Catalytic converter clean? This is how you do it!

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Catalytic converter clean

How to clean a catalytic converter yourself? It’s a common question. 

A catalytic converter is part of the exhaust system. In order to meet the increasing environmental requirements at the time, the Dutch government decided in 1992 that a catalytic converter is mandatory for a car. Do you have a dirty catalytic converter, and do you want to clean it? In this blog, we take a closer look at the causes, problems and solutions for a contaminated catalyst.

Table of Contents

What is a catalytic converter?

A catalytic converter is a car part which reduces and filters the harmful substances, CO (carbon monoxide), NOx (nitrogen oxide) and CH (unburned hydrocarbon) and converts these substances into less harmful substances such as: carbon dioxide, nitrogen and hydrogen.

The catalytic converter is located in the front of the exhaust system and has the function of removing the toxic and environmentally unfriendly gases from the emissions. Many people think that the particulate filter and the catalyst have the same effect, but this is certainly not the case. Both parts are designed to reduce harmful exhaust fumes.

The particulate filter reduces the emission of soot particles. There are several types of catalytic converters such as: Oxidation Catalyst (Diesel Engines), Three-way Catalyst (Gasoline Engines), EOBD Catalyst and Close Couple Catalyst.

Cause of dirty catalytic converter

There are several reasons for identifying a dirty or clogged catalytic converter. We have listed a number of causes that can be the cause of a dirty or clogged catalytic converter.

  • High oil consumption
  • Worn or damaged spark plugs
  • Refuelling with incorrect fuel
  • Driving short distances
  • Incorrect adjustment of the engine
  • Fuel residues in the fuel system
  • Malfunctioning lambda probe *
  • Malfunctioning injectors
  • Damaged or broken catalytic converter

* Lambda probe is a sensor in the exhaust and measures the oxygen content in the exhaust gases. It is the ideal fuel ratio between the fuel and air. The lambda can preheat a cold engine and also ensures clean combustion of the engine.

If you recognize one of the causes above, there is a good chance that you will suffer from a dirty or clogged catalytic converter. These causes result in an accumulation of problems. We will explain the problems later in this blog.

Dirty catalytic converter problems

Normally, the fuel is burned in the combustion chamber. When fuel does not come to full combustion, it will enter the exhaust and ignite in the catalytic converter. This poor ignition leads to overheating in the catalytic converter and causes a “meltdown”. Overheating will cause the ceramic monolith to melt, clogging the exhaust. This results in the following problems:

  • Increasing fuel consumption
  • Stuttering engine
  • More emission of harmful gases
  • Car is going to smell
  • Rattling sound
  • Car starts badly

Now that the problems and causes are clear, you can make your own choice. Or buy a new catalytic converter or clean a catalytic converter with a cleaning additive from Lindemann. We are happy to explain the advantages and disadvantages, the best and cheapest solution.

Theft catalytic converters

It’s a common problem these days, the theft of catalytic converters. Catalytic converters contain high valuable metals. This makes it very popular among thieves.

In most of the times theses thieves are targeting cars parked in a public place. They are capable enough to remove a catalytic converter in just a few minutes. And it’s not easy and cheap to replace it for the car owner.

You can do some things to prevent catalytic converter theft. For instance parking in area’s where are a lot of security camera’s or installing a protective shield around the converter.

Good to know, car manufactures are aware of this problem. Many of them are already taking precautions in the newest models to make it less easy for thieves to steal a catalytic converter.

Prices of catalytic converters

Buying a new catalytic converter and having it replaced is not cheap. Often this has to be outsourced to a garage and therefore also wages are added. However, these costs for replacing a new catalyst are very different and depend on the type of catalyst and the type of car. Buying or replacing a new catalytic converter is therefore an option when it is “really broken” and can no longer be repaired or cleaned. Also, in this case it is advisable to use a catalyst cleaner first. This is many times cheaper and can result in a clean catalyst.

Catalytic Converter Cleaner

As described, buying a new catalyst is quite expensive. Do you want to clean your catalytic converter by yourself? This is possible with a Lindemann additive. This Lindemann Fuel System Cleaner is the best and cheapest solution for cleaning the catalytic converter for Petrol cars. For Diesels we recommend the Lindemann Total Care Diesel.

These products are powerful additives that cleans the entire fuel system including the valves, pistons, injectors and catalytic converter. These catalytic converter cleaners ensures more efficient combustion, less emission of harmful exhaust gases and clean catalytic converter.


  • Easy to use
  • Removes deposits
  • Reduces fuel consumption
  • Reduces harmful exhaust emissions
  • Cleans the entire fuel system
  • Reduces power loss
  • More efficient combustion and better engine performance

In addition to the curative use of the additives, we also advise to use them preventively. Keeping your entire fuel system clean at all times will prevent a lot of problems. Are you looking for a premium quality additive? Order directly through our shop. Click on the button “Order now” and place your order.