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Jeep Wrangler Transmission Troubles



  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    Even my 97 TJ, the first model year for the TJ, has had fewer issues with it and I've beaten it up pretty good on and offroad.

    Love the JK's looks, but the TJ, thus far, has seemed to weather the evolution better.

  • Hi there, have been reading about various probs w Jeep transmissions, but didn't see anything that was exactly like our issue so I thought I'd throw it out there and see if anybody is having same prob. We only just purchased an '08 Sahara Unlimited that constantly bogs down and revs up while driving. There are times when the gears don't want to shift so rather than burning up the tranny, you have to either punch it a bit or back off the gas so it'll switch. While on the highway, if you don't stand on the accelerator you just won't go anywhere! Even feeding it that much gas, it still moves in and out of gears, downshifting to 1.5 to 2k rpms while doing 65-70 (I'm wondering how long it's going to be before it starts stalling-because you definitely feel that you don't have much power!) and when trying to pass vehicles, standing all the while on the gas pedal it still downshifts! We've taken it to our local dealership and, of course, nothing shows up on the computer.

    We had a Jeep mechanic from another website suggest to us that we should have a sweep test done on the Throttle Position Sensor which showed up as normal and while my husband was discussing lack of problem solving with the manager of the shop, the manager said he had just purchased a 2010 Unlimited X that was doing the same thing and had written several letters to Chrysler with no response. Awesome, huh? I've read on this and other sites that transmission replacement doesn't solve the problem so it's clearly either a fuel/throttle issue or some sort of sensor. I'm wondering also, if a performance chip wouldn't solve the problem.

    Oh, and I've also had discussions with a gentleman who is selling his 2009 Sahara Unlimited because of the exact same issues and he had a Ripp Mod installed for over $6,000.00 (and something to do with the exhaust) and he said that fixed the problem, so if anybody out there knows what the Ripp Mod does and why that fixed the problem maybe we will know which direction to take in getting this resolved.

    Thanks in advance for all of your help!
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    I'm wondering also, if a performance chip wouldn't solve the problem.

    This is a warranty issue pure and simple, don't let anyone try and make it your problem. Unless it's over the mileage you will still be under the standard 3yr/36K coverage.
    As for the shop manager, if it was a Jeep dealership then words fail me!
    If he can't take care of his own business how on earth can he help you?

    Do not under any circumstances install an aftermarket chip of any sort.
    That would allow Chrysler/Jeep to void your transmission/powertrain warranty if they so choose. :mad:

    You deal with pressuring your dealer and Jeep to get this fixed, let them deal with how to fix it........and don't get fobbed of with "Oh, they all do that!". :shades:
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 10,278
    Hopefully you know how to fix your intermittent instruments by tweaking the pins for the round connector on the rear of the instrument panel.


    However, I don't consider it a penance to continue with the Sahara, and I anticipate that it will do another eleven years/100K at minimal cost and with the same reliability if asked...

    Great minds think alike. I can't think of anything that I'd want to replace it with.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport / 2014 M235i / 1999 Wrangler / 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2016 i3 REX/2009 Cooper Clubman Son's: 2009 328i

  • pete0777pete0777 Posts: 1
    I have a 2005 wrangler X and it has been making a strange creaking, straining, knocking type noise coming out of 1st gear. any advice for me?
  • genommengenommen Posts: 1
    I just started having the exact same issue a few days ago. Did you ever find out anything else about this?
  • jolibeejolibee Posts: 3
    Took mine to the dealers and its like they were expecting me. They replaced a chip as it was a computer issue not a transmission- phew. The ac is working a tad better but i dont think its the best still. I am not a AC person either so lucky cos i be taking it back and complaining again.
  • I made five trips to two different dealers (first one told me to let it break so they knew what to fix). The CVI was adjusted which burnt a clutch pac, forced a complete rebuild, then a temp sensor wiring fix and finally (speaking as an optimist) a computer replacement. The transmission has been shifting fine for 100 miles.
  • Yes, tell the dealership to look up the TSB report 21-000-10 Rev. A.
  • jolibeejolibee Posts: 3
    Was this on a new jeep? Your temp sensor- was it sometimes not showing the right temperature? I've had this happen once.. but i am assuming this would affect the ac performance? I know with my previous car(BMW) the temp sensor was broken and so the AC was not producing cold cos it said it was -40F outside... i lived in Florida and it was really 90F.
  • Hi there! I appreciate your comments, the bad thing is that we bought it at 37,000 miles. My husband just found out today after requesting from Chrysler that they replace the map sensor and throttle position sensor on a good-will basis, that they will not under any circumstance perform any work on our vehicle under those circumstances. Obviously, we're free to pay for it ourselves. He spoke to Nick at Chrysler who told him that we since we purchased the vehicle from a used car dealer (Ford dealership) that we had no loyalty to Chrysler (there's a Dodge neon in my driveway and we have previously owned a Jeep Grand Cherokee AND I have waited my entire life to be able to have a jeep wrangler. I have always wanted one-how's that for loyalty) therefore they did not feel compelled to repair the vehicle at their expense.

    They had the gall to say that they were unaware of any such problems with their vehicles and their transmission problems! LIARS! Do they even track what people are using their warranties for? My husband suggested that he take a peek at a few of these forums and ask himself if the vehicle was engineered to fall apart just outside the warranty period or if it was just a vehicle defect not expected to make it too far outside the dealership parking lot.

    unbelievable. we're putting a for-sale sign in it today. we will never own a Chrysler product again. too bad too because they could REALLY use the business!
  • This is on a 2006 Unlimited. So far so good after the computer change. The temp sensor was sending mixed signals to the computer (the little trollop). I'm still a bit baffled with the bad shifting/temperature correlation. I think my next jeep will be a CJ5, something I can troubleshoot.
  • andym3andym3 Posts: 5
    We have a 2005 Jeep Wrangler, what can you tell me about the "steering (death wobble) issue" as refred to in your last post? We definately have it! Is there a recall or more information? I've had tires balanced and rotated to no avail.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    edited May 2010
    The links in this post will get you going until Mac sees your question.
  • tired_old_davetired_old_dave Posts: 710
    edited June 2010
    All manufacturers have been cost cutting, squeezing suppliers, and trying to meet compliance requirements for mileage and emissions.

    So why do we get $50 torque converters. Even a web site, some months back (can't find the story now), did a shoot out between a base camaro and the badest challenger and even with a 100 hp advantage, the challenger was pathetic. Even the writer suggested hey mopar (emphasis added) maybe it is the torque converter.

    Late last year tried to find a race building transmission shop to build me a good converter. Some agreed some thought I was crazy. Gave up.

    Since the hail storm in OKC, made some runs back and forth, and while I have experienced some goofy tranny shifts around town, this last trip was deja vue the crd.

    90'ish ac running keeping up with traffic, punched it to go around a piddler clogging up the slow lane and nothing. Just like that cheap tc in the crd, redlined the strong motor but no speed, had to return to the slow line and felt like a dog with its' tail between its' legs. Shutting off the ac window down temp dropping outside then light rain, tranny then took the pedal. Have checked the pan after local driving with a harbor freight centex non-contact thermometer and didn't like the readings. Obviously then a fluid and not melted plastic issue.

    Have to take a few hits though, never checked the tranny fluid level from the factory until this am and appears overfilled. Could be a foaming issue. Talked with the owner of a nearby shop. He only uses the big hayden cooler and I asked about me bringing a case of redline c+ while he was at it. I know it is a no brainer to add a cooler and run some fluid.

    Catching up here took the detours provided by the host and read about the TJ wobble fix. The jk may be built with some cheap parts, can't find anybody who will say otherwise, it still has it's merits as it is. No rack and pinion, body on frame, after market support. For an oldtimer with the first solid front axle only thing new is the trackbar.

    Will I ever go hemi or pentastar-No. Seems if you want to rockcrawl, you build up an old simple beater or build a rail with - wait for it - a small block gm and th tranny, just like older jeeps. Now if the jeep computers weren't what they are-we could all put that in ours. But since we have lifetime powertrain and purchased lifetime everything, I will do my best to keep those warranties and let some newbie, who thinks he can make it working for a dealer, throw parts at it forever.

    On a side note, Good Luck to Adam, who left Screamlizard and started his own shop to concentrate on buggies with the small blocks from you know who. He really isn't in competition with his ex lizard Gerry who opened up his own shop earlier.

    What a difference, play the dealer merry go round, or be lucky to be near great guys who walk the talk.
  • Guess I need to read everything and not be the last one to the party.

    Tranny factory fill was not overfilled.
    Tranny fluid seems to have reached burning temp but not burned up.
    Tranny cooler on order.
    Redline C+ on order, local dealer's warehouse down to seven quarts.
    A lot of owners already have an external cooler.
    Shop manual says it is necessary not only for towing but also for hot climate.
    Would be nice if jeeps delivered to the southwest came with one.
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    edited June 2010
    The links in this post will get you going until Mac sees your question.

    I think Steve's link covers it, except to say that up to '06 it's usually caused by a combination of component wear and/or a suspension lift and bigger tires, while for the JK it seems to be something of a design issue.

    I'd also add that posting a death wobble question under a 'Transmission and A/C' heading isn't the most efficient way to get an answer. :sick:
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    edited June 2010
    Tranny cooler on order.

    Make sure it's big enough. I use this B&M one:


    You can find it HERE

    Note that it's a stacked plate construction, which is both more efficient than the fin and tube type and is stronger too, so it's much less likely to be damaged by a flying rock.
    It also uses separate barb fittings for the hose connections, rather than the often seen integral ones which are hard to seal.

    When the ambient temp is 90F+ it keeps the tranny temp at 175F during normal driving, and 200F or below when towing a 3000lb+ trailer. I also use a deep pan and external in-line filter.
    You can't keep an automatic transmission too clean or too cool.
  • Mac,

    Thank you. It's been decades since I said the word Hayden. Noticed in forums since bought the wrangler the words B&M tranny cooler mentioned a few times. The local tranny shop is just a few turns from the house. Father and son, where son has a Tacoma prerunner and his dad has an '08 Sahara (not his first jeep).

    Went there to check tranny level and look at fluid. He mentioned he only uses biggest hayden 30k? coolers. Just got done googling coolers. B&M seems to have a good informative website. Anything is better than none. Like strong against rocks in one description but more concerned about how the splicing is done and with what parts for long-term.

    Before this last trip, went to harbor freight to get that great little free flashight (now our jeep maplight that sits great in the console). Got the centex ready went into the garage and got top and bottom pan readings for the engine and tranny and other places for kicks. 218 for top of tranny pan.

    Think what cooked the fluid in this getaway from okc, was the 5 o'clock traffic from hefner parkway to south of norman, then trying to keep up with the frustated I-35 traffic. If it was 218 just shopping and parking in the garage for a few minutes, I sure hope it didn't go much past 250 and cook things. Guessing there is plastic in that converter just like in the crd.

    Thanks again for the post. Printed it out with some other info and tomorrow will have a sit down with the tranny shop.
  • jeepmcjeepmc Posts: 2
    did anyone answer you i just did the same thing i need help
  • jeepmcjeepmc Posts: 2
    hi i just dropped my valve body to change the shifter shaft seals and now it starts in reverse and wont go into any gears thank you for any help
  • bigboylawbigboylaw Posts: 1
    was just wondering if you ever resolved the problem or found out what was causing the problem? i have a 2000 wrangler that is doing the exact same thing. I also replaced the clutch master cylinder and slave cylinder and its still doing it when it gets warmed up. but is fine when cool or has sat for awhile. Any help with what you did or found out would be great. thanks
  • shrek12shrek12 Posts: 3
    edited July 2010
    I have an 07 Wrangler. Lately, I have been having issues with shifting out of park the first start of the day. Takes a few minutes for me to shift out of park. After that, the day is good. What the heck is that all about?
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    I have been having issues with shifting out of park the first start of the day.

    It could be the brake interlink asking for attention. That's the mechanism that requires you to put presure on the brake pedal before shifting into a gear.
  • shrek12shrek12 Posts: 3
    edited July 2010
    That does make sense, this morning the pedal was a little tougher than normal at first then loosened up. Is this something I can repair or adjust?
  • 2boysmama2boysmama Posts: 2
    6 months ago, i purchased my dream vehicle - a 2010, 6 speed, 4 door, soft top sahara. for about 4 weeks, i have had major shifting issues. the dealership replaced the slave cylinder, but that did not correct the problem. i really struggle to get into 1st and 2nd either grinds or pops out. the other 4 gears seem unaffected.

    the dealership says that they have gotten a notice bot this problem but cannot explain why it is happening.

    any input?

  • busman01busman01 Posts: 46
    I had the same problem intermittenly. The dealer had a TSB (#21-001-10) concerning this. They replaced the 1st gear synchronizer (with a larger one) and I have not had the problem since.

    Good Luck.
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    Is this something I can repair or adjust?

    I can't say for sure on the '07 JK, but it's adjustable on TJs and on most other vehicles.
  • 2boysmama2boysmama Posts: 2
    thanks for the input. the dealership says that there is a part on back order. we'll see how that goes. i'm frustrated that this has been an ongoing issue and it hasnt been fixed - before it's a problem.
  • killerkeykillerkey Posts: 1
    We bought it and when I drove it down the road, It would only get up to 65 on the interstate and I had to shift down to maintain my speed (4th gear).. It is a 4 cil...
    I got it home and looked under it and dont seem to be leaking, But there is a tube or something on the passenger side that looks like a hose or something goes there.
    Does anyone think that might be the problem or what, cause I think I should be getting better speed on the open road...
    Sure would like some feed back.
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