Jeep Commander Problems: 4 Common Issues

Suppose you were thinking of buying a Jeep Commander because of its rugged looks, offroad capability, and the option of the incredible HEMI V8. In that case, there are some common issues to consider before taking the plunge.

The Jeep Commander suffers from the interior door handles breaking, engine stalling without warning, sunroof leaking, and potential HEMI V8 engine failure.

To help you make a more informed decision, we’ve broken down the four common issues below and looked at some Commander recalls you need to be aware of (especially if you have one of these models).

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4 Common Jeep Commander Problems

1. Interior Door Handles Breaking

The interior door handles of the Jeep Commander were not the sturdiest of designs. 

You had a lot of leverage advantage over the hingeing part of the handle.

Even small children had enough force to break the interior door handle off.

You can either DIY the door handle with plastic epoxy and a nylon spacer or buy an upgraded door handle from DORMAN at a much budget-friendlier price than Chrysler can.

2. Engine Stalls Without Warning

In the 2006 and 2007 model years petrol powered Jeep Commanders, the engine would die without warning leaving the driver and occupants in a dangerous situation.

The issue will start showing its head at around 83,000 miles (133,576 kilometers).

Many owners are still left in the dark about the issue because when they restart the car, it shows no signs of anything being wrong, no engine light, and no recorded history on the vehicle’s ECU.

Chrysler fixed some of these early models with a software update done on the powertrain control module at the dealerships, but some owners still have this issue.

3. Sunroof Leaking

Many owners that left their Jeep Commander outside in the rain have returned to their vehicles with the carpet drenched in water.

Some unlucky few even had the water drip precisely on the radio and satnav screen, damaging the two units and then needing it replaced.

The culprit behind this is the sunroof drain of the Commander, which can easily get blocked and starts building up the water around the sunroof until it starts seeping in.

A good rule is to regularly clean the sunroof drain every few months or more if you park under or near trees.

4. 5.7 HEMI V8 overheating

This is not super common, but something to look into since the damage from the engine overheating is quite expensive.

Some owners have driven their Jeep Commander and seen their water temperature gauge starting to climb at an alarming rate.

The overheating issues usually start at around 131,000 miles (210,824 kilometers).

In most incidents, the radiator houses popped off, so ensure that your HEMI-powered Commanders’ hoses are still in good condition and tightly secured.

Jeep Commander Recalls

While most Jeep Commanders are recalled, some still slipped through the service centers’ grasp and are roaming the streets with hazardous problems.

Let us look at these problems, and if you own a Jeep Commander and don’t know about these recalls, go to a Jeep dealer for your safety.

2007 Recalls

  • 2006 to 2007 model year vehicles have faulty software on the ABS control module that could delay braking when going up a hill.
  • 2006 to 2007 mode year vehicles’ front brake calipers were manufactured incorrectly, and the calipers were cast with gray iron and not ductile iron, causing the caliper to fracture without warning resulting in worsened braking performance.

2008 Recalls

  • 2008 model-year vehicles have a front control module that may have been manufactured incorrectly and resulted in the vehicle stalling while driving or the wipers not working.
  • 2006 model-year vehicles equipped with the PowerTech 4.7-liter V8 engines have a PCM (Powertrain Control Module) programmed with software that can result in the vehicle stalling under certain conditions.

2009 Recall

  • 2009 model-year vehicles may have wiring in the steering column that goes to the airbag that is reversed, resulting in the airbag not deploying as intended in an accident.

2010 Recalls

  • 2010 model-year vehicles may have been assembled with missing or misformed brake booster input rod retaining clips, resulting in total brake failure without warning.
  • 2010 model-year vehicles may have been built with improperly manufactured rear track bar that increases vehicle instability. 
  • 2010 model-year vehicles equipped with WIN (Wireless Ignition Node) module may have a binding issue of the solenoid latch, resulting in the key being able to be removed before the vehicle is placed in park position on the transmission.

2013 Recall

  • 2006 to 2010 model-year vehicles may have a transfer case electrical issue where the transfer case is accidentally shifted into neutral, resulting in the car not having any drive and can also roll away.

2014 Recalls

  • 2006 to 2007 model-year vehicles, the driver, can accidentally hit the key with their knee, resulting in the key going out of the run position, the car stalling, and many safety features being disabled.
  • 2007 to 2008 model-year vehicles, the key of the car may get stuck between the “start” and “run” positions and, while driving, can move past “run” into the “accessory” or “off” position.
2007 black jeep commander crd limited driving though a creek in the woods
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Final thoughts on Jeep Commander problems

While it might be a boxy, mid-size SUV, the Jeep Commander does not have that many problems compared to its siblings, like the Patriot and the Renegade.

With only the first two years mainly affected, the Jeep Commander is a good contender in the mid-size SUV market. 

Hopefully, you found this article helpful, and you can go to your next Commander test drive knowing what to look out for.


Is the Jeep Commander Reliable?

Yes, with a quality and reliability rating of between 77 and 78 in the J.D.Power.
This score is rated as average on J.D.Power, and the yearly maintenance cost is only $639 compared to most other midsize SUVs that average around $784.

Do Jeep Commanders have transmission problems?

No, there was no known issue with the transmission used in the Jeep Commanders.
The only issue was on the transfer case (on 4wd models) wiring that could shift the transfer case into neutral without warning, but a recall fixed this.

Is it worth buying a Jeep Commander?

Yes, compared to most of its siblings, it is very reliable and has the least amount of issues.
The looks aren’t for everyone, but the boxy design has a charm, and with today’s fuel costs, the diesel variant with the Mercedes V6 turbo diesel engine might not be the wrong choice.

What engine is in a Jeep Commander?

There was only one diesel variant with an OM642 Mercedes 3.0 liter V6 turbo diesel and three gasoline-powered engines.
The Chrysler 3.7 PowerTech V6 was the smallest gasoline engine, and the Chrysler 4.7 PowerTech V8 was the smallest V8 available.
You could also buy the Commander with the Legendary HEMI 5.7 liter V8 with 360HP (268KW).

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Jaco Schrader

Jaco is the automotive heart of our platform. Born and raised in Namibia, he began his journey in the automobile sector in 2012. Launching his own automotive repair business in Africa and fitting a Toyota 1UZ-FE V8 in a Ford Sierra, Jaco brings over six years of hands-on automotive experience. He’s a self-taught expert in various mechanical and electrical aspects of vehicles.

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