Clutch Recall (FCA W12 | 20V-124) on 2018-2020 JL Manuals [overheating clutch pressure plate]

FlatSixShooter

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I personally wasn’t joking. The risk is small but my wife and I are docs and need both cars so We can drive to corona town.

I genuinely try to make sure if anything bad happens the fam is taken care of. Jeep said Jack about what to do in he meantime on the recall so at least I have it in writing that they said safe to drive.

Again. Small risk but fam cared for.

39D6EA29-9385-4C68-A2DD-0C2D20ED9DE3.jpeg

I think the remark was directed at my comment. I was attempting a humorous comment but obviously wish no one any harm. Sorry if anyone took it otherwise.





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DanW

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Don’t forget steps 5-8 for return to dealer when work isn’t completed right and then another recall on the replacement parts they use for this recall. Wonder if they’ll put the clutch in backwards like the SS’s...
Well, I left that out because I've got a dealer that gets transmission work done right, the first time. They did a clutch on my JK due to a TSB early on, then they did a major teardown and repair to fix it popping out of gear probably around 70k miles, and then they replaced the clutch and transmission at 116k due to issues related to worn synchros and some rattling noise in the clutch. All of this work was done perfectly with not even a minor adjustment required. So, I'm 100% confident that they'll get this one right. The dealership is Westgate, in Plainfield, Indiana. Even the salesman knew how to properly drive a manual.
 

HeavyUser

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Been smelling burnt clutch going from 3rd to 4th since I bought this POS. Can't schedule out anything with the dealership as there isn't a fix available.
 

LABLUE

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Been smelling burnt clutch going from 3rd to 4th since I bought this POS. Can't schedule out anything with the dealership as there isn't a fix available.
If the clutch is slipping they can replace the clutch, parts are readily available. Not sure why they cant fix it.
 

DanW

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Been smelling burnt clutch going from 3rd to 4th since I bought this POS. Can't schedule out anything with the dealership as there isn't a fix available.
That sounds like a whole different matter. I'd get that looked at right away. You shouldn't be smelling that clutch unless there is a problem or somebody is cooking it. Mine only did that when my wife and brother in law tried to start out in 5th gear. Since yours is 3-4, it sounds like something is wrong with it.
 

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I'd also suggest swapping trans fluid early. This is what the drain plug magnet looked like at 7k miles.

IMG_1505-1.jpg
 

Goosed

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I personally wasn’t joking. The risk is small but my wife and I are docs and need both cars so We can drive to corona town.

I genuinely try to make sure if anything bad happens the fam is taken care of. Jeep said Jack about what to do in he meantime on the recall so at least I have it in writing that they said safe to drive.

Again. Small risk but fam cared for.

39D6EA29-9385-4C68-A2DD-0C2D20ED9DE3.jpeg
So this is how I suspect this will go down, in order for them to save money and their tails...

they will ONLY do the wiring reroute to mitigate the fire risk, and not deal with replacing the clutch or pressure plate - why?

because both items are deemed “wearable” and not covered past the 12k mile warranty they put on the clutch.

so if you end up blowing a hole in the side of your transmission, FCA won’t have to cover it because the clutch and pressure plate are our responsibility. They just want to move the ignitable source so that they are not at fault and liable. They will put the blame on us owners since we are responsible.

for those of us who have less than 12k miles on our clutches, they may be a little more investigative but still probably not.

The potential game changer will be when visiting the dealer, let them know that “your clutch slips at random times in random gears.” This May force them to do more than just reroute wiring since they are being told there is a potential issue to the system.
 

Rubi

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The only way a clutch pressure plate assy can get that hot is if it’s drastically slipping. As a few people have experienced; you will know the clutch is slipping. Punch the gas pedal in 4th through 6th gear; if it bogs out; your clutch is ok. If it over accelerates, watch the tach rapidly move closer to redline and as other people have experienced; it will smell like it’s burning. If it’s slipping take it to your dealer; don’t continue to drive it. We now have a recall; obviously they know the clutch/pressure plate could potentially be faulty; hopefully they step up to the plate and fully warranty it.

My ‘18 JLR has just under 16k with absolutely no problems up to this point. After reading all these problems people are having; I am slightly worried that this may happen to my Jeep. Most manual transmission clutches should easily last to 100k if not abused. FCA should warranty this issue with no questions. But, what happens to the people with slipping clutches, with non-stock armor, winches and 37’s, will FCA honor your warranty? Also is this happening primarily on 4 doors, heavier vehicle, or both?
 

DanW

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So this is how I suspect this will go down, in order for them to save money and their tails...

they will ONLY do the wiring reroute to mitigate the fire risk, and not deal with replacing the clutch or pressure plate - why?

because both items are deemed “wearable” and not covered past the 12k mile warranty they put on the clutch.

so if you end up blowing a hole in the side of your transmission, FCA won’t have to cover it because the clutch and pressure plate are our responsibility. They just want to move the ignitable source so that they are not at fault and liable. They will put the blame on us owners since we are responsible.

for those of us who have less than 12k miles on our clutches, they may be a little more investigative but still probably not.

The potential game changer will be when visiting the dealer, let them know that “your clutch slips at random times in random gears.” This May force them to do more than just reroute wiring since they are being told there is a potential issue to the system.
It won't be so simple to dodge this since Jeeps have burned and they've admitted a problem. The NHSTA is on them with this. They view it as a safety issue. They acknowledged a minor injury, too.

Prediction: They'll be replacing the clutch. Under warranty. Even if past 12k. Why? Because it is a documented safety issue and big brother is watching closely. They can be forced into a second recall if they don't fix it right. "Loss of propulsion" is a major safety issue, even if there is no fire.

Give FCA and Aisin some credit. They admitted to a problem and moved to recall them much quicker than Hundai/Kia did with their fires, and they had many more of them. We've had fewer than 5 confirmed with this as the cause.
 

Rubi

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What would be good to know, how many people on this forum have had clutch problems, what their mileage is, how much heavier non-stock armor with larger than stock tires installed. Also how many people tow and get close to the 2k & 3.5k weight tow limit.
 
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HeavyUser

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That sounds like a whole different matter. I'd get that looked at right away. You shouldn't be smelling that clutch unless there is a problem or somebody is cooking it. Mine only did that when my wife and brother in law tried to start out in 5th gear. Since yours is 3-4, it sounds like something is wrong with it.
Doesn't the recall state burning clutch smell as as symptom?
 

DanW

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What would be good to know, how many people on this forum have had clutch problems, what their mileage is, how much heavier non-stock armor with larger than stock tires installed. Also how many people tow and get close to the 2k & 3.5k weight tow limit.
I'll start...29k miles, no issues. 35" BFG tires, Mopar lift. I have towed a fishing boat frequently and would guess it is around 2,000 pounds or slightly more, with gear. I have done quite a bit of slow off-roading with lots of clutching. No smell, no slip, no problem.

On two occasions, my clutch was slipped to the point of smoke and stink. In the first few thousand miles, my brother in law tried to start in 5th gear and smoked the clutch several times in rapid succession before realizing his error. The heat inside my head was much higher than the temperature of the clutch plate, for sure.

My wife did the same thing about 6 months later. My neighbor saw the smoke from a block away and came and helped her. Fortunately, I didn't witness this. I did tear up a bit when my neighbor described it to me, though.

My Jeep is not overweight, by any stretch. I stuck with 315 size KO2's which don't weigh much (64 pounds?) and stock rims. I put a lightweight Smittybilt winch on the front (46lbs) and have made it a goal to keep weight down. I've added no additional skid plating, no aftermarket bumpers, and no tire carrier. I haven't weighed it, but I suspect my Jeep doesn't weigh significantly more than it did when stock.

One thing that should keep clutch wear under control in these things is the hill start assist that keeps the brakes on when starting uphill from a stop. While I don't need it, it is actually a great feature and works well for my wife and others who aren't as adept at getting it going.

There are other habits I would strongly encourage everyone to teach others who drive your Jeep. First, when at a light, don't sit with the clutch depressed. Put it in neutral and let the clutch out when stopped. Depress it and put it into gear when ready to go. That reduces wear on the slave cylinder. Also, some people ride the clutch by keeping a foot on it even when engaged. That's a HUGE mistake and will result in slipping and overheating. Finally, don't slip the clutch when going 2-3, 3-4, 4-5, and 5-6. It isn't necessary. Learn to sense and match the speed of the engine and transmission when upshifting, and downshifting, as well. The less slipping, the less heat. Your clutch will last MUCH longer this way.

My Dad, sister, and brother all had Chevy Vegas in the mid to late 70's. They were all 4 speeds. My sister wore out her clutches in about 25k miles. My Dad and brother got 100k out of them. The bad habits above were why my siser wore them out. I had lots of time as a kid to observe this and learn, along with tutoring from my Dad.

People will be in denial over clutching skills like few other things I've seen. I had an uncle that did the same things and he always claimed he knew what he was doing. Wrong. Swallow the pride and learn to get it right and you probably won't need this recall, IF your clutch is in proper adjustment. If not, it may not matter and the heat will build through no fault of your own.
 

melendez69

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"...RemedyFCA US will conduct a voluntary safety recall on affected vehicles to reroute a wire harness and inspect the clutch system, and replace components as needed."

They're not going to give everyone free clutches, they're going to look at them and say its OK if your Jeep isn't on fire.

So all you can do, prepare for the worst, hope for the best...
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Nice Purell placement... unintentional comedy.
 

DWS44

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Mine is a 2018 with just under 14K miles. Oddly, I had recently noticed a burning smell on a couple occasions that seemed rather random (not happening every time I drive it), and I've noticed what I thought might be the clutch slipping under acceleration at odd times, too. Nothing consistent, and mostly noticed while in 3rd gear during acceleration. Just seemed like very brief hesitations at random RPMs. Driven manuals all my 25+ years of driving...never had a clutch failure, so I'm not 100% sure if what I was feeling was slipping clutch or not. Hadn't been consistent or repeatable on demand, hence I hadn't deemed it worth the waste of time in taking it to the dealer for them to tell me nothing was wrong, which is what usually happens with them. Be interesting to see how this recall plays out.

If you see ocean blue flames on the side of the road in/around the Charlotte area before then, be sure to wave! :)
 

DanW

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Doesn't the recall state burning clutch smell as as symptom?
Yes, if you are not operating it incorrectly. You could make ANY clutch smoke and smell, by operating it incorrectly.

If your clutch has smelled or smoked and you were not doing anything in particular to cause that, then I'd stop driving it. Mine only smoked when my wife and bro in law tried to start out in 5th gear. (They didn't know they were in 5th.) That'll smoke any clutch. My point was that mine has seen some temps, but has not come apart. I don't think it was long enough duration. It has to get to 1100 or so degrees, according to what I've seen from Jeep. That's LOTS of slipping/burning to get to that kind of temp.

To be clear, if you are operating it correctly and you are getting the burning smell, that's your cue to knock it off and park it. Some clutches may have gotten to the high heat condition due to being out of adjustment, while some are because of incorrect technique causing too much slipping of the clutch. When fully engaged, there should be no friction on the clutch plate. It is only when slipping that friction is caused. You MUST do some slipping every time you go, but if you are doing it correctly, it won't be anywhere close enough to overheat it.

This won't be popular, but some folks think they are doing it right when they are not. They will cause overheating of the plate. Some may be out of adjustment. Either way, it still shouldn't be causing it to break apart. That's where the problem is and that's what they've got to fix.

The worst thing that should happen if someone isn't driving it correctly is to simply wear out the clutch. Yes, it will heat up badly, but it should be able to tolerate that without breaking apart.

Someone easy on clutches and with one that is properly adjusted and in good working order should never see this problem because theirs will never get to 1100 degrees.

My money says it is a combination of both. Some are out of adjustment and some are from poor technique. I've known people who have driven clutches for many years but with bad technique. They tend to run through clutches. I've seen others that go 150k on the original. Those folks getting 150k+ are very unlikely to see this thing overheat, again, unless there is a problem. That's why they aren't all blowing up. All seem to have the plate made of faulty material or with faulty specs. Only a few are blowing apart. You wouldn't get the recall if your plate didn't have the issue.
 

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