Q: Starter and catalytic converter failure

asked by on June 10, 2016

Two weeks after purchasing the vehicle, the check engine light came on and I experienced loss of power during acceleration. Dealership advised that it may be a dirty fuel injector and to use injecter cleaner and wait two weeks. No results came from thar, so they told me to wait another two weeks. I had to move out of state at that point. Upon my arrival in my new state of residence, i had the oil changed and was told there was "a puddle of oil" in my intake. My fuel economy started to plummit and the car started experiencing trouble starting. OnStar reported an emission system issue and codes ran by autozone indicate cylinder 4 failure. After taken to local Chevy dealership, the starter and catalytic coverter were found to be bad but mechanic said he "just changes them out" and didnt know how to find the root cause. I know some of these vehicles have timing chain problems and wonder if this could be it. My gut tells me the dealer doesn't want to honor the warranty.

My car has 130000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hello. From what you describe it seems that your vehicle has more than one issue.

Oil in the intake is usually caused by a dirty or clogged positive crankcase ventilation (PCV) valve or system. I would check to make sure the the PCV valve and all of the tubing is in good condition, not excessively dirty or grimy.

Regarding your timing chain concern, timing chains usually make a lot of mechanical noise that is very noticeable, especially when starting the car. If the vehicle is not producing these symptoms, the timing chain is probably okay.

In regards to your other symptoms, of power loss and trouble starting, the starter and catalytic converter can both cause that, however so can many other things. I would recommend having the vehicle diagnosed by a different mechanic, if this one was unable to find the root of the issue. A certified mobile mechanic from YourMechanic can inspect your vehicle’s issues at your home or office.

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