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Jeep Grand Cherokee Transmission Problems



  • culboculbo Posts: 4

    Hopefully someone out there can help! I have a 4.7lt 2001 Grand Cherokee 150,000 miles on the clock and have had problems with the gearbox when the engine warms up. From cold until say 20 miles running everything is fine and then it drops down into 3rd gear with no response then from the overdrive button. When cold this is not and issue only when it warms up. The jeep dealer cannot find any fault on his diagnostic equipment and has basically washed his hands of it! I have been told to check the grounds which may be losing contact when the engine warms up but they all appear to be fine. Has anyone any experience of this please??
  • I have a 97 Jeep Grand Cherokee with a 5.2 and 2wd that has about 145k on it. Over the last 6-8 months the Jeep has started to shift later and later. It is now at the point that it won't come out of first gear till a little over 3k rpms. Second is the same but shifts a little sooner, maybe 2800 or so. 3rd to drive is fine, drive to overdrive is fine. This started with the transmission bouncing between 1-2 when accelerating hard in city traffic. Highway speeds it runs good, other than the occasional shudder when climbing slight inclines. The shudder is not my main concern at this point. The fact that it's not shifting is KILLING the gas mileage. Just changed Tranny filter and fluid about 8k miles ago. It helped some for a little while, now it is right back to where I was prior to changing filter and fluid. Someone told me it could be the shift packs in the transmission. I am a decent mechanic just don't know much about the new transmissions with all the computer involvment. Any help would be great. Don't really want to take it to a shop and pay $300 for them to look at it and tell me it's going to cost me $1500 to fix something that I can do myself and show my sons how to do in the process. Thanks for any help in advance.
  • nnealnneal Posts: 72
    To start with, your Jeep dealer has very little interest (read motive) in getting a Jeep with 150,000 miles fixed. My advice would be to ignore him completely. I had a similar experience with my 1998 Cherokee where both the dealer AND a transmission shop said nothing but a rebuild would fix my Jeep. Neither one could remotely say what the problem was....they were clueless. With nothing to lose, I checked it out myself, found the problem was a bad solenoid valve, fixed it and I am still running it today. That was back in 2009, so in other words don't become discouraged.

    I'm assuming you've already checked obvious things such as fluid level, leaks and electrical connections. Sometimes the prongs inside electrical plugs lose their "spring" and don't make good connections like they used to especially in high mileage vehicles. It happened to me with my Throttle Position Sensor. I blamed it on a bad part only to find it was the electrical plug itself.

    Since it's temperature related, that implies it could very likely be electrical (switch, sensor, solenoid valve, etc). First thing I would check is the engine temperature sending unit. Your Jeep might have more than one so check that out. Another thing to rule out is the Throttle Position Sensor (TPS) as that would be suspect at such high mileage.

    I assume yours has the 45RFE transmission which includes a temperature sensor inside the transmission. That along with the solenoids in my opinion should be checked out after you've ruled out anything external to the transmission.

    Above all, don't become discouraged talking to other people about your problem because I haven't found many interested in this type of subject. Good Luck!
  • culboculbo Posts: 4
    Thanks for the replies guys. Some good information and I will act on it and let you know the outcome!
  • rwengrrwengr Posts: 177
    Make sure you have 0 and I mean ZERO transfluid leaks. The cooler lines should be bone dry. My 97 jeep was acting funny and I replaced the cooler lines and it fixed it. My guess is that transfluid leak affects the pressure somehow.

    Adjust your band if you have an adjustment.

    Drop pan and replace filter. If you let it sit a couple of days without the pan you will get more fluid out of it.
  • I recently just purchased a 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo and it ran great all the way home, but just recently its been giving me some problems. It has trouble downshifting on the highway which makes it almost impossible trying to pass people. Also, when starting from a stoped position it takes a very long time to get up to speed exspecialy when trying to climb a hill. The person i bought it from said he recently put a new tranny in it, so I'm very confused on what is causing this power loss.
  • boazbezboazbez Posts: 14
    Can you force the tranny to shift manually?
  • Is this on a 6 cyc engine? Sounds like linkage is not adjusted right. There is a button on the throttle linkage that is adjusted to sync the throttle position with the transmission...pretty easy to do. If you have a 6 cyc and can get the manual it is no problem to do yourself. I just had my trans replaced and did not have a problem but I remember there is that adjustment.
    Also might find out where the transmission work was done and take it to them. If they are a reputable shop they should stand by their work and tweak what is not working.
  • Yes i can but there is no difference between gears.
  • My 01 jeep GC tranny seems to work fine except when stopped or almost stopped. It acts just like a standard tranny would if you didn't engage the clutch when stopping, it started doing this after vehicle had sat for 2 or more weeks. This happens in all gears including reverse and it is intermittent (but getting more common), even after shutting off or stalling motor and re starting. I believe the torque converter is staying locked up. 1. has anyone experienced or heard of this? 2. Is this common? 3. What am I looking at to fix it? Is it a solenoid problem, valve body problem, torque converter problem, or a control box problem? Any help would be much appreciated. Thank you very much, 72marquis
  • 2001jeep12001jeep1 Posts: 2
    edited October 2011
    I have a 2001 jeep grand Cherokee Laredo 4wd 4.7L v8 with 107,000 miles when it shifts from 2nd to 3rd at lite or normal throttle it shifts hard but if you are accelerating hard it shifts fine the transmission is a 45RFE the hard shifting is after i have drove it for 20 miles or so the temp is around 190 top 200 :confuse: 2nd question is there a check engine light or is there just check gages & trans over temp lights
  • tuggajbtuggajb Posts: 646
    set of solenoids inside trans one probably sticking
  • Exactly. Solenoids
  • 2001jeep12001jeep1 Posts: 2
    edited October 2011
    does the solenoid come in a kit or singels and thank you all for the information i hope it works i will try it along with changing fulid and filter
  • madmariner72madmariner72 Posts: 1
    edited November 2011
    Does anyone have a solution to an Overdrive lock out while on the highway? I have a 2002 grand cherokee with 2wd. It has 140,000 miles on it. operates fine normally but after about 30 minutes on the highway around 70 mph it drops out of O/D into 4th gear. The O/D off light comes on but not the transmission temp light. I do not believe this is because of a high temp. Although it does not do this when the jeep has cooled down. If I shut down for 30 minutes it goes away until the temp comes back.The fluid level is normal and condition of fluid is good. Not sure where to check first. Any help would be appreciated, thanks-Mark
  • culboculbo Posts: 4
    Hi,Sounds like we have similar problems. My 2001 Grand Cherokee drops out of top gear/overdrive down into 3rd gear when the engine reaches running temp. The diagnostics equipment has said it is the throttle positioning sensor and a new one has been ordered and should be fitted tomorrow! If it answers the problem I will get back to you right away!
  • hey, I have a 1999 Grand Cherokee 4.7, and I recently had someone replace the radiator, and since then whenever I first start the car and drive, hot or cold, it seems to have a high rev when first going, and then it subsides after a bout a quarter mile, it revs up to 2k rpm and then acts normal, through the rest of the trip,even at stoplights. I told my friend about it who replaced the radiator, and he said it may be not enough coolant or that there may be air in the cooling system, but I check all that, and he also said to make sure that the tranny fluid is high enough as some came out but not a lot, and it seems fine too, but there were bubbles in the tranny fluid so i added a little more, bout a half quart as i am not sure why it would only do this when I first start the car and drive. It has never done anything like this before, so could it be not enough tranny fluid, air in the tranny, or???? :confuse:
  • rwengrrwengr Posts: 177
    edited November 2011
    There is some issue with the transmission cooling lines and/or the cooler portion of the radiator.

    I have a 97 Jeep. The transmission was acting funny. It was surging a lot. Next, the water pump went. So I decided to replace the pump so I could drive it to transmission shop so I could at least get a rebuild quote.

    I noticed the transmission cooler lines were leaking. So, I decided to replace them while I was under there.

    Guess what? The transmission problems went away!. My theory is that any issues with transmission cooler lines somehow affects the pressures inside the transmission.

    If you really like the car, here is what I would do.

    1. Disconnect fluid lines at cooler.
    2. Get fluid out of the cooler
    3. Find out what pressure the trans cooler should be tested at and test it
    4. If pressure test not OK, talk to a transmission shop before you go back to the mechanic or where you bought the new radiator.
    5. If pressure test OK, replace both transmission cooler lines and test drive.

    NOTE: The trans cooler lines should be bone dry

    You may need a special tool to disconnect trans lines at the cooler.

    After working on it follow procedure for adding fluid. If the fluid level is low it will act funny.
  • I will check the lines and see if there was any damage done to them. I keep hearing about it may take a special tool to remove the tranny cooler lines when doing a new radiator install, but when this "guy" took them off he just used a wrench, could he have damaged the lines by taking them off and putting them back on wrong? The tranny fluid is fine, and so is the coolant levels, it just revvs along at 2k rpm's until you get about a 1/4 mile then kicks in. Seems that there is a pressure issue somehow that was not there before the swap out. Could the radiator cause this? It's a new aftermarket, and I have had no overheating issues either, just once when we were putting in coolant, but the car was not driven it just overheated initially as the coolant was not circulating properly after we put it in the radiator, and then we put the coolant in the bleed hole and it was fine. Could something have gotten wet from the steam/coolant coming out when we had to bleed and put coolant in? I am sorry for all the questions, but I am stumped as to what is causing this to happen, and only when I start the car hot or colds.
  • culboculbo Posts: 4
    edited November 2011

    Finally I got a good result! As my first message stated the 2001 grand cherokee would drop out of top gear/overdrive once it reached running temp. Many checks were done and to no avail. Sticking solenoids in the tranny was suggested and perhaps may be the case in other vehicles however turns out that in my case it was diagnosed as the output speed sensor, a $40 part. A new one was ordered however on fitting it it was found that it was the connector to the output speed sensor that was at fault and a recrimp sorted that out! six weeks of hassle and thoughts that a new tranny may be needed and it turned out a basic connection! I hope your problem is as simple to fix and it sounds identical to mine.

    Good luck.
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