Tag Archives: jeep repair

Jeep Repair: How to Change Your Cherokee Ignition Switch

Jeep logo - Jeep Cherokee ignition switch repair

It is important that the ignition switch on a Jeep Cherokee continue to work well if you want to maintain safety on the road. If the switch ever begins to malfunction, you could end up stuck somewhere with the car stalled. You might not even be able to start it. You will get the first hint that this problem has arisen when you have difficulty starting the vehicle, perhaps having to retry a couple times. These warning signs are not always present though; you may just lose the ignition suddenly. No matter how the part fails, this article describes how you would go about removing and replacing it.

This Jeep repair is basically in three phases, as you remove the lower dashboard trim, remove the old ignition switch, and install the new ignition switch.

Tools needed:

  • Wrench
  • Screwdriver

Lower dashboard trim removal

  1. Open the hood of the car and secure it.
  2. Take your wrench and detach the car battery from the negative cable terminal (black).
  3. Grab your screwdriver and take out the 10 screws that are holding in the lower dashboard trim panel. Note that you will typically need to look inside the ashtray container for one of the screws.
  4. Make sure all electrical connectors are also detached, after which you can take off the panel. Put the panel someplace that is easy to remember when you need to reinstall it.

Ignition switch removal

  1. Turn your key lock to “Off-Lock.”
  2. Take out the pair of retaining screws that attach the steering column and switch, using the screwdriver. You can now detach your actuating rod.
  3. Disconnect the white electrical connector from the black wire harness connector.
  4. Take the switch out of your steering column.

Ignition switch installation

  1. Position your replacement ignition switch at the edge of your steering column so it is prepared to install.
  2. Change the switch’s slider so that it is set on “Accessory.”
  3. Attach the slider hole and actuating rod. Connect the switch. Use your fingers to get the pair of retaining screws tight but not stuck.
  4. Keeping your key lock set on “Accessory,” barely adjust the switch so that it is at the column’s base. Make sure the actuating rod is free of any slack. Use your screwdriver to complete the tightening of your retaining screws.
  5. Reestablish the connection between the white and black electrical connectors.
  6. Take the lower dashboard trim and reinstall it, using your screwdriver to reattach the screws.
  7. Connect the car battery to the negative battery cable, using your wrench to get it tight. Shut your hood.

Jeep News & Information

With this Jeep repair complete, we can turn to some lighter fare – some current news and information that might interest you as a Jeep owner:

  • Jeep Cherokee gets a redesign for 2019
  • Record number of redesigned Wranglers sold
  • Jeep driver goes off cliff in effort to avoid wasp

Jeep Cherokee gets a redesign for 2019

As small and midsize SUVs flood the market, Jeep is giving a refresher to its Cherokee with the 2019 edition.

The styling of the front of the Cherokee now has a greater resemblance to the front of the Compass or Grand Cherokee. The lights are the main difference, but the grille is also positioned more vertically than horizontally. The Cherokee’s taillights are also redesigned.

A previous design of the Cherokee created separation between the headlights and LED running lights. Now those lights are all included within a narrow, streamlined lens. The additional updates that are most notable are the composite tailgate, lightweight aluminum hood, and five new wheel designs.

The weight is lighter by 200 pounds vs. the 2018 version of the Cherokee. This change, which enhances the riding for occupants, is getting some positive attention, with Detroit Free Press car critic Mark Phelan saying in his review that the weight reduction was very impressive for a car that currently exists and is getting a midcycle refresh.

There is a new engine in the 2019 Cherokee. It offers 270 horsepower through a 2-liter 4-cylinder design. Phelan suggested that the engine is key to making this car a standout, saying that the 2-liter turbo was the first strong 4-cylinder engine that Chrysler had produced “since before DaimlerChrysler was penny wise and pound foolish in developing an uncompetitive family of bargain-basement engines more than a decade ago.”

This engine, which you can get in mid-range and high-end Cherokees, has the strong torque at low engine speeds and strong fuel economy to make it the best engine for the Cherokee.

Record number of redesigned Wranglers sold

With a strong resemblance to military vehicles, the Jeep Wrangler is a durable SUV and is intended for people who would want to go after rocky or muddy terrain.

With automotive consumers in the United States becoming increasingly attracted to SUVs and trucks, the Wrangler just hit the highest point in the model’s history.

Incredibly, the rise was 70% year-over-year (YOY) from March 2017 to March 2018, according to the numbers released by Fiat Chrysler. The figure made the Wrangler the top-selling model in the Jeep catalog. It even bested the Cherokee, which also had a huge rise of 63 percent YOY but achieved a lower total of 23,764 units sold.

The total for March of 98,382 Jeep cars was also a new record for total cars by the automaker.

The way in which the market is evolving right now is suited well for Jeep since it is a brand completely focused on sport utility vehicles.

Jeff Schuster, who assesses and projects sales of cars as the forecasting VP of LMC Automotive, commented that the numbers for Jeep were remarkable. Noting that the SUV focus is the expertise at Jeep, Schuster said that the brand is currently “really well aligned with the market.”

To clarify, the 2018 Wrangler is a different organism. It is not the historic, stripped-down version of the Wrangler but instead offers a stronger focus on comfort. There are locking differentials, a roll cage, and other all-terrain components. However, from the comfort end, this Wrangler includes Chrysler’s Uconnect infotainment platform and a push-button ignition.

Comfort is critical since off-roading is not a part of Wrangler ownership for all people. The design of the car and its amenities are important to other owners of the model.

Schuster noted that a Wrangler will often see no off-roading at all.

Jeep driver goes off cliff in effort to avoid wasp

A Jeep went off a cliff into Lake Pleasant in Arizona on April 6 when its driver attempted to swat a wasp in the cabin.

The wasp flew into the car as the man was driving, according to a the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office. The driver did not know that he was approaching the cliff since he was so distracted by the wasp. Luckily, the driver did look up just before his Jeep sped off the cliff and leapt from the car to the ground. The car kept going off the cliff and down into the lake.

There were no injuries to the driver or anyone else. The Sheriff’s Office clarified that the driver was not under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Honest Jeep mechanic in Boulder

The Jeep brand continues to excite, with refreshes of its popular models continuing to draw eyes and new drivers – as indicated by sales of the Wrangler and the Cherokee redesign in the 2019 model. If you wish, you can follow the above steps to replace your ignition switch. If you need a mechanic for this repair or any other, we can help. At Independent Motors, 90% of the auto repair we do is repeat business. See our Jeep repair philosophy.

Jeep Repairs: The Parts of Your Vehicle to Keep an Eye On

Jeep Repairs to Keep an Eye On

Jeeps are a very popular vehicle in Colorado. Due to the famously tough terrain and heavy snowfall, people need a vehicle they can be confident will get them to where they need to be no matter the obstacle. Jeeps are tough, there’s no question about it. However, like any vehicle, they will run into issues eventually. While you may not need too many of them, being aware of the most common Jeep repairs will benefit you. It can sometimes be hard to tell when exactly your vehicle needs service.

 

Don’t Get Caught by Surprise

 

One thing that often happens with Jeep owners is that they’ll come in for service and be shocked to hear that they need a lot of work done. The good thing about Jeeps, and this may sound like a double-edged sword actually, is that they tend to continue to run pretty well even if there are underlying problems. It’s not uncommon to hear things like “I need that much work done? I haven’t had to get anything fixed on this Jeep in years.”

 

Obviously, no one likes to get caught by surprise like this. This is especially true when it comes to vehicle maintenance. The good thing is there are only a few major issues that are seen somewhat consistently when it comes to Jeeps. Once they are fixed, you can pretty much bet on the fact your Jeep will be able to stay on the road for many more miles. However, it’s important to keep in mind that every single model of vehicle has its own unique quirks and issues. You may not experience any of these common problems and in fact, could be experiencing something completely different. The following repairs, however, are the ones that have been encountered the most often, so keep an eye out for these issues.

 

Suspension Components

 

Suspension components, including track bars, drag links, ball joints, and tie rod ends, tend to be the most commonly damaged components that require replacement or repair when someone brings their Jeep in for service. This really shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise considering very few people purchase Jeeps just to commute to and from work. Usually, a Jeep gets put through its paces on some pretty unforgiving terrain which puts great strain on the suspension as you’re driving over unpaved land or large rocks and considerably high speeds.

 

In fact, suspension issues are so common with Jeeps that the problem has developed its own interestingly creative name amongst Jeep owners: the Jeep Death Wobble. Perhaps this is a bit of an exaggeration, however that uncontrollable wobble isn’t something you really want to be driving on for any significant amount of time so if you’re noticing a wobble, bring your Jeep in for service as soon as you can so it can be fixed.

 

Cooling Components

 

Obviously, keeping your engine cool is necessary to keep it running. Many Jeeps eventually have an issue where something goes wrong with the cooling system. This goes beyond making sure that you change your coolant when required. While this is important, the components themselves need to be minded. The water pumps and radiator have a tendency to need to be repaired. Both of these issues can reveal themselves in similar ways. Keep an eye out for any coolant leaks. Check your thermostat occasionally. Generally, when a water pump or the radiator itself is experiencing issues, the engine temperature will run too high, which is a recipe for an expensive and potentially dangerous situation. Check for cracked or damaged pumps every so often to get out ahead of the issue.

 

Axle Shaft U-Joints

 

Here is another issue related to the handling of your vehicle. Again, no surprise here. 4 x 4 vehicles often need to have their axle shaft U-joints changed. This is especially true if you off-road often. Eventually, the damage is done. While it can be hard to tell when a U-joint goes bad, there are some telltale signs. Keep an ear out for squeaking while driving, a clunking sound while shifting, vibrations while you drive, and transmission fluid leaking. All of these “symptoms” could be another issue. Regardless of the root cause, it’s not going to be something good, so be sure to bring your Jeep in for service if you experience any of these things.

 

Routine Maintenance

 

Those are a few of the most common repairs that we see come through when it comes to Jeeps. But, that doesn’t mean those are the only issues you may run into. All vehicles are susceptible to similar problems when it comes to not staying on top of routine maintenance. Jeeps are no different, even though they can run well for a long time without any noticeable problems. Here is what you have to make sure you’re mindful of as you drive your Jeep over the years.

 

It’s very important to stay on top of your oil changes. The sticker on your windshield isn’t meant to just guilt you into bringing your vehicle in. It’s important to get your oil changed very 4,000 to 5,000 miles so there isn’t a chance for old oil to gunk up the engine with pollutants. If oil isn’t changed often enough, dirt and other solid material can build up in the engine, drastically shortening the life of the engine, if not the vehicle itself.

 

Another bit of maintenance to be aware of, especially with Jeeps, is the state of your tires. Since you’ve probably bought a Jeep to handle tough terrain and intense weather conditions, it’s doubly important to make sure your tires are up to the task of handling it. This includes checking your tread, making sure you have enough pressure in your tires, making sure your tires are properly aligned, and actually having the right kinds of tires for the terrain you’re going to be spending most of your time driving on. Remember, it’s not just about off-roading. There are specific tires for summer and winter months to offer better handling. This is especially important when talking about heavy snowfall.

 

By keeping up with the maintenance on your vehicle you can help ensure that you’ll be able to drive your Jeep for longer.

 

Conclusion

 

Most likely you bought your Jeep because you wanted a vehicle that was tough and could take anything you threw at it. Colorado is famous for its rugged terrain and many drivers like to have the ability to off-road when the mood strikes. As tough as your Jeep is, however, inevitably it will need to be repaired at some point. If you haven’t had your Jeep looked at lately or you’ve noticed that something doesn’t seem right when you drive it, it’s time to take it in for a look. Addressing issues before they become major problems, including keeping up with routine maintenance, will actually end up saving you money in the long run. Call us today to schedule an appointment to bring in your Jeep so we can provide the service needed. At Independent Motors, we have years of experience servicing Jeeps at a fair price. Let us help you keep your Jeep on the road for many years to come.