Jeep Wrangler Automatic Transmission Not Shifting [Solved]

Do Jeeps have transmission problems?


If you are having trouble crossing over 25 mph or going through issues like slipping gears, transmission noise, or delayed shifting, these issues are related to your transmission.

Automatic transmission problems occur in all the Jeep models, including Rubicon, Wrangler, Grand Cherokee, Sport, or Trailhawk. Fiat Chrysler’s manufacturer issued a recall of 138,645 Jeeps globally in 2022, including all the models from 2014 onwards experiencing transmission issues.

In this article, we will look in-depth at what causes a transmission not to shift properly, its symptoms, replacement cost, and how to fix these issues.

If you are a Jeep owner or planning to buy one, this article will significantly help you.

Also Read: 7 Questions To Ask When Buying A Used Jeep Wrangler

Symptoms of a faulty transmission

Some of these symptoms might occur if you have a failing transmission.

  • Burning smell: Some odd burning smell overpowers your entire Jeep interior.
  • Grinding sound: You might hear a clunking sound while changing gears.
  • Delayed gear shift: As the transmission shifts, you will observe a gear change delay.
  • Engine warning light: An engine warning light flashing on your dashboard might also be one reason for a faulty transmission.
  • Transmission fluid leakage: This is a rare indication, but sometimes your Jeep will report a failing transmission through a transmission hose leakage.
Jeep Wrangler Automatic Transmission Not Shifting

Why Jeep transmission not shifting properly?

Jeep Wrangler is infamous for its long-lasting transmission issues. Unfortunately, every 2 out of 5 Jeeps are reported with transmission issues.But the good part is that all of these are not as serious.  Therefore, in this blog, you will also read some easy fixes to these issues.

1: Delayed gear shift

Slow shifting of gears is a common issue in Jeep Wrangler’s automatic transmissions that is accompanied by grinding gear sound. Mostly it occurs when the gear is shifted from first to third or third to fourth. This harsh gear change occurs due to a dirty transmission fluid, low level of transmission fluid or a faulty solenoid.

A harsh gear shift is an unpleasant experience for a driver on an off-road ride as it encourages frustration and panic attacks.

How do you fix delayed transmission shifting?

There are three primary fixes for this issue. First, try changing the transmission fluid. If it doesn’t work, replace the transmission pressure sensor. And if both of these don’t work, inspect an oil leakage in the servo assembly. Hopefully, it will reduce the delayed transmission shift.

2: Gear Engagement issue

Wrangler has an advanced 5-speed transmission system that discourages gear engagement problems; if you are facing issues in engaging the ‘Drive’ or ‘Reverse’ gear, your transmission cooler filter might be loose, leading to a fluid drain outside the torque converter.

The primary symptom of a loose cooler filter is loud and clunking, unpleasant noises coming from the Jeep transmission. This problem mainly occurs in low-temperature areas.

How do you fix the gear engagement issue?

Take your Jeep to a professional mechanic and ask him to inspect the gear assembly. If some of the problems lie there, replace that faulty transmission part.

3: Torque converter problem

If a check engine light appears on your dashboard, inspect the issue with an OBDII scanner. If the problem is notified with a P1740 code, then most likely, the input/output throttle body sensor is facing an issue. 

This problem occurs in new Wrangler models and is notified with the torque converter clutch disengagement.

How do you fix the torque converter problem?

There is an upgrade kit available in the aftermarket that can quickly resolve this issue. This issue might also be the cause of software errors. A simple resetting of the firmware could also result in a permanent solution.

4: Jeep Wrangler shift linkage problem 

Cables connecting the gear shift to the transmission system are called shift linkage. If the cables get loose or disconnected, it is notified with a power loss in the transmission. Due to this, the information for shifting gears is transmitted slowly or inefficiently.

How do you fix the shift linkage problem?

In this case, a simple cable tightening would work as a complete fix that can be quickly done at a mechanic garage.

Transmission replacement cost

Transmission replacement for a Jeep Wrangler will cost you around $1700 to $3400, including the labor cost, depending upon the type of upgraded transmission system you intend to deploy.

However, the labor cost for only removing and replacing the transmission will range between $500 to $1000, depending upon the aftermarket solution you choose.

Also Read: How to Reset Jeep Grand Cherokee Warning Service 4WD System

Final words

Transmission issues are highly common among Jeep Wranglers. In this brief guide, we have guided you through what causes a transmission to not shift and how to fix these issues. 

Besides these fixes, you can adopt some preventative measures to delay these issues, including regular checks and changes of transmission fluids and usage of adequate coolant. Moreover, a moderate driving style must be adopted to help your transmission parts last longer.

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