Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: I have a 2000 lexus es300 and the engine light is flashing non stop, there is a rotten egg smell, white smoke coming from tailpipe

asked by on

I bought this car used as is and on my way home the engine light came on and the whole car started shaking and when I stopped the rpms would jump and try and jerk the car as if I were giving it gas. When I got home I discovered an oil leak from my front valve cover leaking down around and past the exhaust manifold and i also found a power steering fluid leak and ripped vacuum hose. I fixed the hose issue and the jerks weren't nearly as bad but the shaking got worse. Without fixing either leaks I attempted to drive the car to the store just a few miles away and that's when things got bad. I came straight back home and found the cat converter connected to my front exhaust manifold was GLOWING red and since then im to afraid to even drive around the corner in it and everytime I start the car there is popping sounds coming from engine and exhaust, very harsh shaking/vibrating thruout, white smoke from tailpipe, a rotten egg smell, and very low rpms (200-400) when car is dropped into gear

My car has 200000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: It sounds like the catalytic converter has ...

It sounds like the catalytic converter has failed. When the catalyst material inside the converter either becomes plugged, or breaks loose and doesn’t allow for exhaust to flow, it causes friction between the escaping exhaust gas and the converter body. This friction causes heat, and is why the converter begins to get so hot. The sulfur smell that you are getting is almost exclusively a result of a failed catalytic converter. Continuing to drive the vehicle with a clogged converter can lead to severe engine damage, and can also be a fire risk, as the extreme heat created can cause other components to ignite. If you need some help with repairing the vehicle, you will need to consult a certified mechanic, like those available at YourMechanic.com.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: My battery light keeps coming on and radio went off and on then off completely then car lost power toyota avalon 2000

Hello. If the engine will not stay running then the alternator is bad. The battery will also need to be load tested as a bad alternator can also cause the battery to fail. When I come across this problem I...

Q: Engine light on vsc light on air bag light blinks slow for 20 sec and fells like engine missfires

Hello, thank you for writing in. If the diagnostic troubleshooting codes are letting you know that you need a new oxygen sensor, then you will want to start there. These will make the car perform terribly, and the other issues...

Q: What happens if I don't replace knock sensor?

The knock sensor on the engine is there to detect for an engine noise from pre ignition (pining) normally. This is so the computer can advance the ignition timing to the maximum it can without the engine pinging. This gives...

Related articles

How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...