If I Cut Off My Catalytic Converters, Will I Get More Power?

by Hunkar Ozyasar

Catalytic converters are usually between the engine and the muffler and are mandatory equipment on passenger vehicles in most countries. Removing the catalytic converter may increase the output of the engine, but could have serious consequences.


The catalytic converter is a small metal container designed to reduce the amount of harmful pollutants and toxic gases produced by the vehicle. Harmful compounds such as carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide undergo a chemical reaction within the catalytic converter and exit as harmless gases.

Power Gains

While the engine is working to turn the wheels, it also wastes some energy to push the burnt exhaust gases out of the muffler. The more resistance it encounters until these gases reach the tip of the muffler, the greater the waste. Therefore, removing the catalytic converter, which is an obstruction, will result in more power.

Legal Consequences

Removing the catalytic converter is illegal. Its removal will result in the production of more toxic substances and create a public health risk. While replacing the stock catalytic converter with aftermarket units that rob less engine power but keep emissions within legal limits is fine, you should not simply remove it.

About the Author

Hunkar Ozyasar is the former high-yield bond strategist for Deutsche Bank. He has been quoted in publications including "Financial Times" and the "Wall Street Journal." His book, "When Time Management Fails," is published in 12 countries while Ozyasar’s finance articles are featured on Nikkei, Japan’s premier financial news service. He holds a Master of Business Administration from Kellogg Graduate School.

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Photo Credits

  • Motorcycle exhaust image by Crisps85 from Fotolia.com