Signs of a Bad Chevrolet Impala Catalytic Converter
One of the biggest problems of the Chevrolet Impala is a clogged catalytic converter. On any other car, you can use your senses to detect if the part has gone bad. This is not the case for the Impala. What makes matters more difficult is that the engine light doesn't come on to indicate that there's a problem. To know if your car is already a victim, you need to be very sharp to notice the slight signs that tell you have a bad catalytic converter. If you're able to diagnose the issue properly, go to your local dealer at once to get an extended-warranty replacement.
As far as performance goes, one clear way of knowing if you have a clogged catalytic converter in the Impala is if begins to struggle by the time you reach 35mph or you rev your engine to 3,500 rpm. Acceleration may even be bad when you make your way to these numbers. The car only ends up stuttering. No matter how much you step on the gas pedal to get more speed, the vehicle simply refuses to cooperate. This is a clear sign of a choked exhaust system.
If you aren't convinced that the catalytic converter is clogged, there is a simple test you can do that requires only an open palm and another person to assist you. Run the engine while the Impala is parked. Get one person to hop inside the car and get on the driver's seat while the other stands by near the tailpipe. Set an open palm at a point behind the tail pipe. Don't place it too near or you might get burns. Let the one inside the car step on the gas while the other tries to feel the exhaust pressure. If there's a steady flow of air, the converter is fine. You have a clogged one if the air comes out in short bursts.
Since the tendency with a struggling Impala is to step on the accelerator pedal harder, the effect is an increase in fuel consumption and bad mileage. Compute how far the car travels for every gallon of gas you use. If the numbers show a lower efficiency than normal, it's possible you do have a clogged catalytic converter.