Catalytic Converter in Nissan Altima

This article mainly focuses on the catalytic converter issues Nissan Altima owners face. Even if you are not a Nissan Altima owner, I will be answering the most common concerns about catalytic converters, such as the purpose, value, location, and number of catalytic converters.


What is a catalytic converter?

When you hear the term “catalytic converter,” you may immediately think of car exhaust. Suppose this is your first time hearing the term. In that case, a catalytic converter is a device that converts chemical energy stored in the exhaust into usable heat and other useful forms of energy that are often used to power an internal combustion engine.

A catalytic converter is an efficient device that reduces or eliminates harmful emissions by reducing the number of substances entering the exhaust system. Catalytic converters are a vital tool for reducing pollutants in the air and improving fuel efficiency.

The interior of the catalytic converter is usually filled with a honeycomb structure onto which a coating is applied that contains a catalyst. The substance that reacts with the exhaust gases is called oxygen. This substance creates heat in the engine as it converts chemicals into carbon dioxide and water vapor, which are sent out of the engine exhaust pipe. The honeycomb structure can withstand high temperatures, so it provides protection.

Palladium, Rhodium, and Platinum are valuable metals commonly used in catalysts. These precious metals are worth salvaging and recycling when the car is discarded. Unfortunately, these precious metals also make catalytic converters a target for thieves. 

Where is it located?


Fuel-burning engines produce harmful emissions that are harmful to the environment. Catalytic converters are used to reduce the number of pollutants, such as nitrogen oxide, into less harmful substances. Vehicles without catalytic converters often pollute the air more than cars with catalytic converters, so choosing a car with a catalytic converter is important when purchasing a new vehicle.

They also help to generate electricity in a fuel-burning engine. To produce clean air, catalytic converters are required on certain cars, trucks and motorcycles, boats and airplanes, and power plants and industrial furnaces.

A catalytic converter is a device used to reduce the harmful emissions caused by internal combustion engines. They are typically located on the exhaust side of an engine and are designed to reduce NOx, CO2, and hydrocarbons.

How many catalytic converters are there in Nissan Altima?

Catalytic converters fitted to most cars usually contain three-way catalytic converters with honeycomb or ceramic beads. The honeycomb or ceramic beads structure makes the catalyst more effective in breaking down pollutants, such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, and hydrocarbons.

Catalytic converters were first introduced to cars in 1975. These catalytic converters reduce harmful emissions and are designed to meet the new legislation that limited exhaust emissions.

Generally, each car has one catalytic converter per exhaust tube; if a vehicle has a dual exhaust system, it has two catalytic converters.

A 2003 Nissan Altima has 2 catalytic converters. But what is the advantage of having 2 catalytic converters?

A catalytic converter has various types of technology and typically only has 2 different functions; the first function is to turn carbon monoxide into carbon dioxide. The second function is to turn hydrocarbons into carbon dioxide and water. That is a simple ‘two-way’ oxidation catalytic converter. More vehicles are now equipped with advanced ‘three-way’ catalytic converters, and these tend to reduce Nitric Oxide (NO) & Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2), two compounds that cause serious health problems.

Dual exhausts are the more efficient way of exhaust that has been around for decades. This means that these cars emit less harmful pollutants into the air, and it also means that they are capable of more fuel-efficient driving.

Cars with dual exhaust systems (Exhaust systems with two sets of pipes) are twice as efficient in reducing harmful emissions. They emit less pollution than cars with single exhaust systems and have a better gas mileage than cars with one set of pipes. The dual catalytic converters at the back carry out two tasks: neutralizing the emissions that emit from each set of pipes and reducing the carbon monoxide produced

Catalytic converter coming apart in Nissan Altima?

Many people have complained about the issues with the Catalytic Converter of Nissan Altima. This happens due to a flaw in their design. In this design, the catalytic converter is so close to the engine that it would disintegrate and eventually destroy the engine.

A friend who works at a repair shop told me several people are coming to repair Nissan Altima cars. The catalytic converter broke into pieces that sucked up into the motor causing significant engine damage and a replaced motor. Another person reported that Nissan 02 Altima 5 speed bad motor due to Catalytic Converter coming apart and stumble just before 80k. After repairing the head gasket, two weeks later, the motor kept stumbling and shutting off.

The bad catalytic converter and its metal fragments have damaged the engine. Another cause of the problem is the screws on the butterfly valve for the throttle body coming off and going into the motor.

However, the repairing would cost more than $900 -$950 to replace a Catalytic converter. Try replacing the Oxygen sensor, too, as it caused most of the symptoms you experience. Compression tests done on the car came back great, and the car will be running perfectly again.

Unfortunately, some people experienced even more issues after replacing the Catalytic converter and sensors. Now it’s a blown head gasket and $1,300 to replace.

What happens if I don’t replace my catalytic converter?

A clogged converter is a common cause of reduced engine performance and poor fuel economy. This can happen for various reasons, including the buildup of dirt and debris in the gas tank, the accumulation of water in the intake manifold, or the buildup of unburned oil.

Catalytic converters are usually found on cars to prevent pollutants and harmful emissions from emitted into the air. When catalytic converters overheat, it can cause carbon monoxide to be emitted. It can also be caused when the spark plug is misfiring or a leak in the exhaust valve.

In addition, the issue with a failed oxygen sensor is that it can cause the engine to overheat. As the sensors are integral to providing air-fuel mixture, they protect against detonation and provide a clean emission. Not having a working oxygen sensor can damage your vehicle’s engine.

Sometimes, a catalytic converter may be plugged with carbon soot that blocks the passage of light. If this is the case, you can “shine a light” on it with a flashlight to try and cross-reference the issue.

Do catalytic converter cleaners work?

The catalytic converter cleaner is a device that can flush the carbon buildup in your car engine, and it does so without the need for professional service. It uses water to unclog and clean the engine before it runs, which keeps you safe and helps to increase gas mileage.

The effectiveness of a catalytic converter cleaner depends on its ability to break down carbon deposits. There are various ways the device can be used, but it is important to follow manufacturer instructions for best results.

The catalytic converter is vital for your car, and using a car cleaning product regularly will help prevent damage and keep your vehicle running smoothly.

How long can you drive with a bad catalytic converter?

Even though you have a bad catalytic converter, you can drive the car.

The catalytic converter is a device that was developed in the 1970s to reduce the levels of polluting gases such as nitrous oxides and hydrocarbons from vehicle exhaust. Due to the high cost of these devices, older cars ran just fine before catalytic converters became commonplace in the 1970s.

Catalytic converters are a necessary part of cars today, but they have a lot of adverse side effects. These filters are expensive to replace and fix and environmentally unfriendly. If catalytic converters were never invented, cars could run just fine without them, and the environment would be better off.

So, if your question is whether your car will run without one, then it most certainly will, and for each light-off catalyst, there is an O2 sensor monitoring the exhaust stream directly behind that catalyst.

A plugged catalytic converter may take a few miles off the distance of your trip, but it will usually allow you to continue driving your car for longer than you might think. Lower performance is often the result of writing software for vehicles.

What is the worth of a catalytic converter?

A new catalytic converter is one of any car’s most expensive individual parts. They are costly because they use expensive metals such as palladium to promote the chemical reactions that cleanse the exhaust. In theory, catalysts can be used over and over, indefinitely.

The average cost for a Nissan Altima catalytic converter replacement is between $2,142 and $2,185. Labor costs are estimated between $70 and $89, while parts are priced between $2072 and $2096.

If an old catalytic converter is not rusty, you can sell or buy one for $100, give or take. They have platinum and stuff in them. Even a $70 at the local yard still looks perfect.

One day my neighbor approached me to say the catalytic converter was worth some good cash because of the precious metals inside. On e-bay, there is the option of $200, $150, and even $50.

For 2019, 10 times more catalytic converters were stolen from cars than in 2018. The crime of catalytic converter thefts from cars shows an increasing trend yearly.

Incidences of catalytic converter thefts from cars showed a dramatic increase in 2019, with the year’s total around ten times higher than in 2018. Those stolen catalytic converters are illegally transported across countries, and the metals are recycled.

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