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Old 08-13-2019, 08:53 AM
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Repair vs. Vehicle Replacement

Good day. I have an 05 automatic with around 98K in miles.

I have been having issue with loss of power, increased gas consumption, rattling when backing up, and sporadic rough idle with, what could be, close to stalling on occasion. The current code is P0420 (bank 1 cat below efficiency).

There are a million posts on these types of issues. This is my daily driver and due to my health I am not able to work on the Wrangler myself for anything other than some very basic things.

I am waiting on quotes from a few different shops on repair cost(s). However from everything I have read these issues and code could be coming from a number of things which may not be corrected with cat replacement.

The main question is since I do not have unlimited funds and I cannot work on these issues myself is it worth going down the road on repairs? To me dependent on repair costs it may be more cost effective to use the repair monies on a down payment for a different used vehicle.

When this code comes up are there good "typical" outcomes or overall is this a "typical" problem that will have me chasing the issue down with wads of cash?

I will add I do not have a trusted mechanic, a buddy who is a mechanic, or know anyone who has someone who has been working on their vehicle for years.

Thanks in advance for any replies.

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Old 08-13-2019, 09:07 AM   #2
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Until you get reliable quotes I am sure no one can advise you. Last year the 2.4l engine on my 04 went kaput. The dealer could not get a rebuilt, short block, or long block since it was so old. Used was out of the question since 04 was the last year for the engine so anything out there was over 14 years old. They did determine it could be overhauled for 6k. IMO not worth it so I brought it home and sold it to a friend of mine. I am in the same boat on doing my own repairs, I am 69 and just cannot do that type of work any longer.
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Old 08-13-2019, 09:14 AM   #3
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That's a tough call. When I was young I bought what I could afford and worked on it daily, weekly or whenever it died on the road. Anything from plug changes, cleaning out a carburetor, replacing water pump, power steering pump and taking a head off and having it milled and bolted back on to repair a leaking head gasket.

Today, most cars are full of electronics that seem to make repairs much more difficult to diagnose. Even when you have the testing equipment to plug into the vehicle's system.

If you can afford a car that is within a couple years of new you might push off any repair bills for a while and eliminate the untimely bills and break downs. There are more dependable vehicles than a Jeep , they just won't be as much fun

Ask yourself:

How long have you owned your Jeep?
How much money have you spent on it in that time for repairs?
Does that add up to the monthly payments you would make on a newer vehicle?

Has the Jeep broken down on you and cost you an income or expense to get back home?

Once you repair a part you know it will be good for another 50 to 100k miles.

Having a payment and a break down would be even more difficult.
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Old 08-13-2019, 09:21 AM   #4
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$300 for a cat and maybe less than $50 for an 02 sensor? That isnt much of a down payment. I'd say get it fixed. IIRC the P0420 code is associated with the pre cats.
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Old 08-13-2019, 09:28 AM
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Thanks for the replies. The one shop provided a preliminary quote (according to them waiting on parts costs from suppliers) of $800-$1,600.

For me that is major money.
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Old 08-13-2019, 09:35 AM   #6
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Old vehicles require periodic repairs

A failed mini cat is pretty easy if you have ramps and a sawsall to cut the pipe

You gotta decide if you want to keep it


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Old 08-13-2019, 09:55 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digger84 View Post
Old vehicles require periodic repairs

A failed mini cat is pretty easy if you have ramps and a sawsall to cut the pipe

You gotta decide if you want to keep it


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He said in the post he cannot work on the vehicle so why are you suggesting he do it himself.
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Old 08-13-2019, 11:51 AM   #8
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Thanks for the replies. The one shop provided a preliminary quote (according to them waiting on parts costs from suppliers) of $800-$1,600.

For me that is major money.
Definitely get another quote or two.
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Old 08-13-2019, 12:13 PM   #9
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Cause it is damn easy and he should consider it if he wants to keep an older vehicle
And my opinion is not under your control


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Old 08-13-2019, 12:58 PM
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Will do. Thanks!

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Definitely get another quote or two.
Can't do it, Digger. I cannot bend over, lie on my back, squat down, or hold tools for more then a few minutes. If this was an extra vehicle that could sit for awhile and I could do a bit at a time maybe. However it's used daily.

You may be partially right in some regards, along with a few other comments, maybe I should move away from owning a Wrangler.

Not able to afford a new vehicle but maybe it's time to move into something that will not require so much work. I've only owned this particular Wrangler for a little over a year and have spent a decent amount of money on repairs already.

I really thought with the lower miles, and previous owners meticulous maintenance files, it was going to be a good vehicle for a number of years.

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Cause it is damn easy and he should consider it if he wants to keep an older vehicle
And my opinion is not under your control


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Old 08-13-2019, 02:26 PM   #11
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Did the mechanic give you a detailed quote, ie: listing parts, source and cost. For example is he using a higher priced part. Did he detail the hours needed to effect the repair and rate, or just lump it all together?

For example, I cannot find any "pre-cats" for the 2.4L, just the 4.0L. Is the forum sure the 2.4L has "pre-cats"? The catalytic converter by itself is available at my local O'Reillys for $125-$170 (2 magnaflow items that would require the exhaust pipe to be cut and the replacement cat welded in.

They have a Magnaflow cat with the associated down pipe and short exhaust pipe on it with the flanges on the end. Not cutting or welding required - $354. Quadratec has the Crown similar item for $425.

This all makes a $1600 quote hard to justify. The crown oxygen sensors are $47 on Quadratec.

Rather than a general mechanic, have to talked to a muffler shop? They do that work all the time.
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Old 08-13-2019, 03:05 PM
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No on the cost breakdown however that should be coming. Both shops seem to not want the work as they are being very slow about getting back with me. There is a muffler place in the next town over so maybe I will take it over there or just give them a call.

I appreciate the info on parts cost.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rgreen65 View Post
Did the mechanic give you a detailed quote, ie: listing parts, source and cost. For example is he using a higher priced part. Did he detail the hours needed to effect the repair and rate, or just lump it all together?

For example, I cannot find any "pre-cats" for the 2.4L, just the 4.0L. Is the forum sure the 2.4L has "pre-cats"? The catalytic converter by itself is available at my local O'Reillys for $125-$170 (2 magnaflow items that would require the exhaust pipe to be cut and the replacement cat welded in.

They have a Magnaflow cat with the associated down pipe and short exhaust pipe on it with the flanges on the end. Not cutting or welding required - $354. Quadratec has the Crown similar item for $425.

This all makes a $1600 quote hard to justify. The crown oxygen sensors are $47 on Quadratec.

Rather than a general mechanic, have to talked to a muffler shop? They do that work all the time.
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Old 08-13-2019, 03:16 PM   #13
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Cause it is damn easy and he should consider it if he wants to keep an older vehicle
And my opinion is not under your control


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I agree its dam easy if your in the physical condition to do it.

I guess you will tell a person in a wheelchair they should do their own repairs because they can breathe.

Wake the hell up and read and understand what the poster said.
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Old 08-13-2019, 04:44 PM   #14
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Miss being hall monitor in jr high?
Like assuming those with disability just cannot do anything?
If he can lie on a creeper he can do it
I got no idea what he can do and neither did you from the first post but unlike you I offer encouragement and don’t assume the worst



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Old 08-14-2019, 08:06 AM   #15
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Personally, if you are on a limited budget, fixing it would be the best financial route to take. Buying a new vehicle with payments shouldn't be an option and swapping it for another used vehicle is a lateral move with nothing to gain. Your Jeep is low mileage and with proper maintenance, can last for many years. I would suggest looking up and joining a local Jeep club. You will find many that will offer a helping hand in repairs.
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Old 08-14-2019, 08:19 AM   #16
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But a used Honda will likely be more reliable.
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Old 08-14-2019, 08:33 AM   #17
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But a used Honda will likely be more reliable.
Unfortunately, OP has to fix his issues before he can even consider trading for any other vehicle.
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Old 08-14-2019, 10:00 AM   #18
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Maybe, maybe not. Wranglers hold their value well and Manny buyers are able to work on them and like to.
Heck might sell the Jeep for$10k if the market is decent, buy a Civic for $5k and have cash left over for maintenance.
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Old 08-14-2019, 01:00 PM   #19
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Nothing wrong with that plan but the general public would be scared off with it's current running condition along with the CEL. Unfortunately, buyers like most here on WF that can wrench would low ball the OP and get a pretty good deal. The OP is better off fixing and selling it if that's his plan. He will get more for the Jeep and would sell much quicker.
Not sure of the OP's physical limitations but it would be harder to get in/out of a car versus a Jeep. I would look into more of a SUV or mid size truck.
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Old 08-14-2019, 01:45 PM
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I appreciate all the feedback. I will be taking this over to a different shop for a quote. Both places that were supposed to be putting together a quote have not done so yet. I've called and both have excuses. Someone has been out at one place and the other is still waiting for their mystery parts supplier to get back with them.

It is very weird. Seems like fairly solid signs that neither place wants my money.

To put this discussion to bed I think I will be fixing the Wrangler. I just need to find the right place to have the work done.
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Old 08-14-2019, 03:28 PM
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Just heard back from one place...Very vague on what is included...$1,200. Hard pass for now.
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Old 08-14-2019, 09:12 PM   #22
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Ben,


Did you visit a local established muffler shop yet? That is probably your best bet for a low cost solution. I can't believe how little I was charged and how many hours the local muffler shop worked on my complete custom exhaust. I honestly offered them more money and they would not accept it.
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Old 08-15-2019, 04:08 AM   #23
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But a used Honda will likely be more reliable.
I was told that ove 30 years ago and I had to replace a wheel bearing and drivers door hinge. That was on one I bought new and only owned two years. Until I replaced the unit bearings on my TJ (out of caution because of mileage and since I was going to be in there anyway) I had never replaced a wheel bearing. I have yet to have to replace a door hinge on any other vehicle.

When I bought my '89 XJ new, I was told I was going to have all kinds of issues and it would drive me crazy with repairs. I put 89K miles on her and except for the consumables, never had a repair bill. I traded it in on a Wrangler which was also a very serviceable vehicle.
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Old 08-15-2019, 08:59 AM   #24
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When I bought my '89 XJ new, I was told I was going to have all kinds of issues and it would drive me crazy with repairs. I put 89K miles on her and except for the consumables, never had a repair bill.
I was told the same thing when I bought an '88 XJ. 32 years and 202k miles later, it still has never been in a shop except for a paint job. I would be thrilled if I could buy the exact same vehicle (new) today.
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Old 08-15-2019, 09:10 AM   #25
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The 2.4L is an uncommon motor and that specific block was only used in '04, '05 and optional in '06 in Wranglers (Libertys also used it in 03-05 if memory serves).

It is a fine engine, just a bit underpowered for interstate use.

That being said, 1000 to 1600 for a cat replace is way out of line. Don't bring it to a mechanic, bring it to an independent muffler shop (not a chain shop like Midas unless you also want them to change every filter and brakepad/rotor). That's about a 600-800 job parts included.

I don't remember having a pre-cat, but they are pretty small I may have missed it when I did my muffler.
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Old 08-15-2019, 03:32 PM
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Well the local muffler place wants to charge $800 without any other items checked. Not even sure he even cares. Seemed like it was going to be a straight up job with no thought(s) about why a cat code might be popping.

Another shop I checked in with wants to run some diagnostics and make sure it's not really a computer issue. I actually liked the conversation at this place and think they made some good points. But maybe he is looking for an upcharge...Yes. I am a glass half empty kind of person.

From this forum I do know that the CPU is a problem with the 05 and 06 models so I feel it's worth trying to run down the base issue.
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Old 08-15-2019, 03:45 PM   #27
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Dont replace the PCM. Most shops point the finger and sell one at $1k or higher. Get the pre cats replaced since that is what the code is referring to.
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Old 08-16-2019, 10:58 AM   #28
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^x2 Most issues I have seen raised with the PCM in the '05 and '06 Wrangler are with the automatic and hard shifting from 1st to 2nd when cold. Once they warm up it seems to go away.

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