I am joining from outside of San Antonio, Texas. We bought our 2006 Jeep Commander 4x4 Limited Edition 5.7L Hemi in April of last year. Have been having some recent issues, thankfully with the Mopar extended warranty, and I am joining to hopefully make my searches and information seeking easier! Absolutely have loved mine since the day I bought her, but lately there are many regrets creeping up! Hoping to also turn that around here! I have (unsuccessfully; sorry) uploaded a picture that for whatever reason is sideways, nevermind the 10 attempts I have made to correct that. I look forward to learning from you all.
Hey Marissa, your Commander looks good.
It's frustrating when you are the 2nd and sometimes the 3rd owner of a vehicle.
More often then not, you are inheriting someone else's unresolved problems.
As the saying goes, people don't trade in or sell vehicles when they are running great.
I had a number of issues with my 2008 Commander when I picked it up about 2 1/2 years ago.
A lot of it was just due to maintenance neglect and just a general lack of awareness by the previous owner - here are some issues I dealt with and what I had to get replaced when I bought my Commander - after actually finding out what was not working - or working intermittently, that I would classify as falling outside of normal maintenance:
Had to replace my radiator cap and battery within the first 6 weeks of ownership.
The battery just completely died on me, without any warning or prior issues (while out in the woods no less). This may be classified as routine maintenance, but, it's certainly not something I would have expected to do within the first 6 weeks of buying a new "used" vehicle.
The radiator cap wasn't sealing properly and would leak coolant when hot, I discovered this problem after about 3 weeks of ownership
and finding very small puddles of coolant on the ground after being parked a couple of hours after driving. The coolant was almost clear, so, it took me a few days to figure out, that it was actually coolant I was looking at. I guess I still had in the recesses of my mind, that anti-freeze/coolant is green, LOL. What can I say, I'm old school.
After about 2 months of ownership, I had to replace the actuator motor on the Transfer case after getting the dreaded "service 4WD System" warning while trying to shift into 4-LOW which I was unable to do. That was about a $780 repair, when you add in the initial diagnostic trouble-shooting charge of $120.00. I found out after the fact, that my vehicle did not have the P73 recall (reprogramming the FDCM) done yet, which, as it turns out, was the fix for this issue. I submitted a claim for reimbursement to Chrysler and was paid in full within 2 weeks - there is a thread about this on this forum (I believe it is titled P73 recall) where I explained how to submit the claim for reimbursement to Chysler.
The radio display for the back-up camera video, would not display usable video from the back-up camera while backing up. This was an intermittent problem, when I first bought the Commander it worked fine, but within a couple of days, my radio display would no longer show usable back-up camera video, it would display it extremely dimly, so dim that the radio display almost looked completely black, as if it wasn't working at all. The radio display itself, for radio related functions, worked just fine. As time wore on, sometimes the display would display back-up camera video - and sometimes it would not - most of the time, it would not - and when it did decide to work properly where I could actually see usable video from the back-up camera, it would only be for very short periods of time. First, I replaced the back-up camera. This was the cheaper repair of the two repair options I had (replacing the radio was the other), and of course, it didn't solve the issue. Eventually I had to replace the entire radio - that solved the problem. A rebuilt/reconditioned radio from the dealership (which is all you can get now - they no longer sell them brand new) is still almost $1000.00 by itself - $900 and change as I recall.
Satellite radio did not work. Initially, I thought this was just because I didn't have an active subsciption that was paid for. However, after I called SiriusXM, gave them my radio information and enrolled and paid for service, I found out that the Satellite radio, in fact, was not working. I was still unable to acquire a satellite signal after numerous attempts. The Jeep dealership found after troubleshooting, that the cable running from the satellite radio, to the satellite radio antenna - which is routed up through the headliner to the satellite antenna on the roof - had a break in it. The Jeep dealership said that they found no evidence that anyone had ever removed, or tampered with the headliner before. So, explain to me how the hell that happened? I had to replace the satellite radio cable & satellite radio antenna, because you can not buy one component without the other. This was another $1000.00 repair job plus another $120.00 for the initial troubleshooting. Most of that was labor. The parts themselves, were fairly cheap.
Back-up sensor kept shorting in & out (symptoms previously described) and I wound up having to replace the back-up sensor. This is the one problem that I know happened after
I bought the vehicle. I didn't experience any problems at all with the park assist/back-up sensor until I had it for about 6 months.
Once I had all these issues fixed to where everything was working properly, then I was finally able to focus on maintenance, and then eventually upgrades.
Now the bigger question is, was my experience typical?
I really can't answer that question definitively, but some issues - like the not being able to shift into 4-LOW, is a well-documented problem that I would say is common with Commanders.
Again, I think my experience is probably a typical example of what happens to an otherwise nice vehicle, when routine maintenance is neglected and/or the previous owner chooses to ignore things that don't work properly, as opposed to getting them fixed when the issue occurs.
Or, when your Commander had a previous owner who just was not very observant.
Unfortunately you just have to iron the issues out as they reveal themselves - and it can be costly - but, if you plan on keeping the vehicle, it's probably worth it.
If you and your husband can stay the course, I think you'll find it's a worthwhile investment in the long run - but it won't be without it's headaches as you are already finding out.