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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
This is long, sorry for that but its a tough story:
I loved the car, a WK2, it pulled a trailer well, had many deluxe features inside, and most of that worked well. The only weakness I experienced was with the electronics emission controls, and I heard that from many others. Probably that is complicated by the fact that some dealerships were less experienced in dealing with it. I was forced to use the dealer as my second hand 2015 had some warranty time remaining. That turned out to be an important fact to the demise of the car. But after the big EPA-forced settlement of 2019, i accepted the money and was forced to install the firmware updates (s). After this, the ECM never seemed as stable. But to backtrack, my car was in the shop for 12 continuous weeks in 2019. The magnetic strip on the flywheel had shattered (not uncommon) and crashed the sensor in the housing. This stopped the car instantly on the highway, right when I was passing, lucky I was able to swerve off to the right with a little space. That repair took weeks until they found the cause, the crankshaft position sensor. Warranty covered it. But upon recovery, they said they found fuel contamination that prevented it from starting again. Through the filter so I was told. I was more suspicious that it got through the filter when they changed the filter element. Fuel contamination is one of the issues that isn't covered by warranty. So to get my car back i was out of about ~$8200 to get a new fuel system all the way to the tank. I had to file insurance claim and that took weeks and weeks to get agreement, but i was then only out of $500 plus not having the car for a long time. Dealer loaned me a Cherokee, but it was so underpowered comparitively and I have to drive up a mountain daily for work. Finally, it was 'repaired'. When I got the car back, the recall campaign came about, and thinking I could recoup from of my out of pocket costs, I agreed. For $2460 plus extension of the engine/drivetrain warranty. Seemed like a smart thing to have at the time. That was the beginning of a series of repeated fault messages about the DEF injector fouling. I consistently used good fresh DEF and forced regens but no matter. In fall of 2019 this happened several times to where the car would start countdown that I had 175 miles before it would not restart. I routinely drove that car across New Mexico, which was over 300 miles and on long road trips so this was not acceptable. Each time it gave the message I took it back, they played with it and cleared the message and said it would go away. I read up online here and found one tip that helped. I even took out injector myself and cleared out the white urea crud that had built up. Finally in late 2019 it seemed stable, but in early 2020 the messages came again. I used OBD2 reader that could reset them, but not the countdown timer deadly message. When the pandemic came, I was sitting on a car that continued to report issues of the DEF system and a few other random messages.
My options became to get someone to rip out the emissions control system, instantly voiding what extended warranty I had. Or to just give up on that lemon. I started looked for another diesel car of comparably HP and torque, from BWM, from Land Rover, and realized that all of them have some similar DEF issues but maybe they had better workarounds and less buggy firmware. I test drove them. A nice 6 cylinder 2018 X5 xdrive35i appeared at a distant used lot, and I tested it, and that made my mind up. The GC was traded in as is, and I got a much more reliable car, a bit spartan compared to the Jeep in inside features, but with plenty of HP, amazing performance for 22 mpg, and with a flat torque curve from low RPM to high that was good enough to pull trailers again. I miss the sound and pull of the diesel, and my fuel now (91 octane) is about the same cost as diesel here, but I am not convinced I no longer want diesel cars. I had them all the way back to the first Diesel Rabbit in 1977!
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