Dodge Journey: Operation, Diagnosis and Testing


The primary benefits of All Wheel Drive are:

  • Superior straight line acceleration, and cornering on all surfaces
  • Better traction and handling under adverse conditions, resulting in improved hill climbing ability and safer driving.

The electronically controlled clutch (ECC) controls torque transfer to the rear differential assembly.

ECU (Inside vehicle) uses throttle position, wheel speeds and steering angle (if equipped) to control clutch.



Different sources can be the cause of noise that the rear driveline module assembly is suspected of making.

Refer to the following causes for noise diagnosis.


The most important part of driveline module service is properly identifying the cause of failures and noise complaints. The cause of most driveline module failures is relatively easy to identify. The cause of driveline module noise is more difficult to identify.

If vehicle noise becomes intolerable, an effort should be made to isolate the noise. Many noises that are reported as coming from the driveline module may actually originate at other sources. For example:

  • Tires
  • Road surfaces
  • Wheel bearings
  • Engine
  • Transmission
  • Exhaust
  • Propeller shaft (vibration)
  • Vehicle body (drumming)

Driveline module noises are normally divided into two categories: gear noise or bearing noise. A thorough and careful inspection should be completed to determine the actual source of the noise before replacing the driveline module.

The rubber mounting bushings help to dampen-out driveline module noise when properly installed. Inspect to confirm that no metal contact exists between the driveline module case and the body or suspension cradle. The complete isolation of noise to one area requires expertise and experience. Identifying certain types of vehicle noise baffles even the most capable technicians. Often such practices as:

  • Increase tire inflation pressure to eliminate tire noise.
  • Listen for noise at varying speeds with different driveline load conditions
  • Swerving the vehicle from left to right to detect wheel bearing noise.

All driveline module assemblies produce noise to a certain extent. Slight carrier noise that is noticeable only at certain speeds or isolated situations should be considered normal. Carrier noise tends to peak at a variety of vehicle speeds. Noise is NOT ALWAYS an indication of a problem within the carrier.


Tire noise is often mistaken for driveline module noise. Tires that are unbalanced, worn unevenly or are worn in a saw-tooth manner are usually noisy. They often produce a noise that appears to originate in the driveline module.

Tire noise changes with different road surfaces, but driveline module noise does not. Inflate all four tires with approximately 20 psi (138 kPa) more than the recommended inflation pressure (for test purposes only). This will alter noise caused by tires, but will not affect noise caused by the differential. Rear axle noise usually ceases when coasting at speeds less than 30 mph (48 km/h); however, tire noise continues, but at a lower frequency, as the speed is reduced.

After test has been completed lower tire pressure back to recommended pressure.


Abnormal gear noise is rare and is usually caused by scoring on the ring gear and drive pinion. Scoring is the result of insufficient or incorrect lubricant in the carrier housing.

Abnormal gear noise can be easily recognized. It produces a cycling tone that will be very pronounced within a given speed range. The noise can occur during one or more of the following drive conditions:

  • Drive
  • Road load
  • Float
  • Coast

Abnormal gear noise usually tends to peak within a narrow vehicle speed range or ranges. It is usually more pronounced between 30 to 40 mph (48 to 64 km/h) and 50 to 60 mph (80 to 96 km/h). When objectionable gear noise occurs, note the driving conditions and the speed range.


Defective bearings produce a rough growl that is constant in pitch and varies with the speed of vehicle. Being aware of this will enable a technician to separate bearing noise from gear noise.

Drive pinion bearing noise that results from defective or damaged bearings can usually be identified by its constant, rough sound. Drive pinion front bearing is usually more pronounced during a coast condition. Drive pinion rear bearing noise is more pronounced during a drive condition. The drive pinion bearings are rotating at a higher rate of speed than either the differential side bearings or the axle shaft bearing.

Differential side bearing noise will usually produce a constant, rough sound. The sound is much lower in frequency than the noise caused by drive pinion bearings.

Bearing noise can best be detected by road testing the vehicle on a smooth road (black top). However, it is easy to mistake tire noise for bearing noise. If a doubt exists, the tire treads should be examined for irregularities that often causes a noise that resembles bearing noise.


Sometimes noise that appears to be in the driveline module assembly is actually caused by the engine or the transmission. To identify the true source of the noise, note the approximate vehicle speed and/or RPM when the noise is most noticeable. Stop the vehicle next to a flat brick or cement wall (this will help reflect the sound).

Place the transaxle in NEUTRAL . Accelerate the engine slowly up through the engine speed that matches the vehicle speed noted when the noise occurred. If the same noise is produced, it usually indicates that the noise is being caused by the engine or transaxle.


Driveline module operation requires relatively straight-forward diagnosis. Refer to the following chart:


No AWD in forward or reverse directions, propeller shaft turning 1. Check ECC

2. Rear differential failure

1. Review ECC diagnostic information

2. Replace the rear differential assembly

No AWD in forward or reverse directions, propeller shaft not turning 1. Power transfer unit failure. 1. Replace power transfer unit components as necessary
Vibration at all speeds, continuous torque transfer 1. Mis-matched tires, worn tires on front axle. 1. Replace worn or incorrect (mismatched) tires with same make and size
    Fig. 60: Support Module With Jack - DRIVELINE MODULE - TRANSMISSION JACK NOTE: Rear suspension and drivetrain design require this procedure to be performed on a "drive-on" ...

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