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Chevrolet Repair/2001 3.8 Camaro exhaust

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QUESTION: I have a 2001 Camaro with stock 3.8 engine. I recently noticed that my check engine light came on. When I took the car and had the obd2 ran, the technician said that the reading said "excessive fuel buildup on catalytic converter". Now being a woman...i looked it up online, and all i found was results relating to bad EGR valves.. When I noticed the check engine light was on, i pulled over and popped the hood to notice the EGR was smoking. Now with that being said, I know that I need a new catalytic converter. As my car was victim to road debris. I am wondering if I should have the EGR changed before the cat?...And if it will make the check engine light go off by replacing it.. As I have scheduled my car to be put in the shop for a new cat next week.

ANSWER: HI KRISTEN,THERE IS NO CODE FOR EXCESSIVE FUEL BUILD UP..CAN YOU GET ME THE CODE#. IT IS POSS  A BAD OXYGEN SENSOR GOING BAD !!! THE EGR VALVE WILL NOT SMOKE,,IF IT IS GOOD OR BAD. THIS IS MORE THEN LIKELY FROM A SMALL OIL LEAK, LIKE SAY AROUND THE VALVE COVER GASKETS. ARE YOU SURE YOU NEED A NEW CONVERTOR..DENTS ON THE OUTER SHELL DOES NOT MEAN THE CONVERTOR IS BAD...THESE ARE NOT CHEAP. JUST DO NOT WANT YOU TO GET RIPPED OFF. GET BACK TO ME ON THE CODE# AND WE WILL CHAT FURTHER..GOOD LUCK TO YOU,,,TOM...

HI AGAIN KRISTEN, IAM GETTING BACK TO YOU BECAUSE I REALLY DID NOT FULLY ANSWER YOUR QUESTION,
I WOULD NOT CHANGE THE EGR VALVE UNTILL YOU ARE 100% SURE IT NEEDS ONE..IF THE PROBLEM IS FROM A BAD EGR VALVE THE CK ENG LIGHT WILL GO OFF AFTER 30 START UPS [IF AND ONLY IF THE PCM DOES NOT DETECT ANY MORE PROBLEMS WITH THE EGR SYSTEM..]BUT IF I WERE YOU I WOULD GO TO ANY PART STORE IN YOU AREA AND MORE THEN LIKELY THEY WILL READ OUT YOUR CODE FOR FREE..MAKE SOME CALLS FIRST TO SEE IF THEY WILL DO THAT FOR YOU !!! SORRY FOR ALL THE SPELLING ERRORS ON THE FIRST QUETSION..MY BAD.. LET ME KNOW,, TOM..

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: I am taking it to a reputable place tomorrow, where a family member works to have the computer ran and ill get the obd2 code for you..

now i did recently change the water pump and tensioner/pulley.. i noticed the water pump had a slight leak when i popped the hood to see why the check engine light came on.. and there was coolant on the belt, so maybe the coolant got on the egr to cause the smoking (wasnt a black, oil type smoke, more like a steam)... my brother has me set for a computer check tomorrow...

as for the converter..I know it needs replaced, as when I had the car lifted at my brothers shop, the cat had a rattle to it.. there was no visible damage, but you could hear the inards rattling around when he tried to shake it.

I just want to make sure im replacing the correct part, so when I get the cat replaced, it doesn't end up "cooked".

ANSWER: HI AGAIN KRISTEN, OK NOW I SEE,IF THE CAT HAS GOT THE RATTLES IT IS MORE THEN LIKELY ON ITS WAY OUT..YOU ARE PROBABLY CORRECT ABOUT THE STEAM,CAUSING IT TO LOOK LIKE THE EGR VALVE WAS SMOKING...GET ME THAT CODE AND WE WILL GO FROM THERE..IF THERE IS A RICH CONDITION THIS COULD BE CAUSED BY A FAULTY OXYGEN SENSOR OR MASS AIR FLOW OR SOMETHING LIKE THIS..I WILL BE WAITING.GOOD LUCK,,,TOM..

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: I took my car up to the shop today, and the obd2 code was p0420. Im sorry for the delay in responding time as my son was hospitalized from an asthma attack.

Answer
HI KRISTEN, I HOPE YOUR SON IS OK AND ALL MY BEST TO HIM ON A SPEEDY RECOVERY !!! NOW FOR THE P420 CODE THIS IS FOR [CONVERTOR EFFICIENCY BELOW THRESHOLD][BOOK TERMS] THIS MEANS THE PCM [COMPUTER] IS NOT SEEING THE O2 [OXYGEN] SENSORS RESPONDING TO THE CONVERTORS LIKE IT SHOULD. THERE IS A 50 50 SHOT THAT THE OXYGENS SENSORS ARE AT FAULT...DO NOT THROW THE CONVERTOR UNDER THE BUS JUST YET. CAN YOU GO BACK AND GET THIS CAR SCANNED AGAIN WITH LIVE DATA TO WATCH THE OXYGENS SENSORS RESPONDING TO CHANGES IN THE EXH SYSTEM...IF NO CHANGES ARE THERE THEN THE O2 SENSORS MAYBE THE ONLY FAULT...IF THEY ARE WORKING OK, THEN THE CONVERTOR IS BAD AS YOU THOUGHT...BUT LETS NOT GUESS. THESE BABIES ARE NOT CHEAP !!!!! LET ME KNOW HOW YOU MAKE OUT AND GOOD LUCK TO YOU AND YOUR SON,,,TOM..

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TOM SHEETS

Expertise

PLEASE READ ALL OF THIS BEFORE ASKING ANY QUESTIONS. IF THIS CHEVY SECTION IS MAXED OUT.YOU CAN REACH ME IN THE OLDS/BUICK SECTION. Will answer questions from 6:00am to 10:00pm all days [EST][[[ NO DIESEL OR PAINT QUESTIONS]]] will answer all 1965 to present QUESTIONS ON ALL GM'S on mechanics of these cars. Keep in mind i am not there in person i am going on what you are telling me !! PLEASE IF ASKING A QUESTION GIVE ME AS MUCH INFO AS POSSIBLE. THE MORE THE BETTER. SUCH AS YEAR,MAKE,MODEL,ENGINE SIZE. THIS WILL HELP ME HELP YOU. I will not be able to answer all questions because of some situations that i would really need to be there and see things for myself,such as electrical issues. In many cases i would need wiring diagrams. I can also give you an estimate on what the cost would be at our repair shop as an idea to help you. Keep in mind that my answer is ONLY MY ADVICE,ck with your mechanic as well.. >> THANK YOU, TOM..

Experience

I have been a ASE certified master mechanic for over 30 years and certified IN ALL 8 CATEGORIES,[engine repair,engine performance,auto trans,manual trans,clutches,steering and suspension,brakes,electrical systems,heating and air/cond. I am also a state CERTIFIED inspector for over 30 years. I do computer work [pcm]fault codes,pcm flashing,state inspection monitor readiness,repairs on exhaust,fuel service,[injection and carburetor,] charging system problems, running issues,alignments,frame problems,tire balance,struts and of course standard and anti-lock brakes.

Organizations
nys state auto repair industry and ase group.

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N/A

Education/Credentials
high school,4 years of tech school,and many many hours of auto training with many gm classes and aftermarket training classes..

Awards and Honors
ASE MASTER TECH CERTIFIED IN ALL 8 CATEGORIES.NYS INSP LICENSE AND A/C CERTIFIED

Past/Present Clients
MANY CUSTOMERS IN OUR BUSY SHOP.

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