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Should You Buy A High Flow Catalytic Converter?
If you’re in the market for a new catalytic converter and are a performance enthusiast, chances are you’ll want to consider purchasing a high-flow catalytic converter. If you are not, you should read this article and consider the benefits.
Let me tell you what this article is not about. I’m not talking about the boring OEM universal catalytic converters you put on your moms minivan. I’m going to talk about high performance parts that have the sole purpose of increasing the horsepower and torque of your vehicle. If you’re looking for a replacement cat for your 92 Chevy Cavalier, you don’t have time to read this article. So let’s get into it shall we?
I’m going to assume you have a high performance vehicle, or at the very least, a stock vehicle that you plan to replace. If you’re not familiar with high flow catalytic converters, let me explain what they are and how they help your car increase horsepower.
First, the point of a catalytic converter is to convert toxic engine exhaust gases into cleaner, more environmentally friendly substances. This is done using a catalyst inside the machine, hence the name “catalytic” converter. However, the problem with OEM or aftermarket OEM cats is that they restrict airflow. This is mainly because they are designed to work as efficiently as possible and are less focused on increasing the power of your vehicle. Your 95 Honda Civic isn’t built to be a high performance machine from the factory, but that won’t stop you from turning it around! The high flow catalytic converter was designed with performance in mind and ultimately allows more airflow through your entire exhaust system unrestricted. No cat is the best case scenario, and people who race their cars don’t have catalytic converters, but if you want your car to be street legal, you need a cat to get to your car. Emission tests during inspection.
So how does a high flow catalytic converter help your car’s performance and should you buy one? Well, first, let me ask you, do you have aftermarket headers or exhaust on your vehicle? If not, a high-flow cat is still not the thing to buy. I think of a high performance cat as the third part of your aftermarket exhaust system. The most important part of your exhaust system is the cat-back. This is all the piping that comes after your catalytic converter. The second most important part is the high flow exhaust manifold or header. These come before cat. Unless you have one or two of those pieces installed on your car, I wouldn’t buy a high performance cat because it’s the least important and won’t be as effective unless combined with a high flow exhaust system.
If you have an aftermarket exhaust system, a high flow catalytic converter may be the logical next part to purchase. The more freely your exhaust gases flow through your engine, the more power your car will make. If you have a high performance cat-back and header, a regular cat creates airflow obstructions and we don’t want that. By installing a high performance cat, you will increase airflow and gain more power. How much power will you get? Well, it depends on the size of your engine. Bigger V6 and V8 engines will make more power than the i4s. Because they produce more exhaust gas. But for simplicity, we’ll say that adding a high-flow cat can increase your horsepower by 4hp to 10hp. If it’s something you want to gain, then buying a high-flow cat might be the right choice for you.
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