I loose power on hills and during heavy exceleration
I had the cat. converter replaced and ever since then when you excelerate hard going up a hill or flat ground for that matter I loose power and the check engine light comes on. It runs great around town at lower speeds but acts up when trying to reach freeway speeds or pull a hill. I had the converter checked and o2 sensors checked and they said everything was ok. Any Idea's?
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Start by replacing the air filter and checking the operation of the fuel pressure regulator. Have the stored codes read out of your ECU, either by an auto parts store or a local mechanic, in order to ascertain a starting point for diagnosis.
EGR (exhaust gas recirculation) valve may be stopped up with carbons. This would account for some loss of power as well as odor if leaking around intake. If I remember correctly, egr tube originates just above catalytic converter on this model. Condition may be early signs of cat failure ( commonly accompanied by "rotten egg" odor). I recommend having emission system checked by certified tech to avoid uneccessary component replacement.
The mixture may be to rich. When you say hot is to hot what does the means to you? The cat converter and pipes near it can reach 1000 degrees F. That is really hot. It gets hotter under a heavy load such as pulling a hill or hard acceleration.
Cars ping on hard exceleration or light/medium exceleration up hill or from take off but not at idle or declerating. I would check belt on front of engine and remove it to check alternator, water pump, power steering pump, a/c compressor clutch, idler/tensioner pullies for excessive play. Also check for exhaust leaks because sometimes they may sound like a ping and another thing you might want check is the catalytic convertor, the elment inside will come loose and rattle and this is notice more at idle and on a decel. If you tap catalytic convertor with hammer and you hear a rattle then replace catalytic convertor.
There are several problems regarding a misfiring engine. You can try checking all the spark plugs and seeing if they are good . Check the Spark Plug wires for any breaks or loose fit. If possible get a code at Autozone or other autoparts store. they do it for free. Because it could be a simple sensor problem Such as the Crankshaft position sensor, O2 sensor etc. By eliminating the electrical ignition problems you can start to troubleshoot the fuel. Check all filters (ie: fuel filter, air filter, etc.)
Your vehicle symtoms indicate that you might have a timing issue . It could be caused by a vacuum leak, or even the egr valve , since it only happens under load.
Do you ever get a check engine light? If so, scanning the vehicle would give some clues to the cause too.
If not, I would first look over all accessable hoses for cracks or loose connections, and then have the engine timing checked. Hopefully you will work towards a good fix.