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Many 2008 Jeep Commander Issues

17750 Views 4 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Mongo
I have a 2008 Jeep Commander Limited that I purchased new. It now has 44,500 miles. Until a few months ago the only problem that it had was to periodically have all of it's warning lights flash on and then all of the electronics would quit working - including the instruments, the turn signals, the lights, the radio, the air conditioning blower, etc. I called the dealership the first time that it happened (in the fall of 2009) and I was told that they had had other reports of this and that they would be unable to read a code on this and that that it would not reproduce, and I would have to pay the diagnostics fees if I brought it in. They also said that since the vehicle would return to normal when restarted that I should wait until I had a hard failure so that they could troubleshoot it. It was the worst piece of advice that I have ever taken. This issue would repeat itself every three or four months and would always clear itself up until a couple of months ago. Starting a couple of months ago the vehicle started stalling out when this occured, and it also started happening more frequently. Shortly after this started happening the speakers for the radio started hissing and crackling, then they stopped working altogether. We turned the radio off but we still periodically get hissing and crackling over the speakers.

I filed a complaint with Chrysler. They insisted that I bring the vehicle into a dealership to get a diagnosis code (diagnosis estimate $105.00). I brought the vehicle into a dealership (not the one mentioned above). The diagnostic report stated that the ignition coil for the number three cylinder was "cracked" (repair estimate $206.54), that the speed sensor for the left rear tire was bad (repair estimate $204.16), that I needed new tires and wipers (repair estimate $1175.53), and that they needed an additional $233.11 to continue diagnosis to find the water leak that was shorting out the radio amplifier. Verbally I was told that the technician had found water "saturating" some of the electrical connectors and that they had found corrosion on much of the affected hardware. This was the first that I had heard of a leakage problem with the Jeep Commanders. You will also notice that none of these issues address why I brought the vehicle into the dealership in the first place (as far as I can tell).

Now I have a problem however - in all of the blogs and online articles that I have read on this issue the water is leaking on the front floor boards (from a blocked drain tube) or into the dash. My problem is that the leakage that I have now found (I discovered the leak during a rainstorm) is from the area above the left (drivers side) rear window. The leakage is enough to fill the cupholders and overflow in only a few minutes in a moderate rainstorm. Prior to taking the vehicle into the dealership we had never noticed any leakage in the passenger compartment but now it's turning into a major problem.

Can anyone tell me where the water is coming from and how to fix it? Chrysler says that its not their problem and that they will not help me and the dealership is trying to send me into bankruptcy.
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First take a deep breath go get your jeep from the dealership and bring it home. Then take the estimate to a independent shop and see what they will charge you. Also look up the parts online and see if the savings is worth doing the work your self. If the window is the leak it needs to be pulled and reset a good window place can do that pretty cheap. Or if its coming from the roof rail then that needs to be tighten down or loosened sealed and then tighten down. There is a thread in here about water leaks and I do remember a rear window issue just dig around and find it. Then go to a tire shop and get some tires that are not ridiculous because $1200 for tires on a commander is just stupid wipers are like $20 I use the $3 wipers and I'm thrilled with them. I got my Mud terrains for $800 installed. You paid $105 to learn what most of us already know and that is stay away from the stealership. Most you problems are easy fixes just do some searches your not the first one to replace those parts. Maybe the search dude will show up and help you out but at least attempt to find the stuff.
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Thanks SAL! I had already retrieved the commander from the stealership. I got the ignition coil from Pep Boys for $28 and replaced it. It did not fix anything as far as I can tell but at least I could check it off the list. The biggest problem at the moment is the water leak, it's really bad and we get a lot of rain around here. It is definitely not coming from the window, it's dripping down from the moulding above the window (and the ceiling fabric above the window is soaked). I think it's coming through the roof rack somehow - but I have not been able to spot where its coming through. I need a pointer to some instructions on how to take the roof rack apart (it looks easy enough - but I don't trust appearances) and I need to find out what you're supposed to use to fix the leak, I'm sure that household caulking probably won't do the trick! :icon_confused:
You should be leak checking with a garden nozzle.
This must be done in a building or on a dry day, obviously.

Start by having a gentle stream of water running and while holding the hose, aimed upward, against the windshield, flood the upper seam of the glass to body point, avoiding getting the roof wet.
Flood this area for a few minutes or until you see leakage.
If all is well, then gently flood the area around the sunroof.....try to have the nose down so water runs off the roof towards the front.
Be aware, all sunroofs leak......into a pan below the seals at the roof.
This pan has a water drain in each corner that leads down and out of the cabin.

This is the most common area for leakage....the drain tubes get loaded with debris, usually caused by leaving the roof cracked open for ventilation when parked near trees or bushes.
And, depending on which or how many tubes are obstructed, the water comes out of the darndest places....A pillar covers or handles, sun visor mounts, low points in the headliner.

Anyways, if this test proves satisfactory, then look down into the roof rail channels leading front to rear.
There are plastic caps in the front that can be removed....they just snap back on.
Remove them, and note all the bolts holding the channel to the roof.
Each of these bolts threads into a well nut.
This is a rubber plug with a brass threaded insert and, when the bolt is tightened it draws the rubber up to seal the hole it is installed in.

Gently flood each bolt area, moving front to rear, watching for a leak.

These are your three, primary leak points.....I'll stop there for now.

Good luck,
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You can do the key dance to pull the codes yourself, but it will only display the PCM codes, which are just about all the OBDII mandated fault codes. It will NOT display codes from other modules or extended manufacturer codes, like for Body and Radio Modules, which seems to be your problem.

Well, on a positive note, at least the dealer looked your vehicle over and gave you a list of everything they could find wrong for the $105 diagnostic fee. For many Dealers the $105 diagnostic fee is for hooking up the Chrysler proprietary scan tool and downloading the stored fault codes ONLY. Yea, five minutes work that anyone can do, except Chrysler saw to it that only the Dealer can practically do it. Although it does sound like the Dealer went on a fishing expedition to run up as many charges as possible, to try to get you to pay for.

I think it is the Mini-Vans that have a TSB for the AC system, causing condensation dripping into the radios and amplifiers, someone correct me if I'm wrong, I don't think this is a problem with Commanders. Sounds like you electronics are more along the line of results from water from the leaks, except the original complaint.

A cracked coil could cause stalling, if you were getting stalling without any other symptoms, and the PCM would likely store a code you can pull up yourself with the key dance if that was the case, the new coil may have fixed that. If your were getting stalling when all the displays in the interior of the veicles flashed and shut down, then that is likely the root of the problem, NOT one of the coils.

One last thing, for info, with my AutoEnginuity Tool, with the Enhanced Chrysler Module, I can run all the tests and activate individual speakers and the amps, even with the radio off. The whole radio and amp is "computer" digitally controlled by module in the vehicle. So, my "Guess" the water and shorts from it, is cause signals that is doing all sorts of weird things to the module that controls the Amp.

Oh, and sealing leaks, keep in mind spending a few extra bucks to a fair amount of money on a professional is worth it. Just grabbing a tube of leftover home caulk may NOT do the job, or fail a few weeks later and you'll have to do the job again.

If your roof rack is leaking into the interior, what I have done for similiar; things like spoilers, roof racks, etc often have studs coming out of the bottom that goes through holes in the roof. The seals fail and water that gets under those items on the roof leak right in through the holes for the studs. You have to pull the headliner, never an easy tasks and actually remove the roof items, clean everything up and then put a bead of sealant in a circle around the stud and reattach the hardware.

If you have a bad seal between a none moving window and body, the best way to fix it is to take it to a professional and have them remove the window and put new sealant in with the window.

Best way to get RTV and other sealants to seal, clean surfaces of course, also keep the time between putting the bead down and re-assembly down to 5 minutes. Longer than that, the RTV or sealant start to cure and does NOT adhere to the surface well enough to make a good seal. Visit your local auto store and look at all the sealants and RTV's, select the one that seems most applicable to your needs. But for sealing out water between two body parts, the basic black RTV seems to work just fine, that is what I have used. Home Caulk may NOT stand up to the heat, UV rays, salt and road chemicals a car experiences, I would use RTV over anything that does NOT specifically state it is for use on "Automobiles".
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