Question about 1996 Pontiac Grand Am

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Erratic RPM-Moves BUT slow-Wants to die

Replaced both O2 sensors and Catalyic Converter-Drives just fine for 5 miles or so,the it sits (overnight this time),then start up in morning,RPM is varying from 1100 down to 900 with surges up to 16,000-when I put it in drive,it goes slow wants to die.

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  • rr01453 Mar 19, 2009

    According to computer analysis-Every thing checks out-no problems reported BUT erratic RPM still persists on cold startups



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Sounds like fuel dilivery problem, try a new fuel filter, if that don't help, or it is not an issue, do a fuel pressure test to see if you got the right p.s.i. from pump.

Posted on Feb 11, 2009


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Trailblazer slow excelleration from 1000 - 3000 rpm.

several things on a 4,2 can cause lazy acceleration,but the most common is a plugged catalytic converter,check up stream and down stream o2 sensor for activity,up stream should be swinging low and high and downstream should be fairly steady if cat is good,if down stream is erratic like up stream reading low to high 7 to 10 or more times a minute,suspect faulty cat. you can buy after market cats cut out the old one and weld in new one,much cheaper.

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Why the problem with 02 sensor slow during catalyst monitor

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Oxygen Sensors get replaced when they fail
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I plug in a de-coder. It says, "P0133"

P0133 is a 'lazy' O2 sensor, bank one, side one-it is on the same side as number one cylinder and is in front (upstream) the catalytic converter. O2 sensors get 'lazy' or switch slowly as they get older die to deposits building on the tips or dirt around the outside of the sensor. On a scanner that does real time monitoring, you should see that it is switching between higher readings (.8-.9 volts) and lower readings (.1-.2 volts)-it is expected to perform these 'switches' at a certain rate and if the ECU (brainbox) determines that it is under-reporting, it sets the code. As a rule of thumb, an upstream O2 sensor should be replaced at 100,000 miles. This will assure better overall performance as the O2 sensors ability to monitor the engine is critical.

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What the sytoms of a clogged catalic converter?

Classic symptoms of a plugged catalytic converter. You may also have a check engine light, with these codes:

P0160 O2 Sensor Circuit No Activity Detected (Bank 2 Sensor 2)
P0161 O2 Sensor Heater Circuit Malfunction (Bank 2 Sensor 2)
P0162 O2 Sensor Circuit Malfunction (Bank 2 Sensor 3)
P0163 O2 Sensor Circuit Low Voltage (Bank 2 Sensor 3)
P0164 O2 Sensor Circuit High Voltage (Bank 2 Sensor 3)
P0165 O2 Sensor Circuit Slow Response (Bank 2 Sensor 3)
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or simply:

P1484 Catalytic Converter Overheat Detected A catalyst overheat condition has been detected by the catalyst temperature sensor

With the symptoms you are describing though, 99% sure that will be it.

Many times a "clogged" catalytic converter is actually a broken one. Inside the unit, there is a honeycomb-like structure that aids the converter in superheating the exhaust fumes, which cuts down significantly on emissions. Over time, this honeycomb structure can get brittle and crack or chunk off inside the unit, which will impede the flow of exhaust. For this reason, many times a clogged or broken catalytic converter will rattle or make vibrating noises when the engine is given gas.

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Hope this helps.

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