Bookmark and Share


My 1998 Chevy Camaro V6 will not go over 30 mph! It also takes way too long to shift and when it does, it really shifts hard! I was told by a friend of mine that the catalytic converter was the problem. And it should be replaced. My car was driving fine until the other day, when all of a sudden this problem happens. It was working okay until I stopped at a red light. When I took off, it wouldn’t go any faster than 30 MPH. And then when it shifted it just about threw me into the back seat. It has never shifted this hard before and I am thinking I may have a transmission problem as well. My friend says the converter can cause this shifting problem as well as the lack of power. Is this true or do I need to seek professional help?

Your friend may be correct in the diagnosing your drivability/shifting problem! If Catalytic converter is faulty this MAY explain your symptoms of hard shifting and lack of power. To verify that you have a restricted exhaust you can either test it with a engine manifold vacuum gauge, or loosen the exhaust “Y” pipe. The easiest way I know is to remove the “Oxygen Sensor” and then see if the car has more power and shifts better. If it does work better, then you have narrowed down your problem to an exhaust problem of some sort. If you determine the catalytic converter “IS” faulty you need to figure out what caused it to fail. The biggest "killers" of converters is “dying” fuel pumps. The Catalytic converter normally operates around 1500 Degrees F.. When the fuel pump starts to fail it starves the engine for fuel. So the engine pumps a lot of fresh air into the exhaust. If this happens the Catalytic converter temperature will jump up to over 2500 degrees F. When the dying fuel pump starts to work better it adds fuel to a "super hot" converter causing the temperature to go even higher. When this happens the converter will "fuse together”, “Restricting” the flow of exhaust gases out the tailpipe. So if the converter is “clogged up” look for the cause of the problem. Remember, don’t just treat the symptom, find out what caused the problem, or you will be replacing this expensive part sooner than you should. I would suggest that you seek professional help in repairing and troubleshooting the “cause” of your problem. Cars built after 1996 require special EPA compliant catalytic converters. Catalytic Covertures have an 8 year, 80,000 mile warranty that is federally mandated.


  Return to frequently asked questions



Home :: Show :: Archives :: Links :: Contacts :: Login

Ask The Master Auto Technician © 2009