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K. Wiggins
K. Wiggins, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Hyundai
Satisfied Customers: 2871
Experience:  ASE Certified Technician, Associates Degree in Automotive Technology, 15+ years in the trade
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What could be causing my Hyundai Tiburon (2000) to loose power

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What could be causing my Hyundai Tiburon (2000) to loose power while driving and have no pick up when going up a slight grade or entering a freeway entrance
Did any of the mechanics tel you of any diagnostic codes present? Is the check engine light on?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

no check engine light. It feels like no fuel is getting to the engine. It also seems like it starts out ok when it's cold but as soon as it warms up I notice a sluggishness.

Thanks thats valuable information. If it were an ignition or fuel pressure problem there would be trouble codes present. Have any of the shops performed a back pressure test to check for a faulty catalytic converter?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

One did a "air mass valve" (something like that) test. He said he thought it was the catalytic converter. That seems to be the number one answer.

The only reason I'm hesitating is I took it to someone who does only catalytic converters and mufflers and he told me that wasn't the problem.

I don't want to spend that money if it could be possibly something else much more simple.

Catalytic converter problems usually do present themselves with the symptoms you are describing.


There are a few ways to determine if it is exactly the cause.


The first and easiest is to remove the oxygen senor before the converter to allow the exhaust gas to escape. If it runs well the the converter is failing.


Another method is to check the temperature of the exhaust pipes before and after the converter and of the converter itself with a non contact IR thermometer.


Finally there is the back pressure test. Your mechanic removes the front oxygen sensor and screws in an adapter and pressure gauge. If the reading is over 1.5psi at 2500-3000 RPM the converter is bad.


From what you describe and personal experience with these vehicle it does sound like you have a converter that is partially clogged.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

If the converter is clogged can it be fixed or does it have to be replaced. My car has both a front and rear converter. Does one affect the other?

Sorry for the delay, was grabbing a snack. 90% of the time it's the front converter that goes. There's no need to replace both right from the start.

No real way to unclog one either. What happens is over the year/miles the honeycomb of precious metals inside get clogged up with carbon.

You're looking at around 200-225 for an after market converter and around an hours labor to install.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you. I've been pricing converters and haven't found any that low, maybe about twice that much. Plus they have to be Calif. legal. Any suggestion on where I can get that price? Last question. I promiseSmile

Ouch didn't consider the California emissions. I usually get converters from this website but it looks like the CA legal one is around 400 there. Another option could be getting one from a auto parts recycler. Check out this webpage
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