Rubicon Poll - Have you had problems with your locker sensors

Have you had "service axle locker" (locker sensor) problems on your Rubicon?

  • Never had problem, but have under 15K miles on Jeep

  • Never had problem, and have over 15K miles on Jeep

  • Had the problem, while Jeep had less than 15K miles (not self inflicted)

  • Had the problem, while Jeep had over 15K miles (not self inflicted)

  • Had the problem, but it was self inflicted (stretched lines, etc)

  • I potted my sensors, and don't have the problem since potting


Results are only viewable after voting.

vandyrn27

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The Rubicon front and rear locker sensor issue, seems to be the main long running reported problem without a root cause solution. But I haven't seen any data/poll on how prevalent it is. So I figured I'd create a poll to see if I can unscare myself and others.

Please take your time and vote.

Also, if everyone can post Model Year, Mileage, mods (e.g. regear) and problem or not on this thread it would be great.

Thanks in advance.
Just traded my 2018 sport s for a 2020 Rubicon. Less than 10k miles and the rear locker indicator light is on and won’t shut off. Im already going back to the dealer on Thursday for the clutch recall, hopefully they can work some magic. Ugh…





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CarbonSteel

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Potted mine at 25K or so. The rear sensor was over 50% full of oil. I believe that the only reason it had not failed is because I had not used the lockers that often between 15K and 25K, but I am certain it was destined to fail.

There are many electronic modules that are submerged in oil unsealed that do not short out, however, I believe the reason these do short out is due to the high metal content in the oil.

These new Advantek axles produce more iron than any other axle I've ever had experience with.
 
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gato

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These new Advantek axles produce more iron than any other axle I've ever had experience with.
That is disappointing, since one of the supposed "advanced" features of these axles was better teeth engagement, less friction and wear.

But it seems that frequent diff oil changes may keep iron content lower. Low enough to prevent a short? Hard to say.
 

CaJLMetalHead

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That is disappointing, since one of the supposed "advanced" features of these axles was better teeth engagement, less friction and wear.

But it seems that frequent diff oil changes may keep iron content lower. Low enough to prevent a short? Hard to say.
I would not bet on it... because metal or no metal content... the gear oil is still going to be harsh on electronic components and the printed circuit board.. who knows what the additives and the oil itself + extra heat are going to do to a poor printed circuit board and its delicate components... I really doubt that those electronic components in this particular printed circuit board are designed to resist such harsh treatment for thousands of miles... potting is the way to go !
 

SilverSurfer

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In general oil is not a very good conductor especially automotive oil.

Automotive oil's conductivity can increase due to oxidation and/or viscosity reduction. Metalic wear particles (dissolved metals) in the oil does not increase conductivity.

Although automotive oil is not a very good conductor it does not mean that it can be regarded as an insulator for this specific sensor in the differential. This is in my opinion the mistake the designers, of placing the sensor in the axle, made.

For those that potted their sensors and are brave in their comments on this thread (When their warranty is voided due to the sensor potting) - Brave words mean nothing until you need to go through the process with a dealer that voided your warranty upon discovery that your sensors were potted. Rather curb your bravado for that day.
 

Ridgway Jeeper

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For those that potted their sensors and are brave in their comments on this thread (When their warranty is voided due to the sensor potting) - Brave words mean nothing until you need to go through the process with a dealer that voided your warranty upon discovery that your sensors were potted. Rather curb your bravado for that day.
Interesting to choose to be more concerned about a situation that has never occurred, that we know of, over a situation that has caused numerous people major issues. Please report the cases of voided warranties due to potted sensors. That is nothing but fear mongering, popular these days I know but often not rooted in any fact.
 

CarbonSteel

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That is disappointing, since one of the supposed "advanced" features of these axles was better teeth engagement, less friction and wear.

But it seems that frequent diff oil changes may keep iron content lower. Low enough to prevent a short? Hard to say.
I would say there is better teeth engagement, I would question the less friction given the heat that is generated (even when unloaded AND when considering a Jeep is much lighter than something like a light duty truck), and it depends on what Dana is suggesting wears less.

With every other axle I have had experience with (and it has been many), most of the axle wear and metal generation is all but complete by 15K miles. Wear metal generation after that, despite more and more miles between the OCs, produce less and less metal per mile.

Definitely, not the case with the Advantek's--at least not mine. Case in point, I had a 2010 Ford FX4 that I put 160K miles on it and at least 45% of those miles was towing between 8-9K pounds in temperatures ranging from -22°F to +117°F through various terrain including the mountains.

In those 160K miles, the Sterling 9.75" axle with 3.73 gears produced a total of 697PPM of iron. The Dana 44 M220 Advantek axle in my Rubicon has produced 2,163PPM of iron in only 26K miles. This is more than 3x the amount of iron produced in 134,000 fewer miles.

Given this level of iron in the oil, it is no wonder that an unpotted electrical sensor would short out. The axle has created a highly conductive fluid from the oil with the possibility that some of the metal "sticks" to the board as the oil flows through it thereby guaranteeing a circuit will be created at some point.
 

CarbonSteel

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Interesting to choose to be more concerned about a situation that has never occurred, that we know of, over a situation that has caused numerous people major issues. Please report the cases of voided warranties due to potted sensors. That is nothing but fear mongering, popular these days I know but often not rooted in any fact.
Agreed and given that many (if not most) people do not buy an extended warranty, the failed sensor would be on them after 3/36 anyway. In addition, car manufacturer's can be very illogical on what does or does not void a warranty and unless one's pockets reach to the moon attempting to fight them is a losing battle before the first shot is fired.

I, for one, am good with the decision I made to pot my sensors given that the rear one was at least 50% filled with oil. Not a question of IF it would fail, more of a question of WHEN.

20210221_110749.jpg
 

sourdough

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No issues , I have the bypass harness in my glovebox.
 
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jeronimo

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49830miles on stock JLUR 2018. I started getting the service axle locker system icon message about 500 miles ago. When trying to use the lockers e.g. switching on and off the light on the switch loops into constant blinking. Both lockers show as constantly locked under off-road pages.

I am headed to the service today to see what they have to say about it but I have this bad feeling it might be the sensors.....

Any suggestions on how to deal with it? :(
 

DanW

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48k miles and 3.7 years on mine and no problem. It is getting re-geared right now and I looked at them yesterday and they did not appear to have oil intrusion. I'm still probably going to pot them at some point, but may reconsider. I would think they'd have oil in them by now if not properly sealed.

I do also carry one ZAuto bypass harness, too. I don't want this to get me while in the middle of nowhere.

I agree that it is a problem. It is a mole hill made into a mountain by the lack of thought with lack of availability of the cheap little part responsible for it.
 

MrMischief

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2019, right at 15k miles and I got this for the first time over the weekend about 500 miles from home. Was in the bottom of a canyon I had gotten into without lockers, about to climb out. Message came on for a couple of seconds then disappeared. I climbed out without using the lockers, made it back to camp with no issue, drove the 500 miles home yesterday, no issues. I plan on taking it to the dealer soon just to get it on record if nothing else.
 

CarbonSteel

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Metalic wear particles (dissolved metals) in the oil does not increase conductivity.
Out of morbid curiosity, do you have any reference materials to substantiate this statement?
 

SilverSurfer

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Out of morbid curiosity, do you have any reference materials to substantiate this statement?
Electronics 101
Current is a stream of charged particles moving through an electric conductor.

Because oil is a very poor conductor and the metal residue in the oil do not make contact with each other, there is no constant conductor for the charged particles to move through, therefore no current.
 

SilverSurfer

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Interesting to choose to be more concerned about a situation that has never occurred, that we know of, over a situation that has caused numerous people major issues. Please report the cases of voided warranties due to potted sensors. That is nothing but fear mongering, popular these days I know but often not rooted in any fact.
My statement addresses the future and not the past, there will be a first.
 

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