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Jeep Commander Start Stall and Idle Problems



  • My 2006 (75,000 miles) Commander. We bought it in May 2011 from Carmax. We have bought previously from them and thought we were getting a good deal. although we are still paying $20K for it, its loaded. We have had nothing but problems. It is in the shop again today for the 5th time since we bought it! We have heard constant clicking noises in the engine since we drove it home. It had problems with the idle and they changed the throttle positioning sensor. We replaces spark plugs, air filter, changes oil. Still has noise in engine! Carmax keeps taking it to dealer where they are not finding any problems. The second time I took it too dealer myself and made the manager ride with me...he notices the jerking when coming to stop. IT was fine for a about 2 weeks and now it jerks again and hesitates when pressing gas. They keep telling me they can not find anything wrong, Its very frustrating that we have bought this car and its been in the shop more than any other vehicle we have Ever owned! I have 4 children and can not afford to buy another vehicle. Class Action Lawsuit...Im in! Lemon Laws does not qualify for me here in MO but still looking into talking to a lawyer! :sick: :sick: :sick:
  • itabotitabot Posts: 105
    It's costly - a little over $1k - but, it worked for my Commander: replace hoses. It seems that several pieces of The Commander when initially installed were inferior so that they deteriorate much faster than they should for a Jeep, then they should for any SUV.

    If you're really considering class action, you need to start complaining to Jeep via certified letters. If someone on this forum starts a thread with letter by which the letters can be uniform, and then each of us adds our own personal details as experienced that would be great.

    In absence of that suit or until that suit forms, you're essentially doing as I'm doing, i.e., rebuilding The Commander so that it functions like a real Jeep.

    The company should be ashamed of itself not taking initiative here.
  • I've had my commander for a little over two years and I've had alot of issues with leaks, idling and other small issues. I fixed both manifold gaskets and replacing one because the bolts snapped. I just replaced the water pump because i had a major coolant leak. I love the Commander because it is a great vehicle its heavy duty and I just like Jeep but they took a wrong turn on this one, Needless to say i know what you are all going through and I'm in on what ever we can do to get the company to take up some responsibility. Because I believe that we are all hard working individuals and we shouldn't be spending most of our time worrying about what else is going to break. Or spending our money on a vehicle that should hold its own.
  • I am so beyond annoyed with this Commander situation. I bought a left over '08 in '09 and have about 50K miles that I've accumulated over the past two years. Prior to this past Monday I have never had an issue with my truck (except for an issue with the airbag alert not going off so now they're saying I need a new seat belt). I digress, on Monday I was driving to work (60+ mile commute) when every light imaginable began flashing in my car and then the car just stopped accelerating but never cut off. It started running really loud so I pulled over, cut it off, gave it a minute and tried it again - same thing. I was able to drive it to the dealer - probably 7-8 miles away but it wouldn't accelerate past 30ish. Left it at the dealer and they called and said it was a sensor problem. Off the bat they charged me $105 to look at it and then tacked on another $25 for the sensor. I was actually relieved b/c I thought it was the engine. I finally got my car back today, drove it like 30 miles and no issue. I'm get in again a few hours later, on the turnpike again and same thing - panel lights up car stops accelerating but stays on. Conveniently service is closed at this point but I kinda need my vehicle to get back and forth to work but there's no way I'm risking taking this thing on the road. Guess I'll head back to the dealer and see what they say. I think I'm going to try to trade it in this weekend if it will act right. So is this what you guys experience when you reference the engine stalling?
  • sounds similar although I dont think I have ever noticed issues with acceleration....but generally when it happens I quickly pull off the road to turn the engine off and back on b/c I'm worried that if the gauges aren't working then I will tear something up if I keep going.
    I have become so accustom to this happening to my jeep that if I'm super careful when I start it up I dont seem to have as many issues. So basically what i have to do is get in...gentlly and slowly turn the key to the on position and wait until all of the controls go up before actually starting the engine. I have had times where I'm driving and the dashboard controls all go to zero basically after the lights flicker and a few dings happen. My headlights also go out when this happens so when it's dark it's loads of fun!
    It's very frustrating and there is no doubt that this model has some MAJOR electrical or computer issues and it's also obvious that JEEP doesn't really give a damn :(
  • itabotitabot Posts: 105
    i have the blinking dashboard problem only now that it is again chilly in the mornings; i live in NYC. Also, now that it is chilly, a loud beep sounds from the dashboard a couple of times every 30 seconds or so for 1.5-2minutes after first starting it in the am. these problems don't happen in the summer or if i have been using the car all day.

    if you can't trade in at a reasonable price, i really recommend finding an independent/non-dealer jeep specialist in your area. someone who actually drives and owns jeeps. i luckily found that at BP in Wilton, CT; there they discovered the basic problems were rotting hoses and other 'lines'. now that those have been replaced, i really don't have the problems of stalling any longer. apparently the hoses originally installed were not of good enough quality or maybe they were installed poorly; all i know is that now that those have been replaced, the commander isn't being towed constantly.

    jeep should have recalled the commander on this basis but since they didn't, if you have one, that's the way to repair it, i.e., as jeep corporate said, "it's a total rebuild (which they were not going to cover; and they dealer insisted they would not pay for)."
  • I own a 2006 Jeep Commander and I have had to replace the battery three times since 2007 and I have had to rebuild transmission, and now the worst of all I now have to buy a new engine for $6,000 and I still owe a lot on it. I bought this Jeep and was in love with how it drives and all the bells and whistles it had to offer, but now I can't believe that a vehicle that costs as much as it did when I bought could have so many costly repairs. I am in disbelief. There was no warning lights I just went out to crank it and go to my next appointment and it made an aweful noise and then it would not crank. The lifter went out on it and caused a lot of major damage. Has anyone esle experienced this type of damage to their Jeep Commander or other Hemi type engine? There is no warranty left and I am screwed. :mad:
  • kam888kam888 Posts: 1
    I love my Jeep Commander; however, over the course of the last year, the engine has been progressively stalling more and more. I have taken it to several Jeep dealerships, as well, as private mechanics. Nobody seems to be able to figure out the problem. It is now a safety issue. There's nothing like driving 70 mph down the freeway, and having the engine stall out. Now, it stalls at every traffic light, stop sign, etc. I went through a drive through this past weekend, and it stalled out 8 times in 5 minutes. I can only use my Jeep to get to work and back. Thank goodness I only live 5 minutes from work. I am getting married in two weeks, and I am going to have to rent a car to go to the mountains for my honeymoon. I've been reading a lot of information about the poor electrical and mechanical systems in this particular model. It is very sad that Chrysler allowed the vehicle to be sold, in the first place. I am paying for something that basically has to stay parked. I would love it if the Jeep could actually be fixed, because I can't afford to put one more dime into repairs on a guessing game.
  • My wife and I purchased a used Commander in the beginning of July 2011. Since then we have had problems with the front windows rolling back down when using the automatic switch. It has also started to just shut off at times. Two days ago the check engine light came on. I drove a friend home who lives 2 blocks away. I shut the engine off and it would not start back up. We jump started it and it worked fine until the next morning. Same thing, had to jump start it. I took it to O'Reiley's and they checked the battery and issues. I got the code and it was P0562 (System Voltage Engine side too low). This vehicle is equipped with remote start which seems to work more than trying to start it normally. Every once in a while the check engine light goes off and I have no idea what is going on. The dealership we bought it from is doing nothing for us and I am at whits end. I hope someone out there might have some insight for me as to what the problem might be.
  • itabotitabot Posts: 105
    I have been posting on here for years now re. my beautiful Jeep Commander; after over $5,ooo in replacement parts and the service charges to install, I've come to love it's, to say the least, 'quirks'. I also had dealer problems; the Jeep Dealer in Georgetown/Norwalk, CT did not file the warranty papers and literally told me that they didn't care what coporate said (this after we had specifically told the dealer sales associate to load it up with warranties). That said, Jeep Corporate confirmed they would do nothing for me, i.e., they don't want any part of the Commander once it's off a Jeep lot.

    I found an actual Jeep specialist in Wilton, CT at the BP service center there. I don't know if it's possible for him to diagnose your vehicle over the phone or to consult with your local jeep technician, but I would consider it. He totally resuscitated my Jeep Commander.

    And, I hope the following helps:

    re. check engine light, that seems to come on less so in mild but not hot and not cold outdoor temperatures, and when I am using premium gasoline.

    However, even under those conditions, when I really use that V8 engine quickly up to 80mph say from 40 or 50 mph or when I make a sharp turn, that check engine light will likely come on. I have replaced gas cap and had that checked. it's just very sensitive. I'm sure Jeep told you that it will shut off on its own within 80miles of driving from when it came on and after you've started and turned off engine a couple of times.

    re. electrical system, I haven't had them work on this yet but it is still a concern because if you feel the control panel it gets scorching hot. again, when outdoor temp is mild the panel lights don't blink but when it's either hot or cold the panel lights blink. I had older person in the car recently and hadn't warned them about this...the blinking lights, they thought they were having a stroke.

    the starter has been replaced 2x. Once by Jeep Dealer and another by the independent BP technician. The one installed by BP in Wilton, CT has not had any problems. There is no choking like there was with the 1 the Commander came with and like there was with the 1 that the Georgetown/Norwalk, CT Jeep dealer installed.

    That said, BP Jeep Specialist also replaced some hoses that had deteriorated. you should have your technician check for deterioration of the hoses. That can impact the ability of the starter to function.

    And, though you didn't mention it, if you have sunroof and you notice water leaking into roof of car, the trick is to get the drain holes in the sunroof, to get technician to use airhose to blow them out clean. there will be debris, leaves, dirt, car wash wax, etc., and that is what clogs up and causes leaks, water collecting in roof, etc., which can also cause electrical problems if not remedied.

    Once you find the right jeep specialist, it can become, though more expensive than you anticipated, a lovely looking and interesting car to own.
  • Thank you for this information. I have never had a vehicle where I hate to see the rain coming. All I can think is about is I better hurry up and get my Jeep in the garage. I have had my 2006 Jeep Commander for a year and a half. I am amazed at the water that comes in only on the driver side on the floor board. I will get looked into getting the drain holes cleaned out. Thanks again
  • we had the same problem. tutns out it was a sunroof leak that drained through that path. when the dealer fixed the sunroof the leak went away
  • I have 2009 jeep comm same problems nostart. Frustrated,have replaced fob,wireless ignition node,starter and now problem has occurred again. Thought I was unique. Chrysler claims dept. Acted like they never heard of anything like this. Two jeep dealerships say same "can't replicate problem" statement. Noone does their job. Sound familiar? Buy American and get a run around ??. All I read is commander owners with same problems. If it looks like a lemon and acts like a lemon ... Well I guess we all got squeezed !! Class action anyone ???
  • itabotitabot Posts: 105
    SO frustrating to read that Chrysler's response to you was to act as though they had never heard of these Jeep Commander problems. And, this is after they were bailed out via an Act of Congress using US taxpayer dollars.

    Speaking with a friend who has a Jeep Commander, I asked if he had problems with it. His reply, not at all except water collects in the roof of the car and he can't get it out. As if that is normal? but this commander was his first Jeep. Prior to this he only had BMWs so he thought it was 'normal'/'to be expected' for Jeeps.

    If someone - preferably an attorney- takes the initiative regarding class action i will contribute my paperwork, i.e., I have Jeep names, numbers, dates, details of conversations, etc. indicating that Jeep is well aware of not only my complaint but that several more of these complaints are posted here on Edmunds...
  • We bought our 2006 Commander used from Carmax and it ran great for several months. Then it started behaving much the same as yours. On highway trips, the RPM on the engine would move erratically from 2000 to 3500 RPM -- up and down the entire way. I took it to a mechanic who said it was because I had the cruise control on and was going up and down hills. I knew this was not correct because it just didn't feel right.

    The problem stopped for a few weeks and then started again, this time on fairly flat terrain with and without the cruise control engaged. I tried several things, including keeping the jeep out of overdrive and only in fifth gear while driving. It seemed to make a difference so I took it to a Jeep dealer here in Houston. They couldn't find and specific problem with the engine except that a bulletin had been issued to upgrade the computer software for a problem with the cruise control similar to what I had described. The problem again went away for a little while.

    On another road trip, the car started the RPM thing, then there was a loud bang from the engine, the whole car shuddered and then stalled out doing about 75 MPH. We managed to wrestle the car to the side of the raod and it started right back up so we nursed it to our destination. When we drove home, the car did the RPM thing but no more stalls, thank God. I took the jeep to a mechanic I had been using and trusted and he said that a fuel intake sensor was bad which may be causing the ragged performance. Plus he said we probably were noticing our fuel economy crapping out, which it had.

    That didn;t do it and the car is worse than ever. This weekend, my daughter drove the car on a road trip for the first time since the work was done and at first, it ran good but on the return trip, the car stalled no less than eight times in 350 miles! One time, it stalled and she tried to get it to the side of the road but was approaching a bridge and couldn;t get over far enough. A senmi starte blowing its horn at her and she freaked out and ran into the bridge abutment, damaging the blinker, fender, hood, front bumper and tearing off the fender flair on the passenger side of the car.

    If there isn't a lwasuit pending, then someone should sue them before someone really gets hurt!
  • Ours was a very similar issue. it was fixed by the dealer replacing the cam position and the crank angle sensors. We've been months now with no trouble, and ours was stalling like yours. Incidently, I have a dodge Neon that we did the same thing with. It's what I suggested when we took it to the shop in the first place. Good luck.

  • itabotitabot Posts: 105
    WOW: that story about The Commander stalling on your daughter like that is really horrific. I now know what can cause The Commander to RPM up or down spastically so I can adjust where I'm at in traffic, road pitch, etc., accordingly.

    I wish that Jeep Chrysler cared about the safety of the vehicles they have on the road, but in the case of our Jeep Commanders, they do not; in my experience they are purposely turning a blind eye.

    I was lucky to find that Jeep Expert in Wilton, CT BP station; finding a local independent station with an actual Jeep Expert seems to be the solution.

    I was lucky to find that Jeep Expert and doubly lucky that he is not only talened but honest. They did a lot of work on The Commander but just enough to make sure I don't have recurring problems that interfere with the practical reliabiliy of The Commander. I can't say enough to get all of the hoses checked and if they are the originals that the commander came with, see if they need to be replaced.

    Regarding the class action someone else proposed. does anyone know what is the statute of limitations on that possibility?
  • Hi, I went through the same thing. the dealer suggested a tune up, did that. still no luck, went to the dealer again. the they changed both heads and the ECM. they were still not able fix it. Eventually they change the serpetine belt and that did it. it has been working for over a year. it took them more than a month to fix does not make sense at all. but that was the fix. it costed me thousands $$ to for all those parts. but is was a simple fix. hopefully this will help you.Good luck!
  • itabotitabot Posts: 105
    speaking w/ chrystler corporate custom relations yesterday and today regardin the leaking sunroof-icing on inside of windshield as well as cruise control problems, I was also informed that there had been an electrical related safety recall titled 'EBC Module'. i never received notice of this recall but it regards the stall that occurs when the commander slows down before a hill then has to accelerate quickly, i.e., the stall feeling that occurs is actually addressed via this safety recall.
  • itabotitabot Posts: 105
    would you mind telling me, when you traded it in, how close to the Kelley Blue Book value did you get for it? I've got another year to pay this off and then I am back to BMW, Jaguar, Mercedese; they may have a higher sticker price and the cost of repairs is higher, but they never need repairs ;-)

    This jeep has cost me much more-$ and anxiety than my former BMWs or the Jaguar.

    Thank you.
  • deeziedeezie Posts: 1
    My 2006 commander just would not turn on yesterday - lights, etc came on just engine would not turn over. AFter googling the problem and noticed lots of owners with this problem - we tried 30 more times to turn it on. this morning I turned it on5 times, 5th time it to turn over, 6 tt is on the time it did turn on - so I drove it to the dealership - told them I had 50 miles left on my warranty....they kept it - computer showed nothing - however there is a leak or something they will fix under the warranty. This happened while my low fuel light came on, the lights inside flickered......this is a duplicate problem that is reported on the jeep commander forum. UGH - 2nd time this has happened - first time - 3 months ago the starter was bad so they put a new one on and it was covered (minus the $100 deductible) I too am really disappointed in my Jeep purchase - I have had the run off lines from the sun roof replaced as well, they were not even adhered to stay put originally. Will not go Jeep again.
  • itabotitabot Posts: 105
    I'm so sorry that you are experiencing same manufacturer's defects with your Commander as the majority of Commander owners also experience. Chrysler Jeep is aware of these defects; they can be found in the Technical Service Bulletions issued by Chrysler, i.e., Chrysler Jeep acknowledges the manufacturer's defects of the Commander but so far does not take effective responsibility for them.

    From my experience, I suggest you do not let that commander go out of warranty before you have an independent service station jeep specialist check it out; because, when the starter has gone on a vehicle with such low mileage there are likely other problems that are on the verge of erupting and will cost a few thousand to repair if you don't include towing.

    In my case, same experience as yours with starter going (mine at 30,287miles); after being treated horribly by the Chrysler Jeep dealer that I purchased from I brought to local jeep specialist who discovered and showed me that the following also needed to be replaced and quickly: transcooler lines; power steering hoses; front and rear brakes rotor and brake pads. He physically showed me and an engineer who I took along for a 2nd opinion how worn out and how much fluid was leaking from the hoses. as he said, if the starter is gone at only 30k there are other parts about to cease too.
  • itabotitabot Posts: 105
    also, did replacing the run off lines from the sunroof solve the problem of water pooling at footwell of front passenger seat? i'm curious because jeep has two solutions to the problem, i.e., 1. replace runoff lines and 2. new door seals. that said, i've received 2 outside opinions saying that the runoff lines are the problem.

    and, why don't they just repair the runoff lines instead of replacing them? repair because it sounds like the run off lines are separate pieces put together and they just need to be reconnected.

    thank you
  • i replaced my run off lines and i was all good. I too have the stalling issues every once in a while, but I have 140k on it now, bought it new, it made it to pay off.
  • itabotitabot Posts: 105
    great, thank you! if i can get mine to last another 20kmiles with just new run off lines i will be very happy. again, thank you!
  • My name is Nathaniel and I am an owner of an Jeep 2006 Jeep Commander with a 3.7 litter engine and I am experiencing much of the same things many people in the forum are experiencing with their jeep commander. I am convince that all of the owners who are having problems with their jeep commanders should start an transaction suite against Chrysler because they are not concern with our problems with the Jeep commander and they are forcring us to pay for things that are major defects in the Jeep Commander. Let me know what you think.
  • itabotitabot Posts: 105
    I will definitely join a class action and if that isn't coordinated by March 2012 I'm filing papers on my own. Im taking the month of february to put the folder together. My Commander has 64,000miles on it &, to date, I've put more than $5,000 into repairs that should have been under warranty ( as chryslers own technical service bulletins acknowledge these repairs are result of chrysler manufacturer defects. I'm looking at another $1,100 - $3000 in repairs right now (sunroof leak, radio & navigation system, & a valve). The valve at 64k miles isn't totally a 'not to be expected', I.e., I understand importance of regular maintenance but the other necessary repairs are intolerable because, again, chrysler jeep is aware that these are manufacturers defects.

    Also, I agree with you and others here within this forum that Chrysler jeep does not care about restoring us to 'satisfied' customers; I have dated, fully cited quotes from Chrysler Corporate customer service who agreed that I could quote them declining to warranty my starter at 30k miles in 2008 stating that they will not be 'restoring' the commanders, the dealer adding that they do not care what corporate agrees is a defect, etc. What's more in my discussions with Chrysler over the last month I have been spoken to so rudely, given the run around, told that there were no TSBs regarding sunroof & radio (once I provided the TSBs to them they said they woukd have supervisor call me back - 2 weeks later I get the call back during which I referred to TSBs & was told by supervisor that they didn't matter?!?)
  • I purchased my 2008 Jeep in Jun 2010 w/only 12,700 miles and it now has 29,573 on it. Luckily I purchased a Gold Plus warranty because I have had nothing but problems w/this car. It has been returned for repairs on average every 2 months for one thing or another due to sensor lights coming on . It has leaked oil on and off at times which has been found to be coming from the manifold, head gasket has been replaced and oil pan. Again leaking resumed this week. It has completely stalled on us while driving, engine cut off, lights, radio everything thankfully the car behind us was a safe distance behind and the steering wheel was not locked. It took 10 minutes before it would restart again. It has turned off 4 times while idling. The dealership states they do not know why and act as if surprised that this has happened. They have inspected it twice for this same reason. Appears to be no lemon laws regarding used vehicles. Have been advised my options are either to trade this junk in or have the engine taken apart. Left the service shop being told that, of course they are eager to have us look at one of their vehicles. I am at a loss and completely frustrated anyone w/any advice?Thx
  • Hi, I am having the same problem w/my 2008 did you ever get the problem resolved?
  • Hi, I am having the same issue w/my 2008. The service dept acts as if they are baffled and don't know why this is happening. I was wondering if you continued to have this problem?
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