Water in the Engine? I think im getting ripped off... - Jeep Commander Forums: Jeep Commander Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-27-2011, 10:37 PM Thread Starter
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Water in the Engine? I think im getting ripped off...

Hey Everybody!

This is my first post. I've been checking out this site for months now. Thanks to all of you I not only bought my first Jeep Commander, but also my very first Jeep! I got it used. It's a 2009 3.7 with only 29,000 miles. I've had the Commander for roughly two months now. I bought it for my wife and about 3 weeks ago she noticed a raspy clicking noise as the car accelerates. I got a couple different estimates and they all said it was a rod knock. I took it into the dealership (since its still under warranty) and sure enough they diagnosed it as a rod knock as well. The shop supervisor called me the next day and said not to worry, they could't fix the engine so they were just going to put in a new one... all under warranty. the next day I get another call, and the shop supervisor tells me that they found water in the engine so it won't be covered under the warranty after all!

I'm confused, although we do get alot of rain and sometimes snow this time of year, my wife has litterally only driven the jeep from home, to school, and to work. That's like 15 miles a day. We haven't taken it off road or anything.

My question is how did the water get in there? The shop supervisor told me that It was probablly driven over a big puddle. "That sounds like a load of BS to me. If my hyundai can handle puddles than my Jeep dang well better to be able to as well! I feel like I may be getting ripped off here... What do you guys think?

Please let me know, I'm going to call the supervisor back in the morning.

I'm looking forward to getting this all figured out so I can do some back woods camping this summer in my Jeep Commander!


Thanks!
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-28-2011, 12:54 AM
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Welcome to the forum. I'm really sorry that your first Jeep buying experience has been marred by this incident. I had very nearly the same interaction with a Chrysler/Jeep/Dodge dealer in Everett, Washington in 1998. The dealer gave me the same song and dance about water in the engine. I hadn't driven the car through any water deeper than 2 inches - it rains a lot in Washington - and they refused to fix it. Log story short, I got a lawyer and a few testy letters later the Jeep got fixed under warranty.

You may have to get a lawyer and/or be ready to take it to arbitration. Either way, make other driving arrangements 'cos this is likely to take a while to get sorted. Be weary; this may be a standard tactic of theirs to weasel out of a legitimate, and expensive, claim. Get absolutely everything they tell you in writing, keep a call/meeting log and memorialize all face-to-face meetings by sending an email thanking the person for meeting with you and recapping the points discussed. Sorry, mate, I didn't have a happy story for you. Hope your meeting with the manager goes well.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-28-2011, 06:18 AM
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Did you buy it from a private party, maybe they sucked water in the engine and decided to sell it......

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-28-2011, 09:17 AM
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First off, how did they find water in the Engine? Yes, if you suck a large amount of water into the Engine, you can damage it, and to varying degrees.

If the engine suffers serous damage or static lock, it will NOT run, and you would find water in it.

If the engine suffered minor damage, and can still run, the heat from operation for only a few hours would evaporate any water out of it.

Did he say they found water in the engine or evidence of water damage?

What specifically is this damage or evidence of water damage? A bent rod I could see as evidence of water ingested static lock, but a spun bearing? Lots of things could cause a spun bearing, you have to do better than that to claim it was water damage.

On top of that, they only found it after removing the engine? that they started under warranty and now that the engine is out, they are going to deny warranty? They should have found the problem before they started the repair, that is outside of the qoute and authorization. Its there responsibility to put the engine back the way they found it, if they messed up the troubleshooting and indentificaton of the problem, no cost to you.

I'd contact Chrysler Customer Service, and Regional Mangers for your area, the numbers/addresses are in sticky posts.

There has been several cases of unscrupulous dealers ripping off customers for more than a thousand dollars, no question, that have been posted on this forum. Granted, we don't know enough to tell if the Dealer is ripping you off, but it does sound a bit fishy to me, its possible.

The air intake design is high up and baffled to prevent the ingestion of water, and if the vehicle is used as intended, any water damage should be a design problem and still be covered under warranty. You would have to drive the vehicle into water up to the a few inches below the hood to ingest water in the intake.

Water working its way into the crankcase and oil? Again, you'd have to drive in water up to nearly the hood for that to happen. Unless seals/gaskets were failing, and that would be a warranty issue as well.

If it was me, I would tell the guys they should have figured out what was wrong with the motor before they pulled it, you would NOT have authorized it if it was NOT covered under warranty. Put the motor back in and I'll live with the noise, I'm NOT paying for you mistake and failure to identify the problem before pulling out the motor.

Rod Knock is probably one of the most mis-diagnosed problems, and the source of the noise is often something else. Rod Knock can have a lot of different root causes and often fixed by replacing a few parts and NOT an entire engine, at the same time rod knock can be from a fully worn out motor and it needs to be replaced.

After the motor was back in, I'd get a 2nd opinion from an independent shop.

Chrysler re-imburses Dealers for Warranty Work, but they re-imburse them at a much lower rate than Customers pay for out of warranty service. So there is an incentive there for the Dealer to get a customer to pay for repairs instead of doing it under warranty, they will make more money if the customer pays the bill rather than Corporate.


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Last edited by Mongo; 04-29-2011 at 08:33 AM.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-28-2011, 11:07 AM
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A lot of members here have had a clicking (or ticking) noise that was an exhaust leak due to a broken bolt on the exhaust manifold.

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-29-2011, 09:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeep5253 View Post
A lot of members here have had a clicking (or ticking) noise that was an exhaust leak due to a broken bolt on the exhaust manifold.
Yea, we don't know the whole story, but it does sound fishy;
  • go in for "a raspy clicking noise as the car accelerates"
  • the Dealer says its "rod knock" on a less than 2 year old vehicle with 29k miles
  • the Dealer says, they'll replace the motor under warranty
  • then the Dealer says, they won't replace the motor under warranty because they found water in it, after the diagnosis and starting the repair.
Keep in mind, customers often don't understand the technical details and will often get them wrong as they recount them, but it sounds fishy to me.

The chances of getting rod knock in a 29k motor, that was properly maintained, is extremely unlikely, especially bad enough that replacing a bad bearing is out of the solution and replacing the whole motor is necessary. Getting a lot of water in the oil could cause it, but unless it happened very recently, that water would be long gone and evaporated out of the oil by now.

Google Rod Knock, you'll find the expert tell you its the number one misdiagnosed problem, lots people jump to conclusion any internal engine noise is rod knock. Just like everyone jumps to the conclusion any external engine control problem is a bad PCM.

But, if its truly rod knock on a 29k mile motor, the only causes I can think of:
  • A bad bearing installed during engine assembly (warranty should cover)
  • The oil has never been changed, or maybe once, in its life (warranty wouldn't cover, but they have to prove it, and you can disprove it with any maintenance records)
  • The motor suffered a lot of water invading it, but unless it happened very recently there would NOT be any evidence of that water left. Like I said, if you had a bent rod, thats good evidence, if they drained the oil and it came out brown muddy with water mixed in, then it happened recently, according to the owners description of use, it would NOT be the owners fault, something had to be wrong with the motor to let that much water in during normal use.


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Last edited by Mongo; 04-29-2011 at 09:08 AM.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-29-2011, 02:48 PM
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First things first. I wont reply to anymore of these questions from a persons first post on here anymore. You chime in try to help need some information from them and there no where to be found.


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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-29-2011, 11:31 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the comments. Mongo you gave some great advice. I've talked to the dealership a few times this weekend. So as they were taking the engine out they found water in the intake plenum, not any type of water damage to the engine. (The rod knock most likely has nothing to do with the water being in the engine is my guess) The shop manager told me once they found water in the intake plenum, they stopped working on it because of Chryslers apparent policy of water being where is not supposed to be and not being covered under warranty.

On monday a Chrysler Rep is going to go out and check my car out so see if they can cover it under warranty. I don't know who the rep is, but I'm going to be sure to be there when he looks and my Jeep.

Also, my insurance company (Geico) are going on monday as well to look and see if they will cover the damage. If they buy the story that the dealership is telling that water was somehow accidentally sucked in through the air intake they may cover it. That being said, my hope is that I can give chrysler a hard enough time to stand behind their product. Like I explained earlier I have only owned this car for 2 months!

@SAL Although this is my first post, I have no intentions of bailing on the forum. However, I do understand your concern. Sorry I was't able to update the progress of the situation sooner, it's finals week (I'm still and student) and have a company to manage! Busy Busy Busy!
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-01-2011, 12:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grandaddy789 View Post
@SAL Although this is my first post, I have no intentions of bailing on the forum. However, I do understand your concern. Sorry I was't able to update the progress of the situation sooner, it's finals week (I'm still and student) and have a company to manage! Busy Busy Busy!
No worries I must of been having one of those days I guess I apologize. First its Jeeps stupid design that has the intake sucking up water bro, your not the first and won't be the last unfortunately to many XK's have hydro locked there engine sucking up water. The good news is if you did suck water on the street under normal driving conditions ( not driving threw 3' of water) most insurance companies will cover it. Good luck


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