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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 2011 WK2 Grand Cherokee Overland has 225K.

I have been taking it in for service since new for drivetrain noises coming from near the transfer case and the rear suspension. The dealer could never "replicate the noise" and it never went away.

The noise recently got much worse, I took it in and the dealer says that because my front tires are more worn (very slightly) than the rear, this may have led to the transfer case problems.

I am waiting for the MAXCARE decision and hope it is fully covered but concerned that the dealer is mentioning the tires.

Has anyone even heard of tire wear leading to transfer case failure? I am fairly good with non 4WD issues but not too familiar with 4WD-specific issues.

Thanks,
Brent
 

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2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk, ProCharged 5.7L Hemi
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My 2011 WK2 Grand Cherokee Overland has 225K.

I have been taking it in for service since new for drivetrain noises coming from near the transfer case and the rear suspension. The dealer could never "replicate the noise" and it never went away.

The noise recently got much worse, I took it in and the dealer says that because my front tires are more worn (very slightly) than the rear, this may have led to the transfer case problems.

I am waiting for the MAXCARE decision and hope it is fully covered but concerned that the dealer is mentioning the tires.

Has anyone even heard of tire wear leading to transfer case failure? I am fairly good with non 4WD issues but not too familiar with 4WD-specific issues.

Thanks,
Brent
I would argue that one.

If the tires are the same size, i.e. 265/60R18 on all four corners, regardless of wear, there isn't enough of a difference in size percentage that would hurt the transfer case.

They are giving you a hard time because you have an older Jeep with a lot of miles. You shouldn't be punished for actually driving your vehicle.

MAXCARE will cover the repair based on the dealers recommendations. Especially if you can show a history of concern (maintenance receipts).
 

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What is the measurement difference? Do you have records of regularly rotating your tires, alignments, etc? That should be enough proof that you've been proactive with maintenance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
The front tires were normal wear and consistent across the tread. Normal driving on the road and no off-road driving. Jeep is aligned and there was no abnormal wear. The front tires were not that much more worn than the rear, but based on me actually driving it were slightly more worn.

Dealer had me buy new tires for the jeep before they would even inspect the transfer case. They said that the tire tread had to be perfectly even or they could not inspect it.

That cost me over $1K to just get them to inspect it under Maxcare...
 

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The front tires were normal wear and consistent across the tread. Normal driving on the road and no off-road driving. Jeep is aligned and there was no abnormal wear. The front tires were not that much more worn than the rear, but based on me actually driving it were slightly more worn.

Dealer had me buy new tires for the jeep before they would even inspect the transfer case. They said that the tire tread had to be perfectly even or they could not inspect it.

That cost me over $1K to just get them to inspect it under Maxcare...
I think I would have at least tried another dealer before buying new tires from them.

Not looking forward to the day when I have to file a claim on my Lifetime and hearing the same type arguments.
 

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Did you get actual tread depth readings before getting the new tires? Did you buy the new tires from that dealer? I can’t imagine buying new tires from a dealer and certainly would not under those circumstances, but easy for me to say looking from the outside.
 

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My 2011 WK2 Grand Cherokee Overland has 225K.

I have been taking it in for service since new for drivetrain noises coming from near the transfer case and the rear suspension. The dealer could never "replicate the noise" and it never went away.

The noise recently got much worse, I took it in and the dealer says that because my front tires are more worn (very slightly) than the rear, this may have led to the transfer case problems.

I am waiting for the MAXCARE decision and hope it is fully covered but concerned that the dealer is mentioning the tires.

Has anyone even heard of tire wear leading to transfer case failure? I am fairly good with non 4WD issues but not too familiar with 4WD-specific issues.

Thanks,
Brent
1. thats a load of crap.
2. what are the noises ur hearing,could be any # of things.
sounds almost like a shaft issue
 

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Absolute crap! Audi has one of the best AWD systems out there with their quattro and they say rolling diameter +/- 2% is perfectly normal and acceptable. If the fronts are more worn than the rears by say 2/32", that's 4/32" across a 31" tall tire. That's just 0.39%. Tell them you must see the published factory Jeep spec.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
got a response from Maxcare. They denied the claim to cover cover replacing the transfer case and driveshaft. Jeep dealer wants $4,299 to fix it. This is ridiculous and unfair.

The Jeep has been maintained at the Jeep dealer and has no modifications. I do not believe that less tread in the front will trash a transfer case. The says they think the tread difference was less than 1/10"--does that make any sense that it would trash the transfer case with only 1/10" difference front to back?

I have been complaining of what were most likely transfer case-related noises for the past several years and of noises from the rear since it was new. The dealer never located the problem until I took it in this time and they are denying the claim.

I am told that JeepCares and Maxcare are owned by new companies and they take joy in denying claims.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I am not sure...I am hoping that @JeepCares can shed some light on this...I highly doubt maxcare will do the right thing here...if a Jeep cannot tolerate 1/10" tread difference these vehicles are really fragile...
 

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Not to ruin your day, but there are known issues with 2011-2012 transfer cases. Not all, of course, but some experience from my own issues with our previous 2011 Laredo E Trail Rated with Adventure Pkg II, decided one day to at start up to bang around on the console under the floor like a blown U-joint causing the driveshaft to hit the tranny tunnel. You could feel it banging on rotation and hear it, It actually shook the Jeep. I turned it off, started it again and the same thing. Anyway several attempts again met with same issue mind you it only had 24k or so on the odometer it was 4 years old and had been serviced regularly and was not abused as it was my Wife’s main transportation and she worked from home. So I set an appointment with the dealer and as I was driving it over several days later about 3 miles into the trip I hear a whizzing like metal spinning around something, a click clunk pop and the noise was gone and the Jeep sounded and ran fine. Of course when I arrived at the dealer (a total of 7 miles) it was fine. They did still bring it in and of course found nothing.
I did drive the Jeep several times before the appointment with my Wife following me in My Camaro to ensure there was truly something amiss and it reminded me of a bad transmission with some of the noises and slight binding in corners maybe from a a bad rear etc....Anyway I dumped it shortly there after after hearing about some issues with the same thing we experienced. It was definitely a transfer case issue with all the symptoms and until it completely shit the bed there wasn’t much that My dealer could do without them present at the appointment. Mind you I kept it for about 3 month’s without issue but something let loose in there which was very reminiscent of a bolt breaking in a flex plate did rattling around until it tossed itself out. Check for any TSB’s there might be something out there as I do know other’s with similar issues.
 

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Granted, Maxcare only has to pay a portion of the total repair cost (as with any type of insurance company). Maxcare also relies on the dealer recommendations... BUT, you would think the the dealer would side with the customer, especially when the customer has been loyal, met regular maintenance requirements and recommend repairs (buy tire) to prevent issues.

Might be time to switch dealer/repair facilities and get a second opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I researched the transfer case manufacturer and found my transfer case specs. They recommend there be no more than 1/4" difference in circumference between tires. Mine was 1/10"... I will ask maximum care what their tolerances are: I am betting they have none and just heard the tires were different and automatically denied the claim..
 

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No matter what tires are never going to wear the same, ever. Road conditions (Road Crown) tire inflation values (TPMS allow for several lbs of air difference per tire) and even vehicle weight differences (gas tank on driver side) between one tire to the next.
With that being said even a quarter inch of tire differences aren’t going to wreak havoc on the transfer case, especially with the system having “Open” differentials. It’s one of the most forgiving systems on the market.
That tread depth allusion that they are trying to feed you is all about Dealer not wanting to cover your claim.
Now, tire circumference could be an issue if the tires size itself was different in overall circumference, but this doesn’t seem to be the case.
Try Contacting @JeepCares through here and see if they can help.
 

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Agreed, complete crap. You would need to have severely different sized tires for this to damage any component of the powertrain. If these vehicles cannot handle 2mm difference in wear between front and back, which is completely normal, then there are serious design issues. This sounds like yet another crappy Jeep dealer that cares more about selling crap for immediate profit rather than working with you on warranty claim. I pushed back hard on my dealer when they claimed something was not covered and made them feel like fools by citing the MaxCare language that did include it.

I've always laughed at Subaru saying if one tire needs to be replaced, you need to replace all of them. I can see that if you have one tire with 2mm of tread life remaining and suddenly you had a new tire at 11mm since the systems detect rate of speed at each wheel, but I find it slightly bogus, too, since the inside and outside tires travel at different speeds in turns and curves. I have had transfer case issues from that but not caused by the tires!!
 

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What a load of BS from that dealership.
As others have said already, get a 2nd opinion from another dealership or even an independent shop.
I would of done that before the whole Maxcare BSer's entered your VIN and denial into their FCA data base.
 
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