Acura CL Catalytic Converters: Everything You Need to Know

The Acura CL is a luxury coupe produced over two generations from 1997 to 2003. All CL models came with a V6 engine and a single catalytic converter. OEM catalytic converters contained a ceramic honeycomb substrate coated with platinum, palladium, and rhodium catalysts

Direct-fit replacement Acura CL Catalytic Converters are available from aftermarket manufacturers like Bosal, MagnaFlow, Walker, and Eastern Catalytic. Proper inlet/outlet dimensions and flange style are important for fitment. CARB compliance is required in California.

Specific Details on the Acura CL Catalytic Converters

Recommended Replacement Converters:

  • Bosal Direct Fit Converter – Part #44323
  • Walker EPA Standard Converter – Part #54012
  • Eastern Catalytic EPA Converter – Part #31512

Troubleshooting Tips Acura CL Catalytic Converters

Here are some useful troubleshooting tips for diagnosing issues with the catalytic converter on an Acura CL:

  • Check for diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) related to the catalytic converter using an OBD2 scanner. Codes like P0420 and P0430 indicate converter failure.
  • Listen for rattling or buzzing sounds coming from the exhaust system. This could indicate the converter’s internal catalyst substrate is breaking down.
  • Look for signs of a clogged converter, like reduced engine power, poor acceleration, and reduced fuel economy.
  • Check the oxygen sensor performance upstream and downstream of the converter using live scan data. Bad sensors can ruin catalyst efficiency.
  • Do a visual inspection of the converter for exterior damage like dents, cracks, or holes. Also, check the exhaust pipes.
  • Monitor short and long-term fuel trim levels with the scanner. High positive values can indicate a lean condition from a bad converter.
  • Compare the temperature of the inlet and outlet exhaust pipes. Similar temperatures may mean the converter is not functioning properly.
  • Perform a backpressure test by attaching a manometer to the exhaust. Excessive back pressure points to a clogged converter.
  • Check for exhaust leaks that allow oxygen to reach the catalyst and prevent proper chemical reactions.

Read More: Acura EL Catalytic Converters

Diagnosing Problems:

  • Use an OBD2 scanner to check for diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) related to the catalytic converter, like P0420 or P0430.
  • Look for symptoms like lack of power, poor acceleration, increased fuel usage, and metallic rattling noises.
  • Inspect the converter visually and check for external damage like dents, cracks, and perforations.

Step-by-Step Installation of Acura CL Catalytic Converters:

  1. Disconnect the battery and raise the vehicle on the jack stands.
  2. Locate the converter along the exhaust and spray penetrating oil on the mounting nuts.
  3. Remove the oxygen sensor wiring and bracket bolts.
  4. Unbolt the converter from the exhaust system. Retain the mounting hardware.
  5. Install a new donut gasket on the outlet flange of the new converter.
  6. Maneuver the new converter into place and hand-tighten the mounting nuts and bracket bolts.
  7. Reconnect the oxygen sensors to the bungs on the new converter.
  8. Use a torque wrench to tighten all fasteners to 22-27 ft-lbs.
  9. Reconnect the battery, start the engine, and check for leaks.

Here are some important installation tips when replacing the Acura CL Catalytic Converters:

  • Use a genuine Acura OEM converter or a direct-fit aftermarket converter for the CL application. Generic converters may not fit properly.
  • Always replace the exhaust inlet/outlet gaskets when installing a new converter. This prevents exhaust leaks. High-temp silicone sealant can also be used.
  • Hand tightens the converter mounting nuts/bolts before using a torque wrench to tighten to the proper spec of 22-27 ft-lbs. Over-tightening can crack the converter.
  • Ensure the oxygen sensor bung locations match when installing the new converter so the O2 sensors can be properly reconnected.
  • Verify all electrical connectors, brackets, and hangers are securely reattached. Check that wires have proper clearance from the hot exhaust.
  • Once installed, start the engine and check for exhaust leaks. Tighten any loose connections.
  • Clear any check engine codes before road testing the vehicle. Monitor operation for any codes or symptoms indicating a problem with the new converter.
  • Be extremely careful when working under the vehicle. Use proper jacking and support. Allow time for the exhaust system to cool fully before attempting installation.

How To Replace Catalytic Converter on an Acura CL

Positioning of Acura CL Catalytic Converters:

The catalytic converter must be installed in the same location as the original between the exhaust manifold and mid-pipe. This maintains proper exhaust flow through the converter. Bolt the new Acura CL converter to the existing mounting brackets.

Exhaust Seals:

Replace the exhaust inlet and outlet gaskets when installing the new Acura CL catalytic converter. Apply high-temp silicone sealant as well to prevent leaks. The seals are critical for preventing oxygen infiltration.

Oxygen Sensors:

The Acura CL has oxygen sensor bungs upstream and downstream of the converter that must be positioned properly. To maintain fuel control, reconnect the O2 sensors to the bungs in their original locations.

Inspect Other Components:

Inspect the rest of the exhaust system and engine when replacing the CL converter. Look for leaks, damage, or other issues that may have contributed to the original converter’s failure.

Post-Installation Check:

After installing the new converter, clear any check engine codes with a scan tool. Road-test the Acura CL to ensure catalyst monitors are set to “Ready” and no codes return. This verifies the new converter is operating efficiently.

FAQs about Acura CL Catalytic Converters

What Is A Catalytic Converter, And How Does It Work In My Acura Cl?

A catalytic converter is an emission control device that reduces harmful pollutants in your Acura CL’s exhaust. It contains platinum, palladium, and rhodium catalysts to facilitate chemical reactions that convert harmful gases into less harmful ones.

How Is My Acura Cl’s Catalytic Converter Clogged Or Malfunctioning?

Signs of a clogged catalytic converter in your Acura CL include reduced engine performance, decreased fuel efficiency, and a noticeable drop in acceleration. It may trigger the check engine light and cause the vehicle to fail emissions tests.

What Is The Typical Lifespan Of A Catalytic Converter In An Acura Cl?

The lifespan of a catalytic converter in an Acura CL can vary depending on driving habits and environmental factors. On average, they can last between 70,000 to 100,000 miles or more.

How Much Does It Cost To Replace An Acura Cl Catalytic Converter?

Replacing an Acura CL catalytic converter can range from a few hundred to over a thousand dollars, depending on the model year, converter type, and labor charges.

Is It Possible To Clean A Clogged Catalytic Converter In My Acura Cl, And What Is The Best Cleaner To Use?

While it’s possible to attempt cleaning, replacing a severely clogged catalytic converter is often more practical. However, you can use a catalytic converter cleaner to remove carbon deposits and contaminants.

What Are The Consequences Of Driving With A Malfunctioning Catalytic Converter In My Acura Cl?

Driving with a malfunctioning catalytic converter can lead to increased emissions, reduced fuel efficiency, engine damage, and even a potential violation of emissions regulations.

Can I Sell My Old Acura Cl Catalytic Converter As Scrap, And How Much Can I Expect To Get For It?

Yes, you can sell your old catalytic converter as scrap. The scrap price varies based on the type of metals inside and market conditions. Still, they can be worth several hundred dollars.

Where Can I Buy A Replacement Catalytic Converter For My Acura Cl, And What Factors Should I Consider When Choosing One?

You can purchase a replacement catalytic converter from auto parts stores, dealerships, or online retailers. Consider factors like compatibility with your Acura CL’s model year, emissions standards compliance, and warranty when choosing a replacement.

How Can I Prevent Damage To My Acura Cl’s Catalytic Converter?

To prevent damage, maintain your vehicle with regular tune-ups, fix any engine issues promptly, use high-quality fuel, and avoid driving with a misfiring engine, which can lead to excess fuel in the exhaust.

What Are Some Aftermarket Options For Upgrading My Acura Cl’s Catalytic Converter For Better Performance Or Efficiency?

Some aftermarket options include high-flow catalytic converters, which can improve exhaust flow for enhanced performance, or catalytic converter bypass pipes for a more aggressive exhaust note. Ensure any modifications comply with local emissions regulations.

I am Nicolas, an automobile engineer with over 5 years of experience in exhaust systems and catalytic converters. I am passionate about learning and understanding how things work, and I am always looking for new ways to improve the performance and efficiency of automotive exhaust systems.

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