The Jeep has a long line of vehicles that have seen its share of winners and even some losers over the many years it’s been in production. The Jeep Renegade, the compact SUV they designed and produced for the 2015 season, was a loser, unfortunately. While the concept sounded promising, what they delivered to their consumers fell far short of everyone’s expectations.
Instead of rave reviews, the vehicle was met with tons of complaints, and most weren’t small issues either. Car Complaints lists some of the worst problems people had with their vehicles. Here are three of the most common issues reported.
Electrical problems in the Renegade
One of the most frequently reported complaints with the Jeep Renegade is that there is a mysterious no-start problem. Owners find that at least once a day, the Jeep won’t start. After several trips to dealerships, they’re told that there’s no problem, or they’ll replace the battery thinking it would solve the issue.
But, it doesn’t; it keeps coming back.
Owners introduced various theories as to what the problem might be. Some think there’s a short somewhere that’s draining the battery. Others feel that it’s an issue with the chip reader in the key fob. Sometimes the electronics interfere with the signal in the key device, causing it to lose connection with the car as the Jeep Renegade forum explains.
Another frustrating electrical issue owners experienced turned out to be a baffling case. Lights would dim and brighten on their own. The speedometer changed from miles to kilometers somehow and wouldn’t change back. One owner reported that the RPM light came on after driving over 15 miles and would sometimes stay on after the vehicle was off. The key fob will, on occasion, fail to lock the doors despite making the noise and flashing lights that it does when the locks actually work. The only theory seems to be a bad ground connection interfering with the electronics in the Jeep’s dash.
Transmission issues in the Jeep Renegade
When it comes to complaints against the Jeep Renegade, nothing tops the one with the transmission that many owners are very familiar with. Not long after buying the vehicle, people started noticing that when they shift, the car would pause and then it would surge. This motion would happen a lot, and sometimes it came close to getting the drivers into accidents.
Some owners complained to their local dealers who would tell them that it was common with the newer vehicles, especially with other Jeep vehicles. The computers in the Jeep were updated and seemed to work for a short period of time but came back a week or so later. Replacing the transmission was the only thing that helped.
A safety recall came out from FCA in 2016 due to a flaw in the sensor clusters of their nine-speed transmission. It was determined that the flaw could cause an unfortunate accident.
Squealing brakes for the Jeep Renegade
It’s common to hear some squealing noises with brakes, especially when they get wet, but the Renegade’s problem is a bit different. Because we’re not talking about a light squeaking that you sometimes hear with buses or other big rigs. Owners complained that it’s more of a loud screeching that draws the neighbors’ look of disdain.
Most of the issues reported say that the Jeep Renegade makes this loud sound when they back up in the driveway or from a parking spot. One driver reported the brakes squealed during stops while driving forward in traffic.
The dealerships that evaluated some of these vehicles would often claim there was nothing wrong or that they couldn’t duplicate the problem. One even went so far as to say that it was normal with the newer vehicles. Eventually, a theory popped up that the brake pad material was the culprit. The brake pads were then replaced. The owners didn’t report any more issues with the squealing brakes after that.
The 2015 Jeep Renegade was in the first year of production, though, so it’s not really surprising owners would experience many issues like this. Apparently, Jeep learned from some of those mistakes, because subsequent models after that had fewer and fewer complaints reported. The lesson here would be to avoid the 2015 model if you’re considering purchasing a Jeep Renegade in your future.