2003 Jeep Wrangler Freedom Edition 4.0 inline 6 from North America

Summary:

Let's hit the trails!

Faults:

Left front axle seal at 36,800mi. - dealer replaced both sides under warranty.

Fuel gauge works about 99% of the time. Seems to be flaky at anything under 1/4 tank.

Randomly started beeping at me as I was driving down the road. No gauges out of line, no warning lights, and only happened once and never came back. Will keep an eye on it.

General Comments:

This is a little different than what I came from (Grand Cherokee), but I've grown up around CJs and Wranglers so I knew what I was in for.

I do love this Jeep though, peppy with the stick shift and pretty good gas mileage. Avg. 18-20mpg.

Its pretty cool being able to fold the top down and go for a cruise. Can't find anything else that you can take both the top and the doors off. Feeling of "freedom" (kind of like the model name).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th October, 2006

11th Oct 2006, 08:06

Are you sure that you didn't leave your directional on when your Jeep started beeping? '03 Wranglers had a nice feature that if you forgot your turn signal on they would beep to remind you after a minute or so. (At least my '03 Sahara did)

17th Oct 2006, 22:20

<<original poster replying to comment>>

No, my turn signal wasn't on. I am aware of that feature though. It had the symptoms like the turn signal was on because it would stop beeping when I came to a stop, but it would start after about a mile or so. Hasn't done it since and I would still love the Jeep anyway.

2003 Jeep Wrangler Sahara from North America

Summary:

I still love my jeep!!!

Faults:

Jeep jolting on the down-shift.

A/C not cooling.

General Comments:

I've had identical problems with my automatic transmission jolting when slowing down. I'm not accustomed to this hard downshift, but if this is the normal operation of my 2003 jeep sahara, so be it as long as this does not lead to bigger problems. Even though I have not driven my jeep much within the last two years, it will still cost you for not driving it.

My a/c recently stop cooling and the dealer said even though I don't drive much, I should still take the jeep out for a drive and test run the equipment. Problems could develop for just staying in the garage. I'm unsure what the exact problem may be. Any body know where the condenser and orifice might be on a jeep wrangler?

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th September, 2006

22nd Sep 2006, 13:41

My 2003 Sahara's transmission jolted on when coming to a stop to. It acted weird since day one, but I only kept it for 11,000 miles. I went to a new Liberty and the tranny acted more civilized. However I missed the fun of the Wrangler, and went back to a 1995 YJ model with a manual transmission.

(Had to replace its tranny - but love the Jeep!)

8th Dec 2010, 20:56

My 2003 Wrangler Sport had the same transmission jolt when coming to a stop at around 17,000 miles. Took it to the dealer and they fixed it in less than 1 hour. They said it needed the computer resetting.

It now has 155,000 miles and it has never happened again. Love the Jeep, very dependable...

2003 Jeep Wrangler RUBICON from North America

Summary:

Fun and everyday usable

Faults:

The left front axle seal has gone bad TWICE! I believe there may be a defect. The last time, they also replaced the seal in the "pumpkin". Perhaps, they went in to explore what may have caused the problem. It seems to happen every 9k miles or so, so, I'll be keeping an eye out for it, as the warranty is coming close to ending.

Also, it needed a new radio/CD player because of an ejection problem with the CD player.

I noticed a power steering line leak recently and will have to have that serviced. This was noticed at about 20k miles.

The original tires are getting pretty low, at 24k miles. They aren't cheap so I'm trying to push them a little further.

Last, the exterior finish is pretty low quality. Its red paint, especially. It quickly got sun spots after purchase and seems to be too thin. It scratches easily. I've been addressing scrathes with touch-up paint to avoid rust, which will happen soon enough. The undercarriage has already started rusting a bit. None on the floor plan, but some other hardware under there including the exhaust. I know its non-stainless and will rust, but seems to be going faster than normal.

The exterior bumper ends made of plastic are fading, very common.

General Comments:

Nothing else is quite like a Jeep. There are thousands of them on the road, but somehow I still feel like I am driving something unique and special.

Aside from the poor gas mileage, its pretty practical for my needs. Its four wheel drive, relatively reliable, sporty, and a convertible.

I really like the solid feel, not rattles. I am a stickler for solid rides. The ride is stiff, but I don't mind. I'm used to driving sports cars so its not all that different. It even handles corners fine, considering its high center of gravity.

A word of caution; it is a little squirrely in the rain when the 4-wheel drive isn't engaged. I don't' know if its the M/T tires which are suited for mud, but they definitely slide around in the rain.

I thought I'd want a hardtop and almost passed on buying my Jeep because they didn't have one available. But, after almost 3 years with the softop, I'm happy with it. Its fine in all weather conditions and you always have the option of taking the top down. It takes some time to do that and since I don't garage it, I normally leave it up.

The stereo is great, with the subwoofer and soundbar speakers.

Only, the passenger side seat slides forward to let in back-seat occupants. This makes things a little more awkward when trying to get 2 people back there. It also means I have to open the passenger side to put bigger things in the back seat.

I took it off road a couple of times and LOVED it! It does things I never knew a truck could do. It got a few scratches from tree limbs from doing that, but I guess that's the price you pay and is perhaps a badge of honor to wear. Many Rubicons and other Jeep Wrangler models never hit the dirt and so its like mine has old war wounds or something. It fits the character.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 19th May, 2006

20th May 2006, 10:14

Off-road a couple of times in 3 years, 24,000 miles? What a waste. And it's a Rubicon! A Honda or Toyota would get better mileage.

I used to have a Jeep. It was a lot of fun, and I took it off road at least once a week, until housing developments took up all the land. Then I had to drive further and further away. When it came time to sell the BMW or the Jeep for a down payment on a house, the Jeep was sold. For driving to work and on long trips, the Jeep didn't make sense anymore. I was able to manage in the snow with the BMW, but I had to buy a snow shovel to get out of the driveway.

24th May 2006, 22:42

(I made the original comment). Yes, it is a shame, only serious off-road driving a few times in 3 years. But, I have the same problem you had, no place to go. Everything is private property. It literally took me 3 years to find a good place, which was also private. I went there until the police started shutting people down. It was a lot of fun. But, now I need to find another place.

I have 2 Porsches for high speed and long distance... and better gas mileage.