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2017 Jeep Cherokee

Hello Car Talk Community! After listening to the show for years and enjoying the throwback episodes, I finally have needed advice of my own and am hoping to get some here.

I am leasing a 2017 Jeep Cherokee. I was considering purchasing it once my lease is up. I just took it into the dealership for a noise I heard when accelerating at low speeds. They tested it and said the exhaust baffle is broken; it is no longer under warranty and to order the part and replace it will cost $1,800. They also said my shifter needs service and that will cost $600 to repair.

There are very expensive bills, and even though I know the dealerships charge more, I am not even sure I want this car anymore, but I think I may be stuck - no way to know whether Jeep will foot me for the bill when I return the car or if this is covered under fair wear and tear.

Should I keep this car and repair it?
Should I return the car and cross my fingers that it won’t be detected?
Is a baffle a necessary repair if I keep the car?

Many thanks for any advice (or prayers)!

With this costly repair this soon why would you even think about keeping it ?

Try a muffler shop for the exhaust baffle and take you chance on the shifter at turn if it is not causing any problems now.

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Are you over mileage for the warranty? If you surrender the car after the lease is up will you be responsible for repairs?

Read your contract to see if you are ion the hook for repairs. If you are, they will repair it and present you with the bill. We can’t tell you what the contract says. If you are in the hook for repairs, get them done inexpensively elsewhere and think about turning it in.

Here’s what the contract says and at the end is what’s causing my head to scratch.

Under maintenance, repairs, operating expenses and damages, it says, in part, “You will maintain and repair the vehicle to keep it in good condition. […] You will pay all maintenance, repair and operating expenses. […] If you don’t do these things, we may down them. You will owe us our cost if we do…”

Under Excess Wear
“Excess wear is wear that is beyond the minor wear reasonably expected to result from ordinary, everyday use, assuming that you use the vehicle as this lease permits.” Then it goes and lists examples of excess wear, like tires, lights, brakes, etc. and then ends with, “Any other damage whether or not insurance covers it.

Seems vague to me. How does a muffler baffle become broken anyway? Could that happen due to abnormal use of the vehicle?

Nowhere near over the mileage. I am responsible for some repairs, though there is vagueness with this, as part of the lease agreement.

Under maintenance, repairs, operating expenses and damages, it says, in part, “You will maintain and repair the vehicle to keep it in good condition. […] You will pay all maintenance, repair and operating expenses. […] If you don’t do these things, we may down them. You will owe us our cost if we do…”

Under Excess Wear
“Excess wear is wear that is beyond the minor wear reasonably expected to result from ordinary, everyday use, assuming that you use the vehicle as this lease permits.” Then it goes and lists examples of excess wear, like tires, lights, brakes, etc. and then ends with, “ Any other damage whether or not insurance covers it.

One contributing reason why I am thinking about keeping it is financial. I am not enthusiastic about shelling out money to repair this car for things I don’t feel like I did and then have to spend more on a new lease.

I am confused. Did you lease a brand new car for a time period longer than the manufacturer’s warranty? Or, is the car out of warranty?

On a lease you either turn it in and walk away or you pay the amount of money that is in your original lease agreement . So you spend money to buy this problem vehicle or you make a new lease on a new vehicle or you go buy something new or used. Do you not know how a lease works ?

I would expect the repairs you mentioned to be warranty items. Follow up with a higher up person, not at the dealership. There may be a phone number in the manual. Maybe even a call to another dealer.

For future reference, leasing cars is generally a money-losing proposition. But there’s no way in hell I would lease a car with a bumper to bumper warranty period shorter than the lease term. I am not going to pay to fix bad parts on a car that I don’t even own.

Also, don’t buy this thing. It’s a reliability cesspool.

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It looks to me that you are responsible for the repairs unless they are warranty repairs. It doesn’t look like they are.

I came out ok on our 2017 rav4, 31k list price, paid 10.8 k on lease payments, bought out lease for 17.9k, and with low miles and model asking price at the dealers is 22 to 25k. All is well

So in other words you paid $3,000 to $6,000 more than you needed to. :wink:

I’m not saying leasing is always stupid, but it’s almost never as cost-effective as just buying the thing from the get-go.

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Who are you responding to? Leasing also gave us the option to make sure we were happy with the car.

It’s a matter of priorities. Leasing isn’t for me, but I plan to keep my cars for over 10 years, and I generally know what I want before I start looking.

A friend’s wife insisted on driving a Lexus and wanted to trade it in when the factory warranty expired. Every three years, a new Lexus ES sedan. He didn’t like it, but she did.

Yeah, yeah, Happy Wife theory at work. Was he a fool? Of course, but her fool, and that’s a win-win in my book.

Buying a new car and trading it in every 3 years may be even more expensive than leasing. if you bbuy it new and sekk it orivatly and then buy another new car, you pay more salles tax.