Catalytic Converter & MAF sensor

@asemaster Well said!

Let me add a little, if you pull out the MAF sensor (its only two screws) and one of the elements appears to be white, it is burned out. When they go, they make the engine run very rich. My truck went from 24 mpg to less than 10 and would die at idle.

Elements as in the tiny wire type thing on the inside, right?
Last time we cleaned it, I remember them being gold-ish?

Ebay is where I go for all the expensive car parts! Who could resist a $60 O2 sensor for $20?! :slight_smile:

Thanks for the help everyone. I’d rather fix things myself (er, my husband fix it, heehee) than spend tons of money to put it in a shop. Just can’t afford that… I grew up watching & helping my dad work on cars, mostly our own, but we’ve been having a heck of a time with this car…It’s a moldy, rotten lemon…LOL

$60 MAF sensor, try $460 for a factory or Hatachi (OEM).

No i meant O2 sensor LOL Because those things are expensive too, found em for $20 on Ebay. Which is why I’m getting the MAF on Ebay. Found one for around $30

Considering the mileage and potential for catalytic converter problems it’s possible that converter clogging is a possibility.

A clogged converter will cause loss of power, running rich, poor MPG, and possibly cause other codes related to other parts upstream such as O2 sensors, EGR, MAF, etc.

The easiest way to check for a clogged converter is with a vacuum gauge. Quick and easy.

Sometimes a shop can temporarily remove the O2 sensor just before the cat and see if the engine runs better that way. It will be a loud experiment. But it can provide useful clues. If it runs a lot better, that implies the cat is plugged or otherwise damaged.

Replacing the CC on any car will not fix a Mass Air Flow meter problem. Period.

It’s been a while since I posted this, but I haven’t been able to get any work done on the car, but am going to try soon bc we have summer plans.
For a while the motor has been really loud. It’s hard to explain the sound, maybe a loud humming type rattle? idk lol. But people notice when I start the car…Also, when I come to a stop or slow down, the oil light flickers, usually right when it’s trying to die. Give it some gas it goes off. I checked the oil, it’s perfect. ALmost like it’s not using any at al bc it’s been a while since we’ve added any & it’s a tad over the full mark. But it is BLACK. Last oil change was summer before last? (Hadn’t put too many miles on it since then). I’m sure the black is from excess carbon?

My suggestion is not to spend money on anything at the moment as you could have some serious engine issues. The fact the oil is full and using none means nothing.
The fact that it’s black, the engine is noisy, and the oil light is flickering could mean the oil hasn’t been changed often enough and the engine is now suffering from oil sludging and/or coking. Coking is basically fried motor oil.

You need to get someone (close by) to listen to this noise and run an oil pressure test with an external gauge. If the reading is abnormally low then a replacement engine may be in your future sooner rather than later.

The oil light only illuminates when oil pressure is zero or critically low; as in 3-5 pounds of oil pressure. Pressure that low is generally a sign of a worn engine and is not enough to protect engine internals. Going on 2 years between oil changes is an engine killer.

Oh that just sounds lovely!
Would an auto shop charge anything to run an oil pressure test? We don’t have a gauge…
I think I’m about ready to forget worrying about fixing the damn thing & just getting rid of it! It’s been nothing but a pain…

How often do you have the oil changed?

My rough guess is that a shop would charge a half hour, possibly hour, to run an oil pressure test with oil pressure being verified both when the engine is cold and at operating temperatures.

This can be a DIY operation if you chose to buy an inexpensive oil pressure gauge. The oil pressure sending unit must be removed and the add-on gauge connected to the port where the oil pressure sender was located.

“Last oil change was summer before last” ?? two years ? WOW !

It should be changed every year at least, preferably every 6 months.

You could well now have a serious case of engine sludge.


Would an auto shop charge anything to run an oil pressure test? We don’t have a gauge…

Would a dentist charge anything to examine your teeth?
Would a barber charge anything to cut your hair?

I don’t mean to be rude or snarky, but it seems to me that you should be done with the free so-called diagnostics by the code reading monkeys and the discount online auto parts. You’ve spent a lot of time and effort on this car by the looks of it and I think you need a professional diagnosis by a reputable garage to determine the root cause of your problems and if the engine is salvageable. And no competent, experienced, professional mechanic is going to do anything for free.

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We’ve only had the car for a little under two years, we’ve put less than 3k miles on it, and for a couple months or so it was broke down. So, so far, we’ve only done one oil change.
Most of the time we prefer to do our own work/maintenance on our vehicles instead of putting it in a shop, it’s hard to know who you can trust. And the lower priced online parts work just as well as ones a shop would put in. I don’t know a LOT about cars, but that’s when I do some investigating (hence the reason I am even on this site…) & find out all that I can & learn from trial & error, instead of spending all that money to be told my car is just a piece of crap.

My question as to whether a shop would charge for that testing, I may have worded it wrong, excuse me.

I guess what I’m wondering about that car is whether it’ll take one or ten parts to make it run like it should…So I’m doing what I can to figure out what parts those may be…After all the replies, I’m unsure of what I should do first…

I suggest you take it to an independent (non-chain/dealership) mechanic for a proper diagnosis.
You can look for a good one on the Mechanics Files button here or at the top of the page, or Yelp, etc.

Considering the 265k miles, black oil, and no oil change in the last 2 years I would advise not spending a single dime on repairs until 2 things are done. Run a compression test and an oil pressure test. Neither of those are difficult and the results can determine whether it may be time to just pack it in on the car and move on to something else.

Rough running, funny smells, etc can be caused by incomplete combustion due to low compression and which can ruin converters, cause poor fuel mileage, fouled plugs, and a fair number of other issues so this is where the compression test becomes invaluable.

Cool, I’ll check it out. Thanks :wink:

I would advise not spending a single dime on repairs until 2 things are done.
I don't have either of those, and from what I've gathered, I'd have to spend around $80 or so for them both...But it's something I will try & find a way to get done. Thanks !