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Jeep Grand Cherokee Transmission Problems



  • Just bought my Jeep a year and a half ago. It has over 160k miles on it. It ran great for the first year and then tranny started slipping when turning to the left. Checked fluid and it wasn't even reading on the dipstick. Put fluid in it and it ran fine for 6 months then started slipping out of gear then back in immediately. Now it runs fine till it warms up then slips out and in and then back out and then runs in limp mode. I can turn it off and let it cool and it will run fine again till it warms up and then it does it all over again. I took it to a shop and he replaced my battery because after sitting over night I would need a jump and also replaced a senso.r (I don't know what it was for) That didn't help. Battery still dead in morning and it still slips out of gear. He said that I needed to take it to a Jeep dealership to have them reboot the computer. The thing is, he told me that he already did that and that it happens each time my battery dies. I have no warranty and need the cheapest possible solution. Hopefully something that I can do myself. Please give me your suggestions, they will be greatly appreciated.
  • By the way...there are no leaks of any kind and fluid levels are correct...
  • Hi krystynaca13,

    Regarding your question regarding if we have fixed our transmission limp mode problem, the answers is yes, but... The fix only lasted 3 months. However, we repeated the battery disconnect, reconnect process and the MPH limit and it is working again.

    Here's what we did: We replaced the TCM and the Jeep dealership found the PCM was also malfunctioning (it was turning off the TCM). So, we replaced the TCM, too and cleaned all of the connectors with canned air. (We bought our PCM and TCM remanufactured online for great price.) Then, we removed first the negative and then the positive battery connectors, (the order of removal is very important) then we let the car sit overnight. In the morning we replaced the battery cables, negative first, then positive. You should see that your engine light is no longer on. These fixes alone do not completely fix the problem. You MUST drive the first 50 miles after the fix at no more than 50 MPH, not 51 MPH or 52 MPH, no more than 50 MPH. We stayed around 46 MPH as we have slightly larger tires than stock and we did not adjust our speedometer for the MPH change.

    This may seem like a lot of hassle. But, now if the transmission drops back into limp mode we simply have to redo the battery cable steps and the first 50 miles at no more than 50 MPH. We suspect the TCM and
    PCM connectors may also need to be replaced but, we don't want to tackle that right now.

    This fix is the result of a lot of research and a helpful mechanic at a Jeep dealership. But it really works and it's cheap.

    Let me know how it works for you.
  • sigguysigguy Posts: 3
    So finally got it fixed, was a train wreck where one thing triggered another. Turns out the o2 sensors (2 of the 4) went out. ($50 each to replace) which messed up the computer, ($150). And also the transmission needed replacing ($2,400). But now runs perfects. U can check from cheap to expensive and see if one or all of those issues are effecting yours.
  • abs & engine management lights on & wont come out of 1st gear can you help
  • We have found that nearly every one of the problems found in our 2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee were computer related. Replacing both our TCM and ECM got rid of a myriad of weird computer codes and malfunctions including our transmission being stuck in park, stuck in 1st and dropping into limp mode (second gear only).
    We purchased remanufactured ECM and TCM units online that were programmed specifically for our 2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee by using our VIN. They were pretty easy to install. If you search on-line there are plenty of videos showing exactly how to replace them and then plug them in. Our units cost $125, plus tax and shipping each. A whole lot cheaper than going to a dealership. Our local Jeep dealer was going to charge $600 for just a PCM and $600 to install it.

    Note: It is a very good idea to keep you speed under 50 mph for the first 50 miles after installing a PCM , TCM or both. We have found that this helps to prevent phantom check engine codes from returning. Really, keep it under 50 MPH. We kept our under 46 MPH as we have a little larger tires that than stock. Now, no more check engine lights.
  • a9352aa9352a Posts: 1
    Same thing happened to me... It was my crank sensor. Only 40 buck at auto zone.. Looks like a phone cord. I have a 2001 jeep grand cheroke laredo 6 cyl... Mine would shut off on me in the middle of driving. Then maybe 20 mins later would start right back up.
  • I have a '14, wish I had gotten a Ford Explorer or a Toyota. The 8 speed transmission in the V8 is apparently problem free. The 8 speed trans in the V6 is the roughest transmission I have ever had in a vehicle. They keep putting out software updates and none of them fix it. If I had to purchase again I can guarantee I would not get a 14 JGC
  • Hello, I have a 2012 JGC with 19k miles and when it shifts into overdrive it shifts very hard almost like a bang into overdrive. It doesn't do it everytime or under certain conditions, it is intermittent. The kind of problem you hate to go to service with like my 2011 JGC I traded in for this one because of the shuttering problem they couldn't fix and they said there was nothing wrong with it.
    Any thoughts?
    Thank you!
  • I have 09 JGC 4x4 3.5L. I am having the accelation problems that a lot of post talk about. Every so often my Jeep won't go beyond 20mph. I have tried the stop and restate method only to have it start again. Then other days there is no problem at all. So I thought that I might be low on fluid and accidentally over filled it. What can I do to narrow down the field of fixes. I just cannot afford to change out things hoping that it might work. Several post talk about TCM and others talk about a throttle position sensor. Will code reader help?
    We have two Jeep Grand Cherokees and we have found that whenever you have an intermittent Jeep problem it always, always, can be traced back to one of the computer control modules. On-line you should be able to locate diagrams of where your ECM and TCM modules are located in your engine compartment, then do the following:
    1.) Disconnect the battery: negative and then positive terminal.
    2.) For both the ECM and TCM units unplug the main cable and take a few hairs of a new paint brush and clean out the holes.
    3.) Let the car sit disconnected overnight to reset the computers.
    4.) Reconnect the ECM and TCM cables in the morning.
    5.) Reconnect the battery: positive and then negative terminals.
    6.) Important when you start using the car again, for the first 50 miles you MUST not drive a single MPH over 50 MPH. If you have bigger tires than the factory tires, stay under 44 MPH. This is a hassle but it is part of the process of fixing the problem. Which will return if you don't exactly follow all of the above steps exactly steps.
    Once you are done check to see if you have any engine codes by turning your key to the on position without starting the car 3X in a row. The 3rd time don't turn off key and you see either numbers flashing, one or more, or the word done. Done is what you are hoping for. If not than go online and check the codes.
    As a last resort you can replace both the ECM and TCM for around $125 each they're sold on the internet. They must be programmed to your VIN#. There pretty easy to replace. I went to a dealer the first time and they wanted to charge me $600.00 per unit and $400.00 to install each one.
    Best of luck. Please post if this fixed your problem, or not.
  • nnealnneal Posts: 72
    Hi, normally interment electrical malfunctions indicate a bad connection of some sort. In my opinion Tahoegal1 gave you some very good advice which I would try first. If that doesn't work I would search elsewhere for anything that looks like a bad connection. I had a 98 Cherokee where the Throttle Position Sensor acted up which drove me nuts because I couldn't find anything wrong even after replacing it. Don't ask me how but I finally discovered the problem was in the plug end of the harness to the sensor. The plug prongs had lost their "spring" and so an interment connection resulted whenever engine vibrations shook the connection. Squeezing them tighter for better contact solved the problem. During my search for a solution, my fault was in assuming plug connectors never went bad.

    Another thing which came to mind is I remember a while back reading in the forums about someone with an interment shifting problem in which they found their solution was a bad ground wire (something to do with the alternator). I can't remember where now but found something along the same lines in the Jeep columns at n-shifting-problem-Need-copy-Dodge-grounding-solution-fix-problem-29412.aspx . (Hopefully you can copy and paste to see the page as I don't know how to insert links here)

    Good luck in your search for a solution.
  • I cannot seem to be able to find an auto parts store that sells a TCM for 2009 JGC. Any suggestions?
  • I had just leased a 2014 after turning in my 2011 and what a big difference with the 8 speed tranny. Only driven a few hundred miles so far but the shifting was a little harsh compared to all the old 4 and 5 speeds we had. I went back to the dealer today after searching the internet and found this Jeep TSB # 21-007-13 REV B Oct 12, 2013. It supersedes older TSBs in regarding reflash of software for the transmission control module. It only takes about 15 minutes and the end result was great. No more hard shifts and clunking. I also like the electric power steering versus the old Hydraulic, it is easier to turn the wheels now and still feel the road.
  • taz23taz23 Posts: 3
    hi i have a 1996 grand cherokee zj 4ltr auto.When putting it into drive it seems to stay in one gear,it don t change up or down.Ive changed the box for another one,cleaned sump out and added new oil but still the same problem.according to haynes manuel there is a pcm(transmission control module under the bonnet just behind the fuse box which i have found but having read some of the questions in this forum about problems that other people are having with their jeep keep stopping im wondering if the pcm is anything to do with the auto trtansmission.Would like some advise as to what to look at next please.Many thanks
  • Hi, you are probably stuck in second gear which is what happens when your transmission goes into "limp mode". We had the same problem and exchanged our TCM via an online store. However, this only resolve part of the problem. The limp was still returning but only occasionally. It turned out that the PCM was also malfunctioning as it was turning off the TCM. I'm not sure if you could get away with just changing the PCM but, I would definitely try that first. They are easy to swap out and the online has plenty of videos on how to do it.

    Good luck,
    Lake Tahoe Gal
  • taz23taz23 Posts: 3
    many thanks for reply tahoegal.where do i find these videos on how to swap them please many thanks
  • Hi taz23,

    We used the following company to exchange our PCM and TCM: They will need your VIN # in order to program the unit(s) before they send it to you. The cost was around $125 each. Much better than the $1,000 each that my local Jeep dealer wanted to charge for one unit and installation. To locate a video on how to install do a Internet search on your vehicle make and year with the keywords how to install PCM TCM video. There are several out for there for you to choose from.
    My husband installed ours and he said it was pretty easy.

    Best of Luck
  • I think my tranny is gone in my 98 jgc limited, on take off it doesn't wanna shift into gear right away. And today Im on the highway I got up to 65 then it started actin up, slowed down and wouldn't go pass 25. So I got it back to the house and now it won't back up, so what yal think?
  • taz23taz23 Posts: 3
    I have a 1996 cherokee 4ltr petrol auto trans.The first problem was the trans stuck in one gear which i still have,but now another problem,it won t start at all.There is no spark at the plugs.This model only has a pcm under the bonnet,it dont have a tcm for the trans.Now reading the haynes manuel (i no what yr thinking but needed some idea as ive never worked on one of these before)the manuel says the pcm controls the trans and everything else,so im thinking this may have packed up.It also says that from 98 onwards if the pcm was replaced it would have to be programmed to the car,now as mine is a 96 would i be able to get a pcm from mayb a breakers and just plug it in,yes or no.
  • Hi, It sounds like you are on the right track. Most Jeep problems end up being traced back to a computer module. You have been told correctly that your PCM will need to be programmed for your specific car but, the good news is the programming is completed by the parts supplier. All you need to do is provide them with your VIN number and they will program your PCM for you, all you have to do is install it. For installation please be sure to do the following exactly.

    Remove the battery cables, positive first, then negative. When you remove the PCM cables be sure to use a few bristles from a clean dry new paint brush to clean out the inside of the connectors. Install the PCM. We have found it is best to let the unit sit overnight before reconnecting the cables. Be sure to reverse the connection order when reconnecting positive first, then negative. When you are done your Jeep should run fine.
  • I have a 97 F350 with a 7.3 engine, the service engine light is on, I had it checked and it is the box that is mounted on the fender well and has to do with the fuel, I am not sure what that is called can someone help with that. Thanks
  • I have a 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4WD 4.0. My son got it stuck in the mud (not on purpose), got it out, but now is having problems with it shifting from 1st to 2nd and it seems to take a few moments to kick into gear and go from a complete stop. Took it to a transmission shop, they put a computer to it and said that it was throwing a lot of codes and wants my son to bring it back. Said it was showing a bad 02 sensor and they think it might be that, that can be causing it not to shift.......anyone have any comments or know if it might be the PCM? The 02 sensor has been bad for a couple of years and we just never replaced it because of cost. Any help would be great so that we aren't paying a transmission shop for parts that don't need replaced.

  • I also forgot to state, that if you turn it off and let it set for a couple of minutes and restart it that usually it will shift with no problems.

  • Actually i'm having XJ 1991 with european 2,1 lit turbo diesel (French Renault)engine , wich i through away and put the 2,0lit 16V Fiat Tipo engine , drove it for 7 years , of course the gear ratio and eng power are totally missed .... but now is to late ....
    My brother bought a 2001 WJ 4.0 two years a go and now the sound started to hear , on a cold start for 10 -15 seconds , also on warm start but less around 5 sec., from the trans i think , like a propeller is hitting on something metal ....
    But reading all the posts , i can conclude that in America mechanics are bad , if you change everything in a trans. how can it be same , like before reparing ???

    On the end probably , i'll by a reparation kit and do it alone , like on my 1991 GMC van :smile:
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Are you an owner of a 2014-15 Jeep Grand Cherokee who is trying to get some clarification on the recent gearshift recall? A reporter wants to hear about your experience. Please reach out to [email protected] by no later than June 22, 2016
  • I have 1999 jeep grand cherokee limited with the 4.7 v8. When I turn real tight my from the end or transfer case knocks. It also skips or knocks at highway speeds when I get on the gas to go up a hill. It also won't crawl out of a ditch, it knocks real bad if it has any resistance or slippage. And also when i had it jacked up putting rims and tires on i had it in 4low with the e-brake on and it still allowed the front wheels to spin freely. Could it be the transfer case, pcm/pcu, or front gear and Pinion? Or wheel bearing. Seriously thanks you to whoever take the time to read and possibly diagnose
  • Northann1Northann1 MinnesotaPosts: 1
    I own a 1995 Jeep Grand Cherokee AWD and what's happening seems to be a mystery and I'm hoping you guys have some answers. 
    Abut a month ago I had the rear seal replaced and it was dry. Fixed it. Problem solved. Three days later I hear and feel this grinding and kinda zinging noise under the console. Strange. I bring it in and it behaved perfectly so the garage found nothing. I was driving along abut two weeks later and it making a zinging nois twice and quits.
    Finally this last Sunday it went out. I was driving along and this HORRIBLE grinding stared under the console. It wouldn't stop making the sound no matter what gear it was in. In fact it wouldn't go in any gear not even park. The tow truck came and he towed it into the garage. This morning I get a call that he hopped in and fired it up and drove around town. Not a single sound. What the hell??? How is this possible? Any ideas? 
  • Hi, has anyone experienced vibration with your 4l cherokee. It is definitely not an engine
    miss, its running fine but vibrating. I have checked all the engine mounts and they are fine, I even replaced the transmission mount for nothing cause I felt it had some play in it.
    I am thinking of going after the vibration damper next unless someone has a better solution.

    My 2001 Grand Cherokee Laredo was vibrating in the transmission like it was indecisive in shifting.
    Now it doesn't vibrate but now after driving for a little bit, it gets stuck in 3rd gear. From a dead start, it's slow to go forward unless I drop it to low 1 or 2. I'm guessing the cooling oil is heating up. If I let it sit over night everything's fine the next morning, until I'm driving for 20 minutes or so. At that point it locks into 3rd gear and will not shift up or down with speed. I'm at a loss any help would be appreciated.
    Thank you
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