Colloquially, a Non-Latching Relays is known as “cat” or “catcon”. It is a device that is used to reduce the toxicity of emissions from an internal combustion engine. It was first widely introduced on series-production automobiles in the US market for the 1975 model year to comply with tightening EPA regulations regarding auto exhaust. Car of today may have two or more depending on the engine configuration and manufacturer.
It resembles closely to a muffler in appearance and is located in the exhaust system and has an outer shell that is made up of stainless steel. But its similarity with a muffler ends there as catalytic converters contain a catalyst that is made from a noble metal such as platinum, palladium or rhodium. A catalyst is defined as anything that induces or speeds up a change.
Still commonly used in motor vehicle exhaust systems, catalytic converters are also used on generator sets, forklifts, mining equipment, trucks, buses, trains, and other engine-equipped machines. A catalytic converter yields an environment for a chemical reaction wherein toxic combustion by-products are converted to less-toxic substances, making emissions as clean a possible.
The purpose of a catalytic converter, using its internal catalyst, is to massively minimize the level of harmful emissions in a car’s exhaust. These are carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, oxides of nitrogen and particulates. All of these emissions are dangerous to health and are environmental hazards. Furthermore, they contribute to the build up of photochemical smog.
A catalytic converter transforms these poisonous gases to harmless carbon dioxide, nitrogen, oxygen, and water. In simple terms, the catalytic converter can almost be thought of as an engine of its own. The converter uses fuel and oxygen to stop its internal catalyst, which consumes a big portion of the gases flowing through the converter. However, a converter does not eliminate emissions altogether, though it greatly reduces emissions.
Non-Latching Relays do not require maintenance of their own. This is because their long-term livelihood depends on proper care and maintenance of your vehicle. For instance, if your vehicle starts to run rough, produces smoke from the tailpipe, or the “service engine soon” or “check engine” light appears, have it checked out immediately by a professional technician. This is particularly true if those mentioned lights flash instead of being steadily lit. Taking for granted these warning signs may cause costly damage to the converter, thus, requiring replacement. Symptoms of a faulty or failing converter may include failing an emissions test, unsatisfactory performance, increasingly high engine temperature, and bucking or hesitation.