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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Am I getting F*%#ed?

so I purchased my 2016 Jeep Wrangler unlimited 75th Anniversary in February of this year 68k miles. Everything was great until 4 days ago I noticed a whining sound coming from in my opinion the engine bay it progressively became louder over the next 3 days. On the 3rd day I was at a red light softly hit the gas as I always do and it had trouble taking off. As I speed up to about 25 mph my RPMs kept climbing and the transmission did not shift up, turned it off turned it back on same issue. Parked the car and waited for a tow. I just moved to a new city 1 week prior to this.

I towed it to a shop that I found through Facebook which seems to work on Jeeps a lot they said they test drove It and said I needed a new transmission... $4200 later I have a Remanufactured transmission and 3 year warranty on the tranny.
They notified me of a couple things wrong with the Jeep.
1. Axle U joints in bad shape. $400
2. Front Ball joints in bad shape $900
3. Front Axle Seals $450

2 days after this my Axle U joints started clankin
So they worked out a deal with me
They will do the U Joints for $250 if I pay for the Front Axle seals also to be done for $450.
Just want an honest opinion about the price and type of work that was done to see if I should keep them as my repair shop. Thanks in advance
 

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Welcome from Arizona.
 
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Welcome to the forum Of course your not screwed. On the bright side you have a rebuilt transmission with a three year warranty. Get your Jeep back and tell the shop you need to pace out the cash outflow. Get a second opinion. If the Jeep has larger tires and or has been wheeled the other repairs could be due. The factory parts are not real robust.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Welcome to the forum Of course your not screwed. On the bright side you have a rebuilt transmission with a three year warranty. Get your Jeep back and tell the shop you need to pace out the cash outflow. Get a second opinion. If the Jeep has larger tires and or has been wheeled the other repairs could be due. The factory parts are not real robust.
I’m unsure if the Jeep had larger tires at some point or if has been wheeled before. Thank you for your response and help!
 

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Welcome to the Forum, from Cave Creek AZ.
 
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U joints, ball joints, and from axle seals should run about $350 in parts. The rest is labor. Those three projects involve a lot of the same labor so it would make sense to do them all at once. $1400 in labor sounds excessive. Figure at $100 an hour, that’s 14 hours. Any competent mechanic could do that work in half the time, or less. I would shop around.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
U joints, ball joints, and from axle seals should run about $350 in parts. The rest is labor. Those three projects involve a lot of the same labor so it would make sense to do them all at once. $1400 in labor sounds excessive. Figure at $100 an hour, that’s 14 hours. Any competent mechanic could do that work in half the time, or less. I would shop around.
That’s what I was thinking too... thank you it just seemed so pricey to me
 

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im surprised you had to change the tranny.. they are mercedes tranny and supposed to last longer than 68k miles.. but anything can happen..

basic jobs can be done by any mechanic guys... you dont have to pay $150/h you need to find a good mechanic shop that pay attention to details.. i pay $60/h the guy isn't a jeep specialist but he knows enough...

On the bright side, after all the repairs you will have a fully working condition 2016.

don't forget to change fluids often... axle fluid, trans case fluid, etc...
 

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In terms of getting ****ed, just know that these three components (aside from the transmission) tend to go bad and they are not just blowing smoke up yer A. It should be around six hours of labor and that's taking their time to make sure the axle tubes and diff housing are cleaned out nicely before pressing in the new seals
Don't settle for factory replacement ball joints, get quality aftermarkets so your not back to do it again in 50k
 

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Sadly, you got a machine that may have been used a bit hard. That’s not a death sentence, but in purchasing a new (used) car, you have to accept some components are possibly in need or repair/replacement- especially when you don’t have a definitive history of a machine.

As an example, I got into old Land Rovers for a few years (Discovery 2) and they are widely regarded as total junk. Well, as with Wranglers, they have a reputation based (sadly, especially with the JK and JL) on image. In the case of Land Rovers, that image is prestige and with the absurd depreciation on them, they are cheap compared to new and the features. However, folks don’t realize they are still premium machines with very expensive and complex components that still need service. Based on that not really being in line with a “cheap” vehicle, often repairs and/or service are not done, and then a few owners in, in order to make the machine “right” is more than many can stomach.

In the case of a Wrangler, that image is that of rugged and able to go anywhere. But that doesn’t mean they are indestructible. Weak or wear points will still need to be replaced and/or repaired. So people that are learning or just want this image, often times get taken advantage of. This is the source of my distrust of shops, dealers, or pretty much anyone.

My point is, sadly you can’t just trust the image of a machine and need to instead focus on the realities of its components for the use they’ve had- and a shop doesn’t care either way: just pay me. The last Disco I had would have bankrupted me if I put in OEM parts and had a shop do the repairs. The Disco is a pretty revered vehicle that has a TRAINLOAD of data and resources online. Because of that, if someone puts in the time and effort, one can be made an extremely luxurious machine capable of doing just about anything a well sorted Wrangler could. But the effort to get one to that place is a little ridiculous (thus why I don’t have one any longer).

On the whole, once you get over the hump of all this initial stuff, I suspect you’ll have a good machine. In the mean time, start using forums like this and other sources to learn about what could have caused the issues you are having, how the components are interrelated, and the subsequent weak points in that chain. For example, people want the image of a cool looking Jeep and put larger tires on. However, what impact does that have on every component you are having issues with? More backspacing causes undue stress on half shafts, improper gearing makes stresses the transmission (and can cause real issues with shifting and such), all this means more abuse to U and CV joints, and of course steering components.

Now if you don’t want to do all of that, no worries. There are shops to resolve all those issues. And here we are, back to trusting a shop to take you for all you got in installing all that stuff....
 

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You didn't say how many miles are on the Jeep. Since it is 5 almost 6 model years old, it could have anywhere from 60K to 90K miles or more.

I would certainly take it to another shop and get a second opinion. Most reputable tire shops also do front end work as it is related. It should take their mechanic about 2 minutes to determine if your ball joints are bad. You can check and see if you have any seepage from the front axle seals. If you don't have any seepage and don't have any front end wobble (ball joints) you might consider driving it until you start hearing some noises from the front axle (u-joints). You might want to go ahead and do the replacement for peace of mind.

I would point out that in order to get to those parts not only do the wheels have to be removed (and replaced), but the brake calipers (hung out of the way), the rotors, and unit bearings before they even begin to get to the ball joints, etc. Depending on what the rotors look like and the brake pad wear, you may want to replace them when they are in there (as long as it's not going to strap you). If it's a high mileage Jeep, I would replace the unit bearings as well. The mechanic has to remove them and might just as well install new ones. My mechanic did for just the parts, he did not charge labor to replace the unit bearings, rotors and pads. But then I had 131K on my TJ and the brakes were heavily encrusted with road filth.

Since he is also a noted differential specialist (other shops send him vehicles for differential work), I had him pull the covers and inspect both differentials (all good) and refill rather than just use the drain plug. Again peace of mind on a high mileage pre-owned vehicle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Sadly, you got a machine that may have been used a bit hard. That’s not a death sentence, but in purchasing a new (used) car, you have to accept some components are possibly in need or repair/replacement- especially when you don’t have a definitive history of a machine.

As an example, I got into old Land Rovers for a few years (Discovery 2) and they are widely regarded as total junk. Well, as with Wranglers, they have a reputation based (sadly, especially with the JK and JL) on image. In the case of Land Rovers, that image is prestige and with the absurd depreciation on them, they are cheap compared to new and the features. However, folks don’t realize they are still premium machines with very expensive and complex components that still need service. Based on that not really being in line with a “cheap” vehicle, often repairs and/or service are not done, and then a few owners in, in order to make the machine “right” is more than many can stomach.

In the case of a Wrangler, that image is that of rugged and able to go anywhere. But that doesn’t mean they are indestructible. Weak or wear points will still need to be replaced and/or repaired. So people that are learning or just want this image, often times get taken advantage of. This is the source of my distrust of shops, dealers, or pretty much anyone.

My point is, sadly you can’t just trust the image of a machine and need to instead focus on the realities of its components for the use they’ve had- and a shop doesn’t care either way: just pay me. The last Disco I had would have bankrupted me if I put in OEM parts and had a shop do the repairs. The Disco is a pretty revered vehicle that has a TRAINLOAD of data and resources online. Because of that, if someone puts in the time and effort, one can be made an extremely luxurious machine capable of doing just about anything a well sorted Wrangler could. But the effort to get one to that place is a little ridiculous (thus why I don’t have one any longer).

On the whole, once you get over the hump of all this initial stuff, I suspect you’ll have a good machine. In the mean time, start using forums like this and other sources to learn about what could have caused the issues you are having, how the components are interrelated, and the subsequent weak points in that chain. For example, people want the image of a cool looking Jeep and put larger tires on. However, what impact does that have on every component you are having issues with? More backspacing causes undue stress on half shafts, improper gearing makes stresses the transmission (and can cause real issues with shifting and such), all this means more abuse to U and CV joints, and of course steering components.

Now if you don’t want to do all of that, no worries. There are shops to resolve all those issues. And here we are, back to trusting a shop to take you for all you got in installing all that stuff....
Thank you for your response, I use my vehicle everyday during the week for about 80 miles of driving or more sometimes so keeping it stock for now. I am going to join some of the Jeep clubs in my area from Facebook and see if they can guide me to a trustworthy shop located in my area.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
You didn't say how many miles are on the Jeep. Since it is 5 almost 6 model years old, it could have anywhere from 60K to 90K miles or more.

I would certainly take it to another shop and get a second opinion. Most reputable tire shops also do front end work as it is related. It should take their mechanic about 2 minutes to determine if your ball joints are bad. You can check and see if you have any seepage from the front axle seals. If you don't have any seepage and don't have any front end wobble (ball joints) you might consider driving it until you start hearing some noises from the front axle (u-joints). You might want to go ahead and do the replacement for peace of mind.

I would point out that in order to get to those parts not only do the wheels have to be removed (and replaced), but the brake calipers (hung out of the way), the rotors, and unit bearings before they even begin to get to the ball joints, etc. Depending on what the rotors look like and the brake pad wear, you may want to replace them when they are in there (as long as it's not going to strap you). If it's a high mileage Jeep, I would replace the unit bearings as well. The mechanic has to remove them and might just as well install new ones. My mechanic did for just the parts, he did not charge labor to replace the unit bearings, rotors and pads. But then I had 131K on my TJ and the brakes were heavily encrusted with road filth.

Since he is also a noted differential specialist (other shops send him vehicles for differential work), I had him pull the covers and inspect both differentials (all good) and refill rather than just use the drain plug. Again peace of mind on a high mileage pre-owned vehicle.
My Jeep has now 72k miles on it. I’ve had it for 4k miles. I ended up doing all of the work except for the Ball joints. I needed the vehicle for work and was in a tough spot and they finished the tranny in 2 days and the U joints and axle seals in 2 hours :/ sadly $5200 later she was ready but some other shops I called were booked 2 weeks out. I will look for a different shop in the meantime that won’t charge me an arm and a leg for basic maintenance or part removal/ install... thank you for the information!
 
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