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2002 Ford Escape

I have owned this car for a year. It now has 150K on it and I have replaced the tires, alternator, brakes, rotors, and on Wednesday the tone ring and tie rods. My wife drove the car home and went over a river. She said it did not have the normal pickup going up the bridge. The next day, I drove to a NJ inspection station (due in Jan) and the car did not respond well going up hills with the RPM not going over 2500. I did get it up to 50 on level, but no more. The inspection station in about 10 miles away. There was no line I just drove it in. Fifteen minutes later, it passed (I was amazed). As I drove away, it would not go over 20 . Then 19, 18, etc. at 15 and about 2 miles away, I realized this was not going to work so I looked for a nice wide spot in the road and called AAA. They towed it 20 miles back to the dealer we saw the day before. I got a call yesterday that the coil went due to a “clogged catalytic converter” and it would cost $2.8K to replace. And, after they replace all of that, cylinder 4 might be bad and I would need a new motor. I asked my options on not getting it repaired, and I was told trade in or someone at the dealership might be interested in buying. I have two Toyotas now and do not need another car so I asked him to find out. He called back an hour later and told me he would buy the car for $500. The car has a leather int. and the inside is cherry. Question? What are the chances I am getting scammed? PS I can call today

The chances of engine damage are slight. I’ve repaired similar problems on cars in the past and they’ve all turned out find. The problem is the engine cannot get exhaust to exit the truck, so it cannot therefore suck in air to mix with gas and produce power. The computer matches the fuel going into the engine with the air getting sucked in, so it should not be running rich.

I’d check around and see if I can get a better price for that clogged cat. Insist on an OEM cat, and don’t let them use a ‘universal replacement’. The universals don’t always meet the OEM requirements and will cause constant ‘Check Engine’ light headaches. I just found one online for $450. Add $400 for labor (kinda overkill) and a good independent shop can do this less than a grand easy.

DON’T LET THEM BUY IT FOR $500!!! Whoever buys it will slap a cheap cat on there and resell it for $3,000. A nice, tidy profit.