Frequently Asked Questions About Catalytic Converters

Q:        What vehicles are subject to the new aftermarket catalytic converter requirements?

A:     Effective June 1, 2013, all catalytic converter replacements for model year 1993, 1994,1996 and newer vehicles certified by CARB or by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a 50 state vehicle must be either an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) replacement part or a CARB certified new AMCC. EPA certified AMCCs may still be used on EPA federally certified vehicles.

Q:        What is A Substrate?

A:        The substrate is the material inside the shell of the converter. There are two types of original equipment substrates: Pelletized, which consists of thousands of BB-sized ceramic pellets and Monolithic, which is a ceramic "honeycomb" style. The replacement converters listed in this catalog have monolithic substrates.

Q:        What is A Catalyst?

A:        The catalyst is a thin coating of precious metals (rhodium, platinum and paladium) applied to the surface of the substrate material. Its function is to assist in the chemical reactions that are required to lower the emission levels. 

Q:        What Are Oxidation Converters?

A:        Oxidation converters control two pollutants-carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons. These gases come into the converter accompanied by enough oxygen to result in oxidation (burning) by flameless combustion. They pass through the substrate which causes the oxidation process to speed up changing them into harmless water vapor and carbon dioxide. 

Q:        What Are Three-Way Converters?

A:        Three-Way converters (also known as Oxidation/Reduction converters) perform the same function as oxidation converters plus they are designed to reduce levels of oxides of nitrogen. Some three-way converters are equipped with an Air Injection Tube. The additional air, which comes from an air pump, assists the chemical reaction in the oxidation catalyst.  

Q:        What is the EPA Policy On replacement Converters?

A:        In August, 1986, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued new guidelines for the construction, efficiency and installation of aftermarket converters. The converters sold by Hurricane Automotive have been designed, tested, manufactured and proven to meet the EPA policy and emission reduction requirements. 

Q:        How do I determine the emissions certification of the vehicle?

A:        The vehicle's emissions certification can be found on the vehicle emission control information (VECI) label located in the vehicle's engine compartment. The VECI will include emissions certification, engine family or group, engine displacement, OBD, model year, fuel type, and catalyst information.  Click here for details.

Q:        Why Does The Exhaust Have A "Rotten Egg" Smell?

A:        Many times on first start-up in the morning, the exhaust may smell like "rotten eggs". This is due to rich fuel condition with a cold engine. However, as the engine warms up, this smell should go away. If it does not, converter damage could possibly follow with extended driving. 

Q:        What Is The Converter Warranty?

A:        The converters sold by Hurricane Automotive are warrantied to meet the Federal ERA emission reduction requirement for 25,000 miles on the substrate (guts) of the converter. The converter shell and piping is warrantied for five years or 50,000 miles, whichever occurs first. Read more about our catalytic converter warranty here. 

Q:        The vehicle has an engine that is older or newer than the vehicle or a larger engine has been installed. What type of converter, or does a converter need to be installed on this vehicle? 

A:        The guidelines say that a motor vehicle has to conform to its originally certified engine chassis configuration. If an engine is switched, it must be identical to the original one being replaced. It would be best to consult the local inspection station or EPA before attempting any exhaust system work.