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Jeep Wrangler Maintenance and Repair Questions 2007 and newer

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  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    edited June 2010
    I don't have lots of cash, but I DO do my own work on my TJ whenever possible. It hasn't seen a dealer since I went in to buy a replacement lock for my wheels - 6 years ago.

    My 97 has served me well, both in stock form and as I've built it for moderately advanced trails. It sees daily drive action in town and on the highway. NEVER had death wobble. But I also made sure as I built it up, I replaced those weaker links with stronger alternatives. I have no clue what is causing the DW in the JK's, but there ARE aftermarket solutions for stabilizers, steering, etc that will be a better solution than the factory swap of a steering stabilizer (which only MASKS the issue, not resolving it).

    I'd give the dealer A chance, then go aftermarket and get stronger parts at likely a lower price. JK aftermarket parts are still rather high - TJ aftermarket parts are much more reasonable on average.

    Too many people are afraid to do mods to a Jeep under warranty, but if the dealer cannot fix it - replace the suspect parts with something BETTER. Those parts may not be covered by warranty, but the rest of the Jeep will be. Don't let dealer ineptness stop you from owning a Jeep. If I did that, I wouldn't own most of the cars I've owned thus far in my life. Just find a way to make it work.

    I say this and I'm sure you're thinking "Well, I don't have the $$ for it." True, SOME mods can be pricey, but Currie's heavy duty steering upgrade is $800.00 for the JK, but when you consider the size and strength and the problems it'll address, it becomes a bargain. The TJ version is 400.00 - further showing the TJ's value in aftermarket parts.

    Some mods I did for body integrity - armor, etc. Those were wants. But my suspension system and steering are safety items for me and that is where I spent my money first. My aftermarket suspension rides better than stock and gives me great predictable control on the highway. It also handles incredibly offroad. I just researched until I found what would work best for me in terms of safety, performance, and price.

    I too like the Subaru's, but the Jeep does more of what I want and how I want to do it. The Subaru's won't handle the stuff I do. But I'd sure love one for winter use and for hauling on the highway - I'd love a WRX (w/o the pushbar on the back) or a nice Legacy GT. :) They can keep the Forester. It's boxier than my Wrangler! :)

    -Paul
  • Taking my 07 Sahara unlimited 4-door in on Friday for a recall. They are saying that the transmission fluid can overheat while towing and climbing so they are putting in a "warning" light and chime in. Anyone else receive this recall?? Anyone else actualy have this happend to them while towing? Now I'm really scared to drive this car long distance towing or not in hot weather. Second recall on this car and in for three other problems, luckily under warrenty but is now no longer in warrenty. Read in paper about a month ago that Jeep is recalling over 700,000 cars due to a brake line rubbing and possible leaking. Haven't gotten anything on this one yet! Had to buy new tires at 15,000 miles due to the "death wobble" which so far is fixed from last Oct. Thinking of trading it in on a new Liberty, any thoughs or should I stick it out. Just shouldn't be afraid to drive a 3 year old car long distants.
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    .....they are putting in a "warning" light and chime in. .......... Now I'm really scared to drive this car long distance towing or not in hot weather.

    Why? At least if it does overheat now you'll have a warning so that you can either back off or pull over.

    Any vehicle that's used for anything more than light occasional towing should have a transmission cooler installed, and a Wrangler is no exception.
    It's a common and inexpensive upgrade that you can either fit yourself or have an independent shop install for you.
    Kits are available at any auto accessory store like AutoZone or Advance Auto Parts.
  • If in the southwest, definitely get an aftermarket tranny cooler. If around Ft Worth Texas get the deal from Tribe 4x4. Never rock crawled. Never towed with the rubicon. Not completely burnt tranny fluid. Your tranny cooler is right behind that plastic bumper, not the gm brass tube in the radiator (which failed big time decades ago and some h3's reported recently.)

    Brake line rubbing is because the plastic push pins at twelve o'clock high on the inner fender liner drop down a little and let that liner rub on the brake line.
  • Just got Tribe4x4customs stickers installed.

    Stopped by a dealer to get a $2.00 part plus sales tax. Was told told the closest one was out of state. Asked where. He said a dealer in Ft Worth TX. Dang. Front dif was a little greasy. Thought about deja vue when the front dif blew out the factory overfill. Following the tube down to the dif, not only did the tube fall out of the dif but the vent tube ($2.00 part) came with it. While Adam had seen problems there before, think he was a little amazed at just how bad it really was. Almost could've fooled a non wrencher into thinking it was a grease seal.
  • holsonholson Posts: 4
    edited July 2010
    :confuse: I have been driving an 09 wrangler x with 15000 miles and still no 'death wobble' issue. I cant even begin to think what it is like. it's really very smooth going down the freeway - even the concrete lined CA highways

    even when the Jeep was in MA with pothole laden highways/roads, it never behaved erratically in the steering department.

    i wonder if it's because it's the X model with the skinny 225/75/16 tires? i wish it had more directional stability though, but i suppose skinny tires, short wheelbase and slab sides dont help

    in fact other than the apparently normal steering box' play, nothing has become an issue in 15k mi.
  • My husband has a 2008 Jeep Wranglar. He put 12,000 miles on the tires and we had to replace the rear tires. What could be making the tires wear out so quickly? Someone said that when they put the lift kit on they didn't move a bolt in the rear axle to another hole (if that makes sense to anyone without seeing it), so my husband tried that and he didn't think it felt much different while driving it on the highway. Also when he is going on off ramps to get on the highway the traction control kicks on and he bucks all the way around the turn. Any suggestions? We have parked the vehicle until we can figure out the problem because I don't know about you but $500 every 12,000 miles is a little excessive on the pocket book. Thanks for any help on the issue.
  • I owned a 2007 4-door Wrangler Sahara edition. It was as smooth as silk for about 20K then it went to 'hell'. The first thing I found out was the frame was not straight comming off the factory floor. That made the tire wear unevenly, and I also found out tires on new vehicles have NO WARRANTY through Chrysler. Then the death wobble continued and we changed stabilizers three times, pitman arms, ball joints, tires again, and on and on for 2 years. Mean while Chrysler re-designed the steering arm and via my contacts in Detroit, I had one of the first ones put on. It DID NOT solve the problem. I ended up swapping it for a 2010 (after being promised the wooble was designed out of it for sure in 010) and loosing $5K in the deal. Death wooble feels like the front end has come loose while driving. The wheel turns left and right uncontrolably and only comming to almost a COMPLETE stop will it go away. It hits you always in busy traffic when you're cruising along and don't expect it and it will scare you to death. Witnesses that traveled behins me when it happened over Easter weekend a couple of years ago said they thought my whole axle came loose and that I was going to loos my tires. They said they could see the tires moving in and out from under my car and that's exactly what it felt like. I have their names and numbers and considered suing, but how do you beat a gorilla? I gathered a ton of evidence and gave it to the head of corporate quality. He had someone call me and tell me I was lying and was not experiencing anything and they would admit to nothing.... I recorded him :)
  • ditto..07 sahara..3rd stabilizer 100 miles ago on a tarbaby...turned around just outside of town on rough paved road and got the f-150. my wife suggested a lawyer. feels like both tires went flat and it wont stop until you stop...most dangerous vehicle i ever owned!! she laughs while we go off in her new 10 lariet!it all started at about 45,000 miles. you would think chrystler would atleast get their wranglers right...time to vist my ford dealer and get me a new truck..ive had enough!
  • I agree on the lawyer thing. There is NO excuse for Chrysler. If anyone gets a lawyer that wants to file I've got a story to tell.... Let me know...
  • Any comments or anyone else having problems with the "check engine light" that keeps coming on? Taking my 07 Sahara unlimited back in again Fri. Fourth time the light has come on in a matter of two months. Always seems to happen after they do some work on it. Had the transmission recall done last month, a week later the engine light comes on, take it back and they say nothing is wrong other then sometimes when it gets hot out side it may come on, what?? Really?? You mean to tell me everytime the weather gets hot the light is going to come on? Two months ago samething, did some other recall and a week later the light comes on. Getting real tired of spending my day off at the dealer.
  • Due to my "death wobble" had to replace my tires at 16,000 miles. $998.00. Had the stableizer replaced and so far so good but only have 18,500 miles on it now due to afraid to drive it to far. Its been only thing after another. Now having problems with the engine light that keeps coming on. Just received a letter today from my local Jeep dealer offering to buy back my car since its in "high demand" and they would pay top dollar for it. Seriously thinking about it, but have to buy a new Jeep. Wondering if the new 2010's or 2011's (love the same color top as car look) are doing any better. Have had two Cherokee's one for 9 years and one for 10 years and absolutly loved them and had no problems what so ever with either one so really dissapointed with the Wrangler, only three years old and nothing but problems, to the point afraid to drive it any long distants.
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    Just received a letter today from my local Jeep dealer offering to buy back my car since its in "high demand" and they would pay top dollar for it....................Now having problems with the engine light that keeps coming on.

    Check out the deal by all means but be prepared foe the dealer to have a different interpretation of 'top dollar' to yours.
    Seriously, it's just one of the many ploys car dealerships use to drum up business.
    Even Aztec owners get the 'high demand' letter occasionally. :P

    2011's haven't been around long enough to establish a reputation yet, but any new model will have teething troubles in the first year, if not longer.
    TJs came out in '97 and it took until '98.5 and some major changes before they became acceptable (sorry Paul ;) ), and it looks like JKs have yet to make the grade after four years in production.

    On the check light issue, why not take it to Autozone where they'll check the code, and reset it if appropriate, for free. Beats spending all day at the dealers unless there really is an issue.
  • A few months back, putting it into reverse to back out of the garage, sounded like a bucket of bolts in the tranny. Remembered all the heat shield posts-kicked on the exhaust pipe-noise abated. Heat shields, cracked exhaust manifolds, and catalytic converters all discussed. Lubed the hangers and the noise almost went completely away.

    The rattle started to show itself again. The bolts on the drivers' side flange between the manifold and exhaust pipe/cat were loose. Tightened one from below and one from above. Upside down bolts - wasn't that they way american motors' kingpins were installed or is my brain cell dead.

    Are jk's perfected yet, probably not. But remember that some engineers left when daimler got involved and the lack of cash, may be to blame and that doesn't include all the cheap parts all vehicles are/were made from as American workers (who some misguided people blame for high wages) lost their jobs to "competition". We asked for cheap and we got it. Pick up your new vehicle from walmart yet. Don't tell me about hyundai's - years ago here it was stated they would replace Japan's products. Any labor unrest there. Haven't heard of their US operations but assume the South is happy to have any job.

    This rubicon is my fourth chrysler product since nineteen sixty-seven and my best. Do I look back at it, even now, after I park it even though it has not seen the the trail yet. You bet. Will something get loose or a bolt hole rounded and a wiggle wobble start. Probably. Hopefully, a dealer will help, but there are good people with their own businesses here in the metroplex. And I do carry a spare cheap little plastic clip in the console for the transfer case.
  • Now have a second map light. Still have the free Harbor Freight 9 led flashlight in the console for a maplight, but while at Fry's today, I picked up a clip-on single led light (batteries included) for $1.99. Dang that plastic visor but wait it attached to the passengers Freedom Top latch. Fold down the visor and the it shines just where you want it.
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    No offense taken. I bought my 97 in 03. :) But it has been an exception for a 97. Very few problems that were NOT induced by me. :) Just the catalytic and manifold crack which is WELL documented. Other than that, it's been stellar.

    As for the uneven wear in the back, if you did a lift, the trackbar would need to be lengthened and probably the item your husband needed to do. Having the axle shifted over to one side SHOULDN'T cause abnormal wear. If he installed adjustable control arms (or whoever did them), may not have made them the same length. THAT would have the axle 'turned' one way or the other and that COULD cause problems.

    As for death wobble, I've heard more stories about it on JK's than I have on TJ's. Not sure if all of them are indeed death wobble or more just a bad vibe. I am not there and do not know. But I've beat the snot out of my TJ (with larger tires, running the stock stabilizer after 13 years!) and it tracks straight and true with no vibes. Either I got real lucky or I'm just particular on checking my steering frequently. :)

    -Paul
  • Thought is was just me. 22k+ miles and I've cleaned the throttle plate and as much of the intake my finger could reach into a second time now. Thought I would have to reread all the crd provent and homemade catchcans and other tricks.

    Another forum has a post with an owner with 60k km's disgusted by the dirty intake. But he also is using oil. The synthetic is staying in my block except for the crap from the functioning as designed pcv. Why doesn't the the pcv route to a small prefilter in the airbox before going thru the air filter. Changed the factory air filter at 12k miles. Shook and vacuumed the replacement factory filter again this weekend at 22k+ miles. No oil but imbedded fine dirt particles. Seems that for now only purolater from thailand is available. Never bought a wix product but expect to be ordering some on monday.

    Maybe a smarter person than me can explain why a dirty oil intake manifold is ok or explain this design.
  • tired_old_davetired_old_dave Posts: 700
    edited October 2010
    Spent a lot of time re-researching catch cans after I saw a billet brand catch can for the hemi in the parts department of local cdj dealer.

    Jeep isn't the only one sending clean air in one valve cover and putting dirty vapors/oil/stuff from the other valve cover into the intake manifold. Various search hits included a 2008 magazine test of a catch can versus no catch can, homemade dubious catch cans, coalescent discussions, and specific built cans for forced induction motors. Vehicle specific models from corvette to toyota.

    The wix air filter in the jeep feels like it breathes better and the perimeter sealing ring is glued on unlike the purolator. Checked on the wix filter for the h3, doesn't need one at 2yrs and 20k miles, and didn't need one at 20k miles when factory was replaced with a new factory filter. The wix for the h3 the store showed me was a piece of crap. Plastic inner guard rotated and the sealing ring for the intake tube was broken at where the seam was supposed to be glued/plastic welded together. Sticking with gm for the h3. But this causes me to question the wix in the jeep.
  • From reading material from the searches and a quick thought or two. The current design controls the desired air pressure in the motor and keeps any sensor in the intake and the throttle plate clean at the expense of all that stuff headed to the intake side of the motor. Oh but the synthetic valvoline I am using must be lubricating that important top compression ring. No need to use redline then because the natural top end lubrication sytem utilizing the pcv design is doing that. Why don't I just let it go. If it is okay with the epa and lifetime jeep warranty why should I care.
  • tired_old_davetired_old_dave Posts: 700
    edited October 2010
    Thread on another forum about using spacers to raise the front seats following an earlier thread about doing that to adjust the tilt of the back seat. One response was to just use the handle to tilt/raise drivers side seat. Response to that was our right legs still hurt for both of us, driver and passenger.

    US has adjusting drivers seat and UK version does too. But one drivers seat is the others passenger seat. Jeep UK got me to mopar.biz and the retail price for the the UK seat bases are $357 and $627 Retail (add'l $12 for the handle). Reminded me of walking away from the H3 the first time because the dealer had a non power seat on the showroom floor. Why doesn't Jeep just spend their small difference and put adjusting front seats on all wranglers. Save power seats for the Sahara.

    Readjusted the ebrake again. Looking at the rear pads (24K miles) only one third of total original pad material is gone. Some posts talk about 20-30K mile life on their pads. Do they cook their pads, drive in the mountains, or did the late 09's get better pads.

    Changed out the good factory rubicon monotube shocks for hd yellow and blue nonlifted bill stines. Better_half says it is softer and coupled to the duratracs can sleep now on the bumpy interstate. Some dealer advertised the 5100's for 0-2" lift. Bill stine said the 5100 was for different lifts. (the small price difference was for the outer shell and longer rod?) Rubicon springs seemed to soften up after a few months and almost bottomed on a local whoop de doo. Now with the softer shocks and softening springs can bottom out the front end at that location. Got new springs on the crd when ball joints were replaced.
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