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Jeep “death wobble” fix on the way?

by David Zatz on

Remember the “Jeep Death Wobble”? It was big news back in 2012, when pundits suddenly discovered that, as a certain type of suspension aged (or was inappropriately modified), they could get into a loop where the front end would wobble until the vehicle went out of control or was stopped.

In 2012, Chrysler issued a technical service bulletin and a press release which declared, “This condition is not unique to Chrysler Group vehicles; any manufacturer’s vehicle equipped with a solid front axle has the potential to exhibit steering system vibration.” Technical Service Bulletin 19-002-12 walked people through the key issues: aftermarket parts, tire pressure, tire wear and balancing, and wear or damage to the steering damper, track bar, tie rods, drag link, and ball joints.

The steering damper, a variation on shock absorbers but for the steering system, was supposed to resolve those issues; but, according to the Detroit Free Press (quoting FCA’s Mark Chernoby), air could get into the damper when it was cold, causing the device to function poorly. This problem affected 2015-18 Jeep Wranglers.

2015 Jeep Wrangler Altitude

There is no recall, just a customer satisfaction campaign which, for the customer, has a similar effect: a free repair. The article implied that the fix might not be effective, and U.S. regulators are still reviewing the issue.

(The diagram is courtesy of Bob Sheaves and was not part of Chrysler’s response. See the full discussion within Allpar, which includes technical details and further information on fixes.)


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