Monday, March 31, 2008

It Never Fails...

It never fails! If you are fortunate enough to have a "back-up" car in your garage, chances are you won't need it. But heaven forbid you decide to sell it...and watch out! Since we decided to sell my wife's Eagle Talon, we've had to have the gasket replaced under the intake manifold on both the 1999 Chevrolet Venture and my 2002 Impala. This morning on my drive to work, the Impala began acting very sluggish. When you accelerate from a stop sign or is like you are driving in pick up at all. If you have the car on cruise and go up a hill at 55 mph, it's like it's taking everything the car has to maintain speed. This evening's drive home was no better. It reminds me of a problem we had with a 1989 Toyota Tercel my wife owned early on in our marriage. It ended up being a plugging catalytic converter. My dad and I removed the coverter and punched it out and put it back on the car...end of problem. My guess this wasn't "legal" or environmentally "friendly", but being newly married on a beginning teacher's salary, it was the best solution.

Are there any "Mr. Goodwrenchs" out there? Am I "barking up the right tree"? I did a little research on the internet this evening and it sounds like I may be correct. Here are a couple examples of what I've found:

"My 2002 starting running very sluggish. No pep on acceleration. Also overheated. Thought it was the transmission not shifting. No warning lights came on. Got a great mechanic who suspected it, dropped the exhaust pipe and smelled the rotten eggs. If your's goes sluggish, get this checked immediately. You could blow your engine."

Found this entry on the Edmunds Car Space Website :

#1447 of 2014
Re: 2002 Impala hesitates when accelerating [impala2002] by impala2002
Aug 30, 2005 (9:31 pm)
Replying to: impala2002 (Aug 16, 2005 8:39 pm)Unfortunately no replies to my message. But in the spirit of helping others, just wanted to mention the outcome of my issue. I took my car to the dealer. The service representative was nice enough to do a quick drive the car and suspect the transmission - so he persuaded me that we should do a transmission diagnosis. Unfortunately, they didn't get to it that day and I took my car back that day (Wed). The next day, as I drove the car, I was more or less convinced that it was a transmission problem since the car would tend to stall more when going up hill. When I changed to a lower gear, it took off. Anyway, dropped off the car to dealer on Fri. The dealer diagnosed it as a constricted catalytic converter. Fortunately, the catalytic converter is covered beyond the 3yr warranty and was replaced by the driver. Now that the acceleration is back - you guys watch out for this maniac in the Impala!

This really bites! I suppose I will have to buy a new catalytic converter! Since they contain Platinium...I know they are not cheap. Looking them up online looks like it will cost me about $95.00 to $240.00 just for the converter.
What do you think? Your suggestions and comments will be greatly appreciated!