How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask sean Your Own Question

sean
sean, Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 2762
Experience:  Certified Ford Master Technician. Technician since 1984.
Type Your Car Question Here...
sean is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

catalytic converter went..my boost gauge never reads positive..smoke

Customer Question

I have no turbo (no boost)... perhaps my pre-turbo catalytic converter went? I didn't notice it gradually go I simply didn't have power one day and my boost gauge never reads positive.  I don't have any smoke or smell coming from my vehicle.  It feels extremely sluggish... even less power than my girlfriends toyota corrola.  Are there any checks I can do myself to determine what the cause is? air leak in a hose or blown cat converter, etc.

I have a 2004 subaru wrx - 120k miles
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  Michelle-Mod replied 1 year ago.


Hi, I’m a moderator for this topic and I wonder whether you’re still waiting for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will do my best to find a Professional to assist you right away. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you. Thank you!

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes, I am still waiting for an answer.

Thank you,
Peter
Expert:  Dad Mechanic replied 1 year ago.
sorry for your trouble. The caolitc converts are not on the boost side of the turbo. they are after the turbo on the muffler side not the engine side, this is the side of the turbo that drive it. sounds like you may have a rubber hose connecting to the turbo on what is called the charge side of the turbo that has come off or is cracked and you are loosing boost. You could have someone accelerate the engine while you are under the hood listen for rushing air. I hope this has assisted you. Come back to me and let me know if this has helped you. Jim!!! here is a diagram of a later subaru turbo system you could also have a waste gate problem. they also can manifest them selves quit quickly.http://www.google.com/imgres?q=turbo+diagram+for+a+subaru&hl=en&client=firefox-a&hs=84W&sa=X&rls=org.mozilla:e n-US:official&biw=1024&bih=616&tbm=isch&prmd=imvns&tbnid=MALqjr2e1qiwuM:&imgrefurl=http://legacygt.com/forums/showthread.php/2005-2006-lgt-colored-vacuum-routing-diagram-143225.html%3Ft%3D143225&docid=kEgBsGbFvqdImM&imgurl=http://legacygt.com/forums/attachment.php%253Fattachmentid%253D88558%2526stc%253D1%2526d%253D1281402455&w=805&h=632&ei=EmzLT8qvPKP10gHc2NWIAQ&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=578&vpy=304&dur=6888&hovh=199&hovw=253&tx=150&ty=86&sig=113403574009333167136&page=1&tbnh=132&tbnw=175&start=0&ndsp=15&ved=1t:429,r:13,s:0,i:101...
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Relist: Inaccurate answer.
Contrary to what Dad Mechanic says, the vehicle in question, a 2004 Subaru Impreza WRX, does indeed have a pre-turbo or "on the boost side" catalytic converter. His answer 1) wasn't helpful and 2) was inaccurate
Expert:  Dad Mechanic replied 1 year ago.
sorry you feel that way , you are wrong no cat was ever put on the charge air side of any vehicle. cats are to clean exhaust gases before they are released to the atmosphere. you still have a leak either on the waste gate or charge hoses. no i will opt out as you are looking for someone to agree with what you already believe! Jim!!!
Expert:  sean replied 1 year ago.

Hello, as your previous expert opted out I'll try to assist further.

The 2.0L WRX fro 2002 to 2005 has a catalyst before the turbo in the up pipe if this catalyst breaks up which it is prone to doing so then it can cause serious damage to the turbo causing a lack of power. This catalyst isn't fitted on the 2.5L.

Removing the catalyst is as far as most WRX owners are concerned a "must do" for this reason.

As long as no pipe work has split for the pressure side of the turbo including the inter cooler then you need to remove the up pipe and check the catalyst condition and turbo for damage. An example of the type of damage to the turbo is shown below.

graphic

The up pipe is a little awkward to remove.Alternatively if you can plumb in a pressure gauge you can check the boost pressure but be careful as if the catalyst has broken up you may cause more damage, from your description it may well be the pre turbo catalyst that has broken up damaged the turbo so giving no boost.

Let me know if I can assist further.

Best wishes,

Sean.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Seanw4425,

I have just a couple more questions but thank you already for the help. 1) If it is the up-pipe cat that broke apart is there a chance that my turbo isn't catastrophically damaged yet even though I have no boost? 2) Do I run the chance of damaging my vehicle if the up-pipe cat did indeed break apart and the turbo is damaged/ruined... basically if the turbo is already shot can I run the car normally aspirated (sp?) or will this not work due to the ecu, fuel mgmt, etc. (all that stuff I know nothing about)?

Thanks so much,
Pete
Expert:  sean replied 1 year ago.

Hello again,

the car will run normally aspirated but I wouldn't as if you do you run the risk of further damage. Obviously if the turbo vanes have been damaged this will cause the turbo to be out of balance which may result in further damage. The thing is if it is only the turbine (in the exhaust side) that is damaged at the moment then no damage should have occurred to the engine, if the turbo fails completely then the compressor end of the turbo can hit the housing causing debris to go in to the engine with catastrophic results.

You need to investigate the lack of boost pressure first, as I said earlier make sure all the intake pipe work is OK and the inter cooler although normally if there is a split you can hear the pressure escape as the turbo starts to boost.

Let me know if I can assist further.

Best regards,

Sean.

sean, Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 2762
Experience: Certified Ford Master Technician. Technician since 1984.
sean and 22 other Car Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • 9 dollars, 2 hours of my time, and I drove away. Your diagnosis was right on the mark. Thank you so much. Phil Marysville, CA
< Last | Next >
  • 9 dollars, 2 hours of my time, and I drove away. Your diagnosis was right on the mark. Thank you so much. Phil Marysville, CA
  • Lurch. Thank you very much. I had real doubts about this website but your promptness of response, quick followup and to the point answer with picture was incredible. Charles Walnut Creek, CA
  • As a single woman, I really appreciate an excellent and affordable opinion.
    Thank you Geordie, I will not hesitate to contact justanswer in the future!
    Sue Charleston, WV
  • Another great insight to what may be the problem. I will have my mechanic take a look at it tomorrow. Thanks again, Frank...you do indeed know your stuff. Jim Castleberry, FL
  • I would (and have) recommend your site to others I was quite satisfied with the quality of the information received, the professional with whom I interacted, and the quick response time. Thanks, and be sure that I'll be back whenever I need a question answered in a hurry. Stephanie P Elm City, NC
  • used your service this weekend with "Trecers" help. thank you ,thank you, thank you. replaced an A/C fan motor. Local Auto Zone had part. $15.00 "tracer" fee and $40.00 for parts, I saved several hundreds of dollers at a shop. i will recommend you and use you in the future. David L. Richmond, TX
  • The nearest Volvo dealer is 160 miles away. Best $15 bucks I have spent in a long time! Paul M Corpus Christi, TX
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Chris (aka-Moose)'s Avatar

    Chris (aka-Moose)

    Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    846
    16 years of experience
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MU/muddyford/2012-6-13_1204_1.64x64.png Chris (aka-Moose)'s Avatar

    Chris (aka-Moose)

    Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    846
    16 years of experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/TE/TedG/2012-6-15_14759_avaLarge.64x64.jpg Ted G.'s Avatar

    Ted G.

    ASE Certified Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    1596
    20 years auto repair experience, ASE Master Tech, Mechanical Failure consultant, Expert Witness
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/joecamel90/2008-11-13_03615_head_shot.jpg George H.'s Avatar

    George H.

    ASE Certified Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    1311
    ASE Master Tech 15+ yrs, AAS Automotive Technology, Factory trained Asian specialist
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/AM/amedee/2013-10-24_23656_Amedee1.64x64.jpg Amedee's Avatar

    Amedee

    ASE Master Tech

    Satisfied Customers:

    2367
    ASE Master Tech advanced level specialist
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/SU/supermechanic/2013-8-23_03546_500.64x64.jpg Jerry's Avatar

    Jerry

    Master Mechanic

    Satisfied Customers:

    1906
    ASE master, 30+ years. All makes and models. Trouble shooter, shop forman, service manager
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/CR/crzydrvr00/2013-11-3_12123_246347.64x64.jpg Richard's Avatar

    Richard

    ASE Certified Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    942
    12 years Ford Lincoln/Mercury Jaguar dealership as a technician and shop foreman reparing all makes
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/ST/Steve7654/2012-6-5_215929_japic800x660.64x64.jpg Steve's Avatar

    Steve

    Auto Service Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    1980
    25+ yrs experience as a professional working technician; ASE L1 master technician