My PTU failure experience
Hi Guys. I'm an aussie and have had a 2015 KL Limited Diesel for just on 2 years. I love this car as it just does so many things right. I just thought I'd share my PTU failure experience with the members to help add more "data to the cause". It may be a case of every cloud has a silver lining in the end but of course didn't seem that way at the time.
The only annoyance I experienced in the past 2 years of basically happy motoring was just a small warranty issue with a seat belt chime that was quickly rectified. Having read all the posts and previous experiences I was resigned to the fact that the car had idiosyncrasies in the lower gear changes which I also noted. ie choppy and jerky 1-2-3 gear shifts. Annoying in slow speed crawling traffic but certainly liveable. All the little TSBs and recalls were attended to even though my servicing dealer is over 100 km away. They have been excellent to deal with and we have a good relationship.
I now have 33,000 km on the dial and about 4 or 5 weeks back noted that the 1-2-3 changes that were previously annoying had now become quite noticeable and pronounced. the vehicle was serviced in that time, and this was reported to the dealership but the codes all came back fine. There was no noise nor any warning lights etc. The PTU failure occurred 3 weeks ago as I was driving at low speed in the main street of town. Again no warning noises, no warning lights just a loud clunk, a failure to engage any gear and grnding when attempting to engage park or drive. Here I am immobilized in the middle of a main highway in town in what looked to most passers by as a poor attempt at a double park! Quite embarrassing during the ensuing 2.5 hours waiting for a tow after contacting Jeep assist. lots of the expected abuse from passing motorists trying to avoid my obstruction etc. Unfortunately I was in a spot where it was impossible to move (you had to be there to explain I guess).
Eventually the vehicle was taken to the servicing dealer by flat bed tow and the obligatory codes were run. We both expected to chalk another one up to a ZF tranny failure, in fact the service department were so confident they had placed an order for one whilst the car was in transit to them. They're usually on the ball in that regard. The report came back with mildly surprising codes indicating a PTU failure and mechanics found they were able to engage 4x4 but not front wheels, therefore not a tranny issue. The PTU was pulled apart and found to be full of metal shavings and had basically chewed itself to bits. Fortunately for me this happened in town and not out in a remote part of the bush. I can live with the embarrassment I guess
To cut the rest shorter, FCA were quick to agree on the diagnostics and a PTU was dispatched forthwith and I was back on road in 12 days with a hire car offered and the vehicle returned to my place of work with no issue. The service department were awsome. Updates every couple of days and allowed me to physically inspect the faulty PTU etc when I called in to visit the patient. No complaints whatsoever about them or FCA. That makes a nice reassuring change after hearing so much bad about a no care attitude from some Jeep dealerships. Not this one. Since return over a week ago now I've noted the 1-2-3 changes are almost seamless! Particularly 1st to 2nd. Yippee! It appears the car is as it should have been from day 1. I've contacted the dealer to enquire as to what else had been done in the way of flashes etc but there were none and nothing was done apart from the replacement of the PTU? Whatever happened it has made the tranny a a happy camper and delight to drive at last and whilst I've lost just a little confidence in the vehicle (only for a while I hope) as a whole I'm still happy.
Just curious to know from the membership here has anyone else had a similar experience where replacing the PTU has made for a much smoother shifting tranny? Excuse my ignorance as I'm just a paramedic and fix people not cars and my mechanical knowledge is limited to things far less technical than a Cherokee. As I said maybe every cloud has a silver lining! Will report if things deteriorate or change...