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Old 03-05-2015, 06:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Lightbulb 2005 Forenza Catalytic Converter

I've put a lot of parts and paid labor into this car. I've already saved it from two-three near deaths. As I was driving up a hill the other day it wouldn't shift into high gear; then for a day it ran fine again. Then, I got a scheduled oil change 120 miles after using Risone about a week ago to try to seal an oil leakage issue. It started losing compression and sputtering back and forth at times as I drive down the road. So today I take it to a shop for a diagnoses focusing on the transmission and the first thing they notice is a puddle of oil and a dry dipstick. They also hear a ticking noise. They are telling me the oil leak is from around the timing chain. A four to five hour shop charge on top of a the possibility of the timing chain might need replaced again. This is really frustrating. I can't get any money saved up but the feds are going to fine me for not having health insurance. I need my car to get back and forth to work if nothing else. That's 8-10 mile daily round trip. Anyway they say the ticking and lost compression and sputtering are probably from a clogged catalytic converter. They said it is attached to the exhaust system and can't be changed alone or cut off because they are connected. Has anyone else had this problem? I'm hoping a new exhaust isn't the only fix. That would cost another grand. Any ideas?
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Old 03-11-2015, 12:51 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Your oil dipstick being dry and oil leak have nothing to do with catalytic converter.

Your oil level being low / dry would be the most concerning thing to me... you may have damaged something already from lack of oil.
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Old 03-11-2015, 02:01 PM   #3 (permalink)
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You mentioned several issues that need to be verified, and don't sound like they are related. Lets look at them one at a time.

1) Car would not shift into high gear.

If your having shifting problems, I would suspect the transmission range sensor. These will normally be accompanied by a P0705 code.

If I remember right, you'll also see the "D" blinking on your instrument panel. (the "D" indicators shows your in drive. the fact that its blinking says it thinks its in drive, but cannot verify it hence, the bad range sensor.

Range sensor is a common problem, I carry a spare ($20 on e-bay)

2) Loosing compression and sputtering - Did you do a compression test? How do you know its losing compression?

3) Oil Leak / Sputtering

These may be related, depends where the oil leak is. If its the valve cover, it could be leaking both externally toward the front of the engine (the leak you see on the ground) AND it could also be leaking into the spark plug wells (Causing the sputtering / misfire).

This is also a very common problem. Remove the two allen screws that hold the smaller plastic cover onto the valve cover, You'll see the spark plugs and wires. Pull the wires off one at a time and look at them. If there is any oil at all on the ends of the wires, you have found your oil leak (the valve cover gasket) and most likely the source of your misfire. Take a flashlight and look down in the spark plug well. If you see any oil down beside the plug, thats also a problem with the valve cover gasket and will cause a misfire.

4) Your car doesn't have a "timing Chain" it has a "Timing Belt". Timing belt should (must) be changed every 60k miles. If the timing belt breaks, your engine is toast. It will bend valves and punch holes in the tops of the pistons. You will not have a nice day when the mechanic tells you what needs to be done to fix it. To keep from having a very, very bad day, REPLACE THE TIMING BELT as scheduled.

5) Plugged Cat Converter. I think this would cause crappy performance, but I don't think it would cause misfire. There is a chance it could be contributing to the oil leak. i.e. plugged Cat converter could cause a higher than normal crankcase pressure (make sure the crank vent hose and orifice is not plugged, another common problem) high pressure in the crankcase could push the valve cover gasket out a little and push any oil in the valve cover out and/or into the spark plug wells.

Last edited by Waiter21; 03-11-2015 at 02:56 PM.
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Old 03-11-2015, 06:32 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waiter21 View Post
You mentioned several issues that need to be verified, and don't sound like they are related. Lets look at them one at a time.

1) Car would not shift into high gear.

If your having shifting problems, I would suspect the transmission range sensor. These will normally be accompanied by a P0705 code.

If I remember right, you'll also see the "D" blinking on your instrument panel. (the "D" indicators shows your in drive. the fact that its blinking says it thinks its in drive, but cannot verify it hence, the bad range sensor.

Range sensor is a common problem, I carry a spare ($20 on e-bay)

2) Loosing compression and sputtering - Did you do a compression test? How do you know its losing compression?

3) Oil Leak / Sputtering

These may be related, depends where the oil leak is. If its the valve cover, it could be leaking both externally toward the front of the engine (the leak you see on the ground) AND it could also be leaking into the spark plug wells (Causing the sputtering / misfire).

This is also a very common problem. Remove the two allen screws that hold the smaller plastic cover onto the valve cover, You'll see the spark plugs and wires. Pull the wires off one at a time and look at them. If there is any oil at all on the ends of the wires, you have found your oil leak (the valve cover gasket) and most likely the source of your misfire. Take a flashlight and look down in the spark plug well. If you see any oil down beside the plug, thats also a problem with the valve cover gasket and will cause a misfire.

4) Your car doesn't have a "timing Chain" it has a "Timing Belt". Timing belt should (must) be changed every 60k miles. If the timing belt breaks, your engine is toast. It will bend valves and punch holes in the tops of the pistons. You will not have a nice day when the mechanic tells you what needs to be done to fix it. To keep from having a very, very bad day, REPLACE THE TIMING BELT as scheduled.

5) Plugged Cat Converter. I think this would cause crappy performance, but I don't think it would cause misfire. There is a chance it could be contributing to the oil leak. i.e. plugged Cat converter could cause a higher than normal crankcase pressure (make sure the crank vent hose and orifice is not plugged, another common problem) high pressure in the crankcase could push the valve cover gasket out a little and push any oil in the valve cover out and/or into the spark plug wells.
Thank you very much for taking the time to give me your detailed input.

1) The only check engine light trouble code I have gotten recently is the upper 02 sensor that I have known about for awhile. I do have a new one. It takes a special tool. (I think only sold to certified mechanics) I have to have put on or return if the shop says it don't need it or will only use their own parts.

I actually did get a blinking D once instrument panel after I posted my situation here. I happened as I was driving away from my home. I thought I might have been in the wrong gear so I pulled over, put it into park and then into drive and it hasn't blinked since.

A compression test will not be done until the leak is sealed. It just seems like it's not going to reach near full speed if I tried. It may be a misfire.

3) I've got it scheduled for diagnosis Monday morning at the best shop in town. A different shop told me that factory seals on gaskets rarely occur; especially with the oil pan (which I don't think is an issue this time). Am I going to continue having these same problems over and over or can a first class shop do factory seals on gaskets?

4) You are I right. I misspoke. It is a rubber belt. I've changed it twice within a short amount of time and will probably have to again with leakage seemingly around that area.

5) I'm not sure how it might affect the catalytic converter but my Suzuki had a coolant leak at one time and massive amounts of coolant were added before it eventually was repaired.

Again; thanks for your time. I do appreciate it! I'll know more next week.
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Old 03-11-2015, 06:36 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by exist3nce View Post
Your oil dipstick being dry and oil leak have nothing to do with catalytic converter.

Your oil level being low / dry would be the most concerning thing to me... you may have damaged something already from lack of oil.
I've been keeping a close eye on it but it is a major leak and is usually goes dry overnight while sitting. Scheduled for shop time Monday the 16th. I'll know more then. Thanks for your response.
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Old 03-11-2015, 07:03 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Very good. You might print out this thread for the mechaniic. specifically look at the plug wells for oil leak. this is a very common problem with this car.

ALSO = There was a reference to the 10 screws that hold the valve cover on. These are slightly to long and bottom out in the threads and don't allow a good seal of the gasket. There was a recommendation to put two washers under each of the ten screws to space them up a little and help seal the valve cover gasket.

TRANSMISSION - If you have a spare $20, I would order a Trans Range sensor on E-bay. It sounds like you'll be needing it. (They are about $60 at the dealer)

Transmission Range Sensor for Suzuki Forenza Reno 2004 2008 2 0L 37720 86Z01 | eBay
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Old 03-11-2015, 07:22 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thank you very much for all your help. I'll talk with the mechanics about all this. I really like the tip on using the washers. It may come in useful. You've been a big help. This is a pretty handy site. I always get good advice here. Good feedback sir!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Waiter21 View Post
Very good. You might print out this thread for the mechanic. specifically look at the plug wells for oil leak. this is a very common problem with this car.

ALSO = There was a reference to the 10 screws that hold the valve cover on. These are slightly to long and bottom out in the threads and don't allow a good seal of the gasket. There was a recommendation to put two washers under each of the ten screws to space them up a little and help seal the valve cover gasket.

TRANSMISSION - If you have a spare $20, I would order a Trans Range sensor on E-bay. It sounds like you'll be needing it. (They are about $60 at the dealer)

Transmission Range Sensor for Suzuki Forenza Reno 2004 2008 2 0L 37720 86Z01 | eBay
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Old 03-13-2015, 10:17 PM   #8 (permalink)
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hi. just want to add a couple of things. the first is the ticking noise. these engines have hydraulic lifters. they adjust under oil pressure, they can also be loud lol. sometimes they get a little clogged and don't work exactly as they should hence the ticking noise. now you mentioned that the oil leak is near the timing belt if im correct? sometimes this can be from a bad pump gasket. it can be VERY hart to spot. if they don't see a spot theyre positive its leaking from, its probably from the pump gasket. the timing assembly and pulleys need to come off in order to gain access to the rear of the pump and identify the leak. lastly, if your loosing oil at such a rapid rate, don't drive the car. your loosing oil faster than you can stop and replace it. this means that your engine has no lubrication or protection from friction. this can lead to a number of problems from a warped head to frozen piston. any questions just ask. let us know what happens
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Old 03-24-2015, 03:14 PM   #9 (permalink)
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OK guys. The car is still in the shop but here's what I just found out and it'll cost a lot less than what I had expected. It needs a seal & gasket, and new oil with filter and an oil pump gasket. He also said that although the last shop claimed to have changed the timing belt twice (one which I provided) that it doesn't look to him like it has ever been changed as it is cracked and worn, so they will also be putting on a new timing belt. Once those jobs are complete they will test it to determine if it still has a misfire. If nothing else is wrong the cost will be $559 plus tax. $375 is labor cost. Thanks for all the good advice. It'll soon be on the road again.
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Old 03-24-2015, 03:18 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Hi; thanks for your advice. I had typed you a long reply a week ago, but I was at work; got busy doing work and this page timed out on me so I lost my reply and have been too busy to redo it; but I did see what you had to say and you were pretty much right on the mark as I suspected, so thanks.
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