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Just curious how important some of the 30,000 mile maintenance is. I was at the dealer for an oil change last week and currently at 32,000 miles they suggested I change the front and rear differential fluids, trans fluid, and the spark plugs which was going to cost around $1000. A little strapped for cash I am looking for any input from people who have gone longer than 30,000 miles for any of this or if it is pretty important to do now.

2009 Commander Overland 5.7L Hemi
 

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Preventative maintenance is important. The plugs REALLY should be changed every 30k.

I dont think the trans fluid is due at 30k... do you mean transfer case?

Also, take a look in the owners manual. There's two different maintenance schedules... one of which is for "severe duty". I think the 30k diff changes may be for the severe maintenance schedule. So if you're not offroading/towing/etc, you can follow the other maintenance schedule for the drivetrain fluids.

Personally, i always follow the more severe schedule. But i don't mind crawling under the vehicle to change the fluids on my own... I would never pay $1000 for something that I can do on my own for $200.

If you're willing to get your hands dirty, changing the fluids are really not difficult at all and can be done with basic tools. Even the spark plug change is relatively easy, there's a "how to" thread on it as well.

Oh and welcome to the forum :eek:rangehat:
 

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Start by looking at the two schedules in the owners manual.
For example, if towing, the one schedule calls for a 30k final drive fluid change.
If not towing, service isn't required.....on that one I'd recommend a change in the 50 to 60k range.
As you can see, regardless of use, the transfer case oil should be changed at 30k intervals......on this one I strongly agree.
You'll notice the same variations regarding servicing the trans.....only you know your driving habits so you can make a determination.
I do not have a manual in front of me but yours will tell you at what mileage the 09 calls for plugs.
Whatever it is, you should stick with the recommendation, just like the t-case mentioned earlier.

If you are not the do it yourself type you can save a great deal by using the services of a trusted independent operation.....

Bout all the mini pointers I can come up at this time.

Rob
 

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You can do it yourself for less than half of that. All the info on which fluids to use, sparkplugs, and how to do it (some have pics) is here on the forum if you look for it.
 

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Just curious how important some of the 30,000 mile maintenance is. I was at the dealer for an oil change last week and currently at 32,000 miles they suggested I change the front and rear differential fluids, trans fluid, and the spark plugs which was going to cost around $1000. A little strapped for cash I am looking for any input from people who have gone longer than 30,000 miles for any of this or if it is pretty important to do now.

2009 Commander Overland 5.7L Hemi
Check out the manual. Jeep changed the maintenance intervals in 2008 I believe. There used to use 2 different schedules, depending on the use of the vehicle. Now there is 1. Most of the stuff you listed is no longer required at 30K.

You can download the manual from Jeep.com. Page 474 has the 30k schedule. If you have been off road a lot, and had your axles under water, you would want to change the fluid. But for normal driving, just follow the manual.
 

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Check out the manual. Jeep changed the maintenance intervals in 2008 I believe. There used to use 2 different schedules, depending on the use of the vehicle. Now there is 1. Most of the stuff you listed is no longer required at 30K.
Yes, now its a single schedule in the manual, BUT, it lists the items from both schedule with a note for the items that are for severe duty with the conditions that you would want to perform the preventative maintenance early. i.e. they combined the schedules, and when you come to items like change axle fluid, it will say "inspect the fluid, change the fluid if you use the vehicle to off-road, frequent towing, etc..."

It seems the denser the population, the bigger a rip-off artist the dealerships are likely to be. Search this forum, the 30k maintenance suggested by the manufacturer shouldn't cost more than $250, if you've been keeping up with the preventative maintenance, if you haven't, it might cost $400 to catch you up. BUT, plenty of people complained that the dealership charged them $1300 or more to do 30k mile servicing, and when they list what the dealership did, it was many items way above what the manufacturer recommends.

I'd suggest you NOT go back to that dealership, they are just one of "BAD" dealerships that rip-off customers.

Since the manufacturers keep a lot of the electronic diagnosis and configuration tools proprietary, to force people into the dealerships, the dealerships have only gotten worse because they no longer have to compete for business. I would NOT go to a dealership for anything more than I absolutely had to, and any compentent independent shop would likely perform the 30k mi. servicing better than most dealerships. Just keep records and receipts, in case there are arguments over the warranty, they can NOT deny your warranty because you didn't have your vehicle serviced somewhere else than the dealer.
 

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Another Dealership ripping off customers, read your double post in the general section. Be an informed consumer, the biggest enemy to rip-off artists, open your owners manual and read it, if you don't have one, then download a copy from the internet.

Let me guess, this dealership is in or near a big city? Your profile posts up Chicago, so it sounds right. Many of the Dealerships are performing all the maintenance for the whole life of the vehicle, plus some extra on top of that, that is never called for from the manufacturer, every 30k mi. so they can charge folks 4-5 times what they should be paying for the service they actually need according to the manufacturer.

Ford/GM and even Japanese and European Dealerships are doing the same thing, the denser the population at the dealership location, the worse this seems to get.
 

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You might consider places like Jiffy Lube for fluid changes. They are cheaper than the dealers.
 

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Unfortunately, the state of the auto repair industry today, any place, dealership, national franchise, local independent shop, could rip you off. There is just so much consumer ignorance out there, it ends up rewarding dishonest organizations and penalizing honest organizations; so it just drives more and more organizations to be deceiptful and try to get people to overpay.

Before you look for a place that will give you a fair deal, EDUACATE yourself, be an informed consumer. That is the best way to prevent being ripped-off. You just have to read a couple of pages in the Owners Manual to eduacate yourself, and make a list of exactly what you need to be performed. Take that list and comparison shop, do a little back ground checking, asking around, try to find out the shops reputation.

The owners manual also stipulates the parts and fluids to use, that should be part of the list of jobs to perform, make sure they use the correct fluid and you make that a stipulation of the work to be performed, or supply the correct fluid youself. Many shops won't bother with the correct fluid and just use a close approximation they have on hand, and that can make a big difference in the longevity of the component. Even dealerships have used the wrong fluid, taking short cuts to do the job as cheap as possible, instead of the right way.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
thanks for all the feedback!

I had it at the dealer to fix an issue i was having with the auto leveling headlights and i went ahead and had the front and rear differentials changed.

I was going to have the Transfer Case serviced at Tuffy but the guy said the manufacturer doesnt call for it until 60,000 miles and same with the plugs and transmission fluid so i will be waiting a little while for all of that.

"Another Dealership ripping off customers, read your double post in the general section. Be an informed consumer, the biggest enemy to rip-off artists"

Id have to agree with Mongo on that above quote.

After talking with the guy at Tuffy who has been a very trustworthy source for me its sounds like i wasted money having the front and rear differentials done so soon. Lesson learned i guess.
 

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thanks for all the feedback!

I had it at the dealer to fix an issue i was having with the auto leveling headlights and i went ahead and had the front and rear differentials changed.

I was going to have the Transfer Case serviced at Tuffy but the guy said the manufacturer doesnt call for it until 60,000 miles and same with the plugs and transmission fluid so i will be waiting a little while for all of that.

"Another Dealership ripping off customers, read your double post in the general section. Be an informed consumer, the biggest enemy to rip-off artists"

Id have to agree with Mongo on that above quote.

After talking with the guy at Tuffy who has been a very trustworthy source for me its sounds like i wasted money having the front and rear differentials done so soon. Lesson learned i guess.
Check your owners manual. I haven't heard of a 60k interval for the plugs OR t-case for a 5.7L.

They may have changed it in 2010.... BUT, it's best to check your owners manual
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I finally got a list of when the manufacturer recommends maintenance so i wont be misled by dealers desperately trying to make a buck.
 

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Get the proper owners manual for you M/Y Commander, and follow what it says for the servicing.

Sounds like your mechanic at Tuffy's is an honest guy, I would agree with all he says, that is what is in my owners manual; except the Spark Plugs. He might be assuming you have Double Platinums in your Commander, which those plugs can go out to 60k miles, but standard plugs need changed at 30k miles. No rush, eroded plug cause mileage to drop some, might make the motor idel rough and make a few less HP at full power, so going a little over on changing spark plugs really is NOT likely to hurt anything, although you can argue your wasting money on worse gas mileage and the plugs will pay for themselves.

Wasting your money on changing axle fluid? Maybe, I'm sure the dealer overcharged you to do the job, I did it myself for $75, and used AMSOIL fluid.

The service manual for 2010 says to inspect axle fluid at 18k miles, replace it if you use the vehicle for Taxi, Police, Fleet use or frequent towing or off-road use. So if you don't do any of those servere things, its seems the owner's manual is telling you that never have to change the axle fluid the life of the vehicle, unless you see something really wrong with it during one of the inspections.

Personally, I changed my axle fluid every 30k miles, because I don't meet that definition of severe duty above. Well I do do some very mild off-roading once in a while.

I think most people would agree on this:
  • If you meet the definition of severe duty, then change the axle fluid according to the severe duty schedule in the OM.
  • If you don't meet the definition of severe duty, the recommendation of never changing fluid, unless you find something really wrong inspecting it, is probably NOT a good idea, those axles will need fresh fluid occassionally if you want them to last a long time.
  • Coming up with your own axle fluid change interval, that is somewhere between the severe duty and the normal duty (of likely never changing it), is probably wise, anything like 30k-60k miles would be good if you do NOT use your Commander under severe conditions, like towing or off-roading.
 

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Unless you do do a lot of towing and / or off roading don't worry about the drivetrain fluids yet. The plugs do show wear at 30K miles so the manual is correct in getting them chnaged at this interval. I had them changed with platinum plugs so I don't have to worry about changing them again at 60K and the commander runs fien with them. I recommend having the dealer do it as it is a PIA to do yourself unless you have the time and patience and you better get a couple of coil packs with boots from the dealer in advance as at least one of the boots will rip on you getting it out, at least that's how murphy's law works for me :) Good luck.:)
 

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If your engine has the wasted spark system, i.e. two plugs share one coil, you should use double platinum plugs. In this kind of ignition system half the plugs have a reverse current flow, meaning it swaps the anode/cathode on those plugs, for a single platinum plug it erodes them away faster. Double platinum has platinum on each side, so if you reverse the current, it still works like normal current flow and resists the erosion.
 
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