My continuing saga with Jeep service.
This is a venting post, so be warned. I will also say, I love my Jeep for a lot of reasons, and if I did not, it would have been sold off a long time ago.
This is all in reference to my 2008 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited.
I have had a minor problem that I figured I would deal with next time I HAD to go to a dealer for a recall or something. I am an aircraft mechanic (A&P) and have also worked in automotive, got really good tools, and a place to work, so I do not take the Jeep in for services and repair, I do it myself. The times I did take it in to the dealer because it was under warranty, they usually screw it up, more on that later.
The problem I had been having is that when I put the key in, all the dash lights flash before I even turn the key. Sometimes it will not start after that until I pull the key and lock and unlock the doors. A few weeks ago I parked the Jeep in my carport in 4 LOW. I had been moving my trailer around in the snow, and 4 LOW is the only way I can back it into it's space on my snow and ice covered gravel driveway. The next morning I went out to the Jeep, unlocked it and decided to stick the key in the ignition so I didn't lose it while I unloaded stuff from the back and went and got some more coffee for the road, and my dog. NOTE: I did not turn the key, I just stuck it in the ignition.
About 1.5 seconds (it seems) after I stuck the key in, the starter engaged and the Jeep jumped forward and through the back wall of my carport. once it went through the carport, there is a 25 foot cliff down to the neighbors yard. My foot was hung up on the seat and I was drug through the wall. A witness said it seemed to stop for a second and then continued to slide down the cliff and into a POS Chevy S10 and a few trees.
I was lucky and came out of it with a sore body and sprained ankle. The Jeep has about 10K in damage that is covered by my insurance.
Jeep sent out an engineer to meet me at the dealer. He was from a 3rd party firm contracted by Jeep. He says he found nothing wrong even though the problem still happens. I am not after Jeep to pay for the repairs to the carport, my ankle, or the damage on the Jeep, my insurance company can go after them if they want, that what I pay them for. All I want is the problem that caused this to happen in the first place resolved. Not only did they send me a letter saying they wont fix it, the dealer won't touch it because it went through the Jeep investigation and claim department. So, now I am screwed even if I wanted to pay to get it fixed. Yes, I work on my own stuff, but there is very little I can do to troubleshoot and repair an ECU issue on a modern car without having dealer only diagnostics and parts. I worked for Ducati motorcycles and have seen, and fixed issues with ECU's doing weird stuff many times, and if you are not a dealer, you can not do it.
This is not the first messed up thing with this Jeep either. Here is a list of what I have dealt with since October 2008 and 42K miles:
Top leaked all over dash. Water in top froze, expanded, cracked top. Took 3 dealer visits over 4 weeks in the middle of winter to get it fixed.
Started popping out of gear. Was accused by dealer of installing a body lift. Pointed out it was bone stock. Took them 2 days to decide if it was indeed stock, at which time they butchered my inner shift boot stating "you need to modify the shift boot on lifted Jeeps" Still popped out of gear, and still wasn't lifted.
Finally got them to replace transmission at 6000 miles. Instead they "rebuilt it" Went to visit the Jeep and saw transmission apart in a pile of dirt. I rebuild engines a lot, like 10 or 15 a year, thats not how it is done.
Picked up Jeep, was hard to shift to first, harder into 2nd, wouldn't go into 3rd at all. Turned around and went back to dealer but in the 15 minutes I was gone, they had went home. Sales department wouldn't loan me a vehicle, so I walked home 5 miles in the snow.
Found out they knew they didn't rebuild the trans right, and had ordered a new one to be shipped overnight. I have no idea why they called me and told me to come pick my Jeep up.
7500 miles, noticed a very loud clacking from clutch when in neutral, clutch out, went away with clutch in. My thought was throwout or pilot bearing. It took several phone calls to Jeep to get the dealer to look into it. Turns out the buggered to clutch putting it back in when they did the trans.
When I got the Jeep back I looked under it and found they had left out most of the bolt on the bell housing. This was so awesome to find a day before leaving for a 6000 mile road trip into the boonies. Put off the trip for 2 days while I checked it over and got some local miles on it.
30K miles, went to change transfer case and transmission oil. Found that they cross threaded all the cross member bolts, and rounded the heads of a couple of them. Got to love those 1/2 impact wrenches, I wonder if that how they put spark plugs in too?
I have also had bad ball joints, and exploded steering stabilizer, 2 leaking shocks, a bad battery, and a bad water pump.
Yep, a quality product. My friends and family think my wife and I a idiots for keeping this Jeep. Even my father inlaw who still has his 1989 Cherokee with every option including lockers, factory grill guard, and leather, with 180K miles on it, but it looks like it just rolled out of a show room, thinks we're are nuts for keeping it. I bought this Rubicon with the intention of keeping it forever like my father inlaw did with his.
I take it on forest roads and I am not afraid to use it like it was meant to be used, but I polish out the brush scratches, I wash the mud off the bottom, and I maintain the hell out of it. I sold 3 other vehicles, including a bike I really liked to put more than 50% down on it. I now almost have it paid off, but am not happy that I may own a total POS outright.
All I want Jeep to do is fix my ECU, possibly replace the ignition switch (it has like 3/8" of play in the lock cylinder) and stand by the lifetime warranty I got when I bought the damn thing.