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Unread 07-16-2013, 10:01 PM   #1
luv2offroad
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Check engine light & mechanic recommendations

My check engine light is on AGAIN!! A few months back (April/May) my check engine light would come on. The auto parts store would tell me it's a mis-fire in cylinder 1. Changing the spark plugs and spark plug wires seemed to fix the problem.

Well last Sunday the check engine light started flashing. I googled what that meant. Grrr!! On the way to the repair shop on Monday morning the light quit flashing and was just on all the time. The repair shop said the code was a mis-fire in cylinder 6 and that I needed a new fuel injector. I went ahead and had all 6 fuel injectors replaced (OUCH). But the jeep was still not running good. I took it back on Wednesday complaining that it idled kind of rough - not all the time but every once in awhile you were sure it was going to die on you. It, also, did not have the same power on acceleration that it had before. They looked at it and said they couldn't find anything wrong and that maybe my catalytic converter was going out or I should take it to an engine shop. It does have 209k miles on it. 98 XJ.

Well tonight the check engine light came on again. I stopped at the auto parts store near where I was and sure enough, it's the same error code -- mis-fire in cylinder 6. I'm going to take it back to the same repair shop (partly because they did the initial repair and partly because they are by my office and I don't have a spare vehicle).

Anyway, my question is -- do you know what would be causing all these check engine lights and rough idling?? If the repair shop doesn't know how to fix it, do any of you have a recommendation for someone in the Salt Lake Valley that is good with engine repairs?

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Unread 07-17-2013, 08:41 AM   #2
Moab_cj5
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If it isn't the coil, plug, wire, or injector it could be something in the head or it could be the rings. They can do 2 compression tests, 1 running and 1 non running to see if there is a compression issue causing the misfire. If it is mechanical it will likely be fairly expensive.
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Unread 07-17-2013, 11:01 AM   #3
luv2offroad
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Ok. They said that cylinder 6 has lower compressions than the rest. They, also, just changed the cap & rotor (I'm assuming they mean the distributer cap & rotor) and that improved it but it still has lower compressions. What does one do to improve the compressions in a cylinder?
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Unread 07-17-2013, 11:40 AM   #4
Moab_cj5
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The right answer is rebuild the engine. The cheaper option is determine the cause of the low compression (rings, valve seats, warped head, etc) and just fix that issue. Depends on the cost and your budget. None of these options are cheap when having a shop do the work. Does it blow smoke when you drive it? If yes, you need rings. If the shop is good, they should give you some options or advise and not try to bleed you dry chasing it.

It could be as simple as a new head gasket. Not an expensive part, but a couple hours of labor to replace it.
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Unread 07-17-2013, 11:46 AM   #5
luv2offroad
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It does not blow smoke. The repair shop I will take it to (I haven't been there in 2-3 years) typically calls me with options before doing anything. I'm going to call them today to set up an appointment for after the holiday.

My budget is if I don't get it fixed I'm going to have to buy another vehicle. Already looking at a backup vehicle option at this point anyway. I'd like the repair to be cheap but I already paid $950 for the fuel injectors to be replaced.
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Unread 07-17-2013, 12:52 PM   #6
Mickey_D
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HOLY MOTHER OF GOD!!

We REALLY need to get you over to Wrench It Center with a Chilton's/Haynes manual. Changing the fuel injectors (while time consuming) isn't really that hard of a job. Especially since you could have upgraded to the Neon's 703 injectors in the process (could have gotten the parts from a wrecking yard probably for less than $60).

So $60 for the injectors and an entire day at WIC for about $100 for a total of $160...
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Unread 07-17-2013, 01:08 PM   #7
team1k
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I wonder if a can of that engine restore oil additive would help the compression. Seems to keep my dying motor on life support.
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Unread 07-17-2013, 01:33 PM   #8
Moab_cj5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by team1k View Post
I wonder if a can of that engine restore oil additive would help the compression. Seems to keep my dying motor on life support.
If it is rings, that might help. I have never used that stuff so I don't know if it will help if it is a valve seat issue. If it is a warped head, or bad gasket, no oil additive will fix that.
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Unread 07-17-2013, 02:04 PM   #9
luv2offroad
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mickey_D View Post
HOLY MOTHER OF GOD!!

We REALLY need to get you over to Wrench It Center with a Chilton's/Haynes manual. Changing the fuel injectors (while time consuming) isn't really that hard of a job. Especially since you could have upgraded to the Neon's 703 injectors in the process (could have gotten the parts from a wrecking yard probably for less than $60).

So $60 for the injectors and an entire day at WIC for about $100 for a total of $160...
Wouldn't this be nice?!? I work two jobs M-F 8am-5pm, F-M 6pm-2:30am. Not a whole lot of time in there for a full day repair job. The XJ is my only vehicle. I googled how to replace them and knew it was well beyond my limited mechanical abilities. I asked my son-in-law and he said he's never done it -- he could do it but it would probably take at least a day.

So...............with my two jobs, one vehicle and lack of personal knowledge of anyone overly mechanical (not counting my newly found cyber-jeep-friends), sometimes I have to resort to shelling out dough to keep my beloved jeep running so that I can get to my two jobs (one of which is no where remotely close to any bus/light rail line).

Now if the good Lord would be so kind as to grace me with a mechanic friend whose spouse or girlfriend doesn't have cows when they help a single woman who owns a jeep that would be marvelous!!
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Unread 07-17-2013, 02:50 PM   #10
Moab_cj5
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I have never used a shop in SLC. I use Egan Automotive for the stuff I don't want to do myself, but they are in Kaysville (30 miles north of SLC).

Just having lower compression on Cyl 6 isn't an issue unless it is outside of the normal range. There is generally some variance between cyl anyway. It just depends on how far off it is, and if it drops enough to cause a misfire. With 209k miles, I sure wouldn't rule out mechanical wear at this point.

To have the engine rebuilt will likely cost more than the Jeep is worth, especially since you won't be doing any of the work. You may be able to find a different engine with fewer miles and do a swap though, but again, the labor would be high.

If they can determine it is just an issue in the head, you can replace the gasket / head for a lot cheaper than an overhaul, but the repairs will still take a day + to complete.

Sorry for the bad outlook, but when electrical solutions don't solve a misfire, it gets expensive quick! That is why I got rid of my Expedition. I was tired of chasing a misfire that pointed back to a bad valve seat and a head job.
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Unread 07-17-2013, 03:46 PM   #11
luv2offroad
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Well, let's just pray that the mechanics can magically find some lower cost way of fixing this. I got a second job to try and get out of debt, not throw it all at the jeep I love. In the meantime, I'll need to find time (ha-ha) to find a 2nd vehicle.

This sucks!!


Thanks guys for your help.
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Sometimes "Run To Distruction" is the appropriate trouble shooting technique. ~ CCKEN via Cherokee Technical Forum


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1998 Black XJ
1995 Green XJ -- rolled n sold :D
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