A vehicle is fitted with several different components that function for some or the other purpose. Some make the vehicle propel forward, some keep the vehicle on track, some distribute torque, while others take care of emission levels. Since vehicles do release gases that substantially add up to air pollution, there is a need for controlling the level of emissions from automobiles. One of the most important devices that is incorporated in automobiles manufactured today, for reducing the toxic levels from vehicles are catalytic converters. All vehicles produced since 1975, have this technology.
What is a Catalytic Converter?
The internal combustion engine produces a lot many gases that are harmful for the environment. To reduce the toxicity of these gases, there is a device incorporated in vehicles, which is referred to as a catalytic converter. This device is a housing wherein there is a honeycomb structure that is made to bear an intense amount of heat.
The structure is made out of ceramic or metal, which consist of catalysts that can be either platinum, palladium, or other hard elements. Just when the engine starts running and gases are produced, the waste gases processed are made to go through the converter. This is when and where the catalysts take action, by stimulating a chemical reaction that converts toxic gases into vapor or other less toxic gases.
What does High Flow Catalytic Converter do?
If the car is fitted with a standard catalytic converter, there are more chances that it would affect the free flow of exhaust. This is a reason why the power to the wheels is reduced by a bit. High flow catalytic converters are those which obviously remove impurities off harmful gases, along with enabling the exhaust to flow freely. Hence the name 'high flow'. It is reported that these kinds of catalyst converters boost around five hp of power.
The engine power increase can be felt mostly at higher RPMs which is when the engine throws out much exhaust. Due to an increase in power, a majority of car enthusiasts prefer these converter upgrades which are available as an aftermarket accessory. Note that the horsepower increase due to this converter can be boosted up by turbocharging the engine.
When Buying High Flow Catalytic Converters
Just because these allow a better flow of the exhaust, there have been doubts regarding if they can match the emission standards of certain states. Today, almost all of these catalytic converters are reported to be used legally in 49 states. This means that they would pass the emissions standards in 49 states. Nevertheless, in California, the emission standard and laws are extremely strict, which is what is an issue for these high-performance catalytic converters. Therefore, the dealers of these car parts might not sell these products in California.
However, there are some aftermarket suppliers who claim that their high flow catalytic converters have the approval of the California Air Resources Board. The price of high flow cats ranges from $70 to even thousands. There are many good brands available out there who offer quality high-performance catalytic converters such as MagnaFlow, Eastern Catalytic, Aftermarket, and many other reliable ones.
These high flow accessories are also believed to overcome to some extent the clogged catalytic converter symptoms and problems. You need to make sure your converter is legal to be used in your state, especially if you are in California. Usually, upgrading to high flow catalytic converters is a step to be considered after the engine has been turbocharged. This is to allow a free flow of exhaust from the extra power coming from the modified engine.