KJ reliability over the long haul

fmc1

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I have read a few threads from readers asking about the reliability of Jeep KJ’s. I thought posting my experiences it might help others decide to buy or not.

My KJ is a 2003 Renegade, early 03 was made in January. I bought it new a retail factory order. My name is on the window sticker. It’s a 4x4 with kaki color body and a black interior. Although many extras were included in the renegade trim level, it was the most expensive in 03 more than the limited, mine has only a hand full of options. It has a moon roof the infinity speakers and the high-end radio, the trac-lock axle, tow package and that’s about it. It has manual cloth seats and no automatic transmission, it’s a 5-speed stick.

I can honestly say it is the most reliable vehicle that I have ever owned. I’m a senior and have owned about 20 - 25 vehicles in my lifetime.

This is what I have replaced or repaired, lower ball joints under recall, rear brake calipers under warranty, blower motor resistor, hood lift shocks, rear glass lift shocks twice, all 5 tires because I used the spare in a rotation, changed all the lug nuts to solid metal, the battery 3 times and the high mount brake light. Everything else I consider maintenance. I do oil changes about 3 times a year, differential fluid front and rear about every 12000 miles. Transfer case and transmission fluid at about 24000 miles. Tune ups spark plugs PCV air filter, antifreeze flush and brake fluid flush I do every 30000 miles, wiper blades every two years or so.

There are things on this vehicle that are original such as brake pads, CV joint boots, upper ball joints, various sensors and lots of other things that I have replaced on other vehicles after 3 or 4 years, but they are still original on this 18-year-old Liberty with 65000 miles.

Thanks

Frank
 

tommudd

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WOW talk about low mileage , my 04 I bought brand new has over 232,000 miles on it
the brakes on my 04 went to over 100,000 miles and just changed them at that time since I had a set to test out , they had another 20,000 at least
Be nice to them, treat em right and they'll last a long time
So you're a senior , at what age do you become a " senior " by the way ?
Just curious since I'm past 67
I have been told after you become a senior citizen you can no longer do burnouts so just wondering when I have to stop :cool::p:rolleyes::rolleyes:;)
 

JMichael2006

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WOW talk about low mileage , my 04 I bought brand new has over 232,000 miles on it
the brakes on my 04 went to over 100,000 miles and just changed them at that time since I had a set to test out , they had another 20,000 at least
Be nice to them, treat em right and they'll last a long time
So you're a senior , at what age do you become a " senior " by the way ?
Just curious since I'm past 67
I have been told after you become a senior citizen you can no longer do burnouts so just wondering when I have to stop :cool::p:rolleyes::rolleyes:;)
Only when you decide it is unbecoming to have fun. I too am 67 and not planning to stop, just more judicious in my use of burnouts!
 

fmc1

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I am in my late 60’s. My intention by saying I’m a senior was to emphasize my experience in owning and driving vehicles for more than a few years.

As for as burnouts my feeling is if your over 60 or not and it won’t risk any one’s safety do it as often as you like.

Thanks

Frank
 

Jeepgeek95

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WOW talk about low mileage , my 04 I bought brand new has over 232,000 miles on it
the brakes on my 04 went to over 100,000 miles and just changed them at that time since I had a set to test out , they had another 20,000 at least
Be nice to them, treat em right and they'll last a long time
So you're a senior , at what age do you become a " senior " by the way ?
Just curious since I'm past 67
I have been told after you become a senior citizen you can no longer do burnouts so just wondering when I have to stop :cool::p:rolleyes::rolleyes:;)
That's Awesome. Just got an '05 renegade with 159,000 miles on it. How often do you do your oil changes?
 

tommudd

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That's Awesome. Just got an '05 renegade with 159,000 miles on it. How often do you do your oil changes?
Every 3-3500 miles with Mobil 1 full synthetic
tire rotation and fully grease all fittings ( LBJs, UBJs , U-joints etc ) at the same time
New spark plugs every Ninth/Tenth oil change
currently
The 04 over 232,000
The 03 over 170,000
and 05 around 130,000
 

JeepJeepster

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Those are incredibly low miles. My 04 has around 120k miles and its been a decent vehicle. I quit using it as a DD in 2013, but I still manage to put around 4k miles a year on it. The list of things replaced is still rather small. Intermediate shaft, water pump, radiator, 1 rear caliper, and the A/C low pressure switch.... I think thats it. Its had other stuff replaced, but I consider those items typical maintenance items.

My parents have an 06 WK hemi with 120k miles and it has ONLY had an EGR replaced. Currently has a traction control light that Ive not looked into, think its a wheel speed sensor.

Its unfortunate that you cant buy vehicles like these anymore.
 

pauluk

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hi i own a 2005 kj 2.5 crd sport from new and she only has 51,000 on her..i have no issues only batterty replacement and she is used for towing my caravan.Never miss a beat and pulls the caravan no effort at all.
 

Doing10to20

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216k and I work the **** outta her..nothin major ever replaced,just regular maintenance, regular oil changes and i change all my other fluids atleast twice a yr just because of the work they go through
 

Liberty For All

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I have read a few threads from readers asking about the reliability of Jeep KJ’s. I thought posting my experiences it might help others decide to buy or not.

My KJ is a 2003 Renegade, early 03 was made in January. I bought it new a retail factory order. My name is on the window sticker. It’s a 4x4 with kaki color body and a black interior. Although many extras were included in the renegade trim level, it was the most expensive in 03 more than the limited, mine has only a hand full of options. It has a moon roof the infinity speakers and the high-end radio, the trac-lock axle, tow package and that’s about it. It has manual cloth seats and no automatic transmission, it’s a 5-speed stick.

I can honestly say it is the most reliable vehicle that I have ever owned. I’m a senior and have owned about 20 - 25 vehicles in my lifetime.

This is what I have replaced or repaired, lower ball joints under recall, rear brake calipers under warranty, blower motor resistor, hood lift shocks, rear glass lift shocks twice, all 5 tires because I used the spare in a rotation, changed all the lug nuts to solid metal, the battery 3 times and the high mount brake light. Everything else I consider maintenance. I do oil changes about 3 times a year, differential fluid front and rear about every 12000 miles. Transfer case and transmission fluid at about 24000 miles. Tune ups spark plugs PCV air filter, antifreeze flush and brake fluid flush I do every 30000 miles, wiper blades every two years or so.

There are things on this vehicle that are original such as brake pads, CV joint boots, upper ball joints, various sensors and lots of other things that I have replaced on other vehicles after 3 or 4 years, but they are still original on this 18-year-old Liberty with 65000 miles.

Thanks

Frank
I wish I was as lucky. My 2005 bought new, at 80K miles has had a few more parts replaced but my engine still seems sound. Jeep should have used better engineering for the suspension quality and design.
 

desertdriver

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2005 Sport with 277,000 miles. Bought new and has been my DD ever since. Oil change every 3,000, otherwise I am terrible with complete fluid exchanges but very careful not to run low, lol. Have replaced water pump, radiator and hoses, thermostat, cruise control vacuum line, rear LCA (recall), hitch (recall), CV joints (?) (recall), rear window regulators (both 3x), hood lifters 2x, rear glass lifters 3x, rear glass latch. Spark plugs 3x. Shocks and struts, front UCA, lower ball joints. Dash light bulbs. I consider none of these issues unusual for the mileage on the Jeep. Now on my fifth set of tires and third set of brakes. No rust except on the CAT! (I do live in the desert so I consider myself lucky) Best vehicle I have ever owned. Blue Book value $560 but I am not selling!!
 

Runion

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my 2005 Jeep liberty with over 100k miles was a replacement for a worn out GMC blazer like 4wd. It wasn't very good at 4wd but was at about 150k.
the Jeep Liberties strong motor, easy handling and good response won me over. It reminded me of the EAGLE SX4 a lot. Don't laugh, That SX4 never got stuck and was a great handling car.
Jeep Liberty is around 138k miles now. Can't tell you if anything was stock but I have been through brakes, tires, which I consider normal wear and tear. at about 110k the trans cable wore the fitting that goes on the transmission lever and one day it just fell off, replaced that. at around 130k miles the transmission just died on the highway. the linkage would shift but the transmission would not go. Replaced the front drive shaft too. so that was replaced at about 127k.
Next to go was the oil pan. and I can tell you, those vids that say its not bad taking that pan off are not so accurate. i will say it was interesting, but I don't want to do that again.
Have not had any suspension issues. Other than that, Minor stuff came up within the last couple years, the first was the fan belt tension wheel, (comes as a unit with the bracket), the water pump, (another unit), and just recently the alternator (bearing was failing).
The JEEP LIBERTY has what seems to be a fiberglas dash, its a hard dash, and it still looks great.
RUST! Seems that rust is common in the Jeep Liberty line, particularly around the door.
There seems to be some body rust when the panel under the car rusts through and the road salt starts getting up on the metal. That is pretty serious.
The most effective tool against rust seems to be oil. I use mineral oil. it is fine enough that the rust will wick it up but it is heavy enough to hold on and does not wash away easily. It prevents the water and air from letting the rust complete that chemical chain reaction to make more rust.
Us owners just have to apply this stuff every year or two to hopefully stop the rust.
just my thought on that.
So 138k miles and still going, thanks for all the help in the past and in the future,
 
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fmc1

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I have read a few threads from readers asking about the reliability of Jeep KJ’s. I thought posting my experiences it might help others decide to buy or not.

My KJ is a 2003 Renegade, early 03 was made in January. I bought it new a retail factory order. My name is on the window sticker. It’s a 4x4 with kaki color body and a black interior. Although many extras were included in the renegade trim level, it was the most expensive in 03 more than the limited, mine has only a hand full of options. It has a moon roof the infinity speakers and the high-end radio, the trac-lock axle, tow package and that’s about it. It has manual cloth seats and no automatic transmission, it’s a 5-speed stick.

I can honestly say it is the most reliable vehicle that I have ever owned. I’m a senior and have owned about 20 - 25 vehicles in my lifetime.

This is what I have replaced or repaired, lower ball joints under recall, rear brake calipers under warranty, blower motor resistor, hood lift shocks, rear glass lift shocks twice, all 5 tires because I used the spare in a rotation, changed all the lug nuts to solid metal, the battery 3 times and the high mount brake light. Everything else I consider maintenance. I do oil changes about 3 times a year, differential fluid front and rear about every 12000 miles. Transfer case and transmission fluid at about 24000 miles. Tune ups spark plugs PCV air filter, antifreeze flush and brake fluid flush I do every 30000 miles, wiper blades every two years or so.

There are things on this vehicle that are original such as brake pads, CV joint boots, upper ball joints, various sensors and lots of other things that I have replaced on other vehicles after 3 or 4 years, but they are still original on this 18-year-old Liberty with 65000 miles.

Thanks

Frank
I need to add two items that I recently replaced, #1 a water pump. #2 the quad power window switch that is no longer available from Chrysler. Rock auto sold one made in the US, it fit fine and works ok so far.
 

Duster

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65K would be like starting over new for me.

These are the kinds of vehicles I am always searching for when buying. Grandpa's _________ .

This is getting harder and harder, and I am to the point of wanting vehicles like this more and more because I really do not like the newer stuff. It seems like it gets worse and more complicated every year. As long as it has an injector on each cylinder and COPS, and working heat and air it is high tech enough for me.

The thing I like about the Liberty is I have been able to fix everything that has went wrong with it myself (so far) 232K in.

I can't knock it on reliability. No it has not been as trouble-free as some other vehicles I put more miles on. But I'll take the here and there things that are simple over complex ****. The majority of it is the dodge suspension and steering components which have always been lousy on dodge. Shocks, ball joints, control arms, wheel bearings, etc. I've driven other brands over 300K without having to do any of that. But I will take it.
 
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