A friend of mine has a 2003 Pontiac Grand Am V6 with about 250,000 miles which loses power going up long hills to the point that it can’t keep up speed. They took it to a mechanic, and from what they remember, he said that the catalytic converter needs to be replaced.
The SES light is on, and I will be putting a scanner on it sometime this week hopefully, but in the meantime, I have a few questions. My friend has already purchased another car, and I am trying to decide if it is worth fixing to use as a backup car for myself before they send it to the junkyard.
My first question is - would a plugged catalytic converter cause the symptoms described above? I can buy a brand name universal catalytic converter and have it installed for a total of about $175.00. If that takes care of it, it would definitely be worth it.
My second question is - assuming it is the catalytic converter, do they just get plugged after that many miles, or is there something else wrong that caused it (such as too rich of a fuel-air ratio)?
My last question for now is - the exhaust shop told me that I need to make sure that the catalytic converter is “OBDII compliant”, or the check engine light will come on. I know what OBDII is in general, but not as it relates to catalytic converters. How do I find out if it is “OBDII compliant” before I buy it?