Glycol Contamination ZF850RE/Implosion @ 32,800k kms

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Hello, my first post here and I need to post my story through hell dealing with FCA Canada and local dealership with regard to my new purchased, February 2021 JEEP Gladiator Rubicon. Quick data to make short, truck is dead at 32,800k kms and FCA Canada and Cochrane Dodge, Alberta has thrown the owners manual and warranty information booklet in the trash and walked away from its obligation to make warranty repairs to my truck and has left me to make repairs at my cost.

HISTORY:
3.6L Engine Gas:
I am a believer in doing oil analysis reports at every oil change, gear lube change and recently, this to include the auto 8 speed ZF 850RE transmission.
The engine is the 3.6L Pentastar V6. It consumes 10 ounces of coolant per oil change period since new. Chrysler TechLine is aware of it's internal coolant consumption and refuses to acknowledge or repair it. All 6 oil changes to date show glycol consumption.

ZF 850RE Transmission: (ZF Mopar 8&9 Speed ATF, "Lifetime" ATF)
Transmission whine developed approximately 20k kms. At 24k kms, I pulled an oil sample and had tested. GLYCOL contamination from the factory, Lab ALERT to change oil and filter! Discussed lab result with dealership. Was told to "drive it into the ground, I have a good warranty". My Owners Manual says otherwise and it authorized an oil and filter change if oil is contaminated. Dealership refused to cover cost and also was not able to "flush" system. They suggested 2 pan drops at $3400 my cost! (Two pan drops would not be sufficient to rid glycol contamination) I went to National Transmission in Calgary who agreed to "flush" and relearn system and I upgraded from the MOPAR ATF to AMSOIL Sig Series, Fuel Efficient ATF, Chrysler code compliant oil. Also, swapping out oil complied with owners manual stating to use only MOPAR ZF 8&9 Speed ATF "OR EQUIVALENT".

Transmission whine did not go away but got louder. 8k later, transmission suffered catastrophic malfunction (P1B14-00 Park By Wire, Unintended Park Position). Dealership received truck and tech noticed "a different colour oil than factory was installed". Dealership advised me to do 2 pan drops to get the "red amsoil" out @ $3400, cost to me before they inform FCA! I refused and said I am in compliance to the book, TELL THEM. FCA VOIDS my warranty for using AMSOIL and further punished me by revoking my entire drivetrain for using other lubricants other than MOPAR. (again, decision was not in compliance with owner's manual specifications).

FCA Canada and Cochrane Dodge is now under legal demand notice to repair truck immediately or be sued. I've done my due diligence and have followed all correct maintenance and owner's manual procedures.

Has anyone ever heard of such a debacle and flagrant disregard for rule mandates set out in our owner's manuals and warranty information booklets???

Has anyone been aware of the glycol/water tooling wash being done at the Chrysler Transmission assembly plant in the US?
 

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wwillson

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Was told to "drive it into the ground, I have a good warranty"
Did you get this in writing of some form?

AMSOIL Sig Series, Fuel Efficient ATF, Chrysler code compliant oil
Does the Amsoil documentation specifically say meets ZF-8/9?


I would put together a timeline of your oil analysis, maintenance, and all conversations (hopefully with service orders) into a well organized packet and present it to the regional rep. I don't see how they can deny service when both the engine and transmission have glycol intrusion.
 

TorqueIt

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Did you get this in writing of some form?


Does the Amsoil documentation specifically say meets ZF-8/9?


I would put together a timeline of your oil analysis, maintenance, and all conversations (hopefully with service orders) into a well organized packet and present it to the regional rep. I don't see how they can deny service when both the engine and transmission have glycol intrusion.
“Drive it into the ground” was told to me in the service manager’s office and once further on the phone. No written record. Yes, I have the data sheet and specific AMSOIL letter head document specifically addresses their ATF is equivalent to Mopar 8-9 ATF.

Both Dealership and DSM walked away and told me to go to FCA legal to deal with this. My lawyer has put them both on legal notice.
 

TorqueIt

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How in the world can they walk away from glycol in the engine and transmission? No engine oil or transmission fluid can deal with antifreeze.
It’s insanity at its best.

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TorqueIt

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The DSM made me pay for the initial investigation and the photos above is what they found. He documented clutch failure but was unable to determine what caused the damage. They never once acknowledged the glycol in the analysis report. Also, the tranny cooler is a stand a lone system and not part of the rad. Contamination came from the factory.
 

JHZR2

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Wow.

Take the warranty issue up with Amsoil. No, they shouldn’t pay for your replacement, but their legal team should advocate on your behalf because if such a rejection isn’t resolved, it will cause customer loss for them. If their fluids are OE equivalent, then they should advocate. If they’re not, then at least a position should be made. They can’t fix stuff that wasn’t their fault, but it should at least bring the argument around from the perspective that there isn’t a fluid related failure, but a glycol related one due to something else being broken prior.

Personally I’d have never have our Amsoil in there in such a case. Not that there’s anything wrong with Amsoil but because you knew there was an issue and OE fluid was a better choice.

Glycol in there told you everything you needed to know. Something had failed.

Driving it into the ground was a stupid answer. They knew there was an issue. You knew there was an issue. It should have been escalated then and there.

How and why exactly is that fluid replacement $3400?!?

Again, glycol in there is all that you needed to know. What written history do you have on going over this and making the dealer aware? Nobody in their right mind should proceed with using a vehicle with glycol in the transmission…
 
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TorqueIt

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Wow.

Take the warranty issue up with Amsoil. No, they shouldn’t pay for your replacement, but their legal team should advocate on your behalf because if such a rejection isn’t resolved, it will cause customer loss for them. If their fluids are OE equivalent, then they should advocate. If they’re not, then at least a position should be made. They can’t fix stuff that wasn’t their fault, but it should at least bring the argument around from the perspective that there isn’t a fluid related failure, but a glycol related one due to something else being broken prior.

Personally I’d have never have our Amsoil in there in such a case. Not that there’s anything wrong with Amsoil but because you knew there was an issue and OE fluid was a better choice.

Glycol in there told you everything you needed to know. Something had failed.

Driving it into the ground was a stupid answer. They knew there was an issue. You knew there was an issue. It should have been escalated then and there.

How and why exactly is that fluid replacement $3400?!?

Again, glycol in there is all that you needed to know. What written history do you have on going over this and making the dealer aware? Nobody in their right mind should proceed with using a vehicle with glycol in the transmission…
Was well connected with Amsoil when all this led up to, during and after the flush when the whole thing went sideways. AMSOIL tech and supervisor got involved. AMSOIL legal opted out as this is a “Canadian legal matter”. Cross boarder issue or something, so they couldn’t be of help other than to provide docs I needed.

Each transmission “pan drop” only is a cost to the customer of $1700. The dealership said I needed to pay for two in order to get the AMSOIL out before approaching FCA for tech advise.

I have many MANY emails of concern to the dealership. I even contracted my own mechanical expert with ALERT SYSTEMS to investigate the carnage in the transmission whom the dealership was aware. He provided me a report on the effects of glycol in a transmission and what to expect.

The service manager failed to exercise caution when I came in with the report. He failed to take possession of the truck right there and then to enquire with TechLine. He told me to “drive it into the ground and get it replaced by warranty.” He said Chrysler would view this as “the transmission isn’t broken”. So he needed it to break.

In hind sight, if there’s glycol in the transmission, it’s toast. A flush or multiple pan drops won’t fix it. I was just following my book that told me to change the oil and filter if the oil is contaminated.
 

JHZR2

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Was well connected with Amsoil when all this led up to, during and after the flush when the whole thing went sideways. AMSOIL tech and supervisor got involved. AMSOIL legal opted out as this is a “Canadian legal matter”. Cross boarder issue or something, so they couldn’t be of help other than to provide docs I needed.

Each transmission “pan drop” only is a cost to the customer of $1700. The dealership said I needed to pay for two in order to get the AMSOIL out before approaching FCA for tech advise.

I have many MANY emails of concern to the dealership. I even contracted my own mechanical expert with ALERT SYSTEMS to investigate the carnage in the transmission whom the dealership was aware. He provided me a report on the effects of glycol in a transmission and what to expect.

The service manager failed to exercise caution when I came in with the report. He failed to take possession of the truck right there and then to enquire with TechLine. He told me to “drive it into the ground and get it replaced by warranty.” He said Chrysler would view this as “the transmission isn’t broken”. So he needed it to break.

In hind sight, if there’s glycol in the transmission, it’s toast. A flush or multiple pan drops won’t fix it. I was just following my book that told me to change the oil and filter if the oil is contaminated.
Interesting.

So there is an issue with Amsoil in Canada. Anything across the border can be tough, but I’m surprised they don’t have more of a legal presence there…

Glycol is always a flag, IMO. It means a water to oil exchanger is compromised. Never good.

Unfortunately since most of us are south of the border, we won’t be of much help. Down here I’d start with small claims against the dealer and Chrysler. Seems like you have the paper trail and did the right thing…
 

TorqueIt

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So in all of this, what led you to Bitog?
Was hoping someone with a ZF850RE transmission has done an oil analysis or someone that works at the transmission assembly plant would come forward to describe the use of glycol/water as a wash system. Data is key here. My report shows critical numbers.
 

TorqueIt

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Interesting.

So there is an issue with Amsoil in Canada. Anything across the border can be tough, but I’m surprised they don’t have more of a legal presence there…

Glycol is always a flag, IMO. It means a water to oil exchanger is compromised. Never good.

Unfortunately since most of us are south of the border, we won’t be of much help. Down here I’d start with small claims against the dealer and Chrysler. Seems like you have the paper trail and did the right thing…
Already contracted a law firm and have put all parties on legal notice.
 
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Was hoping someone with a ZF850RE transmission has done an oil analysis or someone that works at the transmission assembly plant would come forward to describe the use of glycol/water as a wash system. Data is key here. My report shows critical numbers.
Yeah I'm not sure what another UOA would show. Who knows what someone adds or does to their transmission and then sends in a sample for analysis. There's no accountability there really.

As already noted you have to either find a more accommodating dealership or it that's too late, legal action. But with the transmission now disassembled (?) that may be an issue along with the fact that a third-party shop has performed maintenance (flush) on the transmission.
 

TorqueIt

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I have one person that has come forward on another forum that said this:
“I have worked all three transmission plants that were in Kokomo, Indiana. One of which has been converted to the 2.0 engine plant.
In all but one plant (foundry, castings, however you want to call it) glycol and water mixture are used during tooling to the housings to cool whatever tool is being used and to carry metal shavings and chips away from the product. The spray is such that the entire internal space of the tooling machine is covered with glycol and water.

I do not know, can not confirm or deny, if there is a final cleaning station or inspection station to verify that the component is glycol free before assembly.

That is about all I can tell you. Chrysler (FCA, Stellantis) call the product being sprayed "Process Water". Once the Process Water goes through a tooling machine, it is piped back to a giant filtering station that resembles a semi trailer. In this filtering station the Process Water is flowed across a giant filter media that goes from side to side and end to end. The filter material is on giant spools that constantly run to carry the clinkers (metal shavings and chips) out of the tank and are deposited into waste dumpsters. The Process Water is then pumped back out to the system to repeat the process.”
 

TorqueIt

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Yeah I'm not sure what another UOA would show. Who knows what someone adds or does to their transmission and then sends in a sample for analysis. There's no accountability there really.

As already noted you have to either find a more accommodating dealership or it that's too late, legal action. But with the transmission now disassembled (?) that may be an issue along with the fact that a third-party shop has performed maintenance (flush) on the transmission.
The first option is to always go to a dealership. If upon the dealership refusing or unable or unwilling to perform a maintenance task pursuant to rule mandates, the consumer’s other option is to take it to a credible, certified, registered shop for service.
 
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The first option is to always go to a dealership. If upon the dealership refusing or unable or unwilling to perform a maintenance task pursuant to rule mandates, the consumer’s other option is to take it to a credible, certified, registered shop for service.
Sure but you know where that is going to lead. If they are already upset about you using Amsoil fluid then there isn't much hope they will be objective about anything else.

This is looking more and more like a dead end. I hope not for your sake.
 

TorqueIt

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Sure but you know where that is going to lead. If they are already upset about you using Amsoil fluid then there isn't much hope they will be objective about anything else.

This is looking more and more like a dead end. I hope not for your sake.
What’s interesting at the time the DSM pulled his tantrum from his desk and attacked AMSOIL’s credibility and axed my drivetrain warranty, I have one email from the service manager to say AMSOIL destroyed tyranny, cooler and hoses and to have AMSOIL repair the vehicle. He then phoned me and said get all my facts down and fire in a complaint to FCA Canada. I did just that and he quit his job.

I have made repeated attempts via emails, multiple calls into FCA Customer Care to have the reason for my warranty restriction put in a letter to me. All attempts denied and no further admission as to AMSOIL is the reason. Warranty was reinstated, the DSM backtracked from his tantrums then decided to play as long as I paid for the investigation work. I agreed to the first round of investigation but the tech couldn’t figure out what caused the implosion. The DSM gave me 3 new options, 1. Continue to pay to have the dealership tear down the transmission; 2. Customer to pay for a new and have the broken one sent away for his own people to tear it down to determine cause; or 3. (True position and intent here) I should agree the wrong oil was used and pay for a new transmission.

#1 option….service manager replacement phoned me and he said they were unwilling to do this as they would become liable to replace the transmission if they go further into the tear down. They do not have the authorization from ZF to do this. #2 option…takes the transmission away, they would have just crushed it and blamed me anyway and #3 option shows the DSM’s M/O clearly.

I called out the DSM in a response email calling him a deceiver in trying to trap the dealership to take the fall. Dealership then throws me under the bus when he doesn’t remember telling me they weren’t willing to do a further tear down by putting in the service report that “customer stops the further investigation”. I called him a liar.

Now legal is involved.
 

MolaKule

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If the cleaning 'process' fluid had not been fully removed at the transmission assembly plant (if I understand your main thesis), then I do not see where any user replaced ATF could have caused any failures. This is not a legal opinion, but a technical opinion.

My suggestion is to fully document your situation with facts and a detailed timeline of events, along with your analysis, and let the court sort it out. Whatever a dealer's mechanic might have stated without a written statement is considered hearsay and carries no legal standing.

I can understand your frustration but name calling and insults will not improve your case.

And since this situation has gone to legal for a resolution, this thread is closed.
 
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