I searched for 6 months to find a really solid Jeep Cherokee to replace my ‘94 Cherokee. Found a great one with 93k miles on it in September and fell in love with it. After driving it trouble free for about a week, I stopped in at my neighborhood nationally known oil change place just to get a printout of the prior owners’ maintenance records (they told me that they’d always used the company), so I could know if I needed to change the trans. fluid, service the differential, etc… I told the shop I wasn’t there for service, just records. They asked me to wait in the waiting room while they looked it up, then proceeded to start an oil change on it anyway. I stopped them, and they closed it up and “topped off” the oil and I went on my merry way.
Drove the Jeep for another 2 weeks, all short errands with no apparent trouble, then took it for about a 20 mile highway run. Returning from that ride, heard some lifter noise on hills, then pulled into the driveway and got an idiot light saying “Check Gauges”. Oil pressure at idle was extremely low (under 10). I pondered that for a day or two while it sat in the driveway, and then checked the dipstick, which was way past the “do not fill past this line” mark. I then took it back to the lube joint, where they said it was overfilled. They drained off some oil and sent me on my way.
Since then, it’s been making lots of lifter noise at random times. Some startups go fine, but others begin with 5-6 seconds of really loud clatter (like pre-ignition or dieseling), then a steady knock of lifter noise. Happens about 1 out of 6 or 8 starts, and the lifter noise may last a couple of minutes. It’s been to a couple of mechanics, and the last one kept it long enough to hear the noise enough times to be sure the lifters were “rattling and bleeding down”. They referred me to an engine shop, and those nice folks want to rebuild the motor for about $3-4k.
4.0 liter straight 6 cyl, 93k miles.
Never saw any smoke from engine
Engine runs okay most of the time
Never lost any oil
My questions for y’all:
- Do I need to rebuild the engine, or can more limited work on just the lifters do an adequate repair?
- Can I be sure that the quick lube place caused this damage? (If so, I’d want to take them to small claims court to get compensation).
Thanks in advance for your advice!!