Catalytic converters are required by law on all vehicles produced since 1975.
Your vehicle's catalytic converter converts harmful pollutants in the exhaust system into harmless gases. The catalytic converter should last at least 50,000 miles with many new car converters being guaranteed to 80,000 miles from the manufacturer. There are strict federal laws governing the replacement of catalytic converters that repair facilities must adhere to, and the converter is required by law. Strict penalties apply for car owners as well if the converter is tampered with.
Most catalytic converters are located just behind the engine manifold or beyond the engine area in the exhaust pipe. The catalytic converter is usually surrounded by safety "heat shields" and operates at an extremely high temperature. To avoid serious burn injuries, never touch a hot catalytic converter.
Symptoms of a defective catalytic converter can include poor engine performance, extremely reduced power, excessive fuel consumption, "rattling" in the exhaust system, increased engine temperature, as well as illuminations of "check engine" lights.
Listen about Catalytic Converters