(Last Updated On: March 26, 2019)
The catalytic converter is an important part of your car’s exhaust system. It’s not something that most drivers consider very often, but it plays a very important role. The catalytic converter has two functions. It filters dangerous chemicals and gases produced by your car. It also helps to ensure that your engine runs as it should. If your car has ever failed its annual inspection because it wouldn’t ‘smog’, it’s often because your catalytic converter is malfunctioning.
The good news is that this piece of equipment doesn’t require much in the way of attention. It’s a bit of a workhorse. All you need to do to maximize the life of your catalytic converter is learn how to use catalytic converter cleaner. You only have to do this once every so often, and it will lead to better engine performance, prevent the check engine light from coming on, and ensure that your car passes inspection.
Following are our most recommended options when it comes to choosing catalytic converter cleaners.
Cataclean: Engine And Catalytic Converter Cleaner And Treatment
- Reduces carbon build-up in catalytic converter, oxygen sensors, fuel injectors and cylinder heads which results in improved fuel efficiency. Improves overall vehicle performance-including driveability issues such as power reduction, hesitation, rough idle, hard starts and lost fuel economy
Solder-It Catalytic Converter Cleaner
- Helps eliminate "rotten egg" odor, May help in passing emissions control test!, Helps clean oxygen sensor, Extends time between tune-ups
Oxicat Oxygen Sensor And Catalytic Converter Cleaner
- Safe and effective for all petrol (gasoline), diesel and hybrid vehicles, Engineered to clean the entire exhaust system with regular use, OXICAT is activated when the catalytic converter reaches its required working temperature.
CRC Guaranteed to Pass Emissions Test Formula
- Reduces emissions and improves performance in one tank full, Powerful detergent additives super-clean the entire fuel system, Use every 3,000 miles to improve fuel economy, acceleration and reduce emissions
Hi-Gear EZ Emissions Pass And Catalytic Converter Cleaner
- Cleans fuel system, injectors, combustion chamber, pistons and valves, Restores lost horsepower and increases fuel efficiency, Prevents rotten egg smell
Catalytic Converter Cleaner Reviews
1) Cataclean: Engine And Catalytic Converter Cleaner And Treatment
If you’ve been research these products, you may have noticed that Cataclean reviews are almost 100% positive. In this case, we agree with this assessment. It’s been independently tested, and has been proven to reduce hazardous emissions up to 50%. In other words, if your car fails inspection, give this product a try. You could pass the next test without paying your mechanic.
We were also impressed that this product works on such a wide variety of engines. This includes hybrids and diesel. That’s not something that’s easy to find.
Not only does this product clean out existing deposits, it’s also formulated to help prevent them from returning. This means fewer cleanings in the future.
Of course, you’ll pay for all of this. This product is not inexpensive. You’ll spend around 30 dollars for a bottle. However, you can save a bit of money if you buy a multipack. Other than price, which we think is worth it, the other downside is that this product is not for two stroke engines.
2) Solder-It Catalytic Converter Cleaner
The Solder-It product is a very basic cleaning product. It comes in at just about 15 dollars for a large bottle (16 oz). If you’d like to stock up, you can get it in a case of 12 for an even lower price per bottle.
In addition to being a fairly decent cleaner, this product is also a deodorizer. You know that funky, sulphur-like smell some cars can develop over time? This will get rid of that. That odor is the result of your catalytic converter not filtering exhaust as well as it should.
In terms of effectiveness, this one is a bit middle of the road. The deodorizer works, but the label states that it ‘may help your vehicle pass emissions’. That doesn’t inspire confidence. If someone really needs help getting through that inspection, we can understand why they might lean towards another product.
Here’s the bottom line. This is a reasonably priced product that is likely worth buying in most cases. However, if you need a guarantee that you’ll pass inspection, go ahead and give the Cataclean a try.
3) Oxicat Oxygen Sensor And Catalytic Converter Cleaner
If you watched the news a few years ago, you may remember that Volkswagon found themselves in quite a bit of trouble for falsifying emissions testings for its cars. As a result, emissions testing regulations were made much stricter. One of the products that resulted from this is Oxicat. It cleans your catalytic converter as well asy your O2 sensor. In fact, it works on your entire exhaust system.
The oxygen sensor cleaning is especially important. There have been many people who have paid for needless repairs, simply because of a dirty or faulty oxygen sensor.
We would also like to point out that this product works exceptionally well on all types of engines. This includes gasoline, hybrids, and diesel. So, chances are it will work on your car.
Finally, this is a premium product. You will pay a premium price. A small bottle is about 15 dollars. However, the results absolutely speak for themselves.
4) CRC Guaranteed to Pass Emissions Test Formula
Nearly everyone gets at least a little stressed out over an upcoming emissions test. After all, failing can mean that your license plates won’t be renewed. You might even be forced to pay for expensive repairs. The catalytic converter cleaner from CRC was designed to give drivers some peace of mind. It features a powerful cleaner that works quickly to remove build up in cars catalytic converter.
In fact, the manufacturer guarantees that your car will pass emissions after you use this product. And, it backs this up with a double money back guarantee.
5) Hi-Gear EZ Emissions Pass And Catalytic Converter Cleaner
Most cleaners come in a plastic bottle. This one stands out a bit by coming in a metal tin. That’s not all. In addition to eliminating deposits, it increases engine efficiency, improves emissions, and fixes HP loss. So, it’s both stylized and effective.
To be clear, this is not an OEM product. However, it is just about as close as you will ever get. That’s because the makers of this product worked in cooperation with a variety of car manufacturers.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Catalytic Converter Cleaner: Does it Work?
It’s understandable that people are cynical about this. There are all sorts of dubious ‘cleaners’ found on the shelves of gas stations, auto parts stores, and truck stops. Most are nothing more than automotive placebos. That’s not the case with catalytic converter cleaners. These actually perform a useful function, and are a must for car owners.
Where to Buy Catalytic Converter Cleaner?
You can buy cleaner anywhere you buy other auto parts. They are available at auto parts stores, big box stores, convenience stores, and gas stations. Your mechanic might even sell this product.
How to Clean a Catalytic Converter?
Good news. You don’t have to be a mechanic to clean your catalytic converter. The cleaners we’re going to review here are simple to use. Simply pour the cleaner into your gas tank, per the instructions on the bottle. The cleaner will begin to work as you drive.
What is the Best Catalytic Converter?
That’s something for each driver to decide. However, we’ve tried out some of the most popular cleaners and reviewed each one of them above for you to make educated choice.