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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Because Consumer Reports isn't nearly as helpful as it could be, and doesn't seem inclined to improve, I started conducting my own reliability research. I'll be reporting absolute stats like "times in the shop" that will make the differences between cars much clearer.

Update December 2006: 17 Commanders are signed up. I'll start collecting data when there are 25.

To encourage participation, panel members will receive full access to the results free of charge.

For the details: http://www.*************/reliability.php
 

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How does that make the difference clearer? Consumer Reports provides data on several different areas of each vehicle system/subsystem.

Time in the shop isn't interesting to me. I'd much rather know why a vehicle is in the shop instead of how much time it spent in the shop. If my vehicle is in the shop for an oil change (or scheduled maintenance), it is much different than being in the shop because my transmission doesn't shift properly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
You clearly haven't read the details.

I only have people report trips to the shop for something other than routine maintenance or a wear item. I do ask which system was repaired, but don't see this as of primary importance. If your vehicle is in the shop for four days, why does it matter what it's for? I do ask if the vehicle had to be towed and if the repair had to be performed right away, so I get some measures of severity.

The big difference with CR is that with CR you have no way of telling how a Jeep Commander's reliability differs from that of a Honda Pilot, Toyota 4Runner, Ford Explorer, etc. With my method the differences will be much clearer.

Go here for a demonstration using made-up numbers: http://www.*************/report.php
 

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I like the fact that Consumer Reports lists the reliability based upon several different systems. That information is important when comparing different makes/models. CR gives us the information broken down into sub-systems, as well as an overview of the entire vehicle.
 

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Okay, after looking over your website, I found myself wondering what you were thinking.

It may be nice to estimate the total days in the shop for any given vehicle, but that type of information is lacking in details. I'd rather know what is likely to go wrong that would cause my vehicle to be in the shop than to know for how long it will be there. Is is something serious, like a faulty transmission, or something as simple as a power seat that doesn't work?

Good luck with your website. You might find more interest if you included more detailed information.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
I am collecting system-level information, but am having trouble seeing why this is important. I see whether the vehicle had to be towed as important, and whether it was an emergency or discretionary repair, but beyond that the specific system seems mostly a matter of curiosity.

By the way, I've written a critique of CR's latest method for deriving those dots:

http://www.*************/pieces/newdots.php

There's a good chance that those dots don't mean quite what you think they mean. Aside from red=good and black=bad, what do you think they tell you? How large is the difference between good and bad? One repair? Two repairs? Ten repairs? How about sometimes just a couple repairs per 100 vehicles?

One thing to keep in mind is that reporting more detail requires collecting more detail. I'm not sure the average driver can accurately report what was fixed in their car. What I have been thinking of doing, once I have a large panel, is having a panel within a panel. People interested in receiving more detailed info could sign up to fill out a more detailed questionnaire. Most likely the people interested in such things would also be capable of accurately reporting what part was fixed.
 

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Well, the dots aren't only red or black. They are solid red, half red, empty, half black, and solid black, all indicating a rating system from excellent to poor.

It's good that your data includes if the vehicle had to be towed to the dealer--that is important. But it is also important to know the level of severity for a breakdown or dealership visit.

Another thing to consider is that there are people out there like me who never return to a dealership unless it is for covered warranty work. I used to be a dealership tech, so I'm more than capable of doing my own maintenance and repairs, whatever they may be. Once my 4Runner is out of warranty, it will never see a dealership again. Then again, just for the record, it hasn't ever been back to the dealer since the day I drove it off the lot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
I'm aware of CR's gradations, just didn't see the point in running through them all in this thread. There's as little as one problem per 100 vehicles separating the different levels. But how many people realize this?

TrueDelta's current survey provides a number of ways to gauge severity: towed, engine light, urgency, system repaired, number of days, etc.

Even with CR's system, how do you know that an engine repair was necessarily severe? It could have been an O2 sensor.

I've been trying to decide how to handle DIY repairs, as someone else who is a dealer tech brought this up. They aren't common these days, but I'd still like a way to include them. So I've altered the survey form.

You can see the results here: http://www.*************/survey.php, specifically on questions 4 and 6.

There's no real way to figure days for DIY repairs, so I ask that people report hours instead of days for such repairs. I can then later determine how hours might best be converted into days at the dealer, if at all.

I'd appreciate any comments/suggestions you might have.
 

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Have you happened accross anybody reporting a terrible hissing and crackling sound from a/c condensate dripping down on the cataletic converter, then dripping sizzling hot water to the ground by any chance?
 

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Have you happened across anybody who has a Toyota but takes up a lot of space on a Jeep Commander forum arguing with you about your methods.

By the way, no Toyota owner is going to criticize Consumer Reports.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I haven't created a space for people to report specific problems. It's coming.

At least that dripping issue doesn't pose a threat to reliability, unless you park on an ice flow.

Some people have simply never looked too deeply into CR's methods. When they do, they'll come to similar conclusions.
 

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Mine does that, and also a Grand Cherokee that I rented did it. That is a design flaw but not really a problem. It doesn't hurt anything, it is just A/C condensation dripping on the hot exhaust pipe.

Usually there is a drain hose for the A/C condensation. I haven't gotten underneath and looked yet, but the "fix" for this may be as simple as moving the end of the drain hose over an inch and tying it down there.
 

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Michael is hawking Truedelta all over the Net. He is a constant poster on Autoblog.com and thetruthaboutcars.com, among others. I think he has a good concept that eventally will be better than CR. However, I am growing tired of his ads (poorly) disguised as posts on every car site I go to. Michael, I admire your determination but you are becoming forum spam. Be careful or you will harm your cause more than you help it.
 

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I have been wondering the same thing SAMAX8... no harm intended and everybody has the right to speak but don't they have a 4runner site or should he just buy a commander???
 

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TR4Runner said:
I like the fact that Consumer Reports lists the reliability based upon several different systems. That information is important when comparing different makes/models. CR gives us the information broken down into sub-systems, as well as an overview of the entire vehicle.
I need to say this. Dude you are a troll. Nothing more. CR as always been partial to imports specially Toyota. You keep coming here posting crap against the Commander and later been an hypocrite saying how nice this forum is. Ads here are very polite, in other forums I post you would have been banned by now. You do not contribute ANYTHING here other than saying how good your Toyota is. Guess what? We dont give a f%$#k!!!! If you are in need of attention then go to a shrink and stay away. You are the typical Toyota owner that believes his stuff dont stink.....Like others have said...its a Jeep thing...!!!

End of rant....
 

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i've been wondering why a guy that gloats on his toyota so much would even care to read or post on this site.
reminds me of a guy i used to work with. bragged about how great his toyota was and thats all he would ever own. i told him i wouldn't buy a toyota because they rust out. he told me i was crazy. a year later and the quarters were falling off from rust. this thing was always spotless. he washed it about 3 times a week.
that was just the meantality of this guy though. his boat was best, his house was best, you get the picture.
 

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chaman said:
I need to say this. Dude you are a troll. Nothing more. CR as always been partial to imports specially <a href="http://www.jeepcommander.com/forums/search/toyota">Toyota</a>. You keep coming here posting crap against the Commander and later been an hypocrite saying how nice this forum is. Ads here are very polite, in other forums I post you would have been banned by now. You do not contribute ANYTHING here other than saying how good your <a href="http://www.jeepcommander.com/forums/search/toyota">Toyota</a> is. Guess what? We dont give a f%$#k!!!! If you are in need of attention then go to a shrink and stay away. You are the typical <a href="http://www.jeepcommander.com/forums/search/toyota">Toyota</a> owner that believes his stuff dont stink.....Like others have said...its a Jeep thing...!!!

End of rant....
Troll? Me? That's funny coming from someone with a dozen posts on the site. Do a search of my posts and show me all the things I say AGAINST the Commander. You are definitely full of crap. There are no rules here that say you must own a Commander to post here. Sounds to me like you have "small man's" envy.

STFU, noob! LOL.

BTW, my thread about this being a nice site is an old thread. It's one of the first things I posted here. Maybe you should think before you spout off next time. Good job.
 
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