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Jeep Commander Start Stall and Idle Problems



  • itabotitabot Posts: 105
    chrysler in michigan ran the VIN and first off realized that the vin the dealer provided was wrong, then we got the right one into the system (off by one digit) and found that my particular vin was not part of the recall...even though my commander is having problems that are just what those vins that are included in the recall are having.

    what's more, my commander stalled getting onto I-95 in rush hour last week and again this week getting onto the meritt parkway also during rush hour...terrifying.

    but, still they will not admit that the problem was never the starter but this other cause; i have had two other technicians check out the car, and both said that there is nothing wrong with the car so it must be the software. and, mind you, these other technicians would have made money telling me it was anything else because anything else other than the proprietary software they could fix.

    chrysler should be ashamed of itself.
  • I have a 2006 Commander 5.7 Limited that occassionally will not start. We took it in to the dealer and they could not replicate the issue....imagine that. Anyway, I was wondering if anyone else has had the same issue and might know what the problem is? Please help. thanks
  • itabotitabot Posts: 105
    i would bet it is the starter that needs to be replaced. i was charged $345 by the dealer i purchased it from less than a year before replacing the starter became necessary. it had the same problem of not starting sometimes. it wasn't until it refused to start (it used to be i would try to do so two or three times and on the fourth it would, but this time it wouldn't after several tries) and i had to get it towed (another $90 on top of the $345) that I had the starter replaced. that kept the starting problem from recurring but the car still has a lagging stall problem until I stopped going to the Jeep Chrysler dealers instead bringing it to independent repair shops in Connecticut and Mount Kisco, NY who made the right changes so that now the stall is less acute. and, your dealer, if it is a jeep dealer that you purchased this from knows about this problem...don't let them get away with not replacing it for you at this stage because it may just stop working all together after your warranty is up (or, as in my case, they simply will not honour the warranty)
  • You don't provide enough details. No starting can mean the engine cranks but does not fire, or it can mean that it doesn't crank. The poster that responded assumed that it needs a starter, which may not be true if the starter cranks the engine but the engine doesn't catch. If it doesn't crank, it could be as simple as a starter relay, it could be the starter, it may even be the engine computer. If it cranks but starts and dies, it could be the key fob or the receiver in the steering column, also known as the SKIM module or smart key immobilizer, part of the anti theft system. There have been some known issues with connections on the underside of the PDC (power distribution center) that have either not been seated or the retention tabs on the terminals were broken. The most difficult thing about an intermittent issue, is getting it to reproduce. Detail as much as you can, write it down when it happens to you, so you can provide accurate information to the dealer to help him track down the problem. Good Luck.
  • itabotitabot Posts: 105
    sorry about that, mine would not 'crank' not even one 'crank'.

    and, you are also right that the solution that i was charged for, nobody is sure that it actually required a new starter.

    all that said: fundamentally the Jeep Commander has electricical problems that on a driving level = problems starting The Commander, problems with The Commander stalling when merging onto a highway, problems with The Commander dashboard flickering more often than not, and, too, problems getting the Chrysler Jeep dealers to fix problems before the warranty is up.

    short of long: before your warranty runs out and before The Commander totally refuses to start contact Chrysler, Michigan. you will have to go through Chrysler, India first, but once you do get to michigan they might encourage The Jeep Dealer to replace the parts they know the symptoms you are describing are an inidication of.
  • Thanks for the info. When I say that it won't start, it does exactly as another individual described. All electrical components work - radio, lights, etc., but the vehicle will not even click when you turn the key. When it last happened, I unhooked the battery cables for a short period and once reconnected, the vehicle started and has been starting fine now for a few days.
  • Boy oh boy, I have never read so much misinformation and confusion. Bassman8 is the only person here who knows what he's talking about. While most customers are very nice to deal with, I shudder at the thought of trying to work with some people here.

    First of all, an engine stalling problem should never be a "terrifying" situation. If you can't handle this common emergency, sell your car and walk or hire a taxi. Panicking on the highway is the safety issue. People run out of gas, get flat tires, and get cut off all the time, and they don't whine about the terrifying situation. Regardless of the cause of the problem, it is your responsibility to know how to control the vehicle in a safe manner. It's up to the people behind you to worry about themselves. Part of their driving experience includes watching out for you. Pilots learn how to land a plane safely with dead engines. A stalled engine in a car is a relatively harmless inconvenience.

    A lot of people can't jump fast enough to find someone else to blame. Look at the type of car you bought. Manufacturers have gone WAY overboard incorporating unnecessary, unreliable, complicated computers for every aspect of modern cars, and you can't wait to buy them because of all the silly gimmicks. I shake my head in disbelief every time I replace a $700.00 heater computer that does what a simple lever and cable used to do. If you don't know how cars are built today, put the blame for high repair bills squarely where it belongs; on the shoulders of the person who bought it, not who built it.

    Next, how on earth can anyone develop the faulty logic that a starter motor can cause a stalling problem? This proves you are not knowledgeable about cars and have no business complaining about the repair shops. They ARE educated about your complicated car, but you're going to second guess them? The starter only spins the engine to start it running. After that, you can remove it, stomp on it, drive over it, scream at it, and throw it at someone; it will not cause your engine to stall. It's job is done and it just sits there after the engine is running. Now, some people have mentioned a different problem of intermittently failing to crank the engine. Again that has nothing to do with stalling once it's running. Intermittent failure to crank is caused by worn contacts in the starter solenoid. The contacts can be replaced separately but to insure reliability of the repair, almost everyone replaces the entire starter motor. This is an EXTREMELY common problem, but no respectable mechanic would ever replace it without witnessing the problem, especially if they recognize that they can't rely on your confusing descriptions of the problem. Very few owners can provide all the details and clues that a mechanic will pick up, but at least they understand the mechanic is trying to get as much information as possible so they can find the cause in as little time as possible. You seem to think the mechanic is the enemy, so you can expect to be treated as such. Try treating them as your partner in solving this problem, not your adversary. I once had a customer come back nine times before I finally found the problem. I was more frustrated at letting him down than he was at having to keep coming back. Thank goodness he understood how complicated his car was.

    As for recall issues, these are generally reserved for safety or emissions problems. When the cause of a problem is identified, it is pretty easy to figure out which vehicles are affected according to the date of manufacture. If your vehicle isn't on the list, it means the problem was corrected by the time your car was built. Some people seem to think their problem is so special, the manufacturer should cover it under some special warranty program. If that were true, GM would be busy fixing all their expensive, common problems.

    Other known problems that might be hard to diagnose will generate a service bulletin to save time for other mechanics, but you won't find a bulletin for easy-to-diagnose things like starter solenoids.

    Finally, every customer has to learn how to present helpful information to their mechanic. I answer questions on another web site, and the lack of information is amazing. "Does not start", "won't run right", "my heater doesn't work; what's wrong?" If this is an example of what you would tell your mechanic in a face-to-face meeting, don't be surprised if you get a "could not duplicate the problem". If all I tell my doctor is "I'm in pain", would you expect him to treat me for a hang nail, a stomach ache, or I cut my foot off with a chain saw? He's going to ask a lot of questions, perform a few simple preliminary tests, and make some observations, but he won't do any of those over the phone or internet. There are exceptions, but most people are better at describing their pets' ailments than what their car is doing.

    And what kind of derogatory names would you call a doctor who doesn't cure you on the first visit? Can anyone explain to me why mechanics are held to much higher standards than doctors? Doctors bury their mistakes. Mechanics are all called crooks when a few don't find the cause of a problem right away. A big part of diagnosing a problem is listening to the owner. If you provide limited or confusing information, as you have here, you can't possibly expect an efficient, economical repair.

    Itabot seems to have the most unrealistic expectations I've read in a long time. What in the world does the brand of tire or brake pad have to do with "keeping a Jeep a Jeep"? Tires, brakes, exhaust, spark plugs, fenders, . . . are all offered by a number of manufacturers and can be installed by thousands of different shops, a tiny few of which are Jeep dealers. Chrysler only makes 20 percent of their own parts. The other 80 percent come from independent suppliers who also supply the same parts to the Napas, Carquests, and Auto Zones.

    It's common for a Ford / Jaguar dealer to fix a Jeep, . . . and the other way around. Who do you think does the safety inspections and repairs on trade-in vehicles. As for the comment about the mechanic who said he was only at the dealership for a year, that gives him one year more of factory training than the mechanics at the independent repair shops or other new car dealers. Tough problems will be handled by experienced mechanics, and many of them may have gotten their experience working somewhere else before they came to that dealership.

    One final note, even though it doesn't really apply here. I answer questions from a lot of do-it-yourselfers who don't have a clue how complicated newer cars are. The days of the backyard mechanic are long gone, and all manufacturers have designed their products to only be serviceable by the dealer. When people don't understand how the systems work, they end up troubleshooting the wrong thing, or they blindly replace a bunch of parts hoping one w
  • itabotitabot Posts: 105
    i think that with your reply you just did Jeep more harm than good because nobody at chrysler jeep would say that a recurring stall is normal they are however ignoring the magnitude of the problem. at least while trying to find and share solutions to this probloem i am still holding jeep to it's historically high standards. if you think that it is normal for a jeep to have recurring stall problem then you have never had the pleasure of driving a real jeep.

    and, i can assure you that as for driving skills, i drive automatic and standard, in this country and country's that require we drive on 'the wrong side of the road', off road and on the highway as well as suburban streets and even, though not in the past year, across frozen lakes in siberia...with brand new cars and old clunkers and never have i experienced the recurring stall issues that i do with this commander. it is not safe and it is not normal.

    please do not apply your lower standards to jeep discussions, that isn't the point of the thread.
  • Well said man! I get sick of seeing posts on this site with little or no relevant information. I have tried for years to get people to respect the techs that work on their cars. The general public has no concept of how much you need to know about mechanics, electronics and hydraulics to be able to service today's cars.
    It will only get more complex. I worked in the Safety Office at Chrysler and personally investigated the Commander stalling issue for over a year. Prior to working at Chrysler I spent 15 years in dealerships working as a line tech.
  • itabotitabot Posts: 105
    i do not know where you got the impression that the techs were considered responsible for the stall; at this point, it is Jeep Chrysler corporate's reluctance to assume culpability and replace all necessary parts in all vehicles experiencing the problem. the tech's are not allowed to fix the problem totally, i.e., they are only allowed to 'bandaid' it. corporate has also lost - over the last year - whatever weight of influence it had over it's dealerships...who, at least in my case, are emphatic about their independence from Chrysler Jeep (the government bailout of Chrysler went all wrong when it came to Jeep from a customer's standpoint).

    that said, why don't you share with us what you found to be the problem during your year working on the commander stall, and let us know: if you were allowed to repair the problem the way you wanted to, how would you do it, what parts, what manufacturers of parts, etc.

    I think that would be awesome information for us all to have, and I really hope your share it with us because when it comes to stalls at these speeds you are savign people's lives/quality of lives, etc.
  • 2006 Commander. 22K original miles. My 2006 Commander has refused at times to start off and on for the last two years. When I turn the key all the dashboard lights come on and the clock goes off. The truck doesn't even try to turn over. No noise from the engine. Nothing. I mentioned this once at the dealer but they couldn't find anything wrong and as the car was starting OK at that time I didn't pursue it. However over the last year (2009) the Commander has left me stranded a number of times....but when it refuses to start if the Commander was left alone for several hours (no touching, trying to start it, etc.) the truck would start up fine. This brings us to 1/9/10 and the truck would not start even after hours of sitting. I had it towed to my driveway and there it sits. My next stop is a mechanic and probably a new starter. The "perform service" light came on but as I had the car into the dealer for general maintenance in August 2009 my maintenance schedule should be up to date.(I'll check that). I am totally depressed. It is issue after issue with this particular truck.
  • itabotitabot Posts: 105
    just accept that it is a finicky jeep, and, more, when you can and before you need to, bring it to non dealer service centers for complete inspection and essentially an internal rebuilding.

    and, think about it this way, it is a beautifully styled suv, i.e., very contemporary and bauhaus.
  • I wish I could just accept it as a finiky Jeep but it is the only transportation that I have and often I have my grandchildren with me. It is now sitting in my driveway undriveable and leaking fluids big time. My biggest concern with getting it fixed is of course money but I also want it done right. I really don't trust the dealership. I think I will take your advice and take it to a non-dealership service department.
  • itabotitabot Posts: 105
    unfortunately, now i have more to share with you: just did my 3k oil change at a non-dealer that locally in lower fairfield county connecticut is the go to place for just about the last 30 years for high price cars and jeeps out of warranty, and, to my car they assigned their jeep expert, he goes on those jeep jamborees, etc., i.e., he loves jeeps more than i do (used to). so, does oil change and shows me that i have two lines leaking on right side of radiator, and that they will charge me $550-600 to replace. However, he also said that at 40k miles - another man there worked for jeep service for 20 years and for cadillac service for 10 - said that at 40k corporate will cover the repair, just call corporate first.

    i told them i doubted that given past experience. they said that these lines should never need replacing they are not something that requires owner maintenance and that their experience with jeep is that under those conditions jeep will cover and be terribly sorry for the inconvenience that faulty parts caused me.

    so, i call corporate but get the same run around i got the last time,i.e., has to go to a dealer to be diagnosed at $100 charge and if the dealer thinks that it should be covered corporate will do so; so, before i am willing to go for that (hook) line (and sinker) ,i call the dealer directly - not the one i purchased this commander from but the one my family purchased all the kids sweet 16 first car jeeps from - and, they explained that it is up to corporate and that they will only be able to do what corporate tells them to. so i said to them well, i don't want to bring the car in without an idea of what my bill will be, so what will you be charging me to do what the independent station said needs to be done, that is all i want done. that way, i told them, if corporate still won't cover, i won't be shocked by the bill. i want these exact parts replaced...and, they tell me that they won't replace them without also doing the complete diagnosis!!!

    in the meantime, i called corporate to tell them what was going on, and the first person assigned to my car was totally intolerable, i.e., i'm explaining the situation to her and she was barely capable of giving me helpful information; she seemed to be more concerned with empty courtesy words,etc. so i didn't even call her back. i just gave up and decided i am better off not wasting time, (time=money) and just doing the $600 repair with an honorable independent staffed by actual jeep experts and enthusiasts.

    then i get a call again from chrysler corporate and while it is from another person other than the dimmer bulb i started out with this new one assigned to my account, she left me a voicemail that clearly indicated jeep corporate still does not have my correct VIN, the name of the dealer that i purchased from, never mind a genuine solution to my problem.
  • itabotitabot Posts: 105
    regarding the transmission leak on top of the starter problem - and remember this is purchased from a jeep dealer only one year ago in october - just as with the starter that needed to be replaced after just 8 months after purchase, jeep corporate won't cover the repair and jeep corporate won't put their refusal to cover the repair in writing. the customer service representative, Sherri, when i asked if they would send me that refusal in writing first put me on hold and then asked me why i wanted it in writing (my reply, 'for my records') she put me on hold again and when she returned said that she was not capable of putting it into writing and was not capable of forwarding my request to someone who could.

    i am going to try one more time with chrysler corporate,trying to go through their investor relations department, and, if that fails, i will be going to the US Government agency over-seeing. needless to say, jeep needs to take a lesson from toyota; it isn't un heard of that cars can have problems, it's how the manufacturer handles themselves during these crises that sticks.
  • Hi Jeep tech. Do you have any more information on this problem because this sounds like exactly whats wround with mine. Mine does make a clicking noise when trying to start though. I know its not the battery and I have been reading up on this alot. Doesnt seem like the starter but maybe it is. I'm leaning toward the IPM problem but im not a mechanic and I didnt get alot from that post.
  • Unfortunately, I cannot provide a reply or any additional assistance, but I have what sounds like the exact same problem. I have a 2006 Commander. In the summer of 2007, it started having the same starter issue...all the normal battery type functions work properly, but the engine won't turn over at all and it makes a clicking noise when attempting to start. I seem to have narrowed my issue even does this during the summer months. It appears as if the internal temperature of the car reaches a certain level, the non-starting clicking issue appears. Once the car cools, it will start without any issue. Any time i have attempted to take the Jeep in to have the issue reviewed, it can't be replicated (of course).

    Like you, I'm not sure it's the starter, but it sounds like it would be. Of course, I don't necessarily want to replace the starter seeing as it works just fine 8 months out of the year. I'm only anxious during the summer months and it has repeatedly performed like this over the course of the past 3 years. It's maddening. If anyone can provide us with some additional information about the issue so we have a shot at correcting the problem, it would be much appreciated.
  • itabotitabot Posts: 105
    i'm anxious driving this commander all of the time. i have noticed that after starter replaced, though i don't have problems starting it any longer, the stall problem while driving grows worse. the stall is subtle, i.e., it's not a complete stall it's just an akward hesitation that happens when i am in slow going and start and stop traffic.that said, the long drives up to ski in vermont and upstate new york and sail in maine are not happening because the chances of this car breaking down are so high.
  • promise22promise22 Posts: 1
    I bought my car used a year ago. It has been nothing but trouble since! I have replaced the starter once. Had to have it towed home today. The problem, it wont start. Turn the key,lights come on radio works, etc...motor wont crank. All you hear is "click,Click,click". Weve had trouble with suspension and everything as well. Also the gas light seems to come on too fast! Put gas in drive around town and your on "e" in no time...gas leak maybe? Service lights for everything come on all the time! This suv is CRAP!!! Wish I had never gotten it! I wish they would recall the starter and it would cost nothing to replace. Chrysler/Jeep should be ashamed of themselves! They received a bail out...where the hell is our help!?
  • Same problem here. 2007 Jeep Commander will not start about every three months, regardless of snow, rain, or sun. Sits over night at the dealer ship after being towed and starts right up. No dealers can find a problem, ever. We have found however that under the hood in the fuse box, the starter fuse or relay when messed with will sometimes help get it to start. Look at the diagram of the fuses on the lid and you will see where the starter fuse or relay is. Broke down again last night and this time I tried everything and it would not start. We waited two hours and were going to get a hotel for the night, as that cost as much as the tow, I tried the jeep and it hesitated then started up. The only sound the jeep makes when trying to start is the slight clicking noise coming from the fuse under the hood labeled starter. Its a big black box fuse in the long skinny fuse box toward the cabin of the jeep. We're about to trade in the jeep today unless we can find a fix.
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