The Jeep Experience

I drove a Subaru Baja for a little more than 7 years, great car loved it. It just doesn’t tow even a small boat that well up boat ramps and I needed something with more towing capacity. Obviously the only choice was a Jeep Wrangler of course.

Buying Experience

I purchased the vehicle from David Stanley (74th St. Location) in Oklahoma City – They sold it to me with four flat tires and didn’t see the need to mention that to me. They must have been airing it up 3 times a day to keep it floating on the 35” tires for test drives.  You can imagine my annoyance when I stepped out into my driveway to drive my new Jeep to work the next day only to find all four tires sitting on the rims.  Turns out the bead locks were improperly installed and had absolutely no air tight seal on the under side of the outer tire edge.  I spent the next two days after work removing the wheels, taking the tires off the wheels, removing the bead locks and sealing them with silicone. Six months later they still hold air like a champ with no leaks. I expect dealers to withhold minor flaws here and there to make a sale, but seriously… how pathetic do you have to be to sell someone a vehicle with four flat tires and not disclose that to the buyer.

While the sales department may have some rotten apples, the finance department in my experience has been wonderful. I’ve had to call them many times to coordinate between my warranty company and John Vance (where the Jeep was getting serviced) to get the coverage issues straitened out. Right from the beginning they honored the warranty they sold me, no run around. Each different finance agent said the same thing “yep, you should be covered.”

So, buy an extended warranty on used cars!

 

I’ve been driving the Jeep for about 6 months now and overall have been happy with it. It rides much smoother than its TJ predecessor and is much more comfortable on long trips. The mileage really isn’t that bad compared to my previous vehicle. It actually gets better mileage while towing the boat than the Subaru did. The ground clearance is fun and with it being the 4 door it’s a great “family car.” Baby Alexis’s car seat secures tightly to the child seat locks and there’s plenty of room in the back for all the wife’s many bags and suit cases when we travel. As expected it pulls my little boat up boat ramps no problem, mission accomplished.

Warranty/Service Experience 

After driving it for about 6 months I think I’ve identified all of the issues that need to be addressed. Expecting a used vehicle to possibly have some issues with it, I went ahead and purchased a 1 year/12k miles “bumper to bumper” warranty for $1400 and an extra $100 for 4×4 coverage at the time of purchase. After hearing good things about John Vance Chrysler Jeep Dodge in Guthrie OK I used the online service request submission process to request an appointment. Within an hour I had received a confirmation email and a phone call.

The Jeep was in the service shop for almost two weeks. Most of that time was due to AUL (the third party extended warranty provider) not wanting to honor the contract they sold me. At first they denied everything and sent an inspector to approve what the service department requested. They wanted to not cover the cracked exhaust manifold and the front drive shaft. The good folks at the John Vance service dept fought both issues and got AUL to give on the manifold, but they still refused to cover the front drive shaft. After 4 days of trying to get some help from David Stanley I finally made progress and got them to contact AUL to make them cover what I paid for. Once that issue was resolved the new drive shaft was in place and I was back on the road.

Issues Identified

Fuel Problems:
1. Gas tank overflow on fill up, there was a recall for this I believe.


2. Very strong bursts of gas vapor entering cabin through AC vents. It’s always present and overwhelming when first started in the morning. I’m worried about risk of explosion and health hazards. I have a suspicion that the evaporation canister venting lines are cracked and dumping fuel vapor into the engine compartment.

Oil Leaks:
1. Rear differential leaking.
2. Transfer case leaking (splattering) out the front drive shaft.
3. I was advised by an alignment shop that the power steering box is leaking as well but have not observed it and have not noted a power steering fluid drain.

Engine:
1. Bad O2 sensor.

4×4 System:
1. Front axle clicking while acceleration/decelerating with 4 wheel drive engaged. Sounds like a U-Joint going bad but could be broken teeth in the differential. Four wheel drive has been used rarely and properly since my purchase of the vehicle. The clicking became present on first use while driving 1.5 miles in a straight line on snow covered dirt road from my neighborhood the morning after the 2013 snow storm. Needless to say it was disappointing to have the four wheel drive on a “new” Jeep fail the first time you need it.

Misc:
1. Turn signal switch will not hold position for right turn indicator.

 

Post Maintenance Update:

Everything fixed! I have filled the gas tank many times (it’s now the end of May) without a single overflow. The new turn signal is a huge difference, greatly improves my driving experience. The new front drive shaft has held steady and performs flawlessly. The rear differential no longer leaks. The decomposed boot causing the leak on the transfer case was actually a part of the drive shaft that attaches to the transfer case. The drive shaft replacement fixed that.

A big thanks to Chad at the John Vance service center, he was instrumental in keeping me informed and helping plow through the red tape.

One thought on “The Jeep Experience

  1. Things we do for the cars we love….just replaced the drivers side wheel bearing on the Frontier. A/C compressor needs replacing since last year. When the warranty was still there – I had Nissan replace the timing chain guides, rear axle vent and seals, fuel level sending unit, & serp. tensioner. And a couple little TSB issues – tow wire harness and the sensor that tells the airbags to go.

    Meanwhile Lindsey’s Civic is completely flawless.

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