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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am sick of sensors and unnecessarily complicated components on vehicles these days. I currently have a saturn and I can't even change a tire without having to take it in to have the internal sensor re-learned to the vehicle. I hate being dependant on a repair shop or dealership. and even basic things like cleaning the air filter require complicated disassembly where you are likely to break something.

So having said that, I've been in the market for a jeep for quite a while and before I commit to buying a 2014 I am curious as to how the JK's are to fix. I'm not talking about putting a new tranny in, I just want to be able to do basic repairs/ maintenance myself.

Thanks

 

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Engine bay has a lot more room than your Saturn I'd wager. That means easy access to the air filter, battery, spark plugs. Being so high off the ground, you don't need a ramp or jack stands to change the oil or oil filter on the 3.8L. On the 3.6L Pentastar engine, the oil filter is cartridge filter that's accessible by removing the top engine cover...makes oil changes super easy.
Changing the differential fluid is likewise easy, same with your transmission fluid, transfer case fluid.
So for basic maintenance, the Jeep is much easier than most FWD sedans.

That answer your question?
 

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Engine bay has a lot more room than your Saturn I'd wager. That means easy access to the air filter, battery, spark plugs. Being so high off the ground, you don't need a ramp or jack stands to change the oil or oil filter on the 3.8L. On the 3.6L Pentastar engine, the oil filter is cartridge filter that's accessible by removing the top engine cover...makes oil changes super easy.
Changing the differential fluid is likewise easy, same with your transmission fluid, transfer case fluid.
So for basic maintenance, the Jeep is much easier than most FWD sedans.

That answer your question?
Well said. :thumb:

The only thing I might add is that because it is a modern vehicle it's chock full of sensors and computer chips. There's no way around the modern technology but at least things are more easily fixed. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well said. :thumb:

The only thing I might add is that because it is a modern vehicle it's chock full of sensors and computer chips. There's no way around the modern technology but at least things are more easily fixed. :D
I'm a little confused by the statement "at least things are more easily fixed". I can't fix anything once sensors and computers come into the mix. syncing the software up and relearning sensors goes way beyond my capabilities in terms of both equipment needed and skills needed. Do you know something I don't?

And sensors and chips are one thing but:
A) is the vehicle dependant on them?
B) do the sensors and components all need to be relearned and synced or will new hardware be identified without needing to go through a ton of tech crap?
 

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My last two (pre-JK) vehicles were Saturns and I did not like how hard it was to do anything beyond adding washer fluid. The ease of doing basic maintenance is one of my favorite things about the Jeep. In three years, I have done all of the oil changes except for the one free one that I got from the dealership. I've also done all my own mods with the help of some local Jeepers.
Moving from a Saturn to a JK will make you very, very happy.
 

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Any new vehicle is going to be packed full of "sensors and chips". Jeeps are going to be some of the most simplistic vehicles you can drive off a lot these days. While the engine bay is more crowded than previous Wranglers, there is still plenty of space to move your hands around. With how accessible it is to reach everything you can do quite a bit of your own maintenance. Youtube can be your friend if you are trying something for the first time. I better question might be how reliable are Jeeps.... which is an entirely different thread topic!
 

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And sensors and chips are one thing but:
A) is the vehicle dependant on them?
B) do the sensors and components all need to be relearned and synced or will new hardware be identified without needing to go through a ton of tech crap?
There are a few different modules that plug into the OBD-II port and talk to the JKs onboard computer for updates. My AEV Pro Cal, for example, was able to reset the speedometer to register correctly when I moved from 29" tires to 33s. Took me all of two minutes to learn how to set it up from the instructions.
 

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If you hate technology, go buy a YJ or older. Personally I love all the "sensors." Anyone that has had to troubleshoot a pre-OBDII vehicle for intermittent driveablity issues knows what a pain in the ass it is. Could be this, could be that, lets throw some parts at it.... Capturing a various live OBDII stream is super helpful.

Tire sensors? Its great knowing you have a tire going flat before you ruin a $300 tire by overheating it.

Oil changes are a total breeze on the JK. Unlike 99% of the new cars out there, it even has a dipstick for the auto trans.
 

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I am sick of sensors and unnecessarily complicated components on vehicles these days. I currently have a saturn and I can't even change a tire without having to take it in to have the internal sensor re-learned to the vehicle. I hate being dependant on a repair shop or dealership. and even basic things like cleaning the air filter require complicated disassembly where you are likely to break something.

So having said that, I've been in the market for a jeep for quite a while and before I commit to buying a 2014 I am curious as to how the JK's are to fix. I'm not talking about putting a new tranny in, I just want to be able to do basic repairs/ maintenance myself.

Thanks

Well, the Wrangler is technically a simple machine to work on, but it is very heavily computerized. Every single circuit is run through a processor, so things like sensors and tires are a PITA. Mechanically it is simple. Electronically it isn't. You can still work on it yourself, and use your warranty for problems you can't fix on your own.
 

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I am sick of sensors and unnecessarily complicated components on vehicles these days. I currently have a saturn and I can't even change a tire without having to take it in to have the internal sensor re-learned to the vehicle. I hate being dependant on a repair shop or dealership. and even basic things like cleaning the air filter require complicated disassembly where you are likely to break something.

So having said that, I've been in the market for a jeep for quite a while and before I commit to buying a 2014 I am curious as to how the JK's are to fix. I'm not talking about putting a new tranny in, I just want to be able to do basic repairs/ maintenance myself.

Thanks

What do you want to change? If you change a tire on a jk you don't have to do anything unless you go bigger, like 35s and doing something is only essential on an auto trans, where you would have to change the shift points of the computer. On a manual, if you can live with a speedometer off by 5mph, then you don't have to do anything. If you change the gears, the same applies to both. You can recalibrate shift points and speedometer yourself if you buy the device, its like $150 I believe.

That's pretty much the only hardcore stuff unless you want to change the engine. Because even when changing axles I don't believe you have to touch the computer as long as you re-plug the brake wires and all that back on.

Changing fluids does not affect the computer.
 

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I'm a little confused by the statement "at least things are more easily fixed". I can't fix anything once sensors and computers come into the mix. syncing the software up and relearning sensors goes way beyond my capabilities in terms of both equipment needed and skills needed. Do you know something I don't?

And sensors and chips are one thing but:
A) is the vehicle dependant on them?
B) do the sensors and components all need to be relearned and synced or will new hardware be identified without needing to go through a ton of tech crap?
All vehicles now adays have allot of things for emission purposes and may of them are sensors. There are no vehicles that are totally maintenance free but Wranglers are just easier to get to things.
This forum (as well as others) are great resources for many if not all problems that can arise. As an example, I got a check engine light a while back and went to my local auto parts store and had the code read for free. I found it was code P0456 and I discovered that putting on a new gas cap fixed the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
All vehicles now adays have allot of things for emission purposes and may of them are sensors. There are no vehicles that are totally maintenance free but Wranglers are just easier to get to things.
This forum (as well as others) are great resources for many if not all problems that can arise. As an example, I got a check engine light a while back and went to my local auto parts store and had the code read for free. I found it was code P0456 and I discovered that putting on a new gas cap fixed the problem.
oh so you are saying its better for diagnosis. I can see that for sure.
 

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I'm like the OP in that I don't want to go to a repair shop. My experience with "professional" mechanics is the work is often done half-assed. Next time you hit a tire shop who are supposed to pros as swapping tires, see if they torque the wheels the right way. My experience is 1 in 10 tire shops do it right, so that means that 90% of the professionals do it wrong. Too much torque on those wheel studs almost always occurs.

If you want to DIY, get the factory shop manual. It'll cost ya almost 200$ to get to your door after shipping and handling, but it tells you exactly how to remove everything and put it back on. It includes trouble shooting for electronic and mechanical systems. I keep my Jeeps forever it seems, my TJ was 16 when I moved into the JK, but that TJ manual more than paid for itself many times over. Now that I'm working on my '13 JKU, it's not quite paid for yet, but it won't be long.
 

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I maintain all of my own vehicles. A good code reader and the internet is all you really need. Pull the code, Google the code plus some key words like make and model and you will get tons of information on forums like this as well as forums that many mechanics use.

I located PDF docs for the entire service manual for my Mustang at no cost. Haven't tried for the Jeep yet. Anybody found anything?

Most codes will give you a good place to start when Googled. For instance, my wife's RAV4 threw a code. I Googled it + RAV4 and kept finding references to a faulty downstream O2 sensor. The car was 8 years old and had 130,000 miles. I figured Mr. Google was probably right. Went to NAPA, bought a sensor, changed it and...presto! Instant savings of hundreds of dollars.

My personal belief is that all of the sensors and technology on this newer vehicles actually make it easier to diagnose and repair. In the old days it ran like shit and you had to really know your stuff to even know where to begin troubleshooting. Today, even an idiot like me can fix most stuff.

Now, about oil changes...............
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
If you want to DIY, get the factory shop manual. It'll cost ya almost 200$ to get to your door after shipping and handling, but it tells you exactly how to remove everything and put it back on. It includes trouble shooting for electronic and mechanical systems. I keep my Jeeps forever it seems, my TJ was 16 when I moved into the JK, but that TJ manual more than paid for itself many times over. Now that I'm working on my '13 JKU, it's not quite paid for yet, but it won't be long.
Really good tip! the owners manual for my Saturn doesn't even tell you how to change the oil and I've often longed for a more detailed and complete companion manual. Who can these manuals be ordered from?
 

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I found the TJ model Wranglers were more home mechanic friendly.
Still had zert fittings to grease u-joints, ball joints, etc.
The spark plugs were super easy to access and everything was well laid out and intutive. same with my XJ. Very easy to work on and maintain.

Don't get me wrong, love my JK and it's been very reliable. It is however not servicable in the normal sense of the word. Parts are disposable not servicable.

The JK is a serious pain the butt change spark plugs on, I don't care how many fancy wobble ratchet extensions you have.

You need a special tool to remove the drainplug the transfer case. It's right up against the exhaust pipe.

There are zero zert fittings so u-joints, balljoints and control arm bushings need to be replaced much more frequently than your typical CJ,YJ,TJ,XJ with greasable joints.

Driveline boots are easily torn off road and cannot be replaced. 1 small tear=new driveline. Dealer wants $900 for a stock driveline so you might as well spend more and get a better one with greasable joints and no stupid plastic boot.

The inside drum on disc emergency brake is a sick joke. Very difficult to adjust properly and even then it's not still strong enough to hold the JK on an incline.
Boat owners know what I'm taking about.
Disc brake pads are easy to replace but the e brake pads are not.

So far my solution has been replace everything that wears out with higher quality servicable parts.
Costs more up front but I think they will easily last twice as long so long time it might be money saved.
U-joints, drivelines, control arms, brakes, brakelines, balljoints, suspension, differentials and lights have all been replaced with aftermarket parts in the first 50k miles.

Springs, shocks and differentals were by choice for off road performace, the rest were worn and needed replacing anyway. At least I can grease most moving parts now.
I was able to install everything at home with the exception of the lockers.
 

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Really good tip! the owners manual for my Saturn doesn't even tell you how to change the oil and I've often longed for a more detailed and complete companion manual. Who can these manuals be ordered from?
Start here... Mopar Jeep Repair Manual

You may not know that there is a factory owners manual, beyond the owners guide that comes in the glove box. Contact Jeep.com customer service to get an owners manual that has a lot more information than the owners guide.
 
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