Acura RL Catalytic Converters Everything You Need To Know

Acura RL Catalytic Converters: The Acura RL is a luxury sedan from 1996 to 2012. Featuring a range of powerful V6 engines, the Acura RL typically comes equipped with dual catalytic converters. These converters are crucial in reducing harmful emissions, such as carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides, ensuring the RL complies with environmental regulations while maintaining its performance and refinement.

Direct-fit replacement Acura RL Catalytic Converters are available from aftermarket brands like Bosal, Eastern Catalytic, and Walker. Proper inlet/outlet dimensions and flange style must match the original converters. Acura RL Catalytic Converters sold in California must be CARB-compliant.

Specific Details on the Acura RL Catalytic Converters

Troubleshooting Tips for Acura RL Catalytic Converters:

  • Check for P0420/P0430 codes pointing to converter failure using an OBD2 scanner.
  • Listen for rattling noises from the exhaust, indicating internal damage.
  • Inspect oxygen sensor performance upstream and downstream of converters.
  • Look for reduced performance, increased fuel usage, and rotten egg smells.
  • Use Catalytic Cleaner for catalytic converting cleaning

Installation Tips:

  • Always replace the exhaust inlet/outlet gaskets when installing the new Acura RL Catalytic Converters. High temp silicone sealant can also be used to seal connections.
  • The inlet/outlet pipe diameter is 2.5″. Ensure the replacement converters have the proper 2.5″ inlet and outlet ports.
  • When secured to the manifolds, use a torque wrench to tighten the converter mounting nuts/bolts to the proper spec of 22-27 ft-lbs.
  • Carefully detach and reattach the oxygen sensors from the original converters to the new ones in their exact same locations.
  • Clear any check engine codes with a scan tool after installing the new Acura RL Catalytic Converters. This will reset fuel trim parameters and monitor operation.

Read More: The Ultimate Guide For Acura RDX Catalytic Converters

Tips for Cleaning Acura RL Catalytic Converters:

  • Use a catalytic converter cleaner. Products like Catalytic Converter Cleaners can help break down and remove contaminants and deposits inside the catalytic converter. Follow the directions on the product.
  • Flush the catalytic converter. You can do this by adding the catalytic converter cleaner to your gas tank when filling up, then driving the car for 30-60 minutes on the highway. The high speeds and engine heat will help circulate the cleaner through the catalytic converter to remove deposits.
  • Use a shop vac to vacuum out loose debris. Disconnect the oxygen sensor and carefully insert the vacuum hose into the catalytic converter inlet. Be careful not to damage the honeycomb structure inside.
  • You may need to remove the catalytic converter and soak it in a solvent-based or acid-based cleaner for heavy carbon deposits. Make sure to thoroughly rinse and dry it before reinstalling.
  • Avoid using engine degreasers or harsh chemicals that could damage the catalyst material inside the converter. Stick to products specifically made for catalytic converter cleaning.
  • Be gentle in your cleaning methods to avoid damaging the converter. Over-cleaning or using too much pressure can harm the internal structure.
  • Consider having a professional mechanic do the cleaning if you’re uncomfortable with the process. They’ll have the proper tools and skills.

Read More: The Ultimate Guide to Acura NSX Catalytic Converters

Some Tips For Properly Washing Acura RL Catalytic Converters

  • Use a degreaser or catalytic converter cleaner. Spray it directly onto the exterior casing of the Catalytic Converters and let it soak for 5-10 minutes. This will help break down oil, grease and carbon deposits. Avoid getting cleaner inside the converter.
  • Rinse the converter thoroughly with a garden hose or pressure washer. The high-pressure water will help blast away loosened contaminants.
  • Use a soft brush or rag to scrub the converter’s outside for stubborn deposits gently. Avoid abrasive pads or brushes that could damage the metal casing.
  • Ensure you thoroughly flush out any catalytic converter cleaner you use with plenty of water. Leftover chemical residue can damage the catalyst over time.
  • Dry the Acura RL Catalytic Converters fully after washing, using compressed air if available. Moisture left inside can also degrade the catalyst. Let the converter idle for 10-15 minutes to help evaporate any moisture.
  • Avoid using harsh chemicals like engine degreasers directly on the converter, as they can wash away the catalyst material and degrade performance over time.
  • Do not attempt to wash inside the converter or scrape at the honeycomb – this will destroy it. Only clean the outer casing.
  • Consider having a professional detail shop wash the catalytic converter if you don’t have the proper tools. They can properly clean it without damage.

The key is to be gentle and use only Catalytic Converter-approved cleaners. Thorough rinsing is important. Avoid excess moisture inside the converter.

Life Of Acura RL Catalytic Converters

  • Under normal driving conditions, the OEM RL Catalytic Converters can average 120,000-150,000 miles.
  • The converters have an 8-year/80,000-mile federal emissions warranty. California emissions models have a 15-year/150,000-mile warranty.
  • Driving style has a big impact. Many short trips and cold starts can foul the converters faster than longer highway driving.
  • Poor engine maintenance, like oil leaks, bad spark plugs, or issues causing misfires, will degrade the converters quicker.
  • Contaminants like oil, coolant or fuel getting into the exhaust can coat and damage the converter’s internals.
  • The upstream converter near the engine tends to fail sooner due to more heat cycling. The downstream one often lasts longer.
  • The efficiency declines if the Check Engine light comes on for a catalytic converter code. Replacement is recommended.
  • Periodic visual inspections of the converters can help spot potential issues early. Signs include blocked flow, rattling, and visible damage.
  • Aftermarket replacement converters typically have a shorter 50,000-80,000 mile lifespan. OEM parts tend to last longer.

How To Replace Acura RL Catalytic Converters

Positioning:

It uses multiple catalytic converters, one on each exhaust manifold bank. The new converters must be bolted into the original mounting positions for proper exhaust flow.

Exhaust Seals:

When installing the Acura Catalytic Converters, use new gaskets to seal the inlet and outlet flanges. Apply high temp silicone sealant as well to prevent leaks.

Oxygen Sensors:

Carefully detach and reattach the oxygen sensors from the old converters to the new ones. Position the upstream and downstream sensors properly.

Inspect Other Components:

Inspect the exhaust manifolds, mounts, and pipes when replacing the Acura RL Catalytic Converters. Look for any leaks or damage that needs addressing.

Post-Installation Check:

After installing the new Acura RL Catalytic Converters, clear any codes and road-test the vehicle. Verify the catalyst efficiency monitors are set to ready and that no check engine lights return.

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.