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Castro Valley Catalytic Converter Replacement

Adams Autoworx offers catalytic converter replacement in Castro Valley. Even though catalytic converters have no moving parts, sometimes they fail and need to be replaced. At Adams Autoworx we offer full service catalytic converter diagnosis and replacement. 

There are typically two reasons why we need to replace a catalytic converter - either it stopped performing correctly, or the catalytic converter has been stolen. 
If you take a lot of short drives, catalytic converter is under increased stress as it does not have time to reach its normal working temperature. So it’s good to, now and then, take your car for a 30 min freeway drive so the converter can reach normal temperature range (which can be as high as 1200 degrees Fahrenheit) – this helps the catalytic converter to burn off any fuel particles that might have remained unburned and extends its lifespan. But even with the most gentle treatment, sometimes converters fail.

As for theft – Northern California seems to be the hotspot for catalytic converter theft. In some cases it only takes a few minutes to strip out the catalytic converter, and thieves can sell the precious metals recovered from the converter for, on average, about $200.  Prius Gen 2 owners and Honda Element owners seem to be especially at risk for catalytic converter theft – consider getting in the habit of locking your cars in the garage at night.  

What Does Catalytic Converter Do?

We all know that catalytic converter cleans up vehicle’s engine emissions. The way it does the cleanup is by burning up particles in the exhaust gases, because gasoline does not completely burn up in cylinders – unburned particles end up in emission gases and in our lungs. So catalytic converters were invented to completely burn up fuel particles, so the exhaust gases are mostly carbon dioxide and water vapor. 

Catalytic Converter – Signs it May Be in Trouble

Here are the symptoms to watch out for – they may indicate a problem with the catalytic converter:


    a) Car engine may be running rough 
    b) Exhaust gases may have an unpleasant odor (caused by unburned hydrocarbons). 
    c) Check engine light will be illuminated 
    d) Loss of power
    e) Engine may misfire 

However, these symptoms and warning light might be triggered by something other than a catalytic converter failure. So when in doubt, get a professional diagnosis.  We routinely perform such diagnostic work at Adams Autoworx. 

How We Replace a Catalytic Converter

Due to stringent California regulations, first thing we will need to know is your vehicle’s VIN number and often we will need to know the catalytic converter serial number. We will then be able to order correct (and legal in California) new catalytic converter for your vehicle. 
When we have the converter along with any other parts necessary to complete the change, we will get your up on the lift, and complete the change. If the converter was stolen, there may be additional work due to damage, if any, done by the thieves. 

When the new catalytic converter is installed, we will start the engine and check for exhaust leaks or problems with the new catalytic converter.  To complete the process, we will take your vehicle for a road test to verify that all systems are working as they should. 
While we have your car on the lift, we will also perform a complimentary digital vehicle inspection to ascertain the overall health of your vehicle. Any issues we find will be emailed to you, including pictures if any. 

If you ever suspect that the catalytic converter in your car is failing, give us a call. We are happy to hear from our clients, and will guide you as to what the next step is. It is likely to involve a visit to our Castro Valley auto repair shop to run diagnostics – often what looks like a catalytic converter failure turns out to be some other problem, considerably less expensive to fix. We will not do any repairs until we have investigated the nature of the problem. 
Naturally, when we replace the catalytic converter, we still provide the same benefits as for any other repair at our shop:

  • 36 months / 36,000 miles nationwide warranty
  • Military and First Responder discounts
  • Original Equipment Sourced/Supplier or better parts
  • Free Digital Vehicle Inspection with Service
  • Written quotes
  • Free local Shuttle/Uber rides

If you have any questions, give us a call. If you are ready to visit our shop, you can set up an appointment online, or simply call us.

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