Another Example of Poor Build Quality

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20 Ram 1500

Last weekend I had to jump-start my mom's Altima. I connected both batteries using jumper cables and it was enough to get the Altima started; I did not have to start the truck.

After disconnecting the cables and closing the hood, I was greeted with a "Start/Stop Unavailable, Service Start/Stop System" warning message. No CEL, just the yellow warning light and the message. Since my Ram has eTorque, it relies on the 48V system to charge the 12V battery. Luckily the 12v battery was still being charged.

After finding a scanner with an active software subscription AND an active AutoAuth subscription (due to the FCA SGW requirement), I pulled a P152E for "Engine Hood Switch 2 Circuit High."

39D10EED-8D3B-4233-83AE-6BE04D6218F7.jpeg


Having a functional hood switch is required for Engine Start/Stop (ESS) to function. Ok, that is understandable. I did some disassembly to locate the switch connector for diag and discovered the hood-switch connector was not plugged in! I guess someone did not fully-seat the connector during assembly and the connector finally became unseated.

After plugging the connector back-in, ESS works properly and the error message went away on its own.

This was the second example of poor build quality on this truck. The first one was this:

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Someone didn’t run down a bolt for the engine cover bracket; I saw this when I opened the hood for the first time after purchasing.

Between these two build quality issues and my previous oil cooler issues, from my limited experience, Stellantis lives up to their reputation of terrible quality.
 
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But when they break...they may well be unrepairable.
Think people have been saying this since those new-fangled Japanese cars hit the scene in the 70's 🤣

All things equal less parts that can fail means less parts to fail.
Also means less power, poorer efficiency, less comfort, less safety, etc.
 

CKN

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Think people have been saying this since those new-fangled Japanese cars hit the scene in the 70's 🤣


Also means less power, poorer efficiency, less comfort, less safety, etc.
EV's have the opposite of all of the above-at what? 90% less moving parts than ICE. But you can't fix them in you back yard on the weekends....I'm 'kicking and screaming" on BITOG!
 
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EV's have the opposite of all of the above-at what? 90% less moving parts than ICE. But you can't fix them in you back yard on the weekends....I'm 'kicking and screaming" on BITOG!
Because they are still in their infancy. An aftermarket and the DIY space will rise to the challenge in time, just as they have with each new technology, fear not.
 
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Friend of mine got a brand new Grand Cherokee in about 2010.
He found a 1/2 dozen or so trim fasteners missing and by the time 12 months later when he dumped there were a dozen or so recalls.
 
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When my 2009 Flex was 6 days old, I was checking out the engine bay and found the airbox lid loose, I found they forgot to install a filter inside the airbox!! The local Ford dealer made a house call and installed the filter. I called Ford Canada and registered this as a flaw, with the idea that if at some point the engine failed due to ingestion of debris, I would have this snafu on record. I wasn't impressed at Ford Oakville Assembly. However, they get the complete airbox assembly from a Tier 1, who is supposed to ensure the filter is installed.

At 12.5 years and 249,000km later, the engine is just fine.
 

The Critic

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When my 2009 Flex was 6 days old, I was checking out the engine bay and found the airbox lid loose, I found they forgot to install a filter inside the airbox!! The local Ford dealer made a house call and installed the filter. I called Ford Canada and registered this as a flaw, with the idea that if at some point the engine failed due to ingestion of debris, I would have this snafu on record. I wasn't impressed at Ford Oakville Assembly. However, they get the complete airbox assembly from a Tier 1, who is supposed to ensure the filter is installed.

At 12.5 years and 249,000km later, the engine is just fine.
Goes to show that PDI inspections at many dealers are a pencil whip exercise.
 
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I service a friend's 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee with the V6 Diesel. Nice to have the filter on top, but the factory filter is EXPENSIVE! Like $70...
I noticed a rubber weatherstrip missing under the hood; they replaced it on one of the numerous recalls.

But Debbie still loves her GC!
 

OVERKILL

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I get it, these things are frustrating and so easily preventable.

However, having a loose nut and connector seems like a pretty miniscule thing to attribute to terrible quality.
I tend to agree. The horror stories I heard from some of the guys that used to work on the line at GM Oshawa would make your head spin. That said, there have been some conversations with the dealers and HO about tightening up QC checks as Stellantis tries to push upmarket with the Wagoneer and similar 100K+ vehicles. Build quality issues in that price segment are far less likely to be passed over or ignored by buyers and this puts dealers in an uncomfortable position with their customers.
 
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I tend to agree. The horror stories I heard from some of the guys that used to work on the line at GM Oshawa would make your head spin. That said, there have been some conversations with the dealers and HO about tightening up QC checks as Stellantis tries to push upmarket with the Wagoneer and similar 100K+ vehicles. Build quality issues in that price segment are far less likely to be passed over or ignored by buyers and this puts dealers in an uncomfortable position with their customers.
When the Fremont GM plant shuttered (our 4-4-2 was built there), many of the workers migrated to the local Silicon Valley companies. I worked for a guy who said the same thing. He said it was all about getting the cars out the door; don't stop the line no matter what. And "get on the El Camino line" because you basically got a day off for every day you worked.

Interestingly, my old '93 Toyota 4WD strippie PU was made at NUMMI and Tesla Model 3 were made there. So I've owned a vehicle from each iteration of the plant.
 
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