2002 Mercury Villager 2002 Mercury Villager Catalytic Conve

Tiny
EIF
  • MEMBER
  • 2002 MERCURY VILLAGER
  • 6 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 93,000 MILES
I have an '02 Mercury Villager with just over 93K miles. We've had the usual issues associated with this model involving the ignition timing and distributor. This last time the plug wires were bad, and after the dealer dealt with that we were informed the front catalytic converter was bad and needed to be replaced. The cat is integral to the exhaust manifold, so I am looking at in excess of 2K to do the repair. Unfortunately, it will take months for me to save that kind of dosh, and I've checked with every shop willing to do the job and no one has come in under two thousand dollars for an estimate.

As stated by the dealer, the check engine light came back on for the cat error code after about 100 miles, they had cleared the codes before giving back the vehicle.

I need to know if I am going to be able to limp the van along for several months until I can get the cash together for the repair or a replacement vehicle. I also need to know warning signs of eminent disaster regarding a manifold-mounted cat failing.
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Monday, June 15th, 2009 AT 9:06 AM

3 Replies

Tiny
JACK42
  • MEMBER
If you drive it nice the light may stay out. Sometimes when they are borderline if they are driven hard thelight will come on, but if driven nice it stays off. When the cats start to plug up you will experience low power and poor fuel economy. You may be able to limp it along for a few months without any issues or it may go 1 week and plug up, really isnt any way of knowing
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Tuesday, June 16th, 2009 AT 7:58 AM
Tiny
EIF
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Thank you for the reply.

So best bet is to monitor fuel economy at this point. The light is on already, but it is running fine. It does occasionally "hunt" at low revs, like an ignition timing issue. It sounds like we will experience increased hesitation as time goes on, unfortunately we are already used to that problem with this van.

My concern was that as it clogged up it would be a safety risk. Sounds like it will run so crappy we won't be driving it by that point. I've heard horror stories about plugged catalytic converters getting red-hot and causing engine fires.

I do have to transport my family in the beast, but I guess we will keep it close to home and treat it with kid gloves until we can afford the repair or replacement. Will higher octane gas or additives that encourage cleaner burning help at this point?

Thank you again.
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Tuesday, June 16th, 2009 AT 10:37 AM
Tiny
JACK42
  • MEMBER
I have heard of that too, but have never seen it. It would have a significant loss in power before it would get a cat that hot.
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Tuesday, June 16th, 2009 AT 10:57 AM

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