Lost drive whilst doing 70 mph - Jeep Commander Forums: Jeep Commander Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-20-2011, 03:56 AM Thread Starter
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Lost drive whilst doing 70 mph

Has anyone else had this problem. Whilst driving along at 70 mph on a busy motorway heading into London last night I lost drive completely, the engine stayed running and i managed to free wheel to the hard shoulder and came to a stop. I turned off the engine and restarted it. Everything worked fine and I got drive back. Enjoyed our evening out and returned home 50 miles without a problem. I feel a bit uneasy having had the wife and children in the Jeep with me with all those fast moving trucks bearing down, any ideas as to what happened will be appreciated before I take it to the dealers.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-20-2011, 08:40 AM
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I had the same thing happen to me yesterday. I had just changed the plugs in my Commander and was taking it for a quick test drive when it acted like it got shifted into neutral. I just pulled over and put it in park for a few seconds and then put it back in gear and everything seemed to be fine. Luckily I was on a back country road instead of a busy highway. I'd kinda like to know what happened too.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-20-2011, 05:32 PM
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but the Commander has a digital shifter. i.e. moving the lever just sends a digital signal to the ECU's for the transmission to tell it to shift itself into drive or neutral.

So, if thats true, could just a stray signal could cause the trans to shift into neutral, like driving under power lines?

There are some posts about this Shift Module going bad, maybe yours is starting to have problems? Hopefully that is NOT the problem, because they cost at least $500.

Pure guess on my part, take it with a grain of salt.


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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-21-2011, 07:27 AM Thread Starter
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Hey Mongo, taken with a pinch of salt but is another avenue for me to look down, thanks buddy. SW can you let me know if it happens again to you mate. Cheers Wilky
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-21-2011, 08:01 AM
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Never had the transmission pop out of gear while driving at that speed but I did have the PRNDL lights all boxed and have a lack of power in mine.

Shift modual was bad and replaced under warrenty. That was a couple of years ago however.

I would definatly go to the dealer and have them check for stored codes or check the modual.

Good luck and happy motoring!


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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-21-2011, 08:06 AM
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While its safer to come to stop before shifting the trans shift lever, I wonder if shifting to neutral to drive would put the trans back in drive again.

Unlike a mechanical shifter, if the trans bumped itself into neutral it would pull the shift lever with it. With the digital shifter, if the trans bumps itself into neutral, there is nothing to move the shifter lever. Its just reads the position you move the dummy lever and sends a signal to the trans to reflect where your moved it. So moving the lever sends the signal again to put the trans back in the gear it should be.

So again, pure guesses, a shifter module going bad might be sending stray signals to the trans without moving the lever and cause it to shift into neutral. OR, somehow you're getting noise in the circuits that is creating a stray signal to the trans and causing it to shift. e.g. notice how when you drive under power lines and having the radio tuned to certain radio stations (usually AM) will cause all sorts of noise to come over the radio. Like turning the blender on and it causes the TV to develop snow on the screen. That can happen in the wiring, even ignition of other sources in the vehicle can do it, suddenly you have a signal on the wire you never generated, and although unlikely, its always possible something on the vehicle reads it as an actual signal and NOT noise and reacts to it like its an actual signal.

In the 70's and earlier, hot rodders would use solid metal ignition cables, cause it was more reliable and made a hotter spark, sure it created so much electromagnetic interference (EMI) that you couldn't listen to the radio, it was just loud clicking at the same frequency as the engine rpm, but it was a race car, you didn't need a radio. After the 80's, that was dead, because all the vehicles went to digital engine controls, and the EMI from solid metal ignition cable introduced so much noise into the circuits for sensors and controls, the digital controls couldn't work and the engine would stall or do all sorts of unintended things.

Put solid metal ignition cable (unshielded) on your commander, and I bet the motor won't even run and while cranking it, you'd likely get all sorts of unintended things happening from stray signals created by the EMI.


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