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john -aka eauto
john -aka eauto, The Car Guy
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 15701
Experience:  ase tech over 15 years in the field
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2002 Ford Escape: my catalytic converter was plugged..disconnected

Customer Question

My 2002 Ford Escape would not run, it was found that my catalytic converter was plugged. It was replaced and three weeks later same thing happened. The third catalytic converter was disconnected to check the other two and they seem okay. What do you think is clogging the third catalytic converter? The gas filter was changed which helped, but it still isn't right. Any suggestions?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  john -aka eauto replied 7 years ago.
HiCustomer Thank you for asking your question on JustAnswer. The other Experts and I are working on your answer. By the way, it would help us to know:

-How many miles are on your Ford?
-is the check engine light on?
-What have you already tried?

Thank you again for trusting us with your problem. Please reply as soon as possible so that we can finish answering your question.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

it has 165000 km on it

no, there are no lights on

at the beginning the catalytic converter was changed, that worked for three/four weeks, then the same thing happened again, it wouldn't accelerate, it was found that the catalytic converter was clogged again and had to be changed. They disconnected this catalytic converter to check the other two and they worked okay. They also changed the gas filter, which helped but hasn't solved the problem.

Expert:  john -aka eauto replied 7 years ago.
If the truck is running rich or missfiring it will destroy a converter so i would verify that it is running good first. Also if one of the converters ahead of it is breaking up internally it will blow chunks back to the next converter in line causing a obstruction.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

it is running good, there is no missfiring

How can the coverters ahead be checked if they are breaking up internally?

Expert:  john -aka eauto replied 7 years ago.
easisest way is to tap them with the palm of your hand when they are cold and listen for a rattle. If it rattles its melting down. The other way is with a exhaust back pressure tetster
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

they did disconnect the third converter and the other two seemed alright, would this be a way of checking them?

If it isn't the other two catalytic converters, what else could it be?

Expert:  john -aka eauto replied 7 years ago.
the proper way is with a back pressure tester it reads back pressure on a gauge
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
if the other two were melting down, would I be able to hear the rattle when the engine was started first thing in the morning?
Expert:  john -aka eauto replied 7 years ago.
Not always sometimes you can hear them sometimes you do not.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
hoping it isn't the other catalytic converters, what else could clog the third converter?
Expert:  john -aka eauto replied 7 years ago.
not much else unless its running rich or a junk universal non ford converter
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

the replacement converter was NOT a ford converter, could it just be a bad replacement?

if it's the other converters, could it just be one of the two or does it have to be both?

the reason I asked about hearing the rattle when the engine was started cold, is because I had it in the day before complaining about a rattle that started after I had the new converter put on.

Expert:  john -aka eauto replied 7 years ago.
a rattle is a sign of converetr melt down some aftermarket converters are poor quality
john -aka eauto and 2 other Ford Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

so do you suggest just replacing the third converter, as well as doing the palm of the hand check and/or exhaust back pressure test on the other two converters?


Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thanks John
Expert:  john -aka eauto replied 7 years ago.
your welcome