Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Cars & TransportationMaintenance & Repairs · 2 months ago

Could this cause engine damage?

One or both of my catalytic converters clogged completely when I was driving the other day. It drove flawlessly the entire day until this point. This had happened another time but I only suspected an ignition problem, which had been dealt with already by this point. This time the car would barely accelerate and the engine would barely rev no matter how much gas I gave it. I noticed a strong burning odor with the windows open, so I stopped the car immediately and put the car in park. It was now running very poorly at idle, similar to a misfire. I was actually expecting it to stall but it kept running even though it was producing almost no power. I turned the engine off and looked under the car where I saw a slight amount of smoke coming from the catalytic converter area and the pipe forward of that, along with excessive heat. When I saw this I knew what the issue was and that it wasn’t drivable until repaired. My concern is if there could be any engine damage. There was obviously a tremendous amount of back pressure and heat in the engine, which also likely caused a misfire.. however I stopped the car almost right after this began. Could this have burned one or more exhaust valves or damaged anything else in the engine? 

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  • 2 months ago

    I doubt it. But with modern engines with electronic fuel control, who knows what could happen.  

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  • Barry
    Lv 5
    2 months ago

    No, in spite of the scare stories here, from armchair  'mechanics'.  No harm will have occurred. The function of the cats is solely to clean the exhaust gases. When you have them replaced the car will be back to square one.

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  • 2 months ago

    If it's a Nissan the plugged converters are known to ruin piston rings. There is a reason the converters are filing. Too much unburnt gasoline is the most common reason for failure of the converters. Have you replaced the spark plugs and tested for long term and short term fuel trim?

    Source(s): Mitsubishi Master Tech
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  • 2 months ago

    I've seen the exhaust manifold gaskets pop or the donut gasket between the exhaust pipe and manifold. The engine will likely stall long before you destroy anything but stomping on the gas is bad with a plugged up converter.

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  • 2 months ago

    I doubt it.  It's possible, but unlikely, you did the right thing in stopping it immediately you noticed. Now get it fixed, find out what caused it and get that fixed, then see how it goes.

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  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    You are thinking too far ahead.  Replace the bad cat converter and see what happens when it is replaced.  Fix what needs to be fixed AFTER the replacement.

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  • shroud
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    yeah it could,  but the big question is what is wrong with your motor making it clog the catalytic converters

    • Barry
      Lv 5
      2 months agoReport

      Cats fail internally. That's what causes clogging.

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