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Ford Mercury / discontinued manufacture of major parts for repair

1 Seattle Burien Renton, WA, United States

I own a 2000 Mercury Villager Estate. The Estate having been the top of the line for that van with all the extra bells and whistles. In ten years besides the normal replacement of brakes, wipers and all the usual mileage check-ups, it has only had the radiator replaced and that I feel was suspect. The catalytic converter went and there are two on this vehicle, front and rear. The replacement parts are around $340.00 each plus labor. After several hours of phone calls and online time spent looking for replacement parts in warehouses, etc. none are to be found! Midas, as well as two other mechanics and several people tried to locate the replacement parts. Seems across the entire country both not to be found. (It is illegal for junk yards to sell used ones good or otherwise. Some or all? of CC have some platinum in their makeup so there was a problem of people discovering that they had been sawed off of their cars during the night.) Then one of the mechanics found one for the rear but not the important front one that was "totally plugged"? And, of course they tell you that both should be replaced together. We were told by the dealers and everyone else that ford no longer manufactures the catalytic converters for that vehicle and it is only ten years old. The car is in great condition and has low miles. Online you can find ones to ship in that are not the original and are not "legal in California" so nobody would install them for me. One person at Midas muffler chain said they used to know someone who made them but not now. Initially the cost would have been $1100.00 with the labor but not all the parts available so the job couldn't be done. Alas, one of the mechanics finds someone who will make the part or so I'm told. But, the front catalytic converter will cost me $2100.00 just for the part!!! To repair or not? Thanks a lot Ford Mercury. What a royal rip off. The one part on the car that is a major factor in it's running and passing of emissions test. Obviously, I'll never knowingly purchase any Ford or Ford related product again. I would say that I generally don't trust mechanics, but in this case at least the part about not manufacturing the part any longer is true as I called dealers also looking for the parts. Still don't understand why the CA legal issue exits using other than the same exact replacement part as was originally installed. Even more reason to keep availability from the original source. Does this mean that the junkyards are filled with this particular van, or were others able to use the ones available online without problem. Is this a usual problem for this vehicle? None of the dealers had answers for me. Would be interested to know if anyone else has had a similar Ford catalytic converter problem.


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