Transmission Failure - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
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post #1 of 29 Old 04-04-2011, 04:10 PM Thread Starter
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Transmission Failure

Well, driving back from camping this weekend my transmission took a dump. No warning light, no chime..nothing. Just smoke and fire from underneath.
Got it towed to the dealership and wouldn't you know it my "lifetime" warranty was voided when THEY sold me the Jeep with 4 inch lift and 35" tires.
I informed them of the fact that the Jeep was sold to me like that so now they are going to open up a case to see if Chrysler will fix it but I don't have much faith.
Here is the best part. I asked them if I had a stock Jeep with a transmission cooler installed it that would void my warranty. I was told yes it would have.
I told the Service Rep that another dealership had fixed my Jeep under warranty several other times for other issues. She said she saw that and that they have now red flagged that Jeep friendly dealership.
She said best case is they will fix the transmission but I will no longer ever be able to get warranty work done again!
So much for a "lifetime" warranty.
Looks like I will be in the market for a new transmission real soon.


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post #2 of 29 Old 04-04-2011, 04:22 PM
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Shitty deal, I figured that was how they were gonna deal with it......
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post #3 of 29 Old 04-04-2011, 06:12 PM Thread Starter
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Just got off the phone with the Service rep. They wanted the paperwork from when the lift was installed, who did the work, what type of lift, what size tires, which wheels, etc...
I told her I don't have that paperwork anymore it was 3 years ago. She said she will contact the dealership and get it from them. Yeah I am quite sure that paperwork will have long since disappeared!
The only good thing is now I don't have to worry about the warranty and can modify the Jeep so it will actually work the way I want it to.


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post #4 of 29 Old 04-09-2011, 05:12 AM
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well i guess my jeep is pretty much a ticking time bomb then bc i got the same deal as you except i did not get the wheels/tires due to i could get them cheaper but told them keep the lift and later found out its garbage. what kind of offroading were you doing when this happened or were you just daily driving it ?

guess ill have to be saving for a improved tranny now
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post #5 of 29 Old 04-09-2011, 06:16 AM
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Hope they fix this for you at one of the dealerships. I put in a trans cooler to try to prevent a problem Chrysler just put a light fix on.
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post #6 of 29 Old 04-09-2011, 07:57 AM
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I can't believe they would void the warranty because of an aftermarket trans cooler. That's bullshit. Bigger tires I can understand; although, that's kind of weak, too.

I used to be a GM tech back in the late 80's until the turn of the century, and we warrantied just about everything. Trucks that were lifted, slammed, bigger tires, smaller tires, whatever, we didn't care. It was income for us at the dealer and what the factory didn't know wouldn't hurt them in our opinion.

Chrysler may have made a move in the right direction regarding their interiors and design, but they have a long way to go regarding customer satisfaction.

If there was an alternative off-road vehicle with the same capabilities and aftermarket options of a Jeep built by a different manufacturer, I would not have bought a Jeep.

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post #7 of 29 Old 04-09-2011, 07:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SFCCotton View Post
Here is the best part. I asked them if I had a stock Jeep with a transmission cooler installed it that would void my warranty. I was told yes it would have.
I asked that very same question to my local dealer/service department and was told that simply adding a cooler WOULD NOT void my warranty on the Jeep or transmission. So I guess it all depends on the dealership.

For the record, I have not added the cooler or had any issues with my transmission.
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post #8 of 29 Old 04-09-2011, 08:31 AM
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I think the best option is to take it to the dealership that you purchased from,assuming that they're still in business. Dealerships are all independent and they don't always play nice, especially if you didn't buy your jeep from them. The dealerships have the leverage in situations where mods are involved.

I talked to several dealerships in my area about powertrain warranty issues and was flat out denied because of my mods. I called the service dept. where I bought my Jeep, which is a two hour drive for me and the service manager is willing to work with me.

Just my experience.
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post #9 of 29 Old 04-09-2011, 10:32 AM Thread Starter
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I am sorry guys. I have not updated this thread.
Here is what happened. We did call the dealership we bought the Jeep from in Ontario California. The Service Manager there is super cool. He drives a lifted JK so he is VERY Jeep friendly. He called bullshit on the dealership in Barstow California. He removed all the red flags off my Jeep and got the warranty paperwork sorted out.
He towed my Jeep from Barstow to Ontario at no cost to me. He had the transmission torn apart and rebuilt under warranty. I asked him about the transmission cooler and he said it won't void the warranty if it is installed properly. He did say he had to be a dick to a guy few weeks back because he installed the cooler wrong and it clogged. That caused the transmission to seize and that was 100% the owners fault. So just make sure you know WTF you are doing when installing one.
After a little research we found out Soutars Dodge in Barstow is a bunch of scam artists. They are not accredited by the BBB for too many unresolved complaints. Since all the vehicles get towed there from the freeway to Vegas they have an unlimited supply of service vehicles. What they do is void your warranty so you have to pay them cash for the repairs. They get more money when you pay them they do from warranty work. This is they way business operates in Barstow California. It is the armpit of California and the business owners are the assholes!
So end result....Jeep got fixed under warranty in one week. They towed it there last Tuesday and it will be done this Tuesday. If you are ever in Southern California and looking for a dealership to buy a Jeep from I highly suggest Ontario Jeep in Ontario California. The salesmen are great and the service department is obviously outstanding.


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post #10 of 29 Old 04-09-2011, 10:55 AM
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Nice! Glad it got all worked out for you!


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post #11 of 29 Old 04-09-2011, 12:05 PM
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Wow Rod, sorry you had the be the guinea pig to test that Barstow Dealership. At least we know where we shouldnt be towing our Jeeps.
Glad it worked out.
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post #12 of 29 Old 04-09-2011, 01:46 PM
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That's ridiculous!

Someone should bring that up to Jeep corporate! In this day and age where Customer Service should be high on every business' priority list, this dealer should be on the chopping block.


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post #13 of 29 Old 04-09-2011, 05:59 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jeeperjkj View Post
That's ridiculous!

Someone should bring that up to Jeep corporate! In this day and age where Customer Service should be high on every business' priority list, this dealer should be on the chopping block.
Yeah unfortunately they are the only dealership in town. Soutar's owns Ford, Chrysler, GM, and Toyota dealerships in Barstow. Kind of a monopoly in town. They ran out all the competition in town when the economy crashed.
And the Service managers for all the dealerships are family of the owner so they aren't getting fired.
Sounds like a story out of the old west doesn't it?


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post #14 of 29 Old 04-09-2011, 10:48 PM
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That's great that you got it covered! I had no such luck and it cost me $2200

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post #15 of 29 Old 04-10-2011, 06:24 AM
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Glad this got resolved for you.
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post #16 of 29 Old 04-10-2011, 10:36 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by TEXASKEV View Post
That's great that you got it covered! I had no such luck and it cost me $2200
Yeah you should take it to small claims court. The law states that the manufacturer has to prove that your after market part caused the failure. It is almost impossible to prove a lift kit causes a transmission failure. This is straight from the factory representative at Chrysler.
Lift kits and larger tires do put strain on a transmission but don't cause the failure. The fact that Chrysler had to put out a recall for the transmission is an admittance of a flaw in the transmission and therefore makes your case stronger.
I am no lawyer but when a factory rep tells me this I listen!


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post #17 of 29 Old 04-10-2011, 05:44 PM
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here is what the dealership in Barstow was thinking...........hehe look at this old fart coming in here....we know he has money and he doesnt know any better

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post #18 of 29 Old 04-11-2011, 09:56 PM
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Refreshing... a 'good news' dealership story... how rare!

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post #19 of 29 Old 04-13-2011, 04:45 PM Thread Starter
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Just picked up the Jeep from the dealership!

Bonus........

They installed an Auxiliary Cooler at no cost.!
And no not the one that comes with the JK...an actual auxiliary cooler!



This is how it is connected



I am super stocked!
My Aeroforce Gauges should be here next week so I will all set in the tranny department.

Once again can't say enough good things about the dealership!


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post #20 of 29 Old 04-13-2011, 05:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SFCCotton View Post
Just picked up the Jeep from the dealership!

Bonus........

They installed an Auxiliary Cooler at no cost.!
And no not the one that comes with the JK...an actual auxiliary cooler!



This is how it is connected



I am super stocked!
My Aeroforce Gauges should be here next week so I will all set in the tranny department.

Once again can't say enough good things about the dealership!
That is the Mopar one that is for the export vehicle TSB.
We've added 2 under warranty in our shop.

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post #21 of 29 Old 04-16-2011, 07:12 PM
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Glad they fixed you up rod

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post #22 of 29 Old 04-17-2011, 06:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by owtdorz View Post
That is the Mopar one that is for the export vehicle TSB. We've added 2 under warranty in our shop.
Looks good. From his photos it looks like the new cooler completely eliminates the one in the A/C condenser. Is that right?

BTW, thanks very much for posting the photos.
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post #23 of 29 Old 04-18-2011, 08:33 AM
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on a positive note.....I picked up a couple new fire extinguishers the other day!

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post #24 of 29 Old 04-18-2011, 11:10 AM
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Quote:
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I can't believe they would void the warranty because of an aftermarket trans cooler. That's bullshit. Bigger tires I can understand; although, that's kind of weak, too.
So putting bigger rubber on voids the factory warranty?

To be honest, while I think both are weak, I would argue that changing any aspect of the engine (for example) would be more of a "change" than adding bigger tires. Of course theres a fine line. How much bigger? Other changes to couple the larger tires? I run 33"s so thats just shocking to me that something like that would void the warranty as there is no need to change gearing or shocks etc. I lose gas mileage and my speedometer is 2mph off...thats it. Do the bigger tires stress the stock JKU?

I mean hell, I could add a new bumper, side rails/sliders, body armour, flashlights, seat covers, tool kit, safety kit, off road lights etc. etc. etc. all for preference/looks and that will add up the lbs and force my "stock" parameters to work harder and stress the setup more too right?

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post #25 of 29 Old 04-18-2011, 11:47 AM
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Wow, glad that worked out. Why do dealers have to be such assholes about things? My dealer is mod friendly and the only thing they said about larger tires is that if you go past 33", you have to recalibrate the speedo so that the vehicle shows the correct mileage.

Your dealer sounds like know what customer service is all about.


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