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Old 10-16-2011, 07:50 PM   #1
Aslan14's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: mountains of central cali, heading to Texas soon :-/
Posts: 8
Catalytic Converter (the Y one) replacement

Hi all! I have a few questions for anyone who can answer, but first a little back ground.

In Dec I bought my first Wrangler. I searched and drove a few until I found this hunter green one at a Jeep dealership. They wanted 10,999 with it having 150k miles on it and leaking water from a bad windshield seal. So I ended up talking them down to 8900 and drove her home that day (without a 30 day return policy....). I admit now that I was probably taken for a ride, no pun intended. Two weeks later, my check engine light came on. So the first thing I did was tighten down my gas cap. After driving a couple of days, the light didn't go away so I took it to my mechanic. He told me it was the catalytic converter, and not the easy, less expensive one to fix. I trust him, so I believe he would've checked the O2 sensors. They quoted me 1600 to fix, it being California and the part being WAY more expensive. He said it would be fine to drive until I could afford to fix it. There are many other problems with her;
the back window doesn't stay sealed and thuds/rattles uncontrollably,
the highest ac setting doesn't blow,
under load the air blows out of the defrost vents,
the windshield still leaks,
there is a bad rattle when it is sitting idling in neutral (when the clutch is pushed in, it doesn't rattle)
a couple of the speakers do not work
it periodically smells like gas on the inside
fog lights to not work

The biggest problem is that I moved from the mountains of California where I needed a Jeep to San Antonio, where her gas-hog ways are getting old (I get about 175 miles per tank). So my fiance is pushing me to trade it in for something more economical.
And here is where it gets dicey. It won't pass emissions with a bad cat converter, and it is only worth about 3500 in fair condition (trade in, I still owe 7500). We all know dealerships want to pay as little as they can for a trade in, and I am feeling that pain.

So my questions are this:

If I had someone clear the code for me, how long would it stay off and maybe forget to mention to the dealership that it is bad? (unless they do they're own check, in which case it won't help me)

If I buy new parts (like this one, will it fit on a Jeep that came from California but is no longer subject to California emissions?

If we end up replacing it ourselves, should we replace the O2 sensors at the same time?

Is there something we have to do to the emissions system after the replacement because it previously is "set" to California? (I am not well versed in all of this, I just know that CA restrictions are high)

Thanks in advance for your time and answers!

PS I don't want to sell her!

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Old 10-16-2011, 09:30 PM   #2
ygohome's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 1,428
if you replaced the o2 sensors recently then you won't have to replace them now.

that is a good price for that down pipe and the two cats. That should make your computer happy again, regardless if it is a CA jeep or not.

sorry about the frustrations. Hopefully after you sell it you'll someday get a better jeep.

Just about any shop can clear the CEL error codes for you.

I read somewhere that you could clear them yourself without a scanner by unplugging the positive cable from the battery and touching it to the negative terminal. But then that raises another code showing that you cleared codes by disconnecting the battery. And ANY code, including that last one would cause an inspection to fail. That code itself goes away again after about 50 cycles of restarting the jeep (so I'm told).


Frank Bullitt (BULLZ)
April 2001 - Sept 2011
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Old 10-16-2011, 09:42 PM   #3
Aslan14's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: mountains of central cali, heading to Texas soon :-/
Posts: 8
Thanks for the reply ygohome, I appreciate it. The O2 sensors weren't replaced as far as I know. Looks like I will be buying that one on ebay and finding someplace to install it!
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