car on the road with thick black smoke in its wake. Worse still, to be stuck behind it in traffic jams. There is no point in trying to do away with the catalytic converter at all costs. The European emission standards are becoming more and more stringent with each passing the manufacturer, so the anti-pollution systems that equip our vehicles have a bright future ahead of them.