Thank you for your feedback. To answer the question why I didn't try before I bought. I drove a similar Wrangler, but ordered this one with trac-lock and ABS.
To respond to why automatic? Lot's of stop and go driving, so I thought I give an automatic a try.
I was unaware of the service bulletins on the transmission and water leaks, so thank you for the information. Finally, as to why complain? It's not the vehicle that is so bad. In fact I love my Jeep, but the dealership which I bought it from made this a bad experience. Believe me the most ardent Jeep fan would complain after an experience like that. I believe as time goes by, the negative initial experience will be replaced by the positive ownership experience.
I have had no problems with my Sport. I guess mine was built Tues/Wens/Thur at the plant. I agree with the Daimler/Chrysler 'ruining' Jeep comment. My dealership gave me no trouble, but I referred a friend to the same dealership she was given nothing but grief when she went. That kind of service made me and them look bad. I would take yours around to a friendlier dealership. Chrysler needs to go to the Japanese school of the "customer is always right" mode of thinking to stay competitive. Still love my Jeep.
I have an 2004 Sahara and love it, I have all options except for the auto transmission and I mean all. I bought mine for fun and so far my fun meter has been pegged. My wife bought an 04 Grand Cherokee and loves it. She bought it for comfort and mine for fun. You have to remember Jeeps are not the normal cushy rides and are totally different from all other SUV/4x4s. They are built to be used and abused all others are plastic and flash. As in every manufacturer there are bad ones it is the luck of the draw.
I have a 2003 wrangler sport with the automatic and I bought it due to the fact it tows more. But I have the same problem with it down shifting hard when I come to a stop. The dealer says nothing wrong. I think this will be the last wrangler I'll buy. Thanks Chris.
I have had many makes of cars and I have found that taking it to the dealership for service costs a little more, but in the long run the repairs are done right and the parts last longer. So I always stick with the company that made the car.
That said, Chrysler dealerships in my opinion have always been sketchy (a search on the web shows this in abundance). They nickle dime you for everything and the corporate office has never been helpful or apologetic. They have always had a "too bad" attitude.
However- I have found a great difference between Chrysler service departments. At first, I thought it was the "Five Star" dealerships that were the best (Chrysler's internal rating system) but now I don't think it matters. I have had my vehicle for five years and I have not been asked to take a service survey once except on my buying experience, so I don't know who they are being rated by, but it is not Joe Customer like myself. Granted, Five Star dealers are visually more appealing with lots of glass and chrome and free coffee, but I have gone to another Chrysler Service dealer with a dirty garage and received more personal service. I also have gone to two "Five Star" dealerships literally one mile apart and payed MUCH less for the same jobs. The cheaper dealership was more personal and did a better job on fixing things.
So to make a long story short (OK, I failed) I agree with trying different dealerships. I go to a Jeep dealer in a major city, and the people there knew me by name after a couple visits. That says something about the people working on your car.
Also, they should be able to do the EXACT maintenance items you request on your car. If they start trying to sell you a service "package" of things be very skeptical. One "package" usually applies to things across all cars and probably has lots of things you don't need. The most rediculous is the "tune up". On modern (post 1988) cars, a tune up is essentially like doing maintenance on a printer. You replace the spark plugs and replace a couple filters. When they say they are adjusting the timing, they are full of it. The car's own built-in computer continuously adjusts the timing. And then they throw a bunch of "Inspect"'s in there to make it look like you are getting a lot for your money. They have another one where they "inspect" your A/C system. They look at the belt then turn on your A/C and feel it with their hand to see if it's cold. I have seen them do it. Write down the EXACT things in your owners manual for them to do. The rest is BS.
I have a 2003 Jeep Wrangler X with 4.0 six and the 4 speed auto transmission. It just recently started shifting hard when coming to a stop or slowing down between 25 and 35 mph. I think it's from 4th gear to 3rd, but I'm not positive. It shifts down hard enough to shake the jeep a little. Does anyone know what this problem is or have the same issue with their 2003 or newer Wrangler?
Just traded 2004 Toyota Prerunner for 2002 Wrangler Sahara and am blown away by smoothness and ruggedness of "new" vehicle. Manual x-mission is effortless and is the way to go with Jeep. I'm worse than a kid at Christmas; my face hurts from smiling!
Alabama, War Eagle!
I bought a 2003 Jeep Sahara Wrangler with 8,000 miles on it. At 11, 000 the check engine light comes on, and it has been in the dealership numerous times for this same problem to be fixed. The code indicated an emissions leak. The dealership has replaced the car computer twice, the emissions pump twice, and all the wiring to the computer and pump the last time. Finally at 16,000 miles, the problem is fixed. Occasionally the check engine light will come on for a day, and that code indicates a throttle position sensor problem.
This jeep is an automatic, and at 20,000 miles the shifter became misaligned somehow. To go in R, it looked like N, To drive in D, it looked like it was in 1. Dealership took care of that, replaced the entire shift console/ assembly.
Minor problems: the AC leaked water inside the passenger front side, dealership fixed. The 4x4 handle regularly pops out somewhere underneath the car, and I have to take it back to the dealership so they can re- attach it, the handle will just flop around, but it isn't connected to anything.
This has been the worst car as far as problems that I have ever had. Maybe I got a lemon. It does not have enough miles on it yet to have all the trouble it has had. I am seriously considering trading it in while it's still under the manufacturers warranty. I worry about the cost and frequency of repairs once its past the 36,000 mile warranty.