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Jeep Wrangler

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  • I would like your advice or assistance with the repair of my vehicle. My 2002 Jeep Wrangler has been in the shop at Serramonte Jeep for over 7 months now. They are unable to determine the cause of my check engine light. While in the shop the technician accidentally shattered my rear window. All of the paint surrounding the rear of the car was chipped and scratched. The technician tried to wipe the glass up, but only managed to rub the glass into the paint scratching the entire tailgate. They offered to repaint the rear of the vehicle for me. I went back to the shop to pick up the car and noticed that they painted over the damaged areas without properly preparing the car. There was paint on areas that did not require painting. There was spray on the bumpers turn signals and windows. The drip marks and chips were still visible. I complained and they repainted the car again, but it came back even worse than the first time since they painted over the old paint again. I spoke with the General Manager and he said that they did all that they were going to do and that I would have to take it or leave it. Now I am stuck with a vehicle that has a terrible paint job and to top it all off the check engine light is still on. I have been making car and insurance payments for 7 months while the car was at Serramonte Jeep. Is there anything I can do?
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    I can find a use for those rims if you don't want em. :)

    Do you have a winch? I can't remember.

    As for the lemon jeep, contact the BBB. Have pictures of before and after if you have them. Let the dealer know you are contacting the BBB and they way want to consider having somebody fix it right before the BBB gets involved, as well as your lawyers. They may fix it rather than have to deal with the lawsuits and a reputation hit with the BBB, especially if what you said about their bodyshop prep and painting is accurate. There is NO reason for them not to fix it. You are not being unreasonable in requesting that any damage done to your Jeep while in their service be repaird to the same state. As the GM if you could take a new Grand Cherokee out on a test drive and scratch it up real good. You can 'fix' it by getting a crayon the same color and coloring in the scratches. Be sure to color outside the lines. Sounds like their paint job is about the same quality. Their GM would say that is unacceptable. Your response - "Well if you wouldn't tolerate that, why should I?"

    As for the check engine light, that is usually an emissions thing. There are 2 O2 sensors on the Wranglers, right mac? Perhaps replacing them yourself or go to a 4x4 mechanic familiar with Jeeps. Are there any codes being set? Autozone has a code scan tool and will often do it for free. Before you go though, go through the code reset procedure and clear any old codes. I think you can disconnect the battery or there is some process you can do to reset it.

    Check the Lemon Laws in your state. You may be able to claim this one as a lemon and end up with a brand new one - preferably from another dealer.

    -Paul
  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    To add to Paul's suggestions (which is probably the way to go), you might also get in contact with Jeep's service rep for the Bay area. Have you tried to call Jeep and explain that you have a problem your dealership hasn't resolved after several tries? I don't think that Jeep would touch the paint problem since dealerships are individually owned, but you might be able to get some help/pressure if the service rep agrees with you that the paint job wasn't done right. Of course, the problem will be getting the service rep to talk to you about the check engine light (might not be easy).

    Isn't the most common problem with check engine lights on the Wranglers the O2 sensor as Paul suggested? While it isn't a general problem with Wranglers, other model cars have check engine lights come on frequently if the owner doesn't tighten the gas cap correctly. There was once when I didn't get the Unlimited's gas cap on right and it fell off (love the tether that attaches the gas cap to the vehicle!) - the check engine light came on right away. If the problem isn't the O2 sensor, you might take a look at your gas cap - there may be something wrong with it.
  • keatskeats Posts: 412
    Karl,

    I don't get it either. One of the things I love most about my Jeep is the dual tops. I've had my hard top on since October and I'm ready to go back to the soft top. I'm going to wait just a couple of more weeks and then slap her back on. I try to run each six months a year. It's nice too becauase it feels and looks like a different vehicle for a while...and here in Memphis it is way too hot in the summer to drive topless all the time.

    That's funny, guys, as I'm posting this a Camp Jeep email popped into my inbox...
  • twylietwylie Posts: 619
    Paul, no winch yet and I have slight rubbing at full stuff. This in on 31" trXus tires on Canyon rims. With a winch, lengthened bumpstops, spacers, or BL will become mandatory for me. There are a few pictures in one of my recent albums that show the flex and stuff. Sorry about the pictures being dark, but you get the idea. As my wife said "only you could figure out how to insert pictures of your jeep into an album of the new house construction." I saw the ditch where we entered and figured it was a great spot for posur shots. :-)

    http://www.ewylie.com/house/week1/P2190017.html

    go forward from that picture and you can see the stuff on the opposite side. I possibly could have fit a sheet of paper between my tire and the underside of the flare, nothing more...

    -twylie
  • The catalytic converter is several years old. He was putting a muffler and tail pipe on about every 18 months. The current has been on for about 9 months now. He didn't have problems with it till a couple months after the exhaust went on. That is part of what has me thinking it is a computer problem. It just seems strang to me that with the gas to the floor, it just stops putting out the power at that speed. Adn the RP
    M's stop climbing too. A fuel injector problem maybe?
    Anyway, if the simple doesn't work soon, I am going to just bite the bullet and spend the money to have a dealer plug a computer into it.
    Till next time,
    Sean
  • gdphotogdphoto Posts: 20
    Just wondering how many people are using their TJ's (6 cylinders) as a primary vehicle, particularly where one is commuting any distance? My commute is 80 km (50 miles) each day, although it's over all paved secondary roads with little elevation change. How is the TJ for standing up to that on a daily basis, plus the added weekend stuff for longer distance travel (mostly gravel roads, not much off-road)? Does it make sense to use a TJ as a primary vehicle like that? One fellow here (and this to me is really dumb) takes his TJ off the road (I mean, parks it in a garage) for the winter. Seems to me that this is when you'd want to use it the most (this is snow-belt country), but apparently he's afraid of rust. Anyone else do this?

    Glenn
  • yep that correct, you can find a deal it just takes patient searching and just maybe buying out of state. I laugh as i drive by local dealers that were trying to put the screws to my wallet...they could have made something on a deal but they made nothing....i luv the internet....
  • I started using mine for my job which entails traveling all over the D/FW metroplex and inspection real estate. I may put from 45 to 200 miles in a day. I see no problem with this and actually enjoy driving my TJ (I6). The gas mileage is kinda something i wish was better but hey its basically a brick on wheels and i did get much worse mileage with my Xterra before getting the TJ. My best friend uses his for commuting everday and is his only vehicle and I know he has over 100K on his wrangler and enjoys the commute.
  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    We have 2 TJs at the moment and nothing else (we finally got rid of the (hated) Taco about 9 months ago). The Unlimited (soft top, auto) is now our daily driver, the Sport (hard top, manual, '98) had been our daily driver off and on when we've been between other daily drivers (several months between the Nissan Hardbody and the Tacoma, then between the Taco and GiGi).

    My commute is 150 miles daily with 300 mile weekend trips being common (like at least once a month). The house is at 5800 feet, and we work at sea level, so we have significant elevation changes. In the winter we can go from several inches of snow and 20s to 60 degree weather at work. Part of the trip is slow-n-go SoCal freeways, and part 70 plus mph mountain climb. And part of the trip goes through an area that is one of those "Santa Ana wind-prone" areas, so it is always at least a little windy and occasionally very windy (gusts 40 mph). Is our commute crazy or what?!

    My personal opinion is that the Unlimited is far easier to live with as a daily driver. It's added stability makes it far more relaxing to drive at higher speeds - the Sport is skittish. The longer wheelbase is also closer to cars, so it doesn't rock on parts of the I-405 where the expansion joints are spaced such that the Sport feels like it has a flat. The Unlimited's seats are fine, though I wish they were higher (now that my other half has had his dental work done, perhaps next month I'll be able to do something about blocks for the seats). It doesn't bother me much driving on the freeways, but it is a problem off-roading.

    The Sport is more fun - don't know if that is the difference between the auto and manual, or if it is more reflective of the longer wheelbase and smoother, more stable ride. But for day-in, day-out grind, I'll take the Unlimited any day.

    The Unlimited seems to be holding up very well - it already has over 25,000 miles on it. The Sport has over 130,000 miles on the odo and hasn't had all that many problems (the dreaded exhaust manifold and the dash gauges were the main issues it's had).
  • I have an 05 unlimited with auto tranny...I must say its the smoothest auto transmission i have ever owned and Ive owned at least 15 vehicles. I for one am through shifting and clutching as in my highschool days...and the new auto tranny was well worth the extra $$$ imo.....
  • Mtngal,

    You mentioned the seats being low in the unlimited. I feel the exact same way in my Unlimited. Im 6' and it just feels like im sitting way lower than i should. The comfort of the seats are ok, could be better, with my wish being a moveable headrest and height adjustable seats....My wife is 5' and she is having a tough time seeing out the front, i guess im getting some phone books for her to sit on...LOL.....
  • gdphotogdphoto Posts: 20
    Thanks folks - I too find the seats a tad low, but figured a cushion would be plenty for me (I used to fly De Havilland Beavers in the boonies, and that seat was kind of low for my liking too, so that's where the cushion idea came from :) ).

    I like the sounds of that tranny. I must admit, on the test drives, I've been very impressed with it.

    Mtngal - now THAT is a commute (glad I don't have to do that - our gas just went to 83 cents per litre)!!! LOL OK, I'm convinced. Do the '04's have the manifold cracking problem too, and if so, is Chrysler good about replacing them under warranty?

    Thanks!!

    Glenn
  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    The manifolds were re-designed in either 2000 or 2001, so the problem isn't prevalent any more. I think we replaced the Sport's manifold in 02 and haven't had any more problem with it (we didn't do anything about it until it needed a smog certificate - I thought it wouldn't pass if I didn't get it fixed). It was out of warranty by the time it started to have problems, but I heard that others had no problem.
  • koolbreeze2koolbreeze2 Posts: 252
    Most states have an Office of Consumer Protection. I would recommend contacting them for advice/filing a complaint. Also, I would not hesitate calling your State Rep. for advice. Also, your Chief States Att. office may be able to provide you with direction. Be certain you have "all" the details before calling the above folks. Good Luck. John
  • Hi I'm also trying to decide between a unlimited and the sport. I am leaning to the sport as I can get ABS with it and ABS is not an option on the unlimited.My commute is on rain slicked under constant construction rain slicked florida roads with aggressive insane drivers where having to break rather quickly is not uncommon so the ABS would come in handy. But you mention that the unlimited is less skittish than the sport. My monthly mileage is nothing like yours, more like a 1000 miles a month tops.
  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    Those extra inches on the Unlimited makes a very big difference with its stability - it still amazes me how much. However, I can understand your desire for ABS. I notice the difference most on freeways - it isn't as significant under 45 mph. If most of your driving is going to be either off-road or in town, it might not make much difference. Best thing to do, if you can, is to try to do a longer test drive and include some higher speeds back to back. Then decide what you can live with and what you prefer.
  • gdphotogdphoto Posts: 20
    Thanks for the info once again mtngal. I've done a number of test drives with the Unlimited and found it fine to handle on the highway (up to 80 kph/50mph). I've seen on other forums where a number of folks have had problems with water getting in from somewhere, usually during a rain. Have you had any problems that way?

    Thanks again,

    Glenn
  • Hey mtngal, thanks for the info. By the way I'm driving a old old toyota 4x4 pickup pre tacoma so the jeep ride can't be that much more skittish. I'll take then both out for test drives and decide.
  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    I haven't had any problem with water getting into the Unlimited. The only time I've had problems with the Sport is when the tailgate was loose (now fixed) or when my other half forgot to roll up the window (oops!).

    And I can say that from lots of experience - we've certainly had LOTS of rain this year!
  • My Bridgestone Revo A/T are going to be installed sunday morning. I checked them out today and the All Terrains looked real tough, so I don't need to get the Mud Terrain Revo. These tires are rated best in all categories, the AT better than the MT in all except mud of course. With excellent hydroplane resistance. I am skiing on Friday using the free jeep lift voucher with the Revo and the skis on my Sierra rack, I expect a dry drive to Bear Mountain.
  • gdphotogdphoto Posts: 20
    "or when my other half forgot to roll up the window (oops!)."

    LOL - glad I've never done that (believe me? Wanna buy some "land" :)??).

    Sounds very good. Guess I gotta go see my Jeep dealer again this week. Thanks VERY much for all the info! This has really helped a lot.

    Glenn
  • keatskeats Posts: 412
    Jefferson, mtngal and dphoto,

    I ordered a set of 1 inch Buchannan seat risers for $55. They are solid aircraft grade aluminum blocks complete with grade 8 hardware. Takes about 30 minutes to install. I highly recommend them. Before I installed them I could barely see the front of my hood.

    Buchannan also makes them ini 1 1/2 and 2 inch sizes. Definitely one of the best mods I never think about...If you do a search on here, I think you'll find his contact information. Just about everyone I know on the Rubicon Owner's Forum runs them as well.
  • gdphotogdphoto Posts: 20
    Good stuff Keats! Appreciate this info. Will it have any effect on a warranty (mfg's are getting kind of sticky about that these days)?

    By the by, one other question I have about TJ's in general, and keep forgetting to ask, is about the resale value and ability of these. I'm thinking if in 4 years I decide I don't want a jeep any longer (i.e. if the sun starts to rise in the west :) ), how well do these machines hold their value, and how easy is it to sell a specialized vehicle such as these? Even for a trade-in for another (new) TJ, will you get good value for the trade-in?

    Thanks - appreciate this!

    Glenn
  • gdphotogdphoto Posts: 20
    Anyone here heard of the "Death Wobble" and know what it is? Sounds kind of ominious?

    Glenn
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,109
    That's a somewhat overstated term used to describe vibrations in a vehicle at high speeds (notably some Jeeps) and is often the result of lifting the suspension or loose and worn suspension and steering components.

    tidester, host
  • gdphotogdphoto Posts: 20
    Ahh, ok. Thanks - it sounded pretty serious and somewhat like if you encountered it, you were all but toast :). Just wondering how common it was and if it was a dangerous thing that I'd need to watch out for on the Unlimited (stock).

    Appreciate the heads-up.

    Glenn
  • jeepheadjeephead Posts: 49
    My CEL has been on for a few days, so I went to Autozone to use their free service. The guy that helped me said that I had a bad O2 sensor, but couldn't determine which one of the three it was. He said that I should look at them, and would be able to tell by looking at them which one was bad. I need help: I have no idea where to locate all three, and haven't the foggiest idea of what a "bad" O2 sensor looks like. Any help would be appreciated!

    JeepHead
  • tsjaytsjay Posts: 4,591
    Tidester, I think you might have downplayed this a little. It CAN be very serious, but not on a stock Wrangler. The term doesn't really even apply to a stock Wrangler.

    Two N Glenn, death wobble occurs on Jeeps that have had suspension lifts and larger tires installed. From all of my reading, it appears that there can be a number of causes for it. A loose trac bar can cause it. Getting the drag link and trac bar too far from parallel can cause it. Control arms too short for the lift can cause it.

    One of my good Jeep Buds had it on his 04 Rubicon after he installed a lift and 33" tires. A friend of his was driving right behind him and said the front wheels were sawing back and forth so bad that he could see the entire wheel as the tire made its swing to each side! In his case, it took adjustable control arms to correct the problem.

    The castor of his front wheels was thrown off by the lift. Castor is the position of the wheels front to back. The axle is connected to the frame by control arms. As the frame is lifted with the installation of a suspension lift, the attachment point of the axle to the frame is raised. This has the effect of pulling the front wheels toward the back of the Jeep, and, depending on how high the lift raises the frame, it is sometimes necessary to correct this with longer control arms, or adjustable control arms.

    I guess to sum it up, death wobble is caused by bad steering geometry or by something loose in the steering/suspension system. It is sometimes not at all an easy task to find out the cause. You can think you have it, and then you hit a bump out on the highway just right, and there you go. The steering wheel saws back and forth and all you can do is ride it out.

    The good news is that DC produces our Jeeps with the proper steering geometry and everything properly tightened, so no need to be concerned about death wobble, as long as you are stock.

    Tom

    Have you hugged your Jeep today?
  • The factory specs were 7 inch rims with 225 x 75 x15 GSA. The Bridgestone Revo tires are 30 x 9.50 x 15. The result is an increase of 1 inch ground clearance. The Tire is about 2 inches taller and treadwithd of 3/4 inch wider.
    Original speedo erro 0f 1.75 mph is now zero. I can still get 5th gear at only 45 mph. I notice a slight acceleration loss on 3rd gear. Other gears no noticeable difference. Ride slightly stiffer on bumps. The overall look is much improved, it looks even tougher than the 30 x 9.50 GSA on the sahara's because the Revo have a more agressive look and somehow are 1/2 inch taller. also standard gear ratio is 3.07 only.
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