Hi.Hi everyone, I’m Bob* (hi Bob). I was so pleased with my newly acquired 2015 Grand Cherokee Summit Diesel. I have a 20' camper and live in Denver. Some of our mountain passes were just too much for my 2004 Grand Cherokee, even with the 4.7 HO (Curse you Berthoud Pass, with your long inclining straights, then power robbing switchbacks). The girlfriend's 2010 GC with a 5.7 Hemi handles them great, but I was really looking forward to seeing what my new diesel could do this summer.
When I picked her up, she had about 115,000 on her, one owner, clean Carfax. $19,600 seemed like a good, fair deal from a private party. I had really been enjoying the many new features this loaded GC had, the adaptive cruise control being my absolute favorite, but the hearted wheel was a close second. I had also started working my way through the 120,000 mile maintenance protocol, including fuel filter, oil change with Mobile One, 5W-30 Delvac, and K&N insert, radiator flush and fill with OEM spec 100,000 mile coolant. I have to admit the acceleration lag was getting a bit annoying, to the point that I had ordered the Green Diesel Engineering software update.
Unfortunately, I never got a chance to install it, or even open the box for that matter. About a month ago, today, while coming home from Buena Vista, about 8 miles up the canyon on Hwy 285, a “thunk”, followed by a flashing "low oil pressure" warning on the dash, ** and she comes to a rolling stop, half off the road, as there was no shoulder at this point on the narrow, two lane road. a good Samaritan pulled us about1/2 mile further ahead to a proper pull off, and then a tow truck took us back to BV (Thanks Darin at Alpine Towing).
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Later that week it was towed back to the Auto Nation Jeep on Colfax not far from my house, NOT where I got it, just close and experts, (they have been great, thanks Mike) They had a chance to look at it, on the lift, skid plates off just the other day. It wasn't pretty, engine parts, on the skid plate, bad parts. Inside, on the outside bad. It is suspected that the hole in the side of the block was the source. I think I have put maybe 6,000 miles on this vehicle. I still owe almost $19,000 on it. The repair guestimate is $23,000, including a new motor, radiator, heater core and all cooling and oil lines.
Where to go from here?
So far, my most promising option is to replace the engine with a rebuilt or maybe a crate motor. Either try to do myself with some help or use a solid, independent shop in the area. I am a pretty good wrench, but the last engine I replaced was in a 78 Bronco, and that was well over 30 years ago. Kind of has me leaning towards a good, local shop.
So, that is my Jeep horror story, open to thoughts, suggestions or ideas.
*New here but I’ve been emptying every pocket for years. A ZJ in 92, a TJ in 99 (bought new-184k), Some WJs 00 (52-185k), 01 & 04 (current). I also kept-up a couple of family WKs with the 5.7 Hemi’s. And of course helped or done a litany of lifts and shocks and ball joints that come with Jeep friends.
** Found this after the fact, look at "Engine Problems and Reliability" towards, the end.
3.0L EcoDiesel V6 Engine - In-Depth Look at Design and Reliability
"The most common problem is an oil cooler failure which makes many people angry and frustrated with EcoDiesel. This engine has a water-cooled oil cooler. It uses an engine coolant to cool engine oil. Usually, the oil cooler fails during towing or heavy hauling when engine oil reaches high temperatures and can seep into engine cooling systems. Oil coats everything inside a radiator, cooling passages, and may reduce the efficiency of the cooling system. The clear sign of this problem is the presence of oil in the coolant expansion tank.
Engine oil cooler and oil filter come in assembly with an adapter housing, which has the oil check valve built-in. This check valve is made of plastic and has small unreliable springs. Relatively long runs with high oil temperatures will weaken these springs, and the check valve can fail. This is usually accompanied by a short blinking of the low oil pressure indicator on the dashboard. During these blinking times, the engine runs without oil, which will cause significant damage to all internal components in a short time."
How did you move forward with your Jeep repairs?
The Ecotech engines are a real basket case. Fiat should be ashamed of themselves. Shame that they could not continue to use the Mercedes unit. They were not without issues but the engine itself was pretty sturdy.