Can You Use Lacquer Thinner to Clean Your Catalytic Converter?

You may have recently diagnosed an error code that your diagnostics too gave you and you’ve found out that your catalytic converter needs to be cleaned, it can be frustrating. Cleaning the catalytic converter can require you to take it out and this is why it can be daunting. Luckily, there’s an easy way to clean it, which may not be as effective, but it can save you time rather than having to take the whole thing out.

Your catalytic converter uses catalytic substances to clean up harmful gasses in your engine. These harmful gasses then go through your exhaust systems out through the exhaust pipe. If the catalytic converter wasn’t there, then toxic gases will be released into the atmosphere and you’ll fail all of your emissions tests meaning that you won’t be able to drive your car on the road.

Should You Put Lacquer Thinner in Gas Tank to Clean Catalytic Converter?

There are a few ways to clean your catalytic converter, and this can either be with a cleaning substance, or you’ll need to take your engine out. You may be wondering if you can clean your catalytic converter with lacquer thinner, it’s advisable not to do so. You shouldn’t clean your catalytic converter with lacquer thinner because the formula can vary from brand to brand that it can contain substances such as acetone which can be harmful to your fuel system.

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Whilst there are ways to clean your catalytic converter using substances, you should stay away from lacquer thinner because you can end up damaging your engine. The best way to clean your catalytic converter is to take it out and use soap to clean it. Once you’re done, you can hose it down, making sure to clean the crevasses and tiny holes. Once it’s dry, you can reinstall it back into your car and it should be good to go.

If you’re really hesitant to take out your catalytic converter just to clean it, you can use a catalytic converter cleaner (View on Amazon). This isn’t as effective as taking out the catalytic converter, but it’s a better option than using lacquer thinner. To clean your cat using a catalytic converter cleaner, all you have to do is pour some into the fuel tank. This will also help to clean your exhaust system as well as your O2 sensors. A catalytic converter clean can work on any vehicle regardless if it’s petrol, diesel or a hybrid car.

You can read your car’s manual or the back of the catalytic converter clean and check the recommended amount to use. To get the cleaner to take full effect, you should drive your car for a few miles – it’s best to driving the car at a high speed over a long distance to ensure the cat gets hot.

You Might Need to Take Out the Catalytic Converter

If you used a diagnostics tool and received an error and you know that your catalytic converter needs cleaning, there are some circumstances that will require you to take it out and give it out and give it a proper clean. If you’ve driven the same car for a while, over time, parts of the catalytic converter can break of becoming loose and in this case, you won’t be able to fix it unless you remove it.

Check for Loose Parts

The first thing you need to do is check for loose parts in your cat converter. To do this, you can get a hammer and hit the catalytic converter and listen out for noises. If you can hear things banging about and lose parts, then you should consider taking out the cat converter and getting it replaced, especially if it’s old.

Clogged catalytic converter

If your catalytic converter is clogged, then your engine won’t be able to function properly. The catalytic converter is needed to remove toxic chemicals from the engine by using catalytic substances. If you have a clogged catalytic converter that’s clogged with carbon deposits, then you’ll need to consider taking it out and getting it replaced.

Leaked Oil

If oil from your cylinders has leaked into the catalytic converter, then you’ll need to consider taking it out and getting it cleaned. If not, it can cause combustion which can lead to your catalytic converter burning. You’ll also need to repair the oil leak in the cylinders to ensure that the same thing doesn’t happen when you put the catalytic converter back in after cleaning it. If you want to check out for an oil leak, you’ll notice that the crankcase ventilation is clocked up and the valve seals or piston rings are broken.

You Need to Clean Your Catalytic Converter

The catalytic converter is a part that you need to maintain. Because it cleans out the gas, the catalytic converter will get dirty overtime so it’s important that you’re keeping this part maintained. Failure to maintain it can lead to you spends $1000s at the dealership because your cat is failing. Maintenance is crucial for every vehicle and if you fail to do this, you’ll constantly be facing problems with your vehicle.

If you want to avoid catalytic converter problems or other issues and save $100s of dollars that you’ll spend at the auto repair shop, you’ll need to service your vehicle often – you can use our mechanic-rated Auto Maintenance and Repair Manual to do this. It’s basically what mechanics use to go through your vehicle to check if there are any problems that need fixing. As soon as they notice the most minor problem, they’ll ask you to fork out some money even though it’s a problem you can fix yourself in minutes – the manual will teach you how to maintain your vehicle every few thousand miles and it’ll teach you how to fix minor problems that mechanics will ask you to pay for; saving you money in the long run.

A lot of our readers have the Auto Maintenance and Repair Manual printed on their garage wall and 92% of them haven’t visited the auto repair shop in the last year because they know what to do to avoid problems. All it takes is giving your vehicle a little attention every few thousand miles and you’ll never spend money at the workshop again.

Benefits of Removing catalytic converter to Clean it

Lower Emissions – the best result you’re going to get from taking your catalytic converter out to clean it is lower emissions. This means that your catalytic converter is efficiently removing toxic gasses from your engine therefore, your vehicle is more environmentally friendly. The less toxic gasses that are passed out of the exhaust, the lower your emissions.

Protects Engine – Since you have a more efficient catalytic converter that cleans out toxic gasses properly, your engine is more likely to run smoothly. A catalytic converter that isn’t able to properly remove toxic gasses from the engine can damage the engine in the long run.

Reduce in Smell – If your cat converter can’t do a good job to remove the gasses from the engine, this can cause a bad smell to come out of your exhaust. This bad smell can be obnoxious and it’s a sign that your cat converter isn’t doing a good job. Taking out the catalytic converter and cleaning it will ensure that it removes toxic gasses efficiently from the engine reducing the chances of bad smells releasing into the atmosphere.