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Overheating and Catalytic Converter

 
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Old 22 Feb 2012, 04:52 pm
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Default Overheating and Catalytic Converter

First off I have tried to search for this on the site here but could not find any info out about it.
I have a 2004 PT Cruiser non turbo that has been overheating for sometime now and has been sitting in my yard because of if. I finally have the money to take it over to my mechanic and get him to look at it.
The car over heats ONLY when driving it, but if you just let it sit there for how ever long you want (tested for 3 and half hours) the car runs just fine and will not miss a beat and will not overheat at all. He is telling me that I need to replace the Catalytic Converter in the car and that is the reason it is running hot in the first place.
My question to you is can the Catalytic Converter cause the motor to overheat like it is doing?
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Old 22 Feb 2012, 05:13 pm
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Default Re: Overheating and Catalytic Converter

Yes, it can. When you run it do you notice any oddities in how it's running? Bucking, wheezing, snorting like a dog dying? Do you hear pinging when you shut your engine down? Get someone to sit inside and give it some throttle while you put your hand over the exhaust - do you feel what seems like an appropriate amount of exhaust coming out when hitting the gas?

Your catalytic converter can clog up, backing up pressure into the cylinder head, causing the car to overheat. When sitting at idle, it's passing through a small volume of exhaust, therefore not heating up. When you're running under load and giving it some throttle, that volume has to increase at your tailpipe by the same amount it increases at your exhaust manifold. If not, your catalytic converter is clogged.
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Old 22 Feb 2012, 05:13 pm
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Default Re: Overheating and Catalytic Converter

Oh, and here's a video from a very helpful guy - I've watched a lot of his videos in the past, he's just very logical and a common sense kind of guy.

Video: Can a Bad Catalytic Converter Make a Car Overheat? | eHow.com
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Old 22 Feb 2012, 05:14 pm
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Default Re: Overheating and Catalytic Converter

If the CAT is clogged the engine has to work much harder to get the power needed to run BUT, did the mechanic do some testing or making a good guess. Usually, when the CAT starts to break up and clog itself, you loose power, sometimes enough to stop the car from running.

From what I've seen on the forums, If you can at idle and it doesn't over heat, you probably have one of a couple things wrong. The water pump is worn, a blockage in the radiator or a head gasket problem.

Once you get going, the engine needs the coolant to run around and cool things off. At idle, as long as the fan is running, it should keep cool. If the water pump is worn or internal damage, the radiator blocked (not letting the full amount of coolant needed to run around the engine, or the head gasket has a break, things will heat up fast when your moving.

I'd get a second opinion, hopefully with someone that's worked on PT's before.

Tha'ts my story and I'm sticking with it.
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Old 22 Feb 2012, 05:14 pm
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Default Re: Overheating and Catalytic Converter

Also, if your thermostat is stuck partially open it can cause similar issues...and ditto Crewzin's comments...
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Old 22 Feb 2012, 05:33 pm
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Default Re: Overheating and Catalytic Converter

See at first I thought it was the head gasket and water pump as well, From what I can remember the car drives just fine with no loss in power or anything like that but that was 6 months ago or so and I have read that putting liquid glass in there will help patch things up for a couple of years or so just in case the head gasket was messed up. My only thing is, is that the car set there for 3 1/2 hours just running at ideal and the heat never when above the normal mark and I know in other cars that I have owned and worked on if the water pump goes out or is not pushing water threw like it should after about 30 to 45 min it would slowly start to over heat. I'm just speaking from past experiences with water pumps.
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Old 22 Feb 2012, 05:44 pm
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Default Re: Overheating and Catalytic Converter

I agree with you too. To me it's either the thermostat or the cat. You can tell if it's the fan, start it up and let it get warmed up. Check to see if the fan is running on low speed. Kick on the AC and it should shift to high speed.
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Old 22 Feb 2012, 05:48 pm
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Default Re: Overheating and Catalytic Converter

I have replaced the thermostat before about 3 times and still did not fix the problem so I have an appointment with the muffler shop tomorrow morning and I will let yall know as to help diagnose others in the future and thanks for your help.
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Old 22 Feb 2012, 06:07 pm
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Default Re: Overheating and Catalytic Converter

I vote for the water pump. It will push enough water to cool it at idle (low rpm) but not enought to keep it cool at cruising rpms. Theres a big differance in needed flow at higher than idleing rpm. Did you burp the system properly each time you opened it up? Also another clue is that you are not getting a cat-over-temp trouble code, right? That is the downstream 02 sensors only purpose, to alert you when the cat is going bad. The code will usually show up as p0420. The whole cat codes series ranges from p0420 to p0434.

Jerry
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Old 24 Feb 2012, 06:55 am
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Default Re: Overheating and Catalytic Converter

You guys seem to be headed in the right direction.

Too many people just replace the CAT

if you just replace the cat you are wasting your money, and will be soon buying another

It is necessary to diagnose why the Cat failed and have this addressed and repaired

The CAT replacement is a symptom of something else
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