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Driving a Jeep? Spot and Solve These 3 Common Problems

4x4 on the dirt road

Jeep stands by its claim that its models can “go anywhere.” The designs speak of that. Each unit appears sturdy, utilitarian, and practical. It survived the Second World War. No doubt, it can conquer the world’s toughest terrains.

However, even the dependable Jeep can face problems. This list compiles three of the most common ones. Drivers will also learn the solutions for each:

1. Driver Shaft Issues

The clunking noises, vibrations, and shudders are not the signs of a possessed vehicle. Instead, these may point to an issue with the driver shaft.

The driver shaft or the propeller shaft is the stick that helps deliver engine rotation and torque. It’s what makes the wheels turn so that the vehicle moves. Depending on the drivetrain system, the Jeep may have one or a pair of shafts.

Sometimes the shafts may be barely enough to connect the vehicle’s transmission to the other end before the wheel. That’s when the Jeep makes weird noises.

The best solution is to find the best driver shaft, and this varies according to the model. A rear-wheel-drive Jeep may need a custom-made Jeep JK drive shaft with double Cardan or CV.

jeep on a dirt track

2. Death Wobble

The death wobble is the feeling drivers experience when their airplane meets some moderate to severe turbulence. When vehicles such as Jeep Wrangler hits a bump or pothole while traveling at top speeds, they can vibrate. These vibrations can be strong enough that the front wheels can move side to side, making it difficult for the driver to control.

At least two reasons may explain the death wobble. According to Jeep, the problem lies in the axle it uses, which seems to be better designed for off-road conditions. Another is a design flaw on the stabilizer that allows frigid air, especially during winter, to enter the steering system.

People who own a Jeep Wrangler can bring their vehicle to the dealership or authorized Jeep service shop so they could replace their stabilizers. They also need to avoid using cheap aftermarket parts or installing these components by themselves.

3. Rearview Display Image Issues

Newer models of Jeep may already include a backup camera, which allows the driver to see behind without having to strain their necks. The images appear immediately on their infotainment system.

These live images will also disappear after ten seconds or as soon as the driver has completed the reverse—except that in some Jeep units, they don’t. That’s why Fiat Chrysler now recalls over 300,000 units of these.

The issue may sound harmless, but it violates the federal guidelines that state images should not linger for over 10 seconds. Otherwise, they can distract the driver. Distracted driving is one of the leading risk factors of road fatalities, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In 2018 alone, it caused for nearly 3,000 deaths.

Drivers who own Jeep models with an 8.4- to 12-inch radio display can wait until May 22 when Fiat Chrysler will start a software update. It may happen over the air, or the owners can bring their vehicles to the dealership.

These problems in no way make the Jeep brand less reliable. They highlight that even some of the most robust vehicles need attention and maintenance to remain safe at all times.

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