Lube Deficit Trips Trucks


Chrysler will recall 56,611 Dodge Ram 2011 model year pickup trucks because insufficient lubricant could lead to growling or grinding noises from, or seizure of, a rear axle bearing.

The remedy involves increasing the rear axles lube oil fill. The specified volume of lube oil in the C235 rear axle is a nominal lube fill of 71 ounces; however, testing with 91 oz. of axle lube has shown to considerably improve lubrication and bearing heat management, Chrysler stated in its Dec. 23 defect information report to the National Highway Safety Administration. Increasing the lube fill to 91 oz. on all C235 axles not yet built and adding 20 oz. to those axles already built was implemented for vehicles with a build date of Dec. 3, 2010 and later.

As of Dec. 21, 2010, there have been approximately 20 field reports alleging axle bearing noise or failure in the northern U.S., for the 1500 model of the Ram pickup, Chrysler said in the report. The majority of axle failures in the field have occurred within 500 miles of driving.

A failure of the bearing could cause the vehicle to stall, increasing the risk of a crash, the NHTSA stated in its Dec. 29 recall notification letter. No crashes or injuries related to the issue had been reported at the time of Chryslers safety defect report.

Chrysler will notify owners and perform repairs as necessary free of charge. The safety recall is expected to begin during February.

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