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Regular Service / Maintenance This section contains discussion about regular service and maintenance (upkeep) of your Jeep Commander

 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-03-2011, 12:19 PM Thread Starter
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Just saved $300+ !!!!

I have 56k miles and the jeep was acting really sluggish on acceleration. Also, mpgs were in the commode (even by hemi standards!!). Dealer had mentioned that I was due for 'tune up' after my last free oil change - that's the only reason I go to the dealer anymore.

Dealer wanted 400+ bucks to do the "tune up" which, afik, is basically replacing the plugs and pcv valve.

So... after some searching on this amazingly well informed forum, I decided to replace the plugs myself. Spent about 100 bucks at autozone on the following:
16 champion copper core plugs (the OEM ones)
some anti seize compound
spark plug gap tool (couldn't find the one i used 10 years ago)
torque wrench
air filter
fuel injector cleaner

The most expensive item was the torque wrench, but now I own one and can stop borrowing my father-in-law's ever time I need one! Plugs were like $1.50 on sale.

Took about 3 hours start to finish, but I was taking my time so I probably could do it in 2 hours if I had to do it all over again. Really easy job, just had to be patient and use lots of socket extensions! At one point, I think I had three extensions linked together to get one of the pugs out - Passenger side rear bank is the worst! Anyway, only tools I used were ratchet, 10mm socket, spark plug socket, torque wrench, lots of socket extensions. That's it. No universal joints or anything like that.

Plugs that I pulled out were full of deposits and had a gap of about .060. Recommended is .045!! Drove it today and acceleration was smoooooooth as can be! no more lurching or hesitating. And mpgs have gone up by like 2 mpg from what I can see, but I need to drive it a little more to really tell.

So.... Save yourself some cash and replace your own plugs!!

BTW - replaced the air filter too, but autozone didn't have the pcv valve.

What do you guys think? Did this pretty much cover what the dealer would have done as part of a 'tune up'??
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-03-2011, 12:47 PM
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Tune-Ups are an old term people keep using. After the Fed Mandated computer control, emissions monitoring and warranting those items out to 85k mi, all the dealers were telling buyers their cars didn't need a tune-up until 85k miles, but then after they bought, they would tell them they need a tune-up at 30k miles.

The engine computer tunes the motor 30 times a second, you no longer need a full tune-up.

BUT, people still need to replace the consumable items on the engine that typically were done in the past when they did a "Tune-Up". So some people are calling this a tune-up and disreputable dealers will claim they are doing all the things in a tune-up like was done years ago, even though the engine don't even have a way to adjust those things anymore or the consumable part have been replaced by solid state electronics (like the points in distributors) and charge you like they are doing that work.

Like you saw, you need to replace the spark plugs, if you have ignition wires, eventually you'll need to replace those as well. PCV valve is a good idea to replace, but NOT 100% necessary, some people just clean them and although they go bad, I've seen them last way longer then the recommended change mileage as well. If you had a PCV go really bad, you'd have vacuum problem or oil consumption and burning problems.


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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-03-2011, 03:03 PM
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Great info guys! Thanks!


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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-08-2011, 02:14 AM
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At 53,000 my only suggestion would be the wires to the plugs, and maybe the serpentine belt.....Keep an eye on that coolant and make sure its good. i hear most about overheat issues now in the winter, than in the summer

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-06-2011, 09:22 AM
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The Serpentine Belts last a lot longer, I think the OM says to replace at 120k miles, which seems awful long time to rely on that belt to me. But my brothers '07 GC serpentine belt still looked perfectly good at 100k miles. Certainly inspect the belt, and I would replace it when you get the cracking, chunking, glazing, etc.

The HOAT anti-freeze is good for 100k miles or 5 years, Zerex G-05 is the aftermarket equivalent. Prestone and other brands "All Makes, All Models, Mixes with any Color Anti-Freeze" is anything but that, avoid those like the plague, they are a slight derivative of the latest GM Dexcool dyed a different color. Seen people recommend changing the HOAT earlier then 100k/5yr, they don't trust it to last that long. But my brothers '07 GC the HOAT looked great at 100k miles.

Also figure out what kind of ignition wire you have. Some of the new vehicles are coming with 'Suppression' type ignition cables instead of the old 'Resistance' type ignition wire. The old 'Resistance' cable was carbon impregnated latex, nothing more then a big long flexible resistor, to reduce the EMI/RFI that comes from the ignition wire carry such high voltages. That carbon impregnated latex breaks down with time and use, and degrades your ignition.

The new 'Suppressive' cable is a solid metal wire that is wrapped in a coil its whole length, this creates an inductance effect to suppress the EMI/RFI from the high voltage going through the cable. Since its a solid metal wire, it doesn't break down like the latex in the resitive wire. Thes Ignition cable will last as long as the insulation stands up to the heat and wear, which could be the life of the vehicle.

Look close at the ignition cable, my Chrysler mini-van's ignition cable had the word "Suppressive" printed on the cable insulation.

Some vehicles don't have any ignition cables anymore, there is a coil for every spark plug, with a boot and solid metal connector inbetween, and unless the boot is going bad, there is nothing that would need replacement. And the boots can go bad, if they do, they can let the ignition current arc to ground and cause misfires, so when you change your plugs, check the boots and replace ones that are going bad.


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Last edited by Mongo; 12-06-2011 at 09:39 AM.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-14-2011, 12:37 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WileyNJ View Post
At 53,000 my only suggestion would be the wires to the plugs, and maybe the serpentine belt.....Keep an eye on that coolant and make sure its good. i hear most about overheat issues now in the winter, than in the summer
The Hemi has individual coil packs on each cylinder. There are no wires to replace.




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