Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: Central Illinois
Feedback: 0 reviews
Let me preface this with an apology. If you read multiple Jeep Wrangler forums you will find this cross-posted. I’m just trying to get the word out to save other people from the bad situation I find myself in. Also if this post breaks some sort of form rules please delete it, thank you
I bought my first Jeep Wrangler from a Jeep dealership in Morton Illinois… Because of the situation and their refusal to even attempt to make it right I believe it is important to share with anyone who will listen my experience with the dealership and the 2008 Jeep Wrangler I purchased. Perhaps I can save someone else the grief I have experienced…
I intentionally chose to buy my Jeep at a Jeep dealership because I assumed, based on my previous experience both as a purchaser and working in new car dealerships, that the vehicle would have been examined by a technician certified by the manufacturer. I realize there is a premium in buying a used car from a new car dealer, but I believe the advantage outweighs the cost. Or at least, until I purchased a vehicle from Sam Lehman’s, that has been my experience. This being my first Jeep Wrangler so I was a little naïve as to how the vehicle should ride like and handle. Because of this my short test drive did not raise any concerns and my assumption that the vehicle was examined before it was put on the lot for sale blinded me to a couple obvious issues I would have noticed otherwise.
The long drive home brought to my attention some concerns about the way the vehicle handled and drove. I crawled under the front end and noticed oil leaking out of the steering stabilizer shock. Realizing I purchased the vehicle “as is” I ordered a new one with the intention of installing it. While installing the steering stabilizer shock I noticed the shock absorbers on the vehicle were OEM factory originals even though the vehicle had 73,000 miles on it and this was also adding to the unsafe handling characteristics. I ordered new shocks and when they arrived I installed them. Much to my surprise, while installing the shocks, I found the right rear brake caliper seized both rear rotors rusty and grooved. This prompted me to check the brake system in its entirety and, to be safe, I replaced front and rear rotors, brake pads, and rebuilt the rear calipers.
In addition to this the passenger side running board was rusted sufficiently that it partially collapsed while my wife was entering the vehicle. I replaced both running boards and treated/painted the rust on the frame. I used this as an excuse to buy new front and rear bumpers and installed them also though there was nothing wrong with the ones I took off. I still need to replace the gas tank skid plate and some of the mounting equipment for the tank. It is rusted to the point where I have some concern that in the future it may create an unsafe situation.
A little background as to why I bought a Jeep Wrangler. For the last 40 years my wife and I have ridden a motorcycle and explored the backwoods of all 50 states. For the last nine years I’ve been struggling with cancer and that this affected my balance and made motorcycling unsafe. Purchasing a Jeep was going to replace our much loved activity. I found, after owning this Jeep, that the cancer and the neuropathy have affected my ability to use a clutch and it causes pain. I contacted the dealership and sent them essentially what I have shared with you and asked them if they would help me in treating the vehicle back and perhaps even on the new one. I was told it was only worth $12,000 though I bought it in an unsafe condition for $16,000 just two months ago. I called the dealership and explained to the salesman the situation he spoke to his manager and they offered me just $10,000.
Just to reiterate, I am aware I bought the vehicle as is but my willingness to buy it “as is” was predicated upon the knowledge I was purchasing it from a new car dealership not a fly-by-night used car sales lot. However, my experience can only lead to one of three assumptions:
1. Their service department charged their sales department internally for an inspection that never occurred. If this is the case, I wanted to make their sales department that this practice is leading to the sale of unsafe vehicles. If it is true, I don’t believe they care
2. Their sales department had the inspection done and decided to sell the vehicle without any of the work being performed. This would surprise me for this practice is more reflective of the sales practices of the aforementioned fly-by-night used car lots.
3. The vehicle was put on the lot for sale without any inspection. This would also surprise and disappointment me.
No matter what the reason they are unwilling to do anything to rectify the situation so if you desire to purchase a vehicle in central Illinois I would suggest you stay away from the Sam Lehman’s dealerships.
Christi crux est mea lux