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Help me Escape

My 2003 Escape was running rough recently, so I took it to my repair guy, who diagnosed a problem with a coil, and has replaced it. The car runs fine now, except that - according to him - fuel not burned fully while it was running poorly has now messed up the catalytic converter(s). There are 3 of the darn things, and all of them are expensive. What are my options?

Is the check engine light on? If not, keep going and stay away from him.

The check engine light never went on, let alone blinked, but it loses power quickly.

The check engine light never went on

You are good. The default with that system is to light up if there is any fault. Don’t worry be happy.

When you say it “loses power quickly”, what do you mean?

AS it heats up, power drops markedly in a few minutes of running.

When a misfire allows unburnt fuel/air mixture to reach a running catalytic converter, the cat will overheat. The core in your cats are a ceramic matrix that can melt and disintegrate. This can cause blockage of the exhaust system. Therefore, it is possible that the cat is damaged.

The definitive test of the exhaust flow is to install a pressure gauge in the nipple of the upstream o2 sensor and read the pressure as the engine is reved up. Alternately, a vacuum gauge can be installed to the intake manifold. If the manifold vacuum goes down i.e. drops from ~20 inches to 15 inches as the engine is reved up that is another indicator of a plugged exhaust system.

Do you have the 2.0 liter or the 3 liter engine in this Escape?

Good luck on this.

  1. My mechanic just called me with an offer to fix it for 1500 in cash. I guess it would be under the table. I don’t know what to make of that, but habe had the impression that he is generally a good guy, who owns no boat, as far as I know.

If he fixes it for cash, would you still get an invoice and proper documentation? What kind of warranty would you get in writing?