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I own a '08 Jeep Patriot FWD w/75,000mi. It has a CVT. My transmission problem: It mysteriously goes into transmission "limp mode" for no apparent reason. By limp mode I mean RPMs won't exceed 1500 and unless going downhill car speed goes up very slowly to about 30 - 35 MPH. After stopping & starting the engine, it cures itself for a while before falling into limp mode again. By trial and error, I have found that I know immediately when it's in limp mode when I start because when first shifting from Park to Reverse, I feel the car clunk & shudder & I know it's in limp mode. When that happens (now 2 of every 3 times I start the car) I immediately put the car back in Park & then as quickly as I can, I turn the engine off & then turn it on again. Every time I go through that procedure the limp mode clears & the car then drives fine until the next time I shut down and have to restart.
Does anyone have thoughts about what's causing the transmission to frequently fall into limp mode. The CEL light comes on during or shortly after limp mode and then randomly goes off again or not. Thanks!
Further to my 8/4 message above, the check engine code is p0700 -- a general transmission code for which further communication with the transmission control module is necessary. But like I said, the limp mode only manifests itself on start-up, never while driving. And once I clear limp mode by re-starting, the car runs fine.