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3.4 Horrible bogging problem (Video) - RESOLVED
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Alphaspida
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 12:47 am    Post subject:  3.4 Horrible bogging problem (Video) - RESOLVED Reply with quote

I'm glad I found a community that specializes in my generation of Impala. I have a 2002 3.4L that has a really big acceleration problem.

It doesn't seem as significant when cold, but after the engine starts warming up then my car experiences serious power loss. No CEL, but when I hook up a reader it gives one code: P1189. (CEL works, don't forget).

Here is a video I made to demonstrate:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HVj9x-5vE-w
Notice the 0-60 time is nearly 30 seconds. I have the pedal floored the whole time except I release a little bit so it can shift to 2nd gear.


Normal 3.4 Impala acceleration videos:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QpXz2b8LOY4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XWSYUUdkjjs
Notice how the tires spin in the first video, and how first gear goes to ~48MPH with higher RPM.


Now you can see that my Impala has a serious power problem. This doesn't only occur when hammering the pedal though - it happens when driving normally, making me fall behind passing cars. When it accelerates at a lower RPM, especially in 2nd gear, the slowness stands out the most and emits a "flooding" noise. I say flooding because that is as close as I can get to explaining it. I am not a violent driver, but since this problem has started (about 2 months ago) it is making me have to depress the accelerator more and more to actually get up to speed.

I have done a few things to try and troubleshoot the problem. In order:

1. Oil Change (was overdue)
2. New spark plugs
3. Checked air filter (almost new K&N)
4. Replaced fuel filter
5. Checked temperatures in front and behind of cat. converter. ~600 in the front and ~730 in the back which indicates no pressure buildup
6. Reset the ECU
7. Tested the MAF sensor
8. Tested the MAP sensor correctly, and gave normal voltage readings
9. Checked for vacuum leaks by spraying the engine with brake cleaner and watching for differences in idle (while car was cool, it was safe)

I have ran out of ideas of what to do except check the fuel pressure, but I can't be arsed to go buy the equipment if there are other things I can try first.

Any idea is appreciated. I plan to install a cold air intake and possibly a bigger throttle body after I get this nonsense fixed.


Last edited by Alphaspida on Mon Aug 08, 2011 5:55 pm; edited 1 time in total
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IffyG
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 12:56 am    Post subject:   Reply with quote

My money is on a clogged cat. Sounds and acts just like mine did when the cat was plugged up.

There was a TSB on the issue, but unfortunately it looks like youa re going to fall just outside the extension of the warranty if that's the case. http://www.naioa.com/v2/module.....mp;t=21966

P1189 is an engine oil pressure code, so I'd quit driving it until you can get that straightened out. Could be as simple as a bad pressure sensor, but I'd hate to find out the hard way.

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Alphaspida
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 1:10 am    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Thanks for the reply. I'll try not to drive it too much. Is it easy checking/replacing the pressure sensor mentioned? The special policy for 02 catalytic converters seems pretty nice. Would I need to take it to a Chevy dealer? (I'm 17 Cool)
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billy101
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 1:46 am    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Alphaspida wrote:
Thanks for the reply. I'll try not to drive it too much. Is it easy checking/replacing the pressure sensor mentioned? The special policy for 02 catalytic converters seems pretty nice. Would I need to take it to a Chevy dealer? (I'm 17 Cool)


You would have to bring it to a Chevy dealer to see what they can do for you. My cat was replaced under that warranty awhile ago. I'm unsure of the sensor code but that most definitely sounds like a bad cat. My car with the 3.8 did the SAME thing when it went bad. Had to floor it in order to go anywhere.
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ZSPOT
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 10:21 am    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Alphaspida wrote:
Is it easy checking/replacing the pressure sensor mentioned?

It sits almost right above where your dip stick tube goes into the block. Not really hard to get at, but not easy either.
Quote:
The special policy for 02 catalytic converters seems pretty nice. Would I need to take it to a Chevy dealer? (I'm 17 Cool)

Any General Motors dealership can handle that for you. If you want to PM me your VIN, I can check and see if your vehicle still applies or not.

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Alphaspida
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 5:59 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Well, took it into a GM dealer to get it diagnosed. It was the catalytic converter all along. I think the guy said the pressure buildup was like 15 pounds or so, which meant the cat is almost fully plugged up.


Now I need to replace it... Does anybody have any tips?

Ordered a standard fit for $185 at a local auto parts shop. Should be in by tomorrow morning. Decided not to go with the universal fit because I can't be arsed to cut and weld.
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ZSPOT
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 6:51 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Well, you now will have a check engine light. Laughing Our cars are soooo picky, that the universal converters usually throw check engine lights. About the only way to resolve it, is the spend the $400 on a new GM converter. Crying or Very sad

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Alphaspida
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 8:08 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Hah. I will learn to live with it. Not going to pay $900 for GM to do it.
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bbengineer
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 8:37 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Alphaspida wrote:
Hah. I will learn to live with it. Not going to pay $900 for GM to do it.


Do you have vehicle emissions inspections where you live? If so, a Check Engine Light will cause you to fail

Maybe you'll get lucky and the Cat you are getting won't set the CEL, but chances are that it will (as most of the non-GM cats do)

BBEngineer

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Alphaspida
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 8:53 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Damn. Why would the CEL come on?

What do I do? I haven't paid for the cat yet.
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grimsin
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 8:57 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

buy this
http://www.zzperformance.com/g.....;catid=110
then this
http://www.getoverkilled.ca/products.html

then your problems solved,no CEL, and you get a much better running engine
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bigdog60
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 8:58 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Did you check with ZSPOT?
Its hit and miss with after market cats.
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billy101
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 8:59 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

grimsin wrote:
buy this
http://www.zzperformance.com/g.....;catid=110
then this
http://www.getoverkilled.ca/products.html

then your problems solved,no CEL, and you get a much better running engine


x2, I just ordered my PCM! STILL discounted. Hell of a deal if you ask me!
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Alphaspida
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 9:42 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

grimsin wrote:
buy this
http://www.zzperformance.com/g.....;catid=110
then this
http://www.getoverkilled.ca/products.html

then your problems solved,no CEL, and you get a much better running engine


Thanks. Do I have to get that exact catalytic converter? Also, is it easy installing a new PCM?
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IffyG
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 9:45 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Alphaspida wrote:
Damn. Why would the CEL come on?


IIRC it has to do with the flow rates of the aftermarket cats. They are less dense than the factory cat it it confuses the oxygen sensor into thinking something is wrong with the cat.

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