'09 Commander Transmission Shudder
Hey guys, hoping the experts out there can help point me in the right direction on an issue I'm having!
I recently bought a "Certified Pre-Owned, 1-Owner, Car Fax, etc" 2009 4.7L Commander Limited from Golling in Michigan, it only had 85,000 miles and appeared to be in excellent condition.
When I went to look at the Jeep on their lot, they said it had a MIL for cylinder 7 misfire. I asked them if they had service records to see if the plugs had ever been changed or if the manifold had ever been cleaned, both issues I had on my previous '08 Commander. The service records were not in the Jeep, but they had a printout that showed some of the maintenance history, but nothing on plugs or manifold. I drove it, and it did run a little rough, and I noticed transmission fluid on the crossmember when I crawled underneath it, and pointed this out to the salesman.
The Jeep was spotless inside and out, and he assured me they would fix the issues, so I called them back a couple of days later and then went and bought it.
Of course, 5 miles down the road the MIL came on so I called them up and went and dropped it off at the service department. They gave me a hard time about who was paying for the repairs, sales or service, but finally sorted it out and gave me a rental.
I went back the next day to pick it up, and on the way home it still ran rough and very sluggish, and would occasionally blow a cloud of black smoke out the exhaust. I called them back to let them know it still had issues, and they never returned my calls this time.
So, I pulled a couple of plugs to inspect and removed the aircleaner and cleaned everything out. The plugs looked okay, so I re-installed them and began looking elsewhere. As I test drove it again, I began to wonder if the misfire issue was fixed but now revealing a shaky transmission, so I checked the fluid, which did not even register on the dipstick. Also, they had not fixed the trans leak which I could see was coming from the pan.
It took 3 1/2 quarts of ATF-4 to get it to the bottom of the "hot" indicator, and 2 hours of me slowly filling and checking as I had no idea it could be that low.
After rechecking several more times, I drove it, and now it ran great, and shifted firm.
The issue I have now is a shudder that occurs at light throttle input around 35-45mph, which I'm sure is the torque converter.
I'm hesitant to take it back to the dealer for fear they will not properly address the problem and possibly cause more damage by trying to do a flush or something like that.
The pan leak is still there, so I figured I'd start with a trans oil/filter change and go from there, but I'm not confident the converter has not been permanently damaged. I never saw any over-temp light for the trans come on during the time it was driven before finding the low oil level.
I have no idea how long it might have been driven with low trans oil, but my guess is someone took it for an oil/filter change and they messed up the RTV seal and it's been leaking since. 3 1/2 quarts is a lot of oil, and I'm fearing the worst case is the transmission is now toast.
Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!