31,300 Miles- Check engine light came on. The diagnostic check at the dealer diagnosed it as a misfire on cylinder #1 from cold start. The recommendation was to have a tune up and replace the spark plugs and wires. Went to my trusted small town mechanic and was told this is nonsense and that the plugs and wires should last more than 31,300.
Front, driver side speaker in the door no longer works. Have not diagnosed the problem yet. Hoping it is only a bad connection, but am prepared to replace the speaker.
Rain gutter on passenger side of vehicle is already starting to rust, up near the front door, right at the weld joint. The water must sit in here and has no way to drain out. My friend has a 97 Cherokee with the same problem, on the same side of the vehicle. Coincidence?
45,000 Miles- Had the serpentine belt changed. This vehicle does not have self-adjusters, and as a result, you need to re-tighten the belt several times, over a period of several weeks, as the belt stretches. My mechanic was going to change out the fuel filter, but unfortunately for me, the filter must be inside the gas tank and is not easily serviced. Did not have this done as a result.
50,500 Miles- Noticed a bad grinding sound in the right, front wheel when making slow, sharp turns. My trusted, small town mechanic had to replace both front axle u-joints. The original joints did not have grease fittings. The replacements have grease fittings and will hopefully last much longer. Also, the Pitman Arm grease boot, located on the steering assembly, is shot and will need replacement. Mechanic could not get the part right away.
At this point, the vehicle is nearly paid for and I am seriously thinking of trading it for a Japanese brand truck. My fear is that I am now going to nickel and dime this thing until I am broke. This vehicle is never driven off-road, only to work and around town on road surfaces. It seems to me that Daimler-Chrysler cut corners on the quality of this vehicle and at 50,000 miles, it is starting to show. I am fortunate to have a small town, independent mechanic that can perform my Jeep repairs, for a reasonable cost.