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Chevy with no power

So I have a great 1995 Chevy Suburban that a few weeks ago, while hauling my horse, all the sudden lost all pulling power and sprang a huge oil leak. My trailer was covered with engine oil and I took me hours to go 45 miles. I took it and got a transmission flush, was told that the catalytic converter was plugged, got that replaced and it still just has no power when towing. One person told me that the transmission is failing, while another said it was fin. I?ve felt no slippage in shifting or anything. The only thing I?m having a problem with is towing. I drive in 3rd, not overdrive and still it will all the sudden kinda start jerking to get going. Any suggestions as to what it might be since no one around here seems to have a clue?



Have you ever changed the fuel filter? Check for timing belt, or timing chain, slippage.

The oxygen sensors were probably also destroyed.

However, an oil leak to the outside world will not destroy a cat converter. The exhaust system’s insides are completely protected from the outside world…except via the cylinders. What may have destroyed the cat converter, and it would have also destroyed the oxygen sensors, is the carbon from burning oil. And that may be a result of the same cause of the massive oil leak, a worn out engine…let me explain.

The only time I’ve ever seen a sudden massive hemmorage of oil was from a crank seal rupture. Im my case it was a defective part (new GM rental), but in your case the engine may be just worn out and the seal ruptured from fatigue. How many miles does this 13 year old have on it, and are they all heavy hauling?

It’s also a possibility that when you blew the oil all over you scored the cylinder walls and have little compression left. You were under heavy load, which places a lot of force on the rings, placing lots of radial force on the walls, and if the oil suddenly drops off…well… You may want to do a compression check.

In summary, a tired old engine could explain all three problems.

A broken oil conrol ring could let a large amount of oil into the engine as well.

Absolutely. But it would have to be one massive break to enable it to spew all over the trailer!

However, you did make me realize that I was envisioning a leak to the outside world directly from the engine when the OP in fact described what could have been the result of blowing oil out the tailpipe.

The only found source of the oil leak was the Transfer Case Output Seal was distroyed, as was the Transmission Pan Gasket. Had all that replaced, and now no oil leak. The cat was jsut worn out from old age (at least that is what I was told). The Chevy has 180,000, but mostly highway and minimal hauling. I bought it from the original owners and they had it serviced at all the milestones.

One auto repair place in town says the tranny is shot, while the tranny shop says its fine. The car drives great with no apparent slippage, but if I have a trailer behind it, it has a hard time pulling it.

So if I’m hearing you right, it might need an engine and not a tranny at all?

originally you said engine oil covered your trailer but then said tranny pan gasket and t-case output seal were leaking,my first thought when you said engine oil was that the oil filter adapter seal blew out i have seen them leak and leak then one day just let go and leave you walking. not having your vehicle to look at myself and not knowing all the facts i will just tell you of a similar situation i ran into once. customer came in said his truck wouldnt pull his 5th wheel , ran fine when empty plenty of power and pick up.couldnt pin it down to any one thing long story short put in new factory distributor which came with new pick-up coil and ignition module(that was his choice i wanted to try one at a time so i would know which one it was) anyway put it in problem solved.just throwing that out there do with it what you will.may just need a good tune -up plugs,wires cap and rotor,fuel filter ,air filter. you didnt say what engine you have im assuming 350 and if that is the case i can tell you they rarely wear out best engine ever built in my opinion.if its been a while since it has had i tune up i would start there.