Discovering Diesel Engine Catalytic Converters

By Steven Harrisson, November 21, 2016

There is no doubt that one of the biggest problems with pollution was caused by vehicles. I say “was”, because in 1975 a genius named Eugene Houdry – a French mechanical engineer came up with the brilliant tool nowadays known as a catalytic converter. So if your car was produced after that year, chances are it probably came with an installed catalytic converter to reduce gas emission.

Now let’s get this straight, everyone knows that buying a car isn’t just a one time investment. Parts get broken and need repairing and replacing. The catalytic converters are no different – they can wear down and start being inefficient in cleaning the pollutants that come out of your exhaust. However, there are some things you need to know when buying aftermarket parts.


For instance, if your car runs on a diesel engine you need a diesel engine catalytic converter to replace your OEM converter. One way to do that is to go to an authorized store representatives for your type of car. If you own a BWM, an authorized BMW store will have a replacement ready for you. However, if you decide you want to go with a universal aftermarket brand to replace your diesel engine catalytic converter, you have to be careful and mind what you’re buying.

Making sure your catalytic converter works is important for one big reason – the law. Federal and state regulations require that when traveling on public roads, you need a converter as part of your exhaust system.

Their working principle is rather simple: gases flow through two honeytombs made of ceramic which are contained in the car, each coated with a mixture of precious metals. When the gases come in contact with the coating, a chemical reaction begins which converts your vehicle’s polluted emissions to carbon dioxide, nitrogen, water and oxygen before they’re released in the atmosphere.

Where and what you drive has a lot to do with the type of catalytic converter, as I mentioned above. Some cars utilize an AIR system to supplement the chemical reactions happening in the converter. For these cars, you’ll need to ensure the converter is equipped with an AIR tube to channel that added oxygen into the converter.

Additionally, you have to consider displacement and the weight of the vehicle when shopping for an aftermarket converter. Surpassing the converter’s published specs will reduce its effectiveness which can lead to your vehicle failing the emissions test. OEM converters take all of these specs into consideration and are just plug-and-play.