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  #1  
Old 01-01-2012, 09:39 PM
NickT1271 NickT1271 is offline
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2006 Jeep Commander Stuck in LIMP Mode HELP!

While driving my 2006 Jeep Commander with the 4.7L on the highway at 70mph the transmission down shifted to 4th and then proceeded to down shift again into 3rd. My pressure on the pedal didnt change at all and would not shift up. At the same time, the check engine line immediately came on. I proceeded to pull over to the side of the road and go through ur basic routine of checking the fluid, running through other gears etc and all checked out normal. But when put it D, it takes off from and drives in 3rd gear. After hours of research online I've determined that my transmission is in "limp mode". I have read numerous forums about this and apparently its a pretty common issue with commanders. Ive read all different types of issues referring to the transmission module, getting it flashed at the dealer, senors failing, poor wire connections. All the stories seem to be the "run around" of poor dealer service with no means of actual success. I bought my commander used with 28k miles on it and it now has just under 60k miles. Its used as a daily driver and I havent had a single thing go wrong with it (aside from the typical leaky sunroof which I've fixed). I love my commander and planned on getting an easy 200k out of it (as i do with most of my Jeeps) but from what ive been reading - the transmissions must be junk and it has me worried. Can anyone tell me what caused my commander to go into limp mode? Especially while driving at highway speeds? I have some mechanical background to know it must be an electrical issue but I havent found anything similar to my particular case. Please Help!
Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 01-01-2012, 10:06 PM
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robby robby is offline
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There have been quite a few trans issues with the V-6 Commanders.
These use a Mercedes trans and the electronics are persnickity.

The 4.7 and 5.7 Commanders use a different, more truck oriented unit.
A fair amount of electronics, but any trans can fail. There have been very few failures of this unit.

Regardless, the first step is to disconnect the negative battery cable and then turn the key on.....leave it like this for 5 minutes or so........you are essentally rebooting the computer by dumping it back to its base settings.

After 5 minutes, turn the key off and take it out.....this assures it really is turned off and reconnect the negative.

Fire it up and see what it does......you are trying to see if there is a 'hard' failure, in which case it will default back to third and the CEL will reset.
There is however, a possibility the problem will disappear, meaning some electronic something that we will never know jammed up the computers logic and it responded.

Sounds like a half assed response but I'm serious.....this has happened before.

Good luck,
Rob
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Old 01-02-2012, 06:52 PM
NickT1271 NickT1271 is offline
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Thanks Rob,
I took it to the Chrysler dealer today and they said it was the valve body. They quoted me at around $600 for the valve body and $300 for labor. I went ahead and drove it home thinking I would take it to a transmission shop and see if they could confirm it. After getting home I went ahead and tried what you said and when I went to start it up again I noticed a loud buzzing noise coming from the transmission. Could this be a good enough means to confirm it is the valve body? A friend of mine is a mechanic and says it is easy to change out a valve body and he can prolly get the part itself marked down.
Thanks!
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Old 01-02-2012, 07:19 PM
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There was a old service bulletin for this 06 unit regarding cracking of the plastic trans filter, causing a fluid pressure loss.......although the complaint is generally a late gear engagement, it is possible this same failure could make noise.

Did the code return after battery disconnect BTW?

I am inclined to have your contact very carefully inspect that plastic filter for any cracks in the body or tube.
If any are found, I'd recommend changing both filters (I recommend that even if there are no cracks) and buttoning it up for further diagnostics.
If the problem persists, you're only out about 5 qts of fluid.....then the valve body can be exchanged......yes, any trans guy can do this 'in car' repair if thats all it needs.

Rob
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Old 11-26-2013, 11:14 PM
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2006 Commander | Limp Home Mode | P0700 Code

I have a 2006 Jeep Commander, 4.7 V8, 109K miles.

Tonight on the way home, it literally being a dark and stormy night, I was going a little too quickly (by Jeep Commander standards) around a corner so instinctively downshifted -- using the tiptronic -- rather than hit on the brakes. I shifted up and then down to drop to 4th gear -- I rarely use this feature and have owned a few cars with this feature, so had to hunt a bit -- in a split second, I couldn't remember if it was supposed to be shifted to the right or left.

So, I stop at the store afterwards -- and on the way home from there I noticed that my Jeep was unusually sluggish and the check engine light was on. Worried that it had to do with the engine, I pulled over to a gas station and checked the oil -- which was fine -- then drove a couple of miles home and did some internet research.

So, I did turn the key 3X between the off and on position -- which generated a fault code of P0700. I then took it for a drive around the neighborhood and found that it remained in limp home mode in "3" -- any attempt to change the gear via the tiptronic did not work. I also turned the car off and on, that did not work.

I disconnected the negative battery terminal to reset the computer. When I started the car up, the check engine light was off -- but once I backed out of the driveway and put it in drive -- it returned to limp home mode and remained in "3"

So, I suppose my options at this point are to either take it into a mechanic -- or throw parts at it (namely a ESM Shifter Bezel which looks to run $400-$600 for the part alone).....

Any insight or experience anyone could offer would be greatly appreciated.

I'm normally pretty patient when it comes to automotive maintenance -- but it's extremely frustrating that using a feature built into my car is resulting in a repair that costs that much...and, moreso, that there isn't a manual override for this.

I mean, really, I shift a gearshift the wrong way once and now it's limping home? I'd rather have a four on the floor with gear oil and a clutch that works....

Speaking of which, anyone out there have a Grand Wagoneer or a Scout for sale (kind of kidding kind of not...)

Oh...and thank you to the individual above who shared how to determine the fault codes as well as the negative battery disconnect. Even though that didn't give me the ultimate solution I wanted -- it definitely did help and I appreciate the info.
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Last edited by jbh30319; 11-26-2013 at 11:31 PM.
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  #6  
Old 11-26-2013, 11:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbh30319 View Post
I have a 2006 Jeep Commander, 4.7 V8, 109K miles.

Tonight on the way home, it literally being a dark and stormy night, I was going a little too quickly (by Jeep Commander standards) around a corner so instinctively downshifted -- using the tiptronic -- rather than hit on the brakes. I shifted up and then down to drop to 4th gear -- I rarely use this feature and have owned a few cars with this feature, so had to hunt a bit -- in a split second, I couldn't remember if it was supposed to be shifted to the right or left.

So, I stop at the store afterwards -- and on the way home from there I noticed that my Jeep was unusually sluggish and the check engine light was on. Worried that it had to do with the engine, I pulled over to a gas station and checked the oil -- which was fine -- then drove a couple of miles home and did some internet research.

So, I did turn the key 3X between the off and on position -- which generated a fault code of P0700. I then took it for a drive around the neighborhood and found that it remained in limp home mode in "3" -- any attempt to change the gear via the tiptronic did not work. I also turned the car off and on, that did not work.

I disconnected the negative battery terminal to reset the computer. When I started the car up, the check engine light was off -- but once I backed out of the driveway and put it in drive -- it returned to limp home mode and remained in "3"

So, I suppose my options at this point are to either take it into a mechanic -- or throw parts at it (namely a ESM Shifter Bezel which looks to run $400-$600 for the part alone).....

Any insight or experience anyone could offer would be greatly appreciated.

I'm normally pretty patient when it comes to automotive maintenance -- but it's extremely frustrating that using a feature built into my car is resulting in a repair that costs that much...and, moreso, that there isn't a manual override for this.

I mean, really, I shift a gearshift the wrong way once and now it's limping home? I'd rather have a four on the floor with gear oil and a clutch that works....

Speaking of which, anyone out there have a Grand Wagoneer or a Scout for sale (kind of kidding kind of not...)

Oh...and thank you to the individual above who shared how to determine the fault codes as well as the negative battery disconnect. Even though that didn't give me the ultimate solution I wanted -- it definitely did help and I appreciate the info.
See this---> http://www.obd-codes.com/p0700

And this---> http://www.cherokeesrt8.com/forums/showthread.php?t=32822

.
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Last edited by jeep5253; 11-27-2013 at 12:01 AM.
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  #7  
Old 11-27-2013, 12:25 PM
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jbh30319 jbh30319 is offline
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Thank you for the information -- especially the second link. I've made an appointment with a mechanic to take my car in, but I'm tempted to see if removing the module and cleaning the contacts would work. It would be worth a try.
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Old 11-27-2013, 09:22 PM
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Problem Solved - Clean ECM vs Replace It

I was able to clean my ECM this afternoon and it looks like it has solved the problem with my Jeep being stuck in "limp home mode."

If you are experiencing the same problems, I do recommend that you read the thread above and attempt this if you are comfortable doing so. The electronics cleaner that I purchased from Autozone in Atlanta was $4.99 -- which is a lost less expensive than replacing a $400-$600 part.

What I am gathering as well is that ECMs are being replaced unnecessarily. For some reason, the design of the Chrysler version is more prone to accumulating graphite -- which is interrupting the flow of electricity on the circuit board and thus triggering the onboard computer to generate an error code, which puts the transmission in 3rd to indicate to the owner that the car should be taken into a shop and looked at by a mechanic. Kind of the automotive equivalent of Windows Safe Mode (Sidebar: I may not have the specific details and terminology correct here, but I understand this to be the basic premise).

So, yeah, if you run into this problem and have a basic working knowledge of cars and/or follow these instructions slowly and carefully -- then you can avoid paying the $400-$600 for a new ECM part or the $800 - $1100 that seems to be the going rate for parts + labor. After performing this procedure as well -- even if my ECM was bad, I knew I could at least order the part and put it in myself versus taking it in to a mechanic. The caveat being that you have to be careful not to throw parts at a problem if you're not absolutely sure that replacing those parts will correct the problem --otherwise it can get expensive and you're better off taking it to a mechanic who can diagnose it properly. Having said that, this specific issue does seem to be a recurring problem for Jeep owners...

So, for me, these are the takeaways -- between the points made above and my own experience:

*Visit this link to gain an overall understanding of the problem as well as a detailed procedure for removal -- http://www.cherokeesrt8.com/forums/s...ad.php?t=32822

*This individual was nice enough to put together a video showing how to remove then reinstall the unit --
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lu1cz45SrlU

*When removing the base unit you'll need a Torx socket to remove the screws. These are typically included in the larger socket wrench set kits -- they are somewhat star-shaped and the size of a screwdriver head. Do note that this is different from a regular screwdriver head or allen wrench. I have attached a photo for your reference -- that small set, included in my socket wrench kit, represented everything I needed. My apologies for not taking note of the exact sizes that were used.

*Of course, remember to take your time -- it's best to be slow and gentle so nothing gets broken

*To remove the gear shift knob -- hold the conical base firmly, then twist the top part of the knob about a 1/4 to a half turn. You should then be able to pull the knob up to remove it. (http://www.jeepcommander.com/forums/...ead.php?t=9843)

*After applying the electronics cleaner to the board -- I could not find any specific mention (on the back of the can or on the web) of how long you should allow for the cleaner to dry. The can seemed to suggest that you wipe away the excess shortly after applying it and that the cleaner is designed to evaporate quickly. I just let the ECM sit out (this was inside my home in a clean environment) on some paper towels for about 30 minutes -- and it seemed to work just fine.

*One thing that did concern me was that, when I removed the ECM and actually saw the board -- that it looked to be relatively new and clean (my Jeep has 109K on it, as of this writing, and I purchased it at 75K -- so I have no idea if this was the original ECM or not). I did notice some grey residue on the paper towels as I did clean the ECM. Not a substantial amount, but enough where I noticed it. This seemed to be the culprit, even in this small amount.

*Going forward, I'm not going to use the Tiptronic feature on my transmission again. Maybe I am overreacting a bit -- but using this is what triggered all of this and, in a car this size, I really don't have a reason to use it anyway. I suppose, in theory, now that the board has been cleaned this should not be an issue -- but it's not worth the risk and inconvenience.

*Great tip as well - turn your key ignition off and on (not all the way to the START position, just to ON) 3X to read error codes generated from your check engine light

*Oh and **VERY IMPORTANT** -- After I replaced the ECM and took it for a test drive, the check engine light was on and the transmission still was stuck in 3rd. I then, taking the earlier advice from the poster above, disconnected the negative battery terminal, turned my ignition key to the on position for 5+ minutes, turned it off, reconnected my negative battery terminal, then started up the car. This cleared out the memory of the onboard computer, the check engine light disappeared, and my transmission was shifting properly again.

Anyway, just sharing some of the details I encountered in my experience over the last 24 hours.

I have since test driven my Jeep and everything keeps working fine. I *will* write a follow up post if I continue to have issues -- but, if you don't see a follow up message from me -- then this issue has not recurred.

Thank you again to the person who shared the link above. Hopefully this can save others time, money, and unnecessary repairs as well.
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Last edited by jbh30319; 11-27-2013 at 09:43 PM.
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  #9  
Old 11-30-2013, 12:01 AM
zeeshan12 zeeshan12 is offline
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I really enjoy this theme you've got on in your web page. What is the name of the template by the way? I was thinking of using this style for the site .
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Old 11-30-2013, 08:32 AM
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Thanks, jbh, for sharing your experience and results. It helps us all know what works and what doesn't. I'm glad you problem is solved, and hopefully it stays that way.

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