Jeep Commander Tweaks

steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
The load flat floor sits above the rear bumper height - not the best feature implementation (see the photo from our long term test blog).

What would you like to see tweaked to make the Commander more practical or elegant ... or commanding? (that would be SRT-8 territory). :shades:



  • lmyers92123lmyers92123 Member Posts: 21
    1. Diesel (Fuel economy). Look at the comments from overseas
    2. Resolve wind,leak and stall issues.
    3. 3rd row seats are OK by me.
  • evaddaveevaddave Member Posts: 156
    removable 3rd row seats
  • doug33doug33 Member Posts: 5
    Add another 6 inches behind third seat.
    remove some of the dash thickness and
    move front seats foward so you can see stop lights.
    move the front grab handles to above the driver and passenger.
    Add some type of rain gutter.
    give more storage under the back for more than a jack.
  • donpicdonpic Member Posts: 5
    Have 3000 miles on 06 JC so far. No problems except once service 4x4 light flashed on. Agree with the comments about more storage near the jack would be nice. NAV system and DVD are great.

    Anybody got a solution to tweak the cupholders to acommodate larger containers? Does someone make a good quality adapter that slips into the current cupholder?? So far all I've seen are either cheap $1 items or bulky things designed for heavy trucks.
    What about removing the soft insert? I don't mind a little customizing if one from another vehicle could be made to fit.
  • dds872dds872 Member Posts: 6
    My wife and I rented a Commander to drive to Detroit from Philadelphia to attend the North American International Auto Show. We test drove one when it first came out but rising gas prices coupled with poor gas mileage scared us away. We fell back in love with it during our four days because there is nothing on the road that can make you feel safer than a 5 thousand pound vehicle. Driving from PA to Detroit can sometime be a long and arduous journey if you get caught in bad weather while going over the mountains. This was my 3rd time attending the show and taking this drive and I have never been more impressed with a four wheel drive vehicle then I am with the Commander. My wife commented several times how safe she felt in it while on our journey back, we ran into heavy rain on the mountain and as some of you may already know that this route is heavily traveled by tractor trailers. They don't acknowledge bad weather and will pass you by at speeds exceeding 60+mph. The Commander did not shutter and was rock solid all the way even when it was going through puddles of rain you didn't feel it a bit. Rock Solid! In other vehicles that I've driven when you hit water at high speeds you usually get the hydroplane feeling along with a knot in your stomach. I was disappointed to read an article that was posted on another website stating that Jeep was going to discontinue the Commander because sales were down and that they believed it was cutting into the sales of the Grand Cherokee. Has anyone told Jeep that all SUV sales are down right now? I checked the sales of the Commander for 06 and it sold almost 89 thousand vehicles. I wouldn’t exactly call that a failure. I also checked the sales of the Toyota Land Cruiser and its stable mate the Lexus Lx470 and they were not even close albeit they cost 10 to 15 thousand more then the Commander. I feel that Jeep should reconsider dropping it and reposition it against it's real competition like the Toyota, Lexus and possibly the Land Rover all of which have excellent of road ability. If they don't want it to cannibalize the Cherokee sales then position it above by taking away the V6 model and offering the 4.7 in the limited and the Hemi in the overland model only. With a few more interior upgrades and little more refinement it could be a premium vehicle for Jeep.
  • neumie2000neumie2000 Member Posts: 133
    I really could not agree with your post more. While it is somewhat of an intangible, I have never felt safer in any vehicle and I have never driven anything more capable in bad weather. I too read the article and was very disappointed. My wife and I leased our Commander at the end of 2006 for 27 months, so I'm optimistic that they will still be available when our lease comes up for renewal. I hope Jeep follows your advice and continues with the Commander, it is a great vehicle.
  • donpicdonpic Member Posts: 5
    I agree 100% too.
    Have 11,000 mi on my Commander and still love it. I drive from NH to Canada thru the mountains about once a month and it is a VERY stable vehicle on snow and ice.
    Like most other owners, my biggest complaints are the lack of storage space and the %^&*& cupholders. The rh one is shallow because there's stuff under it. I'm trying various adapters, too since many bottles won't fit. I may try slicing the "bulges" in the sidewalls to see if it helps. As is, it almost crushes a can.
    It'll be a sad day if they discontinue it; maybe DCX should spend less $$ advertyising the Nitro.
  • genglegengle Member Posts: 5
    The "TOW/HAUL" button is not located in a handy position.
    My wife refuses to take her eyes off the road to poke round
    for the button. To her the button is useless.
    The '02-'04 Grand Cherokees had the switch
    on the shift knob and it was easy to find.
    Back to the drawing boards (or computer tablets).
  • genglegengle Member Posts: 5
    Our '06 hemi Commander gets poor gas mileage. One cause is that it will not shift into final overdrive below 72 MPH.
    The dealer checked 3 other Commanders on the lot and they
    shifted in at 64/66 MPH range. Since most people do not
    count the up-shifts they are not aware that they are not in overdrive. For sure my wife had no idea and still doesn't really care. She loves the car. I think it is a pig. I found the problem because the RPM/MPH ratio was so high.
    Chrysler says that the learning (idiot) transmission can not be changed and are satisfied with their incompetence.
    I suggest that you watch the tach for a "drop" to make sure
    that you are actually in overdrive.
  • preidpreid Member Posts: 2
    It seems the Commander's windshield is so upright that it get sandblasted on the highway. I have only had it a few months and when the sun hits the windshield all the pits show up like crazy. What's going on and is there any solution.
  • lasunshinelasunshine Member Posts: 4
    Hey, just checking out this forum as we just purchased a used 06 Commander. Brought it back to the dealer for the 4WD system light coming on! There is a TSB out to reprogram the PCM. Look into it for your own!
  • donpicdonpic Member Posts: 5
    06 Commander w/ 13,000 mi.
    Am very happy so far but have noticed a clunking noise from RF when going over bumps. Sounds like shock is loose. Any body else had this?
  • bandb832bandb832 Member Posts: 2
    You're not alone. I was told that since the windshield sits so straight, that the chips and cracks should be expected and there is nothing that can be done. Mine had 37 rock chips and it was cracked from one side to the other and from top to bottom all before it had 7000 miles. I finally broke down and had a new windshield installed at 11,000 miles. I travel the same roads, drive the same and have had several rocks hit the new windshield-- I truly believe others have surely experienced these problems with the original windshield, because the new one (thru a different company) is 100% better. I found it strange that my insurance company and Chrysler/Jeep used the same glass company, the glass that probably would have continued to break under normal circumstances, which at 18,000 miles on my Jeep now, would need replacing again. My deductible was $250 and for $30 more, it was well worth it to leave the insurance company and the Jeep service department out of it--and the company came to my work and replaced it there.
  • dds872dds872 Member Posts: 6
    Does anyone know what changes are coming to the 08 Commander?
  • neumie2000neumie2000 Member Posts: 133
    A recent article in Car and Driver indicated that the 2008 Commander will be available without third row seating to lower the price. The 4.7 V8 will be flex fuel. I think there will also be some different entertainment options as well. The article did not mention whether the Commander would receive the updated 4.7 V8 like the Grand Cherokee. If not for 08, I'm sure it will be there for 09.
  • dds872dds872 Member Posts: 6
    Thanks for the info ! can you tell me what issue was it that you saw the article?
  • neumie2000neumie2000 Member Posts: 133
    It was the issue that just came out, presumably the Sept. issue. The article also said that the Commander is going to receive hill-start assist, hill descent control, and something additional to do with a trailer sway bar as well. Some nice options, especially if deletion of the third row adds cargo space in the rear.
  • broadrundairybroadrundairy Member Posts: 2
    We are considering dropping a size from a Ford Expedition to a new Commander w/Hemi. The Expy is an 03, it's our second one and we love the Fords, but I thought the look of the Commander was kinda neat, so here we go. What can I look forward to by way of improvements, ride, economy...handling?
    Thanks! ;)
  • flyerbryflyerbry Member Posts: 1
    I picked up an 07 Commander with low miles for a great deal and have been 100% happy with the vehicle so far with none of the issues mentioned in these forums. In fact, the windshield whistling problem didn't exist on any of the three Commanders I test drove before settling on the one I bought. I traded a 99 Wrangler that I bought new and did have to deal with the Jeep service department for a couple different issues. One thing I have learned about Jeep dealers is if one doesn't fix an issue it is sometimes best to try another dealer. One problem I had "fixed" on my Wrangler four times by my closest dealer before I started troubleshooting the (electrical) problem myself and redid their poor repair to finally fix the problem. I don't see it as a Jeep manufacturing problem but a mechanic incompetence problem. Had I taken it to another dealer they most likely would have done the job right on the first try.
    The other thing to keep in mind if you are considering a Commander is the few folks with vehicle issues tend to post on these forums more than those that are happy with their vehicles.
    This is true of any vehicle no matter the manufacturer. We also considered minivans before purchasing our Commander and Toyotas in particular had a lot of unhappy customers as I did my research. Toyota has had problems recently mostly attributed to the company's rapid growth so they have had more problems than in the past. The problem is their dealer network has done a poor job fixing the issues which has made for many unhappy customers. Again, if the dealership were better at fixing problems then selling cars the problems would go away. I wouldn't consider a Toyota a bad vehicle just because they have had more issues recently.
    On the subject of chipped windshields, this isn't a problem isolated to the Commander. Think about it, is it really such a stretch for one to realize that a rock hitting a piece of glass will leave a chip or crack??? I just spent eight years driving a Wrangler. Every time I saw a rock coming at my windshield I would cringe thinking the stone was going to end up in the passenger cabin. In the 100,000+ miles I put on the Wrangler the windshield was only replaced once. Not too bad when you consider the Wrangler windshield is much steeper than the Commanders. Before the Wrangler I had a sports car - yep, it had chips in the windshield too! Maybe it is because you get a different cliantelle shopping a Commander than a Wrangler but to me some folks expectations just aren't realistic. So far the best way I have found to avoid a cracked windsheld is to leave more room between me and the car ahead. I've come to the conclusion the only way to totally avoid stone chips is to only drive in parades!
    Ok, I'll get off my soap box! Back to the Commander and my impressions as an owner. The biggest surprise to me so far has been the four-wheel-drive system. Coming from the most unstoppable production 4x4 on the planet in the Wrangler I am highly impressed by the Commander. The Wrangler is all about brute force and driver skill does come into play in slippery situations. The Commander on the other hand has ESP which allows the system to "think" its way through slippery situations. I have literally tried to get my Commander to slide in the snow and been amazed at how quickly the ESP does its job to steer the vehicle in the direction you are steering while stopping the slide. This has been alluded to in some of the other posts and I have to agree, this is by far the most stable vehicle I have ever driven in the snow! I lost my first 4x4 to my wife after I made the mistake of showing her how to use the four wheel drive. Hopefully she won't try to steal this one from me after she drives it in the snow!
    The interior is very comfortable with supportive seats and nice leather. I love all the little cubbies in the front row for storing things like a cell phone and wallet. Unlike many other vehicles, the cup holders are left free for their intended purpose. The seats fold very easily. Some minivans we looked at have the fold into the floor feature with their rear seats but what I found when I tried them is those seats are awkward and heavy which makes them hard to deploy. Not so in the Commander... If the seats aren't easy to fold then you end up trying to avoid folding them whenever possible. I tend to use my vehicles for transporting large objects a lot and also have kids that necessitate the extra seating so I end up folding the seats a lot. The third row in the Honda Odyssey is slick the way it folds down but pulling that heavy seat up again takes too much effort!
    The three sun roofs are nice and my kids love the added touch of having them in the back seat along with the DVD system. They also love the theater seating. This is the first three-row vehicle anyone in my family has had where the kids like riding in the third row. This is one feature Jeep doesn't get enough credit for in my opinion. Most people complain about the limited view out the back window with the third row seats up but I tend to disagree a bit here. Over the years I have driven many vehicles that are harder to back into a parking place than my Commander. Perhaps it is the fact that I use my mirrors to park and don't expect to see behind me through the vehicle when parking a vehicle of this size. My wife's extended length Chevy Trailblazer is much harder to parallel park and I have never heard a Trailblazer owner make the same complaint. I would compare parallel parking the Commander more to a minivan than a full size SUV or pickup truck. The backup sensors do work well and make the task of parking easier so I do recommend them.
    I guess the only other area I haven't mentioned is the engine. I test drove both the V8 Hemi and the V6 and between the two the only advantage I would give the Hemi is how quite and smooth it is. It is definitely a nice engine but I couldn't justify the added fuel consumption. For me the V6 has more than enough power to merge into traffic and only makes a little more noise during acceleration. When cruising along you don't hear the V6 at all. I have no disappointment with choosing the V6. I would only consider the V8 if I had towing requirements - which I don't.
  • 07commander07commander Member Posts: 1
    Anyone experiencing a noise when driving over bumps? Sounds like a loose spring, strut, shock, wheel, etc? I have 95,000 miles on my Yukon and it is as tight as a "new vehicle" except our commander with 12,000 miles! Is it the 4 wheel independant suspension? is it a design flaw? the dealer says "no one has ever complained, yet I see one other owner claiming he has a noise like ours. There's no way I coud tolerate it long-term.
  • donpicdonpic Member Posts: 5
    I hear a clunk from the right front when going over bumps and it's very cold (under 10F). Had the same issue with an 03 Chrysler 300M I used to have.
  • jwrosenjwrosen Member Posts: 2
    YES!!! My girlfriends 07 Commander has the exact same problem. I've been to the dealer with it today is the fourth (4th) time and I'm fed up with the excuses. Today, and last time, they are telling me it's the bushings on the swaybar. Not too sure if I'm buying it but we'll see if this is the fix. Sure doesn't sound like swaybar bushings to me but I suppose it's possible Really disapointing for such a high-end vehicle $40K+
    I just like you own a Yukon and it's a 02 with 80,000 on it and have never had a problem with it. Told that to the "technican" on the test drive so he could "hear" the noise and he made some smart comment about head gasket repair on the GM's. Told him I've had no problems EVER with it. :)
    BTW the first two times we had it in they replaced the pinon bearing and then some other bearing in the front diff. Niether of these fixed the problem. Seems like they're just guessing on this. I'll let you know what happens today and if they finally get it right.
  • donpicdonpic Member Posts: 5
    My humble opinion is that it's coming from inside the shock portion of the strut [non-permissible content removed]'y. Never hear it in the summer.
  • jwrosenjwrosen Member Posts: 2
    Sorry I forgot to tell you what happened. They changed the bushings on the sway-bar and it seems to have corrected the problem. One of the folks there told me they changed the composition of the rubber on them and it solved the problem. If I were you I'd have your dealer fix it under warranty.
  • postermikepostermike Member Posts: 28
    :confuse: I have a month old 2008 Commander Limited. I was surprised to notice that the sunroof does not have a pop-up wind deflector. This is the first vehicle I've seen with a sunroof without one. I am barely able to drive 25 mph with the sunroof open without the wind being a problem. Does anyone know anything about a retrofit or do I have to go get one of those exterior wind deflectors?
  • jens07jens07 Member Posts: 1
    I just bought a 07 commander and everytime it rains or I take it to the car wash water runs out of the handles by the window. It's enough to get the headliner wet. It has been in the shop three time already. It's still in the shop now and they have had it a week. The service man has tried everything but can't find the problem. Does anyone else have this problem? If so I sure could use your help.

    Any suggestions will be a great help
  • jquallsjqualls Member Posts: 1
    I recently just bought an 07' Commander and I notice that my passenger side floor board is lightly soaked with water. I just got in contact with my dealer to address the problem but I have yet to go into the shop.
  • 2ndjeep2ndjeep Member Posts: 4
    I had that same issue as well only mine came from the rear drivers side. I took it to one dealership who indicated they would have to disassemble my trunk area to find it. Complete bs. I took it to another dealership who indicated it was bolt that was connected to my rear drivers side shock. The rethreaded the bolt, tightened it up and I haven't heard the noise since then.
  • jmungarjmungar Member Posts: 1
    you need to have the sunroof drain holes cleaned out. my dealer sent mine to a window/glass/sunroof place when mine was leaking from the handles and that is what they did. nevere leaked since. jeff
  • jer1946jer1946 Member Posts: 2
    It is in the Sun Roof, the way they installed the drain hoses around, they had to re-route mine and it was a fix, however they charged for it even though it was a factory install that way. No recall on it.
  • queen_lizqueen_liz Member Posts: 1
    Is anyone else having problems with their rear sensors on the 2010 Commanders? I had a 2006 and have used them for 3 years. I backed into my neighbor's car at night and they never beeped at all.
  • itabotitabot Member Posts: 105
    gas cap on jeep commander was loose (not the three clicks, someone else filled for me the last two times), so i am thinking that is why the Malfunction Indicator Light went on this morning; the commander has 42k on it and i have had problems with it prior to its hitting 36k.

    called chrysler today and crystal said that - i told her gas cap had been loose and i filled with ultra premium but light was still on - she explained that 'several typical driving cycles' would = about 50miles and that if light remains on after 50 miles, bring it to service center.

    other than the light, the commander is finally driving well enough. since purchasing used at a local Westport-Norwalk Jeep Dealer (who failed to file warranty papers at time of purchase thus leaving me without a warranty) i have put another $6k into the car, bad brakes, bad tires, new starter, leaking fuel, transmission and power steering lines, etc., i .e., i am hoping that the loose gas cap really could have brought on this light and that 50 miles of driving will cure it.

    any insights?

    and, in case the man who traded in his wrangler reads this, i can tell you that i have had two wranglers (no problems at all!) as well as bmw convertible (no problems) and jaguar (finicky and more expensive oil changes and tune ups but not as expensive to maintain as this commander; at least jaguar was regularly scheduled maintenance, whereas this commander is nothing but surprises that usually need to be towed ($100-150) in)
  • retail102retail102 Member Posts: 10
    open the roof, open front door, stand in door frame so you can see roof opening, look towards the corners and see hole. Take compressed air like a can of pc cleaner/duster, stick nozzle in hole and blow it out. works everytime.
  • skip2014skip2014 Member Posts: 7
    Our 2007 Commander with 89,350 miles on it with a 4.7 liter V-8 is a mighty fine machine. Trail Rated with the Quadra-Drive II transmission. She is bone stock.
    It replaced our 1997 Ford Expedition with 230,000+ miles on it. Ran great but rusted away.

    I like the quiet interior, the get up and go, the smooth shifting, comfy seats.
    It's just my wife and I so the third row back seats are folded down with a spill-proof packaged tray with access from the lift tail gate. Nobody rides in the second seating.

    Brakes are fantastic, steers like she is on rails.

    Gas mileage is terrible ... 14 or so in town 21.3 on the highway ... but wait! Any Air Force guy or gal will tell you that " resistance through air SQUARES as speed DOUBLES ". So keep your foot out of it and use cruise when possible. She is tall and boxy and that style of body will not cheat the wind. It is not possible to fool physics. Drive like you have a raw egg between your foot and the gas pedal.

    Jeep had a recall called an --:> N-23 <:-- I don't know what hat was all about but it was a re-program of a computer. Drivers are finding that their 4 wheel drive low on the Quadra-Drive II transmission stopped working ... EASY FIX. And there is a U-Tube video on this too.

    Under the hood~driver's side is a fuse box. Find fuse location #25 and remove the 20 amp fuse. Start the jeep and put it in 'N' and pull up the 4wd Tee handle ... you will get the " Service 4 Wheel Drive " lite. Shut her down ... re install the 20 amp fuse and start it up again. Find 'N' and pull up the handle ... she'll slip into FWD Low flawlessly, over and over again. You just reprogrammed the computer. Don't let the dealer tell you differently.

    The big difference between the Ford Expedition and the Jeep Commander is gearing. The 5.4 liter in the Ford turned 1650 rpm at 60 mph while the Jeep [a much smaller and 1000 lb lighter SUV] turns 2150 rpm at 60 mph. Less rpm's + less gas burned.

    But 'gas' is the cheapest part of driving a vehicle. You can't drive anything for much less then buck-a-mile.
  • skip2014skip2014 Member Posts: 7
    edited September 2014
    Let me also say ... don't go 'cheap' with spark plugs ... get the correct ones from the dealer and install them in a timely fashion. Do not go platinum.
    The big V-8 has 16 plugs ... the smaller V-8 has 16 for the high output 4.7 liter and 8 for the standard 4.7 liter [mine]. And 6 for the 3.7 liter V-6.

    Change the fluids and appropriate filters ... Air-oil-trans-axles-brake fluid and power steering on time [use a Turkey Baster to suck out all the brake and power steering as you can and replace with new. I do this once a year]. There is an optional 'cabin air filter kit' for dusty driving goes under the wiper alley façade.

    And note that aggressive driving will tear the three bushings up that hold and position the front axle differential. You will hear a 'Clunk' when they tear.

    Let me correct my line in #1 post to read --:>Less rpm's = less gas burned.

    As to the commit about the V-6 Commander being a slug ... we drove our 1996 VW Wasserboxer 2100 cc Syncro awd van for 200,000 plus miles at a snail's pace. But we arrived eventually. Get my drift?

    I don't buy a car to crash in so I don't care how safe it is, and I gave up road racing my 1954 Austin-Healey/Ford V-8 in A-Sport Race in SCCA.
  • skip2014skip2014 Member Posts: 7
    I don't depend on the warrantee. What ever breaks, I fix.
    Our most dependable ride turns out to be the wife's "Land Yacht" a 1930 Ford Model 'A' ~ B-40 Standard Roadster. Always starts ... never stranded her and drives swell.
    Her other car is a 2007 Mercury Montego Premier awd, she only racked up 22,000 miles on it. So far so good.
  • skip2014skip2014 Member Posts: 7
    I had a 1976 XJ-12 C Jaguar. For ever day on the road I spent two under the car ... but the double-six was a good runner ... it's the rest of the car that was trouble.
    Hint: Water cooled? ANY temperature is O.K. as long as your not loosing water. And don't switch from the right fuel tank filled with 12-1/2 gallons of Shell premium to the left fuel tank filled with 12-1/2 gallons of regular Shell gasohol on the 'Dirty Dan Ryan' expressway in Chicago and expect the computer to happily and correctly keep injecting fuel. Crank her long enough to rid the fuel rail of the gasohol and replace it with premium and she'll fire right back up.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    edited September 2014
    skip2014 said:

    Let me correct my line in #1 post to read --:>Less rpm's = less gas burned.

    There's a four hour window in which you can edit your post so if you're still around, try that out.

    I don't race either but I'd like some safety gear around me for a bit of protection from the boy-racers who think the feeder streets are Indy.

  • skip2014skip2014 Member Posts: 7
    edited September 2014
    I tried to edit but could not find the right button ... what do you push?
    Ahhhhhhhh Haaaaaaa ! The round thingy up in the right hand corner allows for editing .. cool.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    edited September 2014
    Oh yeah, knowing where the hidden gear is does help eh? I often forget to mention those little helpful details. :)
  • skip2014skip2014 Member Posts: 7
    ... " We have not tested the mileage which I usually don't until after the second oil change and start using synthetics. "

    1~Fully synthetic engine oil has been created by processing Natural gas into a liquid oil.

    2~Because this oil is so slippery it runs down off the cylinder walls. Hence cold start-ups are dry start-ups. Need a bit of the 'old' style oil to keep components oiled during shut down.

    Read this engine discussion;

    Oil Note--:> " The oiling system isn't radical, using a clever design first seen on the AMC V8s: the georotor-type pump is mounted in the timing cover, and is driven off the crank snout. Direct drive, unlike the current LA engine, which, if you think about it, is a nightmare. The oil pump drive torque comes off the crank nose, through the chain, to the cam, back through the full length of the cam, through a bevel gearset to the intermediate shaft, and then through a hexagonal drive to the pump itself. Whew ! Can you say, simplified ?

    The new, block mounted pump has a 75 psi relief valve, and a displacement of approx 1 cubic inch per revolution. The oil pan is stamped steel, includes a windage tray (integral with the pan gasket) and has a capacity of 5 quarts plus one in the filter. Pump clearances are designed for the recommended 5W30 oil [this appears to have changed to 5W20, probably with the 2008 model year]."

    My Commander with the 4.7 low out put [8 spark plugs] has been running well, but the mpg are low 11 to 14 mpg in town and 21 to 23 on the highway at 60 mph. Remember resistance through the air squares as speed doubles. So slow down. Push less air.
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