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Jeep News: Jeep Releases "Death Wobble" Fix


Drew Dowdell

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Some Jeep Wrangler drivers have been experiencing a frightening phenomenon commonly known as the Jeep "Death Wobble".  While the term is dramatic, FCA says they know of no injuries or deaths caused by this experience. After the vehicle hits a bump at highway speed, the steering wheel can vibrate back and forth by up to five degrees. Drivers claim that the only way to correct the wobble is to speed up or slow down.

FCA says that the cause of this is a resonance in the front axle and dampers containing air bubbles.  Cold weather makes the oil in the dampers less viscous and air bubbles won't dissipate quickly enough. Jeep will remedy the issue by installing a new damper free of charge to any customer who wants one, but it is not recalling the vehicle.  All new Wranglers come with the new damper. 

There is currently a class action lawsuit pending that hopes to force FCA to recall the vehicle and calls the addition of a damper a band-aid. 


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Yeah, not surprised here. For all the hype over the Wrangler over the decades, one thing had never changed. They are notoriously unreliable and now they are overpriced to boot. I understand why some folks defend them (for their off road prowess anyway), but you literally could not even give me one, even if it was brand new. Hopefully this fix helps those who paid way too much for it. 

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My son has a Grand Cherokee and I have to say it is very nice and been very reliable with no issues as he enters his 3rd year of ownership. Hopefully they will double check everything in the product line and not just the wrangler.

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1 hour ago, dfelt said:

My son has a Grand Cherokee and I have to say it is very nice and been very reliable with no issues as he enters his 3rd year of ownership. Hopefully they will double check everything in the product line and not just the wrangler.

I don't think this is an issue with the GC. It apparently has something to do with vehicles with a solid front axle... so the GC is safe. 

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Yeah, the only instances of DW with GCs I've heard of were with the ZJs and WJs which had solid front axles, and was pretty uncommon w/ them...it's a Wrangler thing. 

Edited by Robert Hall
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5 hours ago, dfelt said:

My son has a Grand Cherokee and I have to say it is very nice and been very reliable with no issues as he enters his 3rd year of ownership. Hopefully they will double check everything in the product line and not just the wrangler.

Not sure which gen GC your son has but the current generation of the GC is leaps and bounds better than the older ones (especially the late 90s/early 00s models). The Wrangler just has never been my thing. I’ve driven three different generations and they all have one thing in common. They are absolute back breakers everywhere short of the smoothest asphalt. 

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6 minutes ago, surreal1272 said:

Not sure which gen GC your son has but the current generation of the GC is leaps and bounds better than the older ones (especially the late 90s/early 00s models). The Wrangler just has never been my thing. I’ve driven three different generations and they all have one thing in common. They are absolute back breakers everywhere short of the smoothest asphalt. 

His GC is a 2017 model. I had a 1994 Sahar Wrangler, was fun but your right back breaker if you want a smooth ride. I tend to think of the Wranglers as more of a youthful ride even though the prices are crazy now especially for a Rubicon.

Take my Escalade over a Wrangler any day.

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2 hours ago, riviera74 said:

OK. Why does the Wrangler have a solid front axle again?

According to the faithful, superior off road capabilities.

AKA Rubicon!

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14 hours ago, surreal1272 said:

Not sure which gen GC your son has but the current generation of the GC is leaps and bounds better than the older ones (especially the late 90s/early 00s models). The Wrangler just has never been my thing. I’ve driven three different generations and they all have one thing in common. They are absolute back breakers everywhere short of the smoothest asphalt. 

Yeah, the older ZJ (93-98) and WJ (99-04) GCs had solid front axles.  They went to IRS with the WK ('05-10).   I've had both a WJ ('00) and now a WK2 ('14) and love them..... Wranglers are fun off road toys, wouldn't mind having one for the weekends, but no bueno as a daily driver, IMO.   Though I have a few friends that daily Wrangler Unlimiteds and love them.   I prefer the GC's refinement and creature comforts. 

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