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  • avatar zaken1 08/16/11 3:17 pm PST

    Thank you for the additional information: I would definitely recommend replacing the fuel filter, in view of this situation. A clogged fuel filter will mimic the symptoms of a clogged catalytic converter; but can be replaced at a tiny fraction of the cost (but if the fuel filter is clogged and the converter is replaced instead; it will not fix the problem and will also create a big hole in your wallet).

    There is a simple test you can do to determine whether the converter needs replacement. Stand behind the exhaust pipe, and have someone sit in the car with the motor idling; and then have them step hard on the gas pedal while you feel the exhaust with your hand behind the end of the pipe. If there is a blast of exhaust from the pipe, and a big increase in sound volume when the accelerator is pressed hard; the converter is not plugged, and does not need replacement. But if there is little or no noticeable change in exhaust volume or pressure when the gas pedal is pressed hard; the converter is plugged. This test is best done AFTER the fuel filter is replaced.

    But it worries me that you say the RPMs increased while the vehicle speed hardly changed: This sounds like either a slipping clutch; if you have a manual transmission; or a failing automatic transmission; it your car has an automatic. If you described that accurately; I would have these things checked. It could possibly come from low fluid level in an automatic transmission, or from a clutch pedal that needed adjustment; if your car has a manual transmission and an adjustable clutch.

Answers

  • zaken1 08/16/11 2:16 pm PST

    The posts you see on this site have each been written by one of more than 90,000 different people who had car problems. Most of those people do not visit this site again to look at other people's posts; they just came here to see if someone could help them with their own problem. So Kelly, or Jim, or 99% of the other people who signed their name to a post will never see your message.

    The people who usually see your post here are the mechanics, enthusiasts, and compulsive car addicts who get off on helping other people, and thus visit this site regularly. We are the ones who have enough knowledge and experience to be able to help you; not the casual person who wrote in once with a car problem. I don't understand why this is so commonly misunderstood.

    Regardless of whether Kelly ever found this out; there is absolutely no way that a timing belt problem can affect a catalytic converter. Furthermore; there is almost no way that a bad catalytic converter will prevent a car from starting. Anyone who tells you that you need a new catalytic converter in order to fix your starting problem is either high on drugs, or is completely ignorant about how cars work, or is trying to rip you off by flat out lying to you.

    The usual reason a car suddenly does not start is that the battery went dead, from one of several possible reasons; or if the starter runs but the motor does not fire, it is usually the camshaft position sensor or the crankshaft position sensor. But not all cars have the same parts on them; and some cars are known to have certain common problems. So in order for us to help you effectively; we need to know the year and model of your car, how many miles it has on it, and the engine model or at least the number of cylinders it has. If you want some real help here; please click the "answer this question" button below this response, and enter the requested information in the box that appears. Then click the "submit answer" button. We'll get back to you in this same thread.

  • isellhondas 08/16/11 2:25 pm PST

    Zaken did a good job of explaining to you how these forums work.

    If a car isn't running, replacing a catalyic convertor isn't going to get it to suddenly start. I really question what "they" are telling you.

    Even if your cat is bad, there would be no connection whatever with the replacement of a timing belt and water pump.

    I would suggest finding a shop that has the skills to diagnose your problem.

  • dsortino2 08/16/11 2:53 pm PST

    Thank you for explaining how this forum works. Let me explain in more detail of what is happening. I have a 2002 Hyundai Santa Fe with 124,000 miles. I had the timing belt and water pump replaced and oil change on Friday. I was driving an approximate 600 mile roundtrip on Sunday. The car felt rough the first half of the trip but no problems accelerating. On the return leg is when I started noticing the sluggishness. My car did not "die" completely. I was driving on the Highway and as I would accelerate on the gas the RPMs would increase but the speed of the car would barely accelerate. I noticed this usually when the RPMs increased above the 2500 - 2700 range. This occurred over the course of about an hour of driving. Eventually the car's speed decreased to a crawl even though I was trying to accelerate the gas pedal with the increasing RPMs. It eventually wound down to less than 10 miles an hour and was sluggish, so I finally just parked it. The dealer is telling me I now need to replace the catalytic converter.

    The timing just seemed odd that I would have this problem after replacing the timing belt. I had driven the car on 2 other trips in the past 2 months with no noticeable problems, so I am trying to figure out if something could have been installed incorrectly with the timing belt that could have caused this problem or if this is just bad luck.

    Any insight is appreciated.

    Thanks.

  • zaken1 08/16/11 3:17 pm PST

    Thank you for the additional information: I would definitely recommend replacing the fuel filter, in view of this situation. A clogged fuel filter will mimic the symptoms of a clogged catalytic converter; but can be replaced at a tiny fraction of the cost (but if the fuel filter is clogged and the converter is replaced instead; it will not fix the problem and will also create a big hole in your wallet).

    There is a simple test you can do to determine whether the converter needs replacement. Stand behind the exhaust pipe, and have someone sit in the car with the motor idling; and then have them step hard on the gas pedal while you feel the exhaust with your hand behind the end of the pipe. If there is a blast of exhaust from the pipe, and a big increase in sound volume when the accelerator is pressed hard; the converter is not plugged, and does not need replacement. But if there is little or no noticeable change in exhaust volume or pressure when the gas pedal is pressed hard; the converter is plugged. This test is best done AFTER the fuel filter is replaced.

    But it worries me that you say the RPMs increased while the vehicle speed hardly changed: This sounds like either a slipping clutch; if you have a manual transmission; or a failing automatic transmission; it your car has an automatic. If you described that accurately; I would have these things checked. It could possibly come from low fluid level in an automatic transmission, or from a clutch pedal that needed adjustment; if your car has a manual transmission and an adjustable clutch.

  • dsortino2 08/16/11 3:39 pm PST

    Thank you.

  • isellhondas 08/17/11 2:10 am PST

    I agree. Hate to say it but it sounds like a bad automatic transmission or a slipping clutch if it's a manual.

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