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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I was on here awhile ago with a 2006 3.7L V6 base model. Had a blast with it, but have moved through several other vehicles since getting rid of it. Currently I have a 2016 SRT Charger, and living in Ohio, plus occasionally missing the extra room to haul stuff, has me seriously considering a cheap Commander again! I'd really like to get a Limited with the 5.7L Hemi, but getting one under $10K lends myself to vehicles with high mileage... FWIW, my V6 had 116k miles when I got it and is going strong to this day (still in the family) with 160K miles. My mom's 2009 Chrysler Aspen with the 5.7L Hemi has about 200K miles on it, and she BARELY performs any maintenance at all... plugs have only been changed one time. I don't know if these engines are tanks, or if she is incredibly lucky. So first off, is this a bad idea? It's only going to be driven in the winter, and occasionally throughout the year.

If not, I've sort of narrowed it down to 3 vehicles...

-2006 Limited, $4,750, 215,000 miles, 1-owner, no reported accidents, lots of service records on the CarFax, loaded (minus rear video). It does have a CEL and ABS light on - they don't know or care why. Could be an easy fix, or I feel like I could get into a maintenance mess if the previous owner hadn't done any of the major stuff. Plus I hate that 2006 has the old, old infotainment system, no remote start, and no auxiliary port... so I'd have to put one in. I'd like to haggle them down to $4K if possible.

-2008 Limited, $5,995, 166,000 miles, 3-owners, no reported accidents, few service records readily available, loaded (minus rear video). Front fascia has some serious paint wear n' tear. Driver seat leather is torn on the edge - makes me ask myself how well this one was taken care of. Has an airbag and TPMS light on. Also, it's at some mom n' pop dealership 5 hours away, with terrible reviews for the most part. Seems like high risk? The price is also slightly lower than one would expect, so it may be in bad shape.

-2008 Limited, $12,995 (list... would not pay more than $9K), 134,000 miles, 3-owner, 1 reported minor rear-end accident, no idea on service at this point, fully loaded, looks clean inside and out on pictures... but the price. This started out as an idea of spending only $5K-$6K, and now I'm getting up there beyond where I want to be. But it has significantly lower miles than my cheapest option, so I have to wonder if I'm better off spending that extra $100 a month on a significantly less used vehicle?
 

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The Hemi is a great engine with some drawbacks. It'll run forever easily, but it has its issues as well, with the worst being the notorious Hemi tick. This is usually associated with valve seats, and can be an indicator of future valve drop issues. So if you hear any abnormal ticking from the engine, just walk away.

As far as maintenance, regular maintenance is definitely preferred, but I haven't had any adverse effects from the previous owner's lack of maintenance on mine. He did have regular oil changes, but that was it. I took possession at 100k and haven't had any issues since, though I'm keeping up on maintenance myself.

As far as the cars you're looking at, I wouldn't touch #2. I've had nothing but bad experiences from those types of dealers, with the latest experience costing well over $7k in sunk costs.

#1 is interesting, you could always see if they'll let you scan it, but it's also a 2006. This was the first year, and while my '06 hasn't had any problems since I've taken possession, some have had issues with them. It's also pretty high mileage to risk the previous owner not performing major maintenance tasks like differential, transfer case, and transmission services. Those will all be pretty expensive replacements if they're damaged.

#3 definitely seems like a good bet, especially if it looks clean. Condition is usually a decent indicator of maintenance, and the lower miles also mean components have had less time to wear themselves to bits. A minor accident usually isn't a huge deal, especially if it's only cosmetic.

Ultimately, you're taking a bit of a risk with all of these vehicles. I wouldn't hesitate to go for a higher mileage Hemi, but prior maintenance is a huge deal, especially with the 4WD systems under these cars.
 

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New to the board but not new to Jeeps - for what it's worth I picked up an '06 Hemi Limited recently and paid $10,500 for it at a dealer that specializes in very clean performance vehicles, Jeeps and trucks. Very clean XK with 108,000 miles - wish it had better NAV/Radio but I will replace that with either MYGig or aftermarket. Has all the other bells and whistles with the Limited - plus aftermarket remote start that works very well.

Like you I wasn't in the mood to spend a ton for a third vehicle and put my limit at $11,000 and found this one. IMO there are lower mileage XK's out there for about the $10 - $11K mark. I'm in Northern Ohio and there were a few around here that fit the bill for me - in your neck of the woods they may be in better shape since the salt demons don't come out to play quite as often as they do up here.

Bob
 

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I'd ask where are these located? 100k in a state with mountains, salted roads, potholes, etc, is not the same as one that came from Florida who commuted 80 miles a day, and all service done by dealer.
I've seen 10 year old vehicles with 250k that are near perfect, and I have seen 2 year old cars that were trashed. It's all on where it was driven and more importantly who and how it was driven.
With option #1 you could in theory repair or replace almost anything that might come up and still come in under the cost of number #3, and I'd stay away from #2.
The abs light could be a hub sensor. You are on the right track for sure, and you can easily add an aux port, mopar makes a kit or can swap out for RER. Front facia is about 90.00 new of Fleabay with some a bit lower and some higher.
FYI, anyone selling a used truck or car, should let you scan it or take it to have inspected, I cannot think of a good reason why they would decline other then being shady.
// I manage an auto acquisition company and have seen the good, bad and ugly.
Also remember there are plenty of good commanders out there, don't be afraid to take time to find the right one
 

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I don't know about the $10,000 - $11,000 price tag that TwoBobs is talking about.

Maybe the prices have come down that much in the last couple of years, I don't know.

I bought mine 2 1/2 years ago in Aug 2014, it's a Sport - or at least it was, with the 4.7L Flex Fuel V-8 and Quadra-Trac II 4WD, and it came with a lot of the Limited's options, except for a sunroof, leather seats and navigation. It was bone stock with no after market upgrades - it didn't even have a trailer hitch. With only one prior owner and 62,000 original miles on it, I paid $14,500 for mine in Virginia (My XK came from North Carolina) which was slightly below market value at the time.

Big Blue's mileage was actually right around average use at the time, but, she had - and still to this day has, virtually no rust underneath. I'm at around 85,400 miles now.

Even with all that going for it, I still wound up with a lot of bugs to chase out of her and a lot of maintenance to do.

You can never can really tell for sure, what you are getting when you are buying a used vehicle, all you can do is try to minimize the risk.

One way to do that is generally looking for vehicles with lower mileage - but there are always exceptions to the rule.

Now that being said, I'd be a little more leery of a high-mileage XK with a 3.7L then I would be of an XK with a 4.7L or 5.7L.
 

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I paid $10,500 for my 2008 Sport loaded. Literally every option except the backup camera. It had 119k miles when I bought it. 1 owner, clean, no accidents. Love it. Probably paid on the high side, but, you cannot find them clean. They're off the lots in a day or 2 here in IA. There were multiple calls and 2 others waiting for me to pass on it. (So yeah, the dealer had me the dingleberries on it.)

I came back to my Commander as well. Love it.

Good luck!
 
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