2020 Grand Cherokee SRT - 20,000km update

Joined
Jul 3, 2005
Messages
37,382
Location
NY
Its what Chrysler dealers love to say in my experience. "Oh wow...never seen that before...once we fix it that should be the end of the issues! These are normally super reliable. Thats why our shop is absolutely swamped in repairs I guess..."
Years back I worked in various import car dealerships and heard the same line over and over again from salesmen, service writers, and techs. Lets face it they can't talk trash about their brand during business hours, unless they want to find another job.
 

JHZR2

Staff member
Joined
Dec 14, 2002
Messages
48,978
Location
New Jersey
Isn't that the "canned" response these days?? Shorted ignition capacitors is nothing new, I've seen several Fords with shorted capacitors....Though they do blow the Coil Fuse in every case I've been involved in.

But what if the capacitor wasn't hard shorted, But just enough resistance to ground too heat up & catch fire. Most Chryslers use a 20 amp fuse for the ignition coil power feed. 20 amps of current is more than enough to light some plastic on fire.
Agree. It would be interesting to see the harness and/or the forensics.

You’re absolutely right, high vs low impedance shorts can have different effects.

What’s surprising is the flames coming up the back of the engine. Are these electrolytic caps?

Very disappointing to see this sort of thing on a brand new, very expensive vehicle.
 

OVERKILL

$100 Site Donor 2021
Thread starter
Joined
Apr 28, 2008
Messages
53,035
Location
Ontario, Canada
Isn't that the "canned" response these days?? Shorted ignition capacitors is nothing new, I've seen several Fords with shorted capacitors....Though they do blow the Coil Fuse in every case I've been involved in.

But what if the capacitor wasn't hard shorted, But just enough resistance to ground too heat up & catch fire. Most Chryslers use a 20 amp fuse for the ignition coil power feed. 20 amps of current is more than enough to light some plastic on fire.
Yes, what was terrifying was that nothing blew. Hence the harness replacement.

And yeah, "never seen that before" is standard SM response, techs on the other hand are often a bit more truthful ;)
 

Ws6

Joined
Mar 7, 2008
Messages
4,623
Location
South Central US
Years back I worked in various import car dealerships and heard the same line over and over again from salesmen, service writers, and techs. Lets face it they can't talk trash about their brand during business hours, unless they want to find another job.
You know what though? Most other brands are honest. I called VW about an Audi my now Ex was looking at. You know what they told me? The common failure points and when they occurred, out to 125K miles. I had a recall on my Mazda once. You know what they did? They FIXED THE CAR! It's just insane that you'd think this would be normal, but with a Jeep/Chrysler...it's not. You get into lawsuits and end up buying junk-yard salvage to fix recalls that broke your vehicle because FCA literally doesn't have the ability or wherewithal to fix what they broke. Just Google "N23" if you want to know how horribly low quality FCA is. The short story? They put out a faulty chip board that if degraded, will allow the vehicle to roll away when parked. To fix this, they re-flashed the FCD module. This raises the tolerances for something or other and prevents the physical defect from causing the roll-away (allegedly). As a result, in a few months, your 4WD LO and Neutral are disabled. You must reconnect/disconnect the battery to get them working again. There STILL is no fix for this last I looked.

The only Jeep/Chrysler dealer I found that was honest finally admitted that my transmission leaking was likely because of faulty castings Chrysler used. They were porous and just wept fluid. (this is after another dealer replaced the front main-pump seal 20K miles prior, and it still leaked soon after. If it ever STOPPED, and just didn't need to re-fill the bellhousing before it wept out again).

This is how trash FCA products are. Porous castings. Recalls that disable the 4WD LOW in a vehicle with factory skidplates. It's just insane. People only buy FCA because it's dirt cheap and they simply live with the problems because it was cheap to do so.
 

dishdude

$50 Site Donor 2022
Joined
Nov 14, 2008
Messages
13,920
Location
Phoenix
You know what though? Most other brands are honest. I called VW about an Audi my now Ex was looking at. You know what they told me? The common failure points and when they occurred, out to 125K miles. I had a recall on my Mazda once. You know what they did? They FIXED THE CAR! It's just insane that you'd think this would be normal, but with a Jeep/Chrysler...it's not. You get into lawsuits and end up buying junk-yard salvage to fix recalls that broke your vehicle because FCA literally doesn't have the ability or wherewithal to fix what they broke. Just Google "N23" if you want to know how horribly low quality FCA is. The short story? They put out a faulty chip board that if degraded, will allow the vehicle to roll away when parked. To fix this, they re-flashed the FCD module. This raises the tolerances for something or other and prevents the physical defect from causing the roll-away (allegedly). As a result, in a few months, your 4WD LO and Neutral are disabled. You must reconnect/disconnect the battery to get them working again. There STILL is no fix for this last I looked.

The only Jeep/Chrysler dealer I found that was honest finally admitted that my transmission leaking was likely because of faulty castings Chrysler used. They were porous and just wept fluid. (this is after another dealer replaced the front main-pump seal 20K miles prior, and it still leaked soon after. If it ever STOPPED, and just didn't need to re-fill the bellhousing before it wept out again).

This is how trash FCA products are. Porous castings. Recalls that disable the 4WD LOW in a vehicle with factory skidplates. It's just insane. People only buy FCA because it's dirt cheap and they simply live with the problems because it was cheap to do so.

Every friggen thread. We already know how you feel. Over ten years ago and you're still ranting on a daily basis...might he time to see a therapist if you let a car ruin your life.
 
Joined
May 25, 2005
Messages
2,332
Location
USA
This is the thread @The Critic has been waiting for, as he's known about one of the things I'm going to bring up here since it happened. I most recently told him I would bring it up on my 20,000km update and so here we are.

View attachment 117768

As most people know, this is my 3rd Grand Cherokee SRT. I originally had a 2016, that got in an accident and was never fixed properly (not by my dealer) and so I traded it on a 2020. I then traded that on a 2019 Audi e-tron, which I had for about a month, and my wife hated it, so I traded that back in on another Grand Cherokee SRT, this one.

Both black 2020's were factory orders with the following specs:
- Upgraded Brembo brakes w/2-piece rotors
- Extended leather (signature leather-wrapped interior)
- Sunroof delete
- No CD player
- High Performance summer run-flats
- Harman/Kardon 19-speaker stereo
- Black trim

Only difference is the 1st one had the trailer tow package, the 2nd one (this one) didn't.

Fit and finish is quite good on this one (better than the 2nd one, which had the front clip a little popped out under the driver-side headlight). No squeaks or rattles. One annoyance is that when you delete the sunroof and order the extended leather, they don't give you the suede headliner that you get if you keep the sunroof.

There's a reason I've had three of them, I just really like the WKII as a platform and how these are trimmed. It's quite tossable for an SUV, the interior is really nice (though I'd love the upgraded centre stack the Durango got), particularly with the extended leather:
View attachment 117770

It goes great, sounds good, and is a great vehicle to drive year-round, being very competent on and off-road when shod with snow tires.

Issues I've had with it:
- It has developed a brake squeal until the brakes warm-up. Not sure if anything can be done about this, it happened after the vehicle sat in the winter after my surgery. Given the rate these go through brakes, I'll probably just ride it out until they need replacing.

- Factory alignment was off:
View attachment 117769

But, the biggest issue, and the one that was the catalyst for why I was shopping and looking at X5's and GLE's for a while and had that X3 as a loaner, was the fact that it caught fire on July 23rd, 2021:
View attachment 117771
View attachment 117773
View attachment 117774
View attachment 117775

That is a capacitor for the ignition system. There is one on the back of each cylinder head. The harness is supposed to be fused to prevent this from happening. Clearly, it didn't. I had a case open with FCA for many, MANY months, they investigated it. The failed capacitor was immediately shipped to them. Apparently, this has never happened before.

How did this happen? Well, I left my driveway and was about 1/2 a block from the house when I smelled something hot. I thought it was the clapped-out vehicle in front of me. It wasn't, it was me. That's when I saw some smoke coming from the hood vents so I wheeled it around in a law office parking lot and back to the house and opened the hood trying to determine the source, thinking that something had got on the exhaust. Then flames started coming up the back of the engine. I hit it with the hose, ready to toss it in neutral and roll it onto the street if it didn't go out, but it went out. It was flat-bedded to the dealership about an hour later and that's when I ended up with the BMW X3 loaner.

But it gets better. After the tech (great guy, really solid tech) tears it apart and we get the above culprit and its heavily singed wiring out, the owner and I agreed that it was to get a full harness replacement and that this, clearly defective harness, needed to be sent to FCA for forensic analysis. The tech ordered the harness while I was there with him. Then I get a call about a week later telling me it was ready. I popped in to the talk to the SM, confirming everything had been done correctly and I made a comment about the replacement of the harness and he said he had the tech repair it. I said, you WHAT?

He responds, calmly, that the instruction from FCA was replace or repair if viable, and it appeared repairable so it was repaired.

I shot back that there was a new harness here for it, the vehicle is MONTHS old, there is no way in hell I'm taking it home with a repaired harness

He made some ridiculous analogue to if a phone broke, would I replace the whole phone? I said if the god d****** thing caught fire, I sure as hell would!

He responds, well, it was repairable, so it was repaired. I said, I don't think you get it, I'm not taking this vehicle with a repaired harness, it isn't happening. The harness is getting replaced, I have spent an absolutely obscene amount of money on vehicles here, and the owner had the tech order the harness because he agreed that it was to be replaced. I'm going to go talk to him now, but you can bank on it getting replaced, this is infuriating!

So, left his office, absolutely livid, walked over to the owner's office, who was like, WHAT??!!! But the harness is HERE! I watched him order it! And I'm like, yeah, insane. Guess I'm keeping the bimmer for a bit? And he laughs and says yeah, I'll call you when it's properly fixed, I'm so sorry bud, I'm going to go talk to him now, I don't know what the hell he was thinking!

So, I leave it again.

I pop by the next day and the tech who had done the investigation on it had it completely apart, replacing the harness with the new one. He showed me the old harness, said he had to send it to FCA, which I understood to be the original plan.

I picked it back up when he had it back together, looked perfect. There really wasn't any damage other than the harness, as everything in that area is covered in heat shields and flame retardant stuff.

So, I didn't post about it online at all until the investigation was complete. The SM implored me not to share it, but I was only willing to oblige until the investigation was over.

Of course that whole experience left an awful taste in my mouth, so I was vehicle shopping for months, but just couldn't fall in love with anything other than the i4 M50, and my wife didn't like it, so I decided to just keep the Jeep. Put the Borla exhaust on it, once I committed to holding on to it.

Then, of course, after all the fire stuff was resolved, I'm in the hospital for heart surgery, so I let my dad borrow the Jeep. He's driving it for like a month or so and ends up falling in love with it, so then he was trying to buy it off me! Even though my mom has a bear of a time getting in and out of it.

So, plan, for now, is to hold on it it. I may, in the future, sell it to my dad and buy a BMW EV, though now that they are changing battery types, that may be a while until I'm confident that they have things adequately sorted to make that switch. I'm certainly in no rush.

Sales guys nicknamed it "Blaze" :LOL:
Is it a dodge thing with harnesses and melting? My 2005 neon a few months back wouldn't start after running errands. The mechanic said and showed me the wiring under the plastic had melted.
 

OVERKILL

$100 Site Donor 2021
Thread starter
Joined
Apr 28, 2008
Messages
53,035
Location
Ontario, Canada
You know what though? Most other brands are honest. I called VW about an Audi my now Ex was looking at. You know what they told me? The common failure points and when they occurred, out to 125K miles. I had a recall on my Mazda once. You know what they did? They FIXED THE CAR! It's just insane that you'd think this would be normal, but with a Jeep/Chrysler...it's not. You get into lawsuits and end up buying junk-yard salvage to fix recalls that broke your vehicle because FCA literally doesn't have the ability or wherewithal to fix what they broke. Just Google "N23" if you want to know how horribly low quality FCA is. The short story? They put out a faulty chip board that if degraded, will allow the vehicle to roll away when parked. To fix this, they re-flashed the FCD module. This raises the tolerances for something or other and prevents the physical defect from causing the roll-away (allegedly). As a result, in a few months, your 4WD LO and Neutral are disabled. You must reconnect/disconnect the battery to get them working again. There STILL is no fix for this last I looked.

The only Jeep/Chrysler dealer I found that was honest finally admitted that my transmission leaking was likely because of faulty castings Chrysler used. They were porous and just wept fluid. (this is after another dealer replaced the front main-pump seal 20K miles prior, and it still leaked soon after. If it ever STOPPED, and just didn't need to re-fill the bellhousing before it wept out again).

This is how trash FCA products are. Porous castings. Recalls that disable the 4WD LOW in a vehicle with factory skidplates. It's just insane. People only buy FCA because it's dirt cheap and they simply live with the problems because it was cheap to do so.
Honda had porous castings for engine blocks. All of these issues you are ranting about are not reserved for FCA. Yes, I appreciate you had a bad experience, but sweet Christ, this unloading, if it is cathartic, it needs to work its way out of your system already.
 
Joined
Jul 3, 2005
Messages
37,382
Location
NY
You know what though? Most other brands are honest. I called VW about an Audi my now Ex was looking at. You know what they told me? The common failure points and when they occurred, out to 125K miles. I had a recall on my Mazda once. You know what they did? They FIXED THE CAR! It's just insane that you'd think this would be normal, but with a Jeep/Chrysler...it's not. You get into lawsuits and end up buying junk-yard salvage to fix recalls that broke your vehicle because FCA literally doesn't have the ability or wherewithal to fix what they broke. Just Google "N23" if you want to know how horribly low quality FCA is. The short story? They put out a faulty chip board that if degraded, will allow the vehicle to roll away when parked. To fix this, they re-flashed the FCD module. This raises the tolerances for something or other and prevents the physical defect from causing the roll-away (allegedly). As a result, in a few months, your 4WD LO and Neutral are disabled. You must reconnect/disconnect the battery to get them working again. There STILL is no fix for this last I looked.

The only Jeep/Chrysler dealer I found that was honest finally admitted that my transmission leaking was likely because of faulty castings Chrysler used. They were porous and just wept fluid. (this is after another dealer replaced the front main-pump seal 20K miles prior, and it still leaked soon after. If it ever STOPPED, and just didn't need to re-fill the bellhousing before it wept out again).

This is how trash FCA products are. Porous castings. Recalls that disable the 4WD LOW in a vehicle with factory skidplates. It's just insane. People only buy FCA because it's dirt cheap and they simply live with the problems because it was cheap to do so.
So far so good with both my Jeeps, and I plan on buying another one. ;)

Regarding most other brands being honest. I live on Long Island. The odds of finding someone associated with cars here, new or used, buying or selling, or in the business of repairing them being honest, good luck. They're very very far and few.
 

OVERKILL

$100 Site Donor 2021
Thread starter
Joined
Apr 28, 2008
Messages
53,035
Location
Ontario, Canada
Is it a dodge thing with harnesses and melting? My 2005 neon a few months back wouldn't start after running errands. The mechanic said and showed me the wiring under the plastic had melted.
No, it's a "we screwed something up" thing. In my case, I believe the harness was defective (though there's the possibility that it was a mild short, as @clinebarger noted) but it just takes an engineering faux-pas or a penny pinch in the wrong spot and a melted harness, or worse, can be the result.

- Ford's epic cruise control switch recall, best case scenario, the harness melted and the vehicle didn't catch fire. Worst case scenario, the switch caught the brake fluid on fire and your vehicle and house burned to the ground with you in it.

- Honda CR-V door harness failure:
December 18, 2020 — A Honda CR-V window switch recall has been issued for the second time after reports of 23 fires, 13 field reports, 87 reports of thermal events such as melted switches and wiring and 104 power window switch warranty claims.

- Toyota Tacoma had melting headlight assemblies

- GM has had several recalls related to harness and switch failure/fire, this one is kind of funny, as it was the same recall three times:
October 14, 2015 — General Motors is recalling almost 10,000 vehicles to fix driver-side door master power window switch modules that can catch on fire. The automaker says water can cause corrosion to the switch and lead to a short-circuit that melts the switch.

It's the third recall for the exact same problem, a problem which has caused at least 30 reported fires. Based on history, GM is warning owners to keep the vehicles parked outside until all repairs are complete.
 
Joined
Apr 4, 2012
Messages
15,922
Location
Kendall, FL
Jeez guys, the vast, vast majority of vehicles are reliable, no matter the brand. IMO, most recalls are a proactive attempt to stave off class action lawsuit wh0res after 5-10 vehicles have an issue that, yes, in many cases is serious. Serious enough to garner headlines and millions of youtube posts when again.....less than 200 of 2 million had the issue. Machines break.
 
Joined
Jun 4, 2005
Messages
907
Location
North Florida
Honda had porous castings for engine blocks. All of these issues you are ranting about are not reserved for FCA. Yes, I appreciate you had a bad experience, but sweet Christ, this unloading, if it is cathartic, it needs to work its way out of your system already.
Yep, my wife's Civic had a porous block. But Honda replaced the entire short block for free.........with over 100,000 miles on the car. It sounds like FCA ignored the porous transmission casting.

In defense of Chrysler (pre-FCA), I had a 2005 Dodge Magnum 5.7 Hemi that was one of my favorite cars. It wasn't entirely trouble free (needed a lift gate latch and a suspension bushing) but that was it when I traded it with over 100,000 miles on a 2012 Challenger SRT8. That car was entirely trouble free for the 5 years I owned it.
 

Ws6

Joined
Mar 7, 2008
Messages
4,623
Location
South Central US
Every friggen thread. We already know how you feel. Over ten years ago and you're still ranting on a daily basis...might he time to see a therapist if you let a car ruin your life.
I got rid of it before it could do that, lol! But this is a forum, meant for sharing opinions, and I will never not share my opinion on Chrysler :p
 

Ws6

Joined
Mar 7, 2008
Messages
4,623
Location
South Central US
Jeez guys, the vast, vast majority of vehicles are reliable, no matter the brand. IMO, most recalls are a proactive attempt to stave off class action lawsuit wh0res after 5-10 vehicles have an issue that, yes, in many cases is serious. Serious enough to garner headlines and millions of youtube posts when again.....less than 200 of 2 million had the issue. Machines break.
I've literally never owned a vehicle that didn't justify it's Consumer Report and JD Power type ratings to me. The poorly rated ones have always had issues for me, the good ones have always been good. I have told myself time and again things like what you are saying, and time and again I end up shaking my head saying "Wow...just like I was told it would be." either for good or bad.
 
Joined
Apr 4, 2012
Messages
15,922
Location
Kendall, FL
I've literally never owned a vehicle that didn't justify it's Consumer Report and JD Power type ratings to me. The poorly rated ones have always had issues for me, the good ones have always been good. I have told myself time and again things like what you are saying, and time and again I end up shaking my head saying "Wow...just like I was told it would be." either for good or bad.
That's fair enough.
 
Joined
Sep 7, 2020
Messages
434
Location
Ontario,Canada
How have never seen that before! I would say must have shorted inside, not a bad harness. Wouldn't take much to start that on fire, prob why fuse didn't blow.
 

OVERKILL

$100 Site Donor 2021
Thread starter
Joined
Apr 28, 2008
Messages
53,035
Location
Ontario, Canada
How have never seen that before! I would say must have shorted inside, not a bad harness. Wouldn't take much to start that on fire, prob why fuse didn't blow.
I definitely wasn't comfortable with that harness staying in there just being repaired.

There was a segment of the wiring that was cooked along with the capacitor, you can see it here, extending down from the plug at the capacitor:
IMG_2410.jpeg
 

OVERKILL

$100 Site Donor 2021
Thread starter
Joined
Apr 28, 2008
Messages
53,035
Location
Ontario, Canada
Oh ya I would change harness too. I just meant it wouldnt be the cause.
For sure, the capacitor was the cause, but I'm still concerned that the fuse didn't blow. Ford used to be notorious for fusible links in the harnesses, but I assume this has a normal fuse, in the fuse box?
 
Joined
Sep 7, 2020
Messages
434
Location
Ontario,Canada
For sure, the capacitor was the cause, but I'm still concerned that the fuse didn't blow. Ford used to be notorious for fusible links in the harnesses, but I assume this has a normal fuse, in the fuse box?
Yes normal fuse. But an Amp or 2 will start a fire. That's wired to 12v feed to coils
 
Joined
Dec 19, 2013
Messages
6,995
Location
Fort Worth, Texas
Agree. It would be interesting to see the harness and/or the forensics.

You’re absolutely right, high vs low impedance shorts can have different effects.

What’s surprising is the flames coming up the back of the engine. Are these electrolytic caps?

Very disappointing to see this sort of thing on a brand new, very expensive vehicle.

They're Ceramic, The plastic casing & connector is what lit on fire....With good airflow can flare up pretty good.
 
Top