2004 WJ maintenance history - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 1 Old 01-22-2020, 08:39 PM Thread Starter
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2004 WJ 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Honolulu
Posts: 67
2004 WJ maintenance history

I bought my '04 new Jan 28, 2004 (it was built on Dec 22 2003 at 8pm)...
I have about 84k miles on it so far, and this is it's story:

I have been pretty happy with it.

Some of my friends ask me why don't you get a new car?
I answer: Why? This one still looks good, still works, and costs me almost nothing to maintain...

It has spent every day/night outside (Honolulu if that changes anything), and I use the (fulltime) 4WD only to pull my boat up the ramp.

It reduces the MPG by a few, and wish I could put into 2WD and disconnect the front hubs, but can't so, I pay $12 a tank more for gas... such is life...

I was over the Pacific at 38,000' at 3am recently, and wrote this list of maintenance discrepancies:

Front rotors pulsing at 12k mi, dealership said "not covered under warranty, wear item" (so much for the $1200 7yr/70,000mi" bumper to bumper" extended warranty, that I purchased from the selling dealership), and to TURN the front rotors: $262!
There was also an oil leak at the right front wheel.
Dealership said "Right front seal leak. Covered under warranty"
They changed right front axle seals and drained/refilled the front diff fluid.

I took the rotors off and had them turned at the local engine shop: $50

I noticed the battery was leaking near the positive post, it was cracked (another "wear item" according to the stealership), got a new battery from Costco.

24,000 mi the front rotors were pulsing again, which I lived with for a while, then replaced all 4 with aftermarket drilled rotors, and the problem never returned.

2011 and 44K mi (barely still under "extended warranty"), there was a SERIOUS leak into the driver floor area after a heavy rain (water was 1" above the carpet...), the dealership said it was the throttle cable (it wasn't, it and the firewall around it were still covered with 7 yrs of dust), but they changed it, and blew air on the carpet for 3 days.

One week later after another heavy rain, another 1" of water was in the driver footwell...

I had them pull out the center console and front carpet and give me the car back that way.
I told them about drips under the transmission too, they replaced the gear selector lever seal, the pan gasket and the transfer case output shaft seal. Covered under warranty. Cost for that visit? $597.87

I cut the foam backing off the carpet (the foam is sandwiched between a sheet of plastic and the carpet backing) and laid it all out in the sun for weeks, until it was thoroughly dry).
I changed the window seals (lower wiper), because the ends were rusting, and both front door seals (the stealership wouldn't cover it), no change.
Water STILL on the floor.

After about 6 months, I FINALLY determined the leak was coming from between the interior door panel and the door, so I dis-assembled the door panel and found the plastic sheet that separates the two had disintegrated near the armrest and was allowing outside rain into the car. I replaced it with a vinyl shower curtain. No more leak. Reassembled the carpet and reinstalled it and the center console. No further problems (but I am really good at R/R the seats and center console now...)

The only other "major" issue I have had was the starter stopped working at about 50k mi. Turned the key, nothing (good thing the Jeep was in my driveway, and I have a spare car). Jumped the solenoid contacts, started right up. Checked the start voltage to the solenoid, +12v. Pulled the starter (man that is a tight fit...) did a quick disassembly and checked everything checked out, it ran fine on the floor. Put it back into the Jeep, no click. Another starter removal... Diagnosis: bad solenoid (but only when the battery cable was tightened). Everyone says you can't get a replacement solenoid: "you have to buy the whole starter". Not true. I found the solenoid is the same as on a Mitsubishi (sorry can't find the receipt or part#). $50 solenoid later, no further problems.

The original tires (Goodyear Wrangler SR-A) were at the wear bars at 38k, second set of tires (Michelin X-Radial LT2) replaced at 82k (driven 44k miles and 7 years) due to sidewall cracking. Put Goodyear SR-A back on, because they matched the original spare (which is now on the vehicle, and will be until IT is worn out...)

Oh yeah, the AIR BAG light came on at 62k, Dealership said "yes there is a recall for you SRS system, but you have to pay to fix any faults causing the AirBag light before we address the recall". Yea, right...

I changed the clock spring ($138) and turned the key on-off 254 times. Airbag light went out.

Here is the total list (in approximate order)
not including "scheduled maint" items (done at schedule)

Front axle seal $n/c (but $52 to check warped rotors)
Turn rotors $50
Sachs lift supports (6) $80?
Rotors/pads $250
Battery $75
Door seal panel ($100 for the rubber seals, didn't fix it)
Window seal rusting $40/pr
Front shocks rattled (the upper rubber had shrunk and the washers were rattling. Tightened nut)
Headlights fogged, tried polishing, ended up replacing. $200
Rt caliper bracket pin corroded, replaced $50
Transmission seals/transfer case seal $100
Driver door speaker wiring break .50
Starter solenoid $50?
Clock Spring $138
Air vents blowing foam chunks and now 100 degree air hot air (blend door foam disintegrated?) not fixed yet
Rt rear shock leaking. Replace all with Rancho 5000 $250 (will put gas charged shocks in next time)
Rt front speaker wiring $2
Lift supports (again) $60?
Front suspension bumpers disintegrated $30
Rt front seat fwd-aft gear failed. Replacement from "TwoMenOneGarage" $99
Rear suspension bumpers disintegrated $50
All suspension seats melted/disintegrated $100
Front visor fabric disintegrated (est $250 ea, not fixed)
Headliner disintegrating (pull headliner and replace with eBay foam fabric $100 and 2 days?...)
Calipers scored, so replaced entire system with PowerStop Calipers/slotted rotors/pads $400
AirBag light is on again...

On the to do list (have the parts in the garage):
serpentine belt
Transmission fluid/filter/pan (replace with a "drain hole" version)

Links for repairs I have posted here:
SRS Air Bag AND Seatbelt Lights on

WJ Clock Spring Replacement
WJ Clock Spring Replacement pics

How to take out the seats (with pics)

Seat stuck? Is your gear broken?

Starter/solenoid replacement

Front end "rattle"... solved

Caliper/pad/rotor replacement video

Last edited by FunWithPaul; 01-22-2020 at 08:45 PM. Reason: links
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