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Unread 10-23-2013, 11:51 AM   #1
yesmaam
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Location: Helena, MT
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Hi,

My name is Riley. I am a 30 year old female (I say that because people often confuse me for being a guy with my name...it's happened all my life).

I am in need of a new car ASAP as I got in a really bad accident on Monday October 21st. I've taken a Jeep Wrangler out for a few test drives over the last two years, and I am really considering buying one for my next car. However, I have heard a lot of horror stories too about reliability. For example, someone recently purchased a 2012 model and has already sunk $8K into it in repairs and their wrangler (which they initially loved too) is now just sitting in their garage. (They can't wait to get rid of it.)

I live in Montana, and the Jeep Wrangler seems like the perfect Montana car. And being a big fan of convertibles all my life I love that it turns into a convertible in the summer.

My last car was an 09 Nissan Versa, and I loved the reliability of that car (in fact I think it was really the only thing I loved about that car). I could say I bought that car with my mind. Prior to that I owned a PT Cruiser and that was one of the mos unreliable cars I've ever owned. I could say I bought that car with my heart.

My next car I want to buy with both my mind and my heart. My heart wants a Jeep Wrangler, but my mind is nervous. There are two in my area I am considering a 2004 Automatic Jeep Wrangler Sport (2 door) 4x4 I6 4L Engine with 32K miles ($14K). There is also a 2008 Automatic Jeep Wrangler X with 42K miles on it ($24K). I know both are high prices and I know I can negotiate down.

If I buy a Wrangler I want to buy it with both my heart and my mind (and purchase an amazing warrenty...which I would need help finding too). To do that though, I know I need help, especially since it will be my first jeep. I could really use the help of a mentor. Someone who knows jeeps, especially wranglers, and can help me better understand what I'm getting myself into, what I need to consider, what I should be thinking about, where to buy the best accesories/how to update it & make it my own, etc so that when I buy my jeep I am buying it with both my heart & my mind.

Please let me know if you can help me & if you can what your extensive background is with jeeps.

Thank you so much! I really do need help, and I want to make sure I do this the right way the first time.

Again, thank you,

Riley

Thank you ALL SO MUCH! I really appreciate all the feedback & advice. You guys are AMAZING! Thank yoU!

If it wouldn't be too much trouble, I am wondering if you all could be so kind as to help me out with the lingo; I would really appreciate it (or show me where to go to get the info). For example the terms JK, CJ, etc...what do they all these acronyms you are using mean?

Below is more info on the '04' that I am considering (copy & pasted from dealer site)...along with photos. I really appreciate all this amazing feedback! I am feeling more confidant in the 04, and in becoming a jeep wrangler owner! Thank you all so much! I am SO happy I found this site!

Also, when I buy my Jeep, I would like to personalize it. So I am really curious as to the best place(s) to buy accessories (for example seat covers, hard top, summer tops, decals, etc)

###
Mileage: 32801
Body Type: SUV
Vehicle Type: SUV
Fuel: G
Doors: 2

Transmission: Automatic
MPG City: 16
MPG Highway: 19
Engine: I6 4L
Cylinders: 6
Gross Weight: 4001-5000
Made In: United States

Comments:

2004 Jeep Wrangler Sport 4X4 4.0L auto, tilt, cruise, A/C, CD player, soft top, dark green w/tan interior, only 32k miles! ###

04-jeep.jpg

04-jeep-1.jpg

04-jeep-d.jpg

04-jeep-f.jpg

04-jeep-g.jpg

04-jeep-back.jpg


Last edited by Jerry Bransford; 10-23-2013 at 07:07 PM.. Reason: Duplicate threads
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Unread 10-23-2013, 12:43 PM   #2
frenchy206
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The 04 is the one I (and many others on here) would choose. As long as you do routine maintenance and not do cheap or unnecessary upgrades, it will last for a long time. My 03 has 93k and has never had any issues.

What are your plans for the Jeep? Going off road or mostly street? Do you want to lift it or put bigger tires on it?

14k is a little high for an 04, however it does have low miles. If it's immaculate, and you love it, why not.
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Unread 10-23-2013, 01:09 PM   #3
SunDevilJeeper
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I'll have to agree with frenchy on the regular maintenance thing. Me personally, I'd go with the slightly older model Wrangler, the 04 model.

If you drive and generally treat a Wrangler like a regular street vehicle, you won't have much to worry about in terms of reliability. If you're hard on it, something is going to give. Any vehicle will after some time.

The 04 is more than likely going to be cheaper and easier to maintain, and upgrade if that's what your plan is in the future. It's a little more simple, but still has more creature comforts than say a YJ (87-95 Wrangler) which is bare bones compared to many vehicles out there.

Jeeps (any model) aren't known for fuel mileage either, they weren't really built for that purpose. So don't expect to hang with the econobox drivers in the fuel department. If fuel mileage isn't on the priorities list, then you need not worry.

One thing you have to know about Jeeps though, is that they have their own little quirks that some people are turned off by. I've heard people complain about too much wind noise even with the hard top, it's not a Lexus, it's an off road vehicle. The wind noise isn't even that bad either so... yeah. Sometimes the tops will leak, sometimes it's the fluids in the drivetrain that leak. I've hear people complain about the ride quality... again, it's not a luxury vehicle, it's designed to get you places both on road and off.

This is without a doubt the basics though, so keep that in mind as well. The ones who own the same generation Jeeps you're talking about will be able to tell you more in-depth about those particular models. I own a 92 which a lot of people don't like for reasons previously mentioned.

One thing though, you did pick the right place to ask this question.
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Unread 10-23-2013, 01:12 PM   #4
dadkinsemt
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Do the 04. 07-08 are the new body style, and new engine. Many problems with it the first 2 years. Has become more reliable from 09-11, but they did a new engine again in 12, which is why those are having problems.

04 has a great I-6 in it and will last. Hope this helps.
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Unread 10-23-2013, 03:14 PM   #5
222Doc
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The new V6 was out before it ever went in a Jeep. It just another Chrysler poor quality.

I agree the Tj sounds good but no one can see it so hard to say. They hold there value KBB on 2004 can be from 17k for a gem. I know a guy that has a LJ 2004 only 32k on it? its clean still has factory rubber.. Not a Club jeep too. Older Vet that went Toyota and is selling their Jeep.

He is selling this over the winter here they only come here in the winter, think he said like 17.5k photo bucket seems to bit fubar right now I have a pic.

If had the cash I would buy this in a second hard to find a clean Lj. But my Jk keeps me broke.

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Unread 10-23-2013, 03:21 PM   #6
duntov
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I'd go with the 04 as well. Low mileage and 10K less. I still rock a 98 Jeep Cherokee with the same engine. That engine will give you lots of miles with low maintenance. If I bought it i would change the coolant, oil, transmission fluid, diff, and transfer case fluid and start a regular maintenance schedule. You never know what the previous owners did to it. Good luck!
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Unread 10-23-2013, 03:30 PM   #7
turtlerace
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I agree with the '04 assessment. Engine is well known for it's sturdiness and reliability. Regular maintenance keeps them purring. Just make sure to get the 4.0 and not the 4 cylinder.
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Unread 10-23-2013, 04:37 PM   #8
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Good looking Jeep.

The letter codes you keep seeing are the designations for Jeep models. Wranglers from 1987-95 are YJs, 97-06 are TJs, 07-now are JKs,
First body of Libertys are called KJs, so on and so forth with each body style. No rhyme or reason mostly just designations set by the manufacturer during the design phases.
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Unread 10-23-2013, 04:39 PM   #9
turtlerace
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As far as the personalization stuff, Quadratec mags are great to LOOK at, but usually expensive. I use their magazines to find what I want then google the part numbers for a better price.
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Unread 10-23-2013, 05:04 PM   #10
frenchy206
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Quadratec is a good place to look for parts. Once you know what you want, craigslist is great for finding the parts much cheaper. Hard top, bumpers, wheels, winch are usually fairly plentiful on craigslist.

As for acronyms.. some that come to mind are TC (transfer case), 4.0 (the 6 cylinder motor in the TJ (97-06 Wrangler), XJ (Cherokee) and other models. SYE (slip yoke eliminator), BB (budget boost), etc. These are some off the top of my head.

Looks like a clean Jeep. Good luck.
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Unread 10-23-2013, 07:08 PM   #11
Jerry Bransford
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Both of your threads were merged together, you no longer have duplicate threads.
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Unread 10-23-2013, 09:48 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 222Doc View Post
I just grabbed an 05 the same color as that for my son's first ride.
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Unread 10-23-2013, 10:34 PM   #13
joe108
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I would ask myself if a car would be better than a small truck, which is what a jeep is.
How far will you be driving it?, because gas mileage on jeeps sucks.
Ride comfort and noise will not be anywhere the same as that of a car. That being said, I have owned jeeps for a long time and I love them, but they have never been my daily driver for the reasons I mentioned.
Can you get by with another car where you live?
Lastly, don't fall in love with a jeep or any other vehicle before you buy, base your decision on facts and what you will need for your situation not just on what you want.
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Unread 10-24-2013, 07:03 AM   #14
frenchy206
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joe108 View Post
I would ask myself if a car would be better than a small truck, which is what a jeep is.
How far will you be driving it?, because gas mileage on jeeps sucks.
Ride comfort and noise will not be anywhere the same as that of a car. That being said, I have owned jeeps for a long time and I love them, but they have never been my daily driver for the reasons I mentioned.
Can you get by with another car where you live?
Lastly, don't fall in love with a jeep or any other vehicle before you buy, base your decision on facts and what you will need for your situation not just on what you want.
Dude. It souunds like she's already made up her mind to buy a Jeep. Why can't people just buy a car because it's cool or awesome. It doesn't always have to be practical. Hell, I've never bought a car to save on gas or have more trunk space or because it has a top IHHS rating. Those come later on the list of must-haves.
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Unread 10-24-2013, 07:10 AM   #15
redrelyt12
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For what it's worth, I'm on my third tj. my 2001 was at 220,000 miles when I sold it and was still running like when I bought it. The 4.0 liter engine just doesn't quit. Think of it as smiles/gallon :-) good luck
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