2006 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 4.0 Six from North America

Summary:

It does what it was built for, but has severe defects

Faults:

The first problem was the passenger door never sealed properly from the factory, and it leaked. The dealer corrected this issue buy adjusting the striker assembly. That made the closed door panel misaligned with the body.

The second issue deals with axle seals leaking. I have owned a couple 1970s CJs with Dana 44s that had the same issue. You would think after all this time, they would have corrected this problem.

The recent major issue with the 2005 to 2006 model years that have the 4.0 is the CPS (crank position sensor) failure. The top bushing of the unit is greased during assembly and can't be re-lubed. Apparently, the grease dries up causing stress on the gear at the base of the shaft. This gear is meshed with a gear on the camshaft. Both gears start to wear quickly until the engine fails.

As of right now, Chrysler is keeping this hush hush, even as more and more of these parts are failing across the country. There are so many back orders for the part, and chances are that after they quit making the 4.0, the company that made the CPS went under. They appear to be replacing the defective part with the same one if they can find it. My local dealer told me 3 months to possibly 2 years, and recommended I sell the Jeep. That's the best advice they ever gave me. No more Chryslers for me. You let me down.

General Comments:

Very good off road performance. The factory lockers are a great option. It's an excellent winter vehicle and would make an awesome snow plower. The last year Jeep built a Jeep.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 30th October, 2010

2006 Jeep Wrangler SE 4.0 from North America

Summary:

Fun, but not a daily driver

Faults:

Transmission rebuilt at approximately 49k miles.

Battery died about one week after purchase.

Rear window on the soft top became stuck, which damaged the zipper (I had to cut away part of the zipper to remove it).

Wobble at about 53mph, solved when I installed new pads/rotors.

General Comments:

My experience with this Wrangler was enjoyable and frustrating in equal measures. The first year I owned the Jeep it was great, then in about the space of a month it started falling apart on me. I was the second owner, and had the prior owner's maintenance records (done to Jeep's specs at the dealership), and I did all my own maintenance to Jeep's specs.

At around 49k the transmission clunked into gear. The dealership replaced the clutches and valve body. About a week and a half later, the transmission again clunked into gear. This time it was a "software issue" and the PCM was flashed. That said, I was told that the PCM would probably need replacement sooner than later. That day I traded in the Jeep for a budget box.

Taking this out to the desert and putting it into 4wd was great fun. I took it out to Death Valley (from San Diego, CA), twice, and took many, many trips out to the Anza-Borrego area. Never had any doubts about the Jeep, and she always ran fine.

The transmission never gave any indication of trouble (not uncommon, from what others have told me). I wanted to put some money and upgrades into this, but a rebuilt transmission and (possible) new PCM at 50k was more than I could accept as a normal Jeep "issue".

Gas mileage was unsurprisingly poor, about 17mpg. Acceleration was good, though mushy with overdrive on, I turned it off in mountainous terrain, though I know some people who always had it off. Brakes seemed weak and underpowered. Beefier upgrades are readily available for a significant amount of money. In fact, most aftermarket parts for the Jeep are extremely expensive, though solid and very well-built.

I can't say this has turned me off of Jeep forever (I had a Cherokee at one point with about 250k miles on it and never had a problem with it), but Jeep seems to have justly earned its reputation for poor quality and reliability -- at least in my experience.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 17th July, 2010

19th Jul 2010, 06:31

"I can't say this has turned me off of Jeep forever (I had a Cherokee at one point with about 250K miles on it and never had a problem with it), but Jeep seems to have justly earned its reputation for poor quality and reliability -- at least in my experience."

Your Cherokee (Assuming it was a Cherokee as opposed to a Grand Cherokee) was an AMC design. Your 2006 Wrangler was a Chrysler design. Perhaps Chrysler designed Jeeps have earned the reputation for poor quality and reliability, but in my experience the AMC designed Jeeps are nearly bulletproof.