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Discussion Starter #1
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!

Mike
 

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Need to know what transmission you have? Is it trail rated? My QDII tansmission 06 4.7 has two filters for the transmission, just so you know. Also welcome to the forum Mike.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
It has the 545RFE, Trail Rated, Trailer Tow, although I doubt it has ever been off road or towed anything based on it's condition, there wasn't even a scratch on the trailer hitch when I bought it.

I can only guess whoever did the transmission oil change didn't fill it all the way up, or it's been leaking for a long time. When driving it before I filled it up it always seemed to be in 3rd or 4th gear with no upshifts or downshifts.

I appreciate any feedback!

Mike
 

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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.


Mike
Leaks from the Transmission pan are not uncommon because it is only sealed with a type of gasket sealant and not an actual transmission pan gasket like you'd assume there would be.

I stored mine for 5 months in an enclosed, locked storage unit to go on deployment. It was fine when I left, when I came back, I found a small puddle of transmission fluid on the floor. It was leaking from the transmission pan because apparently the seal that the gasket sealant is supposed to create around the edge of the pan failed.

That's something to always keep an eye on especially if you just had your transmission serviced.

I would be very concerned about what damage may have been caused driving with the Transmission that low on fluid - especially not knowing how long it was like that.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the advice, I'm going to change the trans fluid/filter tomorrow.

It's been 1 week and 1000 miles since I added the 3 1/2 quarts of ATF-4, and the reading on the dipstick hasn't changed, although there is still a minor leak from the pan.

One other thing I've noticed is that after driving on the highway for 20 miles or more, when I exit and stop, and then have to accelerate from the exit ramp light, the Jeep shakes and stumbles like it is running out of gas and/or can't figure out which gear to shift into. This happened both before and after I topped off the ATF, and seems more prevalent when the gas is getting low.

It is basically undriveable for the next 30 seconds or so until it sorts itself out. This is also when it belches out a big black cloud of smoke from the exhaust.

This is really frustrating because my '08 Commander still drove perfect at 130,000 miles, and I never had any issue with the transmission. It did have a gunked up intake at around 30,000 miles, which I believe was from the prior owner running E85 in it. I bought it from them at 20,000 miles. The '09 Jeep I just bought also appears to have been run on E85 as it was only getting 9mpg when I first bought it.
 
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