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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-16-2011, 04:51 PM Thread Starter
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Angry Gearbox problem

Has anyone had a similar problem to me? I have a 2006 Commander 5.7ltr petrol, auto gearbox, bought from new (ex dealer demonstrator, 4 months old). I don't do many miles as I use the car for long journeys, holidays and taking the dogs out. I have done just over 31,000 miles and have had to have a new gearbox (it was rebuilt as you can't get a new gearbox as a spare part - or I wasn't offered one). Don't know why as no one has ever told me what the problem was. I complained to Chrysler who have refused to offer any financial support. The repair cost over 3,000. I think it's unreasonable that the car should need such a major part in such few miles but Chrysler don't seem to agree! Any thoughts on where I go from here?
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-16-2011, 05:25 PM
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Are you British or Australian? Since your warranty would be over it would be up to you to take care of the costs (unless you had bought an extended protection package to cover it further). But it does sound very, very, very odd that after that low of miles you'd experience complete trans. failure, especially one that cost so much.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-16-2011, 09:27 PM
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Originally Posted by CommandSystemsGo! View Post
Are you British or Australian? Since your warranty would be over it would be up to you to take care of the costs (unless you had bought an extended protection package to cover it further). But it does sound very, very, very odd that after that low of miles you'd experience complete trans. failure, especially one that cost so much.
She would be British because Autralian money is Australian Dollars (AUD) not pounds.

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-17-2011, 04:14 AM
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I looked up pound conversions after responding to her post last night, 3K in UK currency is an outrageous amount of money to pay for a transmission overhaul! Seems like she coulda got both an engine and a tranny for that price here in the USA. Maybe there is some kind of abuse or wear and tear that we just don't know about in this case...or she got taken advantage of by whoever helped her with the trans.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-17-2011, 09:55 AM Thread Starter
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Gearbox problem

I am from the UK and the repair was a hideous amount of money whether in s $s or whatever! I didn't purchase the extended warranty, hindsight says I should have done! As I said in the first post, I only use the car infrequently (I use another vehicle to go to and from work). I don't believe I have abused it or the gearbox as I'm not sure how you can with an auto transmission. (My other car is automatic and has done 130,000 miles with no transmission problems!). The Customer Service Manager at Chrysler UK admitted that the failure "was not something they would have expected". My gripe is about the complete lack of support from Chrysler UK. Clearly the part was faulty/not fit for purpose and they refuse to consider any support for the repair cost. I don't even know what caused the failure or what they did to repair it, no one seems to want to tell me. I would really like to know if any other owners have had a similar problem and if so what was the problem and did the dealer/Chrysler/Jeep do anything to help? This has put me off having any Chrysler/Jeep ever again (this is my second) and would get rid of it if I could afford to replace it.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-17-2011, 10:06 AM
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You are the customer and you paid for a service. You have the right to know what you paid for. I would hire a lawyer and demand to know what they did/did not do for you. Approach Chrysler through a lawyer, and see where this avenue takes you. I am not aware of any transmission failures, as you describe, by any members on this forum.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-17-2011, 11:16 AM
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You keep mentioning miles, are the figures in actual Standard (US term, Imperial for UK?) Miles or Kilometers?

The Chrsyler mini-vans do have a problem with their transmissions failing early, but 30k miles is early for them, and the Commander does NOT have that transmission, so this would be quite unexepected. You may just be unlucky. The price is outrageous, twice to three times what you would pay to have a transmission rebuilt in the States. Of course it may cost more overseas.

Its rather easy to abuse an automatic transmission, simply exceed the load or duty cycle its capable of operating, and it will overheat quickly and if that doesn't cause damage, it can cause excessive wear. You can use the wrong transmission fluid in it when servicing it, some transmissions that can mean death in a few thousands miles. You can have a minor malfunction you do NOT notice and continue to drive the transmission and that creates damage or excessive wear. BUT, you'd be right that these are the exceptions and in most cases transmissions last far longer than the 30k mile your's did.

Towing heavy loads is an example of exceeding load capacity of the trans and damaging it.

The Dealership will NOT tell you what was wrong with the trans? OR Are they just telling you the trans was worn out?

What was the transmission doing before you brought the vehicle in for service? You must have had some symptoms, didn't you? You didn't bring the vehicle in for some standard servicing, you never noticed anything, but the service manager came out and told you the transmission needed to be rebuilt?

Here in the states, where the auto industry has suffered massively under the poor economy, it seems many dealerships have taken to riping off their customers with some massive overcharges. You can read a few horror stories posted on this board. I hope that was NOT the case for you.

Seems a re-occurring theme for Chrysler of Late, they have never built better vehicles, customers really love them, but they all say they'll never buy Chrysler again because of the Corporate Policies toward proprietary restrictions and the state of the Dealerships, which those two are linked. Doesn't boad well for a Company that had to be rescued by the tax payer.


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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-17-2011, 07:42 PM Thread Starter
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Gearbox problem

Thanks for your response Mongo.
For information, the 31k miles are UK miles. The car hasn't had a hard life, no towing, few short journeys, mostly long motorway miles (less wear and tear on the gearbox!). The problem occurred a year ago, but was what I thought a one off problem. On starting and selecting Drive the car lurched forward and the gear selector dropped into 3rd gear. The amber engine warning light came on but went off after a short time and the gear selector dropped back to Drive. The fault was erratic and happened twice in the year (always clearing itself the same or the following day). I reported this at the next service and the dealership couldn't find any problem as the engine warning light was off. They cleared the numerous transmissions faults recorded in the management system but couldn't identify any specific fault. In August 2010 the car went in for a leak in the gearbox and the dealership changed the gearbox oil and seal but found no other faults. In December when I had the same lurching gearbox fault I notified the dealership who requested I booked the car in which I did for the next day (or the day after I can't remember). The amber warning light had gone out by the time car went in and so they were unable to diagnose the fault. A week later (Christmas Eve) I was unable to select any gear and the car was towed in to the dealership after New Year. A week later when I rang up to find out what was happening I was told the gearbox needed replacing. No reason given! The car was then transported to a transmission specialist who refurbished/rebuilt the gearbox. I got the car back three weeks after it was taken in. I have complained to Chrysler UK but they have said its out of warranty so I pay! Crap - the part was poor and the dealership unable to find the fault so also crap! I'm fed up and feel even worse as it appears no one has had any similar fault.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-21-2011, 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Mrs M View Post
Thanks for your response Mongo.
For information, the 31k miles are UK miles.
I'm assuming that is standard miles, 5128ft, or close to it. I guess the UK is almost as bad as the U.S. in its schiezophrenic attitude toward the metric system the rest of the world uses.

But, you have my sympathy Mrs M. it does seem you have every right to be dissatisfied.

I would get with Chrysler UK again, with the documentation for your other visits to the dealer for transmissions repairs while the vehicle was under warranty. You have a good case that the problem existed before the warranty expired and you brought it in multiple times under the warranty and the Dealer failed to fix it until after it was out of warranty. Thus, Chrysler or the Dealer should cover it, because they never fixed the problem like they are required to do under the warranty.

From your description, it really sounds like to me, that the Dealers were unable to troubleshoot your problem and thus never fixed it, when it got bad enough to leave you stranded finally, when it was also out of warranty, they again were unable to troubleshoot properly to find the cause and simply elected to replace the transmission to get the vehicle working again.

If they knew the cause of the problem, they would have told you instead of telling you need a new transmission.

Its unlikely a transmission would wear out by 31k miles, unless it was being driven with a problem that would cause excessive wear as it was driven. So, having multiple intermittent problems that the Dealer couldn't find the cause and fix, and returned the vehicle to you to continue to drive, really sounds like to me, the most likely reason why it progressed to the point a new transmission was needed way earlier than it should. -OR- Perhaps the Dealer still unable to locate the cause, just replaced the whole transmission unecessarily to get the vehicle working. Eitherway, its on the Dealership, IMO.

BTW, the transmission should be part of the powertrain warranty, of course the coverage for warranty varied over the years and locations wildly, so they may be telling the truth that a transmission is no longer covered at 31k miles.


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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-18-2011, 05:46 PM
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Thumbs down CEL at 96,000 miles. Severe slip when accelerating from 0mph. No shift past 3rd.

So last night my 2006 Hemi Commander went into limp mode in heavy traffic on the freeway.

Check Engine Light went on. Could not shift past 3rd gear. Sever slipping starting from 0mph (like slipping the clutch on a manual tranny)

Fixed itself for a few minutes in the morning today, but problem came back as I was sitting at a stop light. Limped to the dealer since I needed an oil change anyway. Later I get a phone call. "

A solenoid went bad inside the transmission. Repair will cost $1012.00".

Out of warranty of course.

Should've sprung for the extended-plus warranty if I knew things would go south after the basic warranty expired.

I tow a 5500 lb. boat trailer periodically. Wondering if this kind of load accelerated the end of life for the component in question.


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