CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Do driving habits affect the longevity of catalytic converters?

I drove a 2015 F250 with a 6.2L V8. It has 81,000 miles on it, and it just got out of the shop for a check engine light. It ended up getting a the purge valve and all 16 spark plugs changed along with the catalytic converter assembly. There was black soot above the tailpipe as well. How big of a role does driving habit play in determining the longevity of catalytic converters? And are there other factors that determine their life span, such as jarring hits after driving into potholes?

It should play no role at all as long as the check engine light remains off. CEL on, and all bets are off. There are error conditions that are hard on cats. I will say that heavy towing can be an issue if the engine’s computer tuning is such that it stays rich for power a bit too long. Or, of course, if you installed a “tune” for more power.

2 Likes

Thanks for the info!

About 1.5 months ago I was driving about 70 mph and all the sudden the truck shuddered and loss all power and I was barely able to limp it off the interstate. Pulled into a empty lot shut it down and restarted it and everything was normal and about 3 weeks ago the CEL finally came on, but it was sporadic but with no changes in the drivability of the truck. If the weather was warm the CEL came on and if it was cold it would turn off. Finally brought it in after a week and was surprised by the repair bill :joy: new cat assembly, 16 new spark plugs and a injector flush. I just want to make sure I wasn’t unintentionally doing anything to shorten the lifespan of the Cats

1 Like