Automotive

axle and supporting arm broke while driving

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  • Jun 13th, 2011 9:58 pm
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Member
Mar 9, 2008
368 posts
32 upvotes
Vancouver

axle and supporting arm broke while driving

So my dad's 2007 Jeep Compass's wheel almost broke off today. From what the tow truck driver said, the axle is broken and most likely the lower supporting arm as well. This happened while in a school zone, so it was under 30km, there is one witness, and my dad also took a few pictures. The front wheel is still attached, but is coming out at a 45 degree angle in the awkward way, not the turning right way. Other parts were probably also damaged since there was quite a bit of transmission fluid leaking.
The supporting arm was replaced less than a year ago, actually 6 days to a full year, so it should be covered under the 1 year parts warranty? The dealer is denying this and saying the car is over 100,000km and warranty is expired. I need some input on what to do next since there are obviously several parts damaged which I guess would be out of the 100,000km warranty, but it seems like shotty mechanic work which caused other parts to fail. How can the axle suddenly break without warning... I'm just glad this wasn't on the highway.
5 replies
Sr. Member
User avatar
Jan 5, 2004
581 posts
15 upvotes
Laval
blahing wrote:
Jun 9th, 2011 9:17 pm
So my dad's 2007 Jeep Compass's wheel almost broke off today. From what the tow truck driver said, the axle is broken and most likely the lower supporting arm as well. This happened while in a school zone, so it was under 30km, there is one witness, and my dad also took a few pictures. The front wheel is still attached, but is coming out at a 45 degree angle in the awkward way, not the turning right way. Other parts were probably also damaged since there was quite a bit of transmission fluid leaking.
The supporting arm was replaced less than a year ago, actually 6 days to a full year, so it should be covered under the 1 year parts warranty? The dealer is denying this and saying the car is over 100,000km and warranty is expired. I need some input on what to do next since there are obviously several parts damaged which I guess would be out of the 100,000km warranty, but it seems like shotty mechanic work which caused other parts to fail. How can the axle suddenly break without warning... I'm just glad this wasn't on the highway.

maybe he hit something, or when it was changed not all the bolts were tight
Deal Expert
Mar 23, 2004
19720 posts
1472 upvotes
blahing wrote:
Jun 9th, 2011 9:17 pm
So my dad's 2007 Jeep Compass's wheel almost broke off today. From what the tow truck driver said, the axle is broken and most likely the lower supporting arm as well. This happened while in a school zone, so it was under 30km, there is one witness, and my dad also took a few pictures. The front wheel is still attached, but is coming out at a 45 degree angle in the awkward way, not the turning right way. Other parts were probably also damaged since there was quite a bit of transmission fluid leaking.
Some trans fluid will leak from the diff if the driveaxle comes out of it. Hopefully the diff and/or trans were not damaged.
blahing wrote:
Jun 9th, 2011 9:17 pm
The supporting arm was replaced less than a year ago, actually 6 days to a full year, so it should be covered under the 1 year parts warranty?
By supporting arm I assume you mean the control arm (and not some part of the subframe)? Why was it replaced a year ago, did it break then as well or was it just bent? Was that a repair you paid for or was it covered under warranty? Is this a common problem on this vehicle?

Interestingly the Compass, prior to 2011, was not "Trail Rated" meaning the suspension components weren't very "SUV-like"/rugged. Sounds like the control arm broke and that caused the driveaxle to follow suit. How is the knuckle (aka "spindle"), is it intact? Again, hopefully no steering components (beyond perhaps tie rod ends) were damaged.
blahing wrote:
Jun 9th, 2011 9:17 pm
The dealer is denying this and saying the car is over 100,000km and warranty is expired.
The vehicle's warranty may be expired but unless the above repair was a warranty repair, there should be whatever parts & labour warranty that repair carried with it. The thing is, unless this happens on a lot of Compasses it's tough to prove that a control arm failed because they usually don't just up and break like that. Usually you'd have to go over a curb at speed, or hit a big pothole or something (doesn't necessarily have to be at the exact moment it failed just at some point somewhat recently). And if one of those things happened (which I'm guessing the dealer would assume as well), then that wouldn't be covered by warranty. Warranty doesn't cover road hazards or accidents.

If this is a common problem on the vehicle you may want to take it up with first the service manager at the dealership and then Chrysler if you get no satisfaction. Since the car is out of warranty you may not get a free repair but often times manufacturers will do some "goodwill" and give you a discounted repair on the vehicle in such cases where it's known that a certain part fails commonly. I mean they probably aren't going to admit they made shoddy control arms or what have you (not without a class-action) but on an individual basis, they may offer some relief. It's also possible that the part has been revised and replaced with a better one, so as to avoid the problem in the future--that would give you some peace of mind if that were the case. On the other hand it may not, and may just be a reason to sell the vehicle after it has been repaired.
blahing wrote:
Jun 9th, 2011 9:17 pm
I need some input on what to do next since there are obviously several parts damaged which I guess would be out of the 100,000km warranty, but it seems like shotty mechanic work which caused other parts to fail. How can the axle suddenly break without warning... I'm just glad this wasn't on the highway.
I'm glad too :| I'm guessing though that the driveaxle did not cause the control arm to fail, but rather the other way around... Control arm breaks, now you have a violent force/load on the suspension, the driveaxle moves beyond it's limits and there you go. I'm guessing the axle separated at the CV? Though it's not impossible it failed elsewhere, that is the weakest part in most cases. If the axle failed first, the suspension would still be intact, it's unlikely the arm would break.
[OP]
Member
Mar 9, 2008
368 posts
32 upvotes
Vancouver
ES_Revenge wrote:
Jun 9th, 2011 10:04 pm
Some trans fluid will leak from the diff if the driveaxle comes out of it. Hopefully the diff and/or trans were not damaged.


By supporting arm I assume you mean the control arm (and not some part of the subframe)? Why was it replaced a year ago, did it break then as well or was it just bent? Was that a repair you paid for or was it covered under warranty? Is this a common problem on this vehicle?

Interestingly the Compass, prior to 2011, was not "Trail Rated" meaning the suspension components weren't very "SUV-like"/rugged. Sounds like the control arm broke and that caused the driveaxle to follow suit. How is the knuckle (aka "spindle"), is it intact? Again, hopefully no steering components (beyond perhaps tie rod ends) were damaged.


The vehicle's warranty may be expired but unless the above repair was a warranty repair, there should be whatever parts & labour warranty that repair carried with it. The thing is, unless this happens on a lot of Compasses it's tough to prove that a control arm failed because they usually don't just up and break like that. Usually you'd have to go over a curb at speed, or hit a big pothole or something (doesn't necessarily have to be at the exact moment it failed just at some point somewhat recently). And if one of those things happened (which I'm guessing the dealer would assume as well), then that wouldn't be covered by warranty. Warranty doesn't cover road hazards or accidents.

If this is a common problem on the vehicle you may want to take it up with first the service manager at the dealership and then Chrysler if you get no satisfaction. Since the car is out of warranty you may not get a free repair but often times manufacturers will do some "goodwill" and give you a discounted repair on the vehicle in such cases where it's known that a certain part fails commonly. I mean they probably aren't going to admit they made shoddy control arms or what have you (not without a class-action) but on an individual basis, they may offer some relief. It's also possible that the part has been revised and replaced with a better one, so as to avoid the problem in the future--that would give you some peace of mind if that were the case. On the other hand it may not, and may just be a reason to sell the vehicle after it has been repaired.


I'm glad too :| I'm guessing though that the driveaxle did not cause the control arm to fail, but rather the other way around... Control arm breaks, now you have a violent force/load on the suspension, the driveaxle moves beyond it's limits and there you go. I'm guessing the axle separated at the CV? Though it's not impossible it failed elsewhere, that is the weakest part in most cases. If the axle failed first, the suspension would still be intact, it's unlikely the arm would break.

wow thanks for taking the time for such a detailed response. We managed to get the service manager to speak with Chrysler and all parts and labour will be covered by them. The lower control arm at the front of the vehicle was replaced under warranty about a year ago, don't remember if it was bent or broken. Haven't spoken to the dealer in detail yet, but I'll take a look at the work which will be done. This compass has had quite a few problems, like the tailgate being unable to close properly. We've taken it to the dealer and a smaller mechanic, both could not fix it, just broke again after a week. We'll be looking at getting selling this Compass and getting something more reliable.
Banned
Sep 22, 2008
8322 posts
527 upvotes
I have seen the wheel into the fender well scenario on many older vehicles, reason was the ball joints was worn but the driver;s refused to have it replaced so at the end it popped out and the cv shaft extended and popped out of the differrential.
thank god it did not happen on the highway travelling at 100km
Jr. Member
User avatar
Mar 11, 2011
110 posts
6 upvotes
Scarborough
No offence to you, but i have a Jeep Patriot.. and I knew it was just a matter of time before someones wheel flys off or gets killed.. As least you didnt get killed...

Check out these links :confused:

http://www.jeeppatriot.com/forum/showthread.php?p=97802
http://www.jeeppatriot.com/forum/showth ... p?p=196190
http://www.jeeppatriot.com/forum/showthread.php?t=73721
http://www.jeeppatriot.com/forum/showthread.php?t=15863
http://www.jeeppatriot.com/forum/showthread.php?t=66931
http://www.jeeppatriot.com/forum/showthread.php?t=48645

http://www.truedelta.com/repair_histori ... sion_code=

And please take your time and go through it... I am worried about my own vehicle! :-0
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