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AN: A deeper look at the Dart DDCT recall


20 replies to this topic

#1 News Feed

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Posted December 20, 2012 at 02:36 pm

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Michael Volkmann provided photos of a Fiat dual-dry-clutch transmission being repaired under the Dodge Dart DDCT recall. The transmission provides the direct-contact efficiency of a manual, but automatically shifts itself; this particular design was tuned carefully to feel more like a traditional hydraulic-activation automatic than most dual-clutch units. According to Chrysler, the clutch slave cylinder may have been made incorrectly, causing a fluid leak.  The issue only affects transmissions made in a certain date range, and customers are being notified. Dealerships have reportedly been told to fix all cars they have on the lot before selling them; if they sell the car before fixing it, the dealer will reportedly have to cover the labor costs. The instructions are highly detailed, with over 100 steps, and while the transmission has to be completely removed before servicing, the case does not have to be opened. The slave cylinder is on top..

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#2 MoparNorm

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Posted December 20, 2012 at 10:30 pm

Kind of the last nail in the DDCT trans and paves the way for the 9 speed...?

#3 brycmtthw

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Posted December 21, 2012 at 12:37 am

The DDCT is AWESOME! Wish it were in more cars... 2.4 TigerShark 200? It's way better than my Mitsu 4spd auto in my Sebring...

#4 ImperialCrown

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Posted December 21, 2012 at 06:45 am

 That this is an actual recall and not simply an RRT or TSB is alarming, but goes to show the new concern for product quality. Every car and truck must be right.

 It is too bad when the problem is an 'unaccessible' hardware piece like this. The chances of another service-induced problem cropping up from such an invasive surgery goes way up every time that this happens. A touchscreen press for a software flash to fix things is comparatively easy.

I'm sure that the 'too complex for dealer service' new world multi-speed gearboxes from ZF and Aisin-Warner, etc. will have their share of issues, although hopefully not at the recall level and these units may be far less serviceable than the DDCT. 



#5 UN4GTBL

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Posted December 21, 2012 at 09:15 am

At least it's not as bad as the recent Ford recalls

#6 Mike V.

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Posted December 21, 2012 at 09:41 am

The flywheel is is really interesting also.

The plugs on the harness are not the traditional plugs we have beens used too from Chrysler either. Many of the connectors are similar but they are labeled in a slick coded manner.

It was interesting. What was really interesting was all the aluminum sub structure under the Dart.

Mike

That this is an actual recall and not simply an RRT or TSB is alarming, but goes to show the new concern for product quality. Every car and truck must be right.
It is too bad when the problem is an 'unaccessible' hardware piece like this. The chances of another service-induced problem cropping up from such an invasive surgery goes way up every time that this happens. A touchscreen press for a software flash to fix things is comparatively easy.
I'm sure that the 'too complex for dealer service' new world multi-speed gearboxes from ZF and Aisin-Warner, etc. will have their share of issues, although hopefully not at the recall level and these units may be far less serviceable than the DDCT.

The exact term on the Customer side is "CUSTOMER SATISFACTION NOTIFICATION" now.

Based on the experience of my friends, the ZF 8 speed has been excellent thus far with no issues. In fact a good friend of mine was commenting that the only one he had ever seen was during training a year ago. Hopefully the 9 speed will be the same.

Mike

Edited by Mike V., December 21, 2012 at 01:34 pm.


#7 TWX

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Posted December 21, 2012 at 09:46 am

 It is too bad when the problem is an 'unaccessible' hardware piece like this. The chances of another service-induced problem cropping up from such an invasive surgery goes way up every time that this happens. A touchscreen press for a software flash to fix things is comparatively easy.

 

The Stratus I used to have had its head gasket replaced under warranty or recall or something, and whoever did it botched it, leading to my woes later.  Exhaust bubbling through the coolant.

 

I'm glad they caught it early instead of catching it late like with the Powertech head gaskets.



#8 Mike V.

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Posted December 21, 2012 at 09:49 am

The Stratus I used to have had its head gasket replaced under warranty or recall or something, and whoever did it botched it, leading to my woes later. Exhaust bubbling through the coolant.

I'm glad they caught it early instead of catching it late like with the Powertech head gaskets.


Ultimately this is a good thing. It's a pain for dealers, customers, and Chrysler... But it is a good thing

Kind of the last nail in the DDCT trans and paves the way for the 9 speed...?


If its as good as the 8 speed... It can't get here soon enough IMHO

Mike

#9 LoganSix

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Posted December 21, 2012 at 09:58 am

if they sell the car before fixing it, the dealer will reportedly have to cover the labor costs

 

Well, that's what happened to my parent's Dart.  It took over a week to get repaired.  I just hope that the time that they drove it (very short distance) doesn't cause any other long term problems with the transmission.



#10 Mike V.

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Posted December 21, 2012 at 11:53 am

Well, that's what happened to my parent's Dart. It took over a week to get repaired. I just hope that the time that they drove it (very short distance) doesn't cause any other long term problems with the transmission.


If it wasn't leaking then it probably won't matter at all. This is a quality thing... They think it may be faulty batch so they are replacing.

IMHO there is little to worry about.

Mike

#11 Dave

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Posted December 21, 2012 at 11:55 am

Kind of the last nail in the DDCT trans and paves the way for the 9 speed...?

 

Are you thinking that a single run of bad parts spells doom for an entire design that has been successfully used for a while now?



#12 Mike V.

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Posted December 21, 2012 at 12:03 pm

Are you thinking that a single run of bad parts spells doom for an entire design that has been successfully used for a while now?


While successful in Europe, only Vdub has had real success with the DCT style trans in the US, . Ford and Chrysler have now been skewered for DCTs. Being generic... Moving away from "normal", like the CVT for instance, seems to immediately scare people into assuming its bad.

I think the traditional 9 speed will be more popular and more critically acclaimed and the DDCT will be a memory after that.

Mike

#13 Stratuscaster

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Posted December 21, 2012 at 05:03 pm

I think it was a mistake to try and "retune the DDCT for a feel that more Americans think they like." If the DDCT was working fine prior to the "retune" - that tells me that maybe they should have just left it alone and chalked up the different feel to it's "Alfa DNA."

Then again, I'm sure they want to avoid another "CVT" debacle.

#14 MoparNorm

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Posted December 21, 2012 at 10:28 pm

All agreed and this isn't the end all be all trans, it's a stop gap until the 9 speed is ready.
When Tipton is up and running this will be a distant memory, but they didn't want consumers now, to know that.
So be forewarned.
(Wait for the 9 speed) ;)

#15 RVC

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Posted December 23, 2012 at 11:45 am

I think it was a mistake to try and "retune the DDCT for a feel that more Americans think they like." If the DDCT was working fine prior to the "retune" - that tells me that maybe they should have just left it alone and chalked up the different feel to it's "Alfa DNA."Then again, I'm sure they want to avoid another "CVT" debacle.


IMO what they should have done is give the driver the option to select two settings; one could select the true DCT feel for a sportier and instantaneous upshifts and downshifts like it happens in the Alfa, or a second and more sedate pseudo-automatic program like they have in the Dart right now. It's not a big cost overhead at all, it's already done in other cars in the family, and it would have silenced many criticis.

And they could still do it actually; all they would have to do is offer the option of a reflash when people bring their cars in for programmed service. You wouldn't have a dedicated button on the shifter base, but they could put a dedicated page on the screen to switch between the two options.

Too close to what Alfa does? I really don't think so, just don't give the options the same name! in any case I doubt they will be competing in the same price bracket.

#16 Dave

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Posted December 23, 2012 at 03:36 pm

I like that idea. However... then critics would slam it twice.

 

I find the complaints baffling.



#17 ImperialCrown

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Posted December 23, 2012 at 05:23 pm

The Americans and Europeans do prefer different feels and sounds from their automobiles. Control module software can do a large part of that.

My old Power/Economy 'Twin-stick' Turbo Colt shifter had two selectable personalities, but you don't see that option or the Auto-Stick very much anymore. I would shift through the 4 gears in Power and drop it into Economy for a 5th gear. How much of an actual demand is there for this option? It was novel at the time and extra ratios are always welcome, but the feature soon faded in importance.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autostick

 Software could make the CVT shift in steps like a 9-speed instead of 'slip and slide' CVT sensation and if the ratio range was widened, it could be very flexible.  The CVT did have a 6-speed Auto-Stick option which defeated the main purpose of a CVT in the first place. At what point do you stop adding complex planetary sets and clutches?

 The DDCT should be a staple FWD transaxle for awhile. The upcoming 9-speed is for RWD/AWD only like the current 8-speed, right?



#18 Erik Latranyi

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Posted December 23, 2012 at 05:46 pm

 The upcoming 9-speed is for RWD/AWD only like the current 8-speed, right?

 

No, the 9-speed is FWD and special applications only.



#19 RVC

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Posted December 23, 2012 at 06:59 pm

I like that idea. However... then critics would slam it twice.
 
I find the complaints baffling.


LOL, true, there's always that risk.

#20 MoparNorm

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Posted December 23, 2012 at 08:49 pm

No, the 9-speed is FWD and special applications only.

 

Well, maybe, but the way that PTO is configured leaves the door open for a 9 speed RWD.




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