I found this forum as I seem to be racking up expensive repairs on my 2017 Rubicon Recon Edition and am looking for insight or advice. I'll admit I'm not very car-savvy, but I love my Rubicon and up until September of last year have had no issues. It's always been serviced at the dealership, and has been maintained by the book. The car has never been in an accident, and I haven't taken it off-road but one time the first year I owned it.
Here's the timeline:
Drove across country with it in late August. Had the wheels balanced and rotated a month before out West, where I was living. Car hit 60,000 miles so I took it into the dealership in my hometown in New Hampshire for scheduled tune-up. Was told that I had 3 wheel seals leaking that needed replacement. Okay, that stinks, $2900 for all services.
When I got the car back it did not drive the same. The steering felt loose, particularly on corners at higher speeds. I began to develop what I believe is called "the death wobble" over the next several months, but I rarely drive on the highway or any speed greater than about 30 MPH as I live in the mountains and have no need to commute. I had to drive the airport once and literally had to pull over 5 times as the car started shaking violently on corners.
When I got back in November I took the car right to the dealership, explained what had happened. They drove it around the parking lot and said it's the tires, they were aggressive stock mud terrain and the service manager said it had a cupped wear pattern. I was due to put my studded tires on for the winter, so sigh, okay, throw out the old tires.
This made a very minimal difference. Over the winter I did very little driving, and my roads are dirt and full of potholes, so everything is a challenge to control the car. I began to notice the wobble more and more the times I had to go to town on paved roads at 50 MPH.
The engine light came on 2 weeks ago, but I could not notice any change in the sound. or feel of the car. I brought it to the dealership and they checked it and it was a gas cap seal failure (which I cleared in the interim by simply gently moving the gas tank inlet around), and that I also needed new rear brakes, new rear shock, one of the front wheel seals they repaired was leaking again, and left left front axle joint was loose and needed to be replaced. They would eat the cost of the wheel seal as they had recently repaired it (after I proved it to them). Okay, sigh. $1760. I explained, again, the wobble and they assured me this would fix the problem.
So the work is complete yesterday, the mechanic test drives it and says "Hey, this car isn't driving correctly!". Gets the manager and his boss and the take it for a test drive. Suddenly the car won't turn correctly, and to quote him "It feels like the front end is tearing itself about left-to-right". Gets the master mechanic to look at it and they conclude that it's probably the front differential attenuator, 98% chance, but they can't guarantee it. That'll be another $1,500, please, and now unfortunately the car is not drivable because it won't turn. I have not authorized that work yet.
I'm reaching out to see if anyone has any idea(s) as to what I should do, or what the root cause of the problem is? I've sunk $5,000 into the car in the last 7 months and am left with an undrivable vehicle, when it was absolutely perfect when I brought it in for scheduled maintenance.
Thanks for your time. I know this was a small book to read.