New Engine Wiring Harness

I’m looking to buy a used jeep (my first as owner), and the current owner said
about 4 years ago he had to get the engine wiring harness replaced, cost
about $3500, and made the title ‘salvage’. (2004 Jeep Rubicon, Automatic,
55000 miles)

Regarding the title, I’m still a little confused about it. Here is the message he
sent me in regard to why it was ‘salvage’:
“To put a engine wiring harness in it, it was about $3,500 so I went through the
insurance company and they had to give me a salvage title to get it fix with the

I ran a history report with the VIN, and the title is marked as ‘Rebuilt’, but is
this quite the same as salvage? And he didn’t know exactly why it needed a
new harness to begin with?

Is this something to be concerned about? I had a mechanic briefly look it over,
and drove it around my self - no issues at all, and none in the last 4 years.

Also, I’m curious as to what causes the need for engine wiring to be replaced?
Is it just chance, or could it be because of the conditions or owner usage?
(Current and first owner never used it for crawling or much off-roading)

I would guess the wiring was destoyed by either rodents or fire. The insurance company would have paid under Comprehensive coverage. Ask for written evidence such as the invoice for the work, or claims settlement. Then make your decision.
A car with a salvage or rebuilt title is worth much less than with a clean title. Will your insurance carrier cover this vehicle? Ask before you buy.

I suspect a Craigslist vehicle and I would just look else where for something that did not have a salvage title. I really doubt if the insurance paid to have this repaired without taking possession of vehicle.
Red flag time !

A lot depends upon the year model mileage, and how much they’re asking for it; all of which you have not stated.

For the right situation and price anything is feasible.

As for why the harness was bad that could be due to rodents, someone replacing a fuse with something that won’t burn through, or someone arcing something directly to ground; the latter two which would fry the harness.

Plenty of used Jeeps out there, I’d avoid any with obvious red flags, like this one. If you choose to buy, you’ll want a HUGE discount over typical price on it. But I’d avoid it, especially since this will be your first Jeep.

Thanks for all the input!

Since I didn’t mention it, its 2004 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, 6-Cylinder, 55,000 miles, 4WD, Automatic, asking $9,000

Not a good find in the first place then, other than the mileage. The automatic transmission in that model year was really horrible. 2004’s are going for around $10K in my area (for a 14 year old Jeep? EEP!) but chop 25% for a salvage title, I wouldn’t pay over $7500 for it.

The Jeep Wrangler Rubicon has a high resale value, there are two in my area, 2003 asking $22,000 and a 2008 asking $19,000. You will need to spend more for a good Rubicon or search in an area where they sell for less. For $9,000 I wouldn’t care if it had a rebuilt title.

there’s a 2004 in my area, 57,000 miles, $19,998,00 accident reported.

For $9000,00 If it’s truly rebuilt because of wiring harness, I would have no problems if everything else checks out.

I recently had the engine wire harness replaced (mostly under warranty,) for a 2014 Chevy Express. I say ‘mostly,’ because the dealership wasn’t sure it would fix the issue (van would randomly loose 5v reference.)
Job cost me $850, and the dealership ate about 2 grand on the work (some of that because there were replacing the entire fuel system that was completely under warranty.)

This did not cause me to need a rebuilt/salvaged title, so I would want to know why the engine harness in this Jeep needed replaced to begin with.

I would also suggest you check with your insurance company to verify they will insure a salvaged title. I’ve heard that some will not.