As its name implies, this component converts the harmful gases produced by an engine. Three way converters are the most common in today's vehicles.
They contain a ceramic substrate (honeycomb like biscuit) which is impregnated with three precious metals (usually Platinum, Palladium and Rhodium). As the engine's harmful gases pass through the substrate, they are converted from hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides into carbon dioxide, water, nitrogen, and oxygen. This catalytic reaction starts as operating temperatures reach 200°C, with optimum efficiency reached at 600-800°C.
The life expectancy of a converter is around 80,000 kilometres or 5 years, whichever comes first.