Jeep Commander Forum banner
1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
New to the forum. Hope this is different enough to be a new thread.

2006 Commander, v8 4.7 with 69,000. Bought car at 65,000 7 months ago (July). Car is not under warranty. I apologize upfront, I know virtually nothing about transmissions so please keep your answers simple.

No problems noted until last month (very cold winter) started having transmission problems. Won't engage initially in reverse or low. Need to shift a couple of times before engaging. After that it appears to be fine.

Also, stalls when idling at a light or stop. Normally idles around 400 rpm but will simply slip to 0 and stall very smoothly. Often you can't even tell it stalled until you try to accelerate.

Did not have a check engine light but got these codes:

p0700 - Trans Ctrl System
p0731 - (and 0734) Gear 1 (and 4) incorrect ratio
p0841 - Trans Fluid Pressure Sensor/switch "A" circuit range/performance
p0876 - Same as above for sensor/switch "D" circuit range/performance
p1684 - Battery disconnected within 50 starts. (I changed battery last month)

From other's advice I changed the sparkplugs - they were COMPLETELY worn down. Thought stalling was gone but has returned.

I checked the transmission fluid level. Appears to be high(?) Fluid on both sides of the dipstick well above "hot" holes. Though, I don't understand this. Perhaps I'm reading it wrong. Have done no service to trans and would think if it was overfilled it would have showed problems earlier.

I am open to any thoughts, and am trying to sort through as many DIY fixes as possible before spending too much. Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,037 Posts
Did you check the transmission fluid level properly? Read your Owner's Manual on how to check. Usually the engine has to be warmed up and running with the trans in Park, sometimes its neutral, and they often recommend you shift through gears before returning to the final position before checking the level.

If you check the fluid level with the engine off, it will read high, because with the engine running fluid circulates through the trans.

There is several threads on the 545RFE and how many of them had a defective filter installed at the factory. That defective filter can crack and cause internal leaks that create pressure problems in the trans, which incorrect pressures will cause other problems in the trans operation.

The biggest symptom is the first start on cold mornings, after the vehicle has been sitting all night, all the fluid will drain out via of the crack in the filter, and the trans will take several minutes to replenish all the fluid in the system, and thus won't move for 30 seconds.

Another reported symptom, is the trans causing the engine to stall. How it does that I don't know, I can only imagine the pressure interruptions causes the torque converter lock-up to fail to unlock while rolling to a stop.

Check your OM, I imagine you're due for a fluid and filter change anyway, I would do the fluid and filter change and see if the problem corrects itself, it has for others, because they replace the cracked filter with a good one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Mongo. I did use the OM and believe it was done correctly. The only reason I put a question mark on the statement of overfilling is because the OM states that "The fluid level is only valid if there is a solid coating of oil seen on both sides of the dipstick." It is difficult to determine if it is a solid coating.

I will have the fluid changed though I believe the previous owner (at least claimed) to have changed earlier.

I had a recommendation from a friend to replace/clean the Idle Air Control Valve. Would you also agree with that? Is that something I could do myself?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,601 Posts
What transmission do you have? I have the QD2 which has two filters both of which need to be changed. I have an 06 4.7
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Not sure. I have an 06 4.7 also. Not sure where the trans type is located. I'll check

By the way, would you stick to a dealer or can you have this done at a repair shop like Midas?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,993 Posts
My limited experience with Midas is they are really expensive. I sat in their getting a muffler for my YJ listening to them quote repairs I know the dealer does for far less LOL Trans service I just go to the dealer for but my dealer is one of the good ones.

EDIT and after seeing the weld job they did putting the muffler on I'll never be back. I only stopped in because the guy I bought it from had a cherry bomb on it and I couldn't take the noise driving home it was horrible. Overpriced muffler bad welding job but peaceful 3hr drive home.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,584 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Had the same issues when I purchased mine used. I read the threads about the filter cracking and thought there was absolutely no way that it could cause these symptoms. I ordered both filters and gasket from Napa and dropped the pan to find my filter was in fact cracked wide open. I replaced the filters and fluids and all symptoms were alleviated.

Make sure if you take it somewhere you tell them you want the filters changed and not just a flush. I hope you are as lucky as I was. I was expecting to pay a few grand to get a transmission rebuilt.

Regards

Mickey
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Thanks Mickey! How hard was it to change the filters and fluid yourself?

(I'm going to edit my post...Having found and watched some videos on changing the fluid/filters I'm going commercial!)

Any thoughts on Dealer vs independent transmission shops?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,037 Posts
Changing transmission fluid and filter is no harder than any other automatic transmission, you just have a 2nd filter to change as opposed to one for most transmissions.

Changing fluid/filter is more difficult than an oil change, and since the pan does NOT have a drain, its often more messy, as a lot comes out all at once as you drop the pan.

Most people that are capable of changing their own oil and filter "easily", can also make the step up to changing the automatic trans fluid and filter themselves as well.

I think the 545RFE has no gasket for the pan, its RTV'ed to seal it. That just adds a slight increase in difficulty in separating the pan from the trans, you'll have to carefully pry it away to split the RTV. If you use RTV to seal it again, remember, both surfaces have to be thoroughly clean and dry, use an RTV specifically for Trans Oil, and make sure you lay down the bead and join the two surfaces (the pan and body of the trans) within 5 minutes, so the RTV properly adheres to both surfaces. You tighten down the bolts finger tight to squeeze out the excess RTV, then you let it cure for an hour. Once the thin layer cures, tighten it down to spec, that will make sure there will still be a thin layer left and no spots end up with all RTV squeezed out. Or you can just use the pan gasket that comes with filter.

The NAG1/W5A580 trans that comes with the V6 is different, requires an extremely precise fluid level set according to exact fluid temp, because of that, it does NOT come with a dipstick and says its a Dealer Service Item. You don't have that trans, so it doesn't matter for you, but if you did, I would say because of the precise fill level, it would be beyond a newbie to do it.

Make sure to use the specified ATF+4 fluid.

Having someone do it for you? Well, welcome to the world of Automotive Repair and Service, where the vast amount of consumer ignorance allows rip off artists to get away with murder. Dealers and Big Name Brand Independent shops are all independently owned local franchises, i.e. the Name on the sign is far from a guarantee they are as good or honest as the other shops/dealers with the same sign. You have to ask around, look for reviews on the internet, discuss the service and prices with the service writers, etc and make a judgment for yourself.

Make sure you specify they use the exact specified ATF+4 fluid. If a shop tells you they add a bottle of additive to Dexron II fluid that changes it into ATF+4, turn around and walk out. This still goes on today, despite it being proven that modern transmissions are more demanding on their fluid and absolutely need the superior quality, more durable fluid specified by the manufacturer. Yet, and even dealers did it at first and maybe a few still today, think that the old cheap bottom of the barrel quality, trans fluid for transmissions designs from decades ago, will work just fine, they just have to add some friction modifier to get the shifting right. Groaann, those morons will ruin your transmission. Only use the Superior Quality, Superior Durability ATF+4 like the specified.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,037 Posts
...I read the threads about the filter cracking and thought there was absolutely no way that it could cause these symptoms. I ordered both filters and gasket from Napa and dropped the pan to find my filter was in fact cracked wide open. I replaced the filters and fluids and all symptoms were alleviated....
I can see how a cracked filter could cause problems for the transmission, especially the 545RFE because the 2nd filter is on a high pressure circuit, while most just have a filter on up draw to the pump.

Its just the symptoms people talk about make no sense to me, but like you said, there are many first hand account of it fixing those symptoms.

Since its a maintenance item you need to do anyway, what's the harm in trying it and see if it works? And it works more often than people expect.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
I am brand new to this site. I bought a 2007 Commander 4WD sport with (Rocky Mountain Package) 4.7. Has 56000 miles. Past Monday took it in for safety recall. Just yesterday had in on the highway for the first time. I was slowing down do to traffic and I heard a clunk sound and it acted like a hard downshift. No lights came on. It did it multiple times. Took it to dealer .dealer rep and I drove it did it again. Then all of a sudden ESP BAC Light came on. Turned off vehicle cranked back up light was off. But then it started idiling rough. Anyone have any ideas?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
trans problems.

Update. I went to a local Tran shop. nice guy, listened but had never heard of the filter issue. We went ahead and did a fluid and filter (both) change. He made a point of getting orig parts. Immediately the stalling stopped. At first I thought we were home free. Then today (approx two weeks later) the car would not go into gear at all. Originally, it would be slow to go into R or D. But now it won't at all. Hate this vehicle.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
128 Posts
yesterday while driving home from a local site (30 miles) when I got to the stop and go traffic on the go side the vehicle just sat there no motion. Engine runs fine, but I got error code P0700 Transmission Control Module. I shut down the engine waited 10 minutes and then went into 4WD low. This worked and I was able to limp the last 5 miles home at 25mph. This morning after sitting all night and totally cold, reverse works fine as I could back out of the drive way, but putting in in drive I went about 10 feet and then no joy.

Two questions, is changing out that module gonna fix it and whats that module gonna cost?

Thanks

KKKKFL
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
571 Posts
I don't think id replace the tcm without further trouble shooting...but found this site on a Chrysler forum a couple years ago...

http://www.neatcomputers.net/

I'm pretty sure any dealership wants around $500. for the same part
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,037 Posts
yesterday while driving home from a local site (30 miles) when I got to the stop and go traffic on the go side the vehicle just sat there no motion. Engine runs fine, but I got error code P0700 Transmission Control Module. I shut down the engine waited 10 minutes and then went into 4WD low. This worked and I was able to limp the last 5 miles home at 25mph. This morning after sitting all night and totally cold, reverse works fine as I could back out of the drive way, but putting in in drive I went about 10 feet and then no joy.

Two questions, is changing out that module gonna fix it and whats that module gonna cost?

Thanks

KKKKFL
My emphasis added.
Two answers, no one knows if changing out that module will fix your trans or NOT, you have NOT done enough troubleshooting to narrow down the actual problem. Its going to cost a lot more if you just start throwing parts at the vehicle in vain hope it will magically solve the problem. You need to do the troubleshooting or take the vehicle to someone that can.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
128 Posts
Thanks, was hoping for a quick answer. Did take it to the dealer, and they dug deeper. The prognosis was not good. Even though it would go when using manual shifting, the tech said that the "clutch" was shot, and repair was not cost effective. They're ordering a re-built xmsn. Cost $3800 bucks, but that's installed and out the door. Now I love the vehicle, and even though its got 180K on it Blue book shows its worth 8 to 10 k so I'm going with their recommendation.

I am somewhat puzzled with the explanation, however. What's he telling me with the Clutch explanation. I thought Automatic transmissions were based on moving fluid around. Clutches to my mind are things in a manual Gearbox arrangement. Can anyone school me on modern day transmissions, at least enough to understand what the tech is telling me about worn out clutch?

Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,037 Posts
The only transmissions that are based on moving fluid around as their only means of "transmitting power" are hydrostatic transmissions, like in riding mower, and they don't shift at all. They are NOT very efficient or reliable.

Automatic Transmissions since the very beginning had clutches (depending on your interpretation) in the sense they have lots of friction material in them and depend on the same principle as a clutch, using friction surfaces with pressure to engage and disengage different gear sets. In an automatic transmission, they use the term "clutch pack" often.

Where hydraulics (moving fluid around) come into play is making the actuation inside the trans and transmitting input power to the trans.

Manual Trans uses a "Dry Clutch" that is manually engaged by the driver with a pedal (and connected to the clutch either by linkage, cable or a simply stand alone hydraulic hose and cylinders, like the brakes) to transmit power to the input of the transmission. Shifting between gears is done manually by the driver, using a shift lever to move the mechanisms in between disengaging/engaging the main input clutch. The shifting is made easier and faster with Synchros, that are really just cone clutches that work like other clutches just match gear speeds before engaging them. When you shift to and engage a gear, it mechanically locks the gear in with a dog clutch, just teeth that interlock. That is why you have synchros, if those teeth are spinning at different speeds, they'll grind as you try to engage them, the synchro is a tiny clutch that matches up speeds so those teeth don't grind.

An automatic trans uses a Torque Converter (TC) to transmit power to the input of the transmission. How the TC works is making you think its just moving fluid around. Cause the TC (and just the TC) transmits power to the input of the trans by moving fluid around inside of it. And every trans since 1979 has a lock-up torque converter, meaning when the trans is NOT shifting or at extreme low speeds or loads, it has a clutch in it that locks it up like a manual trans. The automatic trans inside of it, has several gears, it will shift to different gears using hydraulic pressure to actuate the mechanisms to shift. In an automatic, it locks in the gear using stacked up clutch discs and plates, called clutch packs. Those clutch packs are reversible, i.e. the piston drives them one direction to transmit power to the one gear and then engage and lock it in, then drives the clutch pack the opposite direction to transmit power and then lock in another gear. So an automatic has a wet clutch that engages each gear, very similar to how manual uses a dry clutch to engage the input of the transmission.

An automatic does the clutch engagement on the inside with a squishy fluid drive between it and the engine, the squishy torque converter provides some give and take so it doesn't overstress the trans as it "dumbly" engages those internal clutch packs. The manual does the clutch engagement outside the trans, with a hard driveline from engine to the wheels. That is why a human has to "smartly" modulate the clutch to NOT overstress the trans, and the clutch has to be used to totally disengage the trans from the engine to shift, there is no give and take from a squishy torque converter.

So like a manual trans that has its main clutch wear out, that just slips and won't move the vehicle. Its possible to have a clutch pack wear out in an automatic trans, that will just slip and NOT move the vehicle in those gears. Its NOT uncommon for a mechanic to just use the term clutch instead of clutch pack, and might same something like the 1-2 Clutch is shot and thus the vehicle won't move from a stop.

Judging from your symptoms, the clutch pack for first gear was NOT engaging properly, is very possible cause. That could be because it is worn out, or there is some sort of malfunction NOT allowing it to engage properly. Hopefully the dealership troubleshot properly and this is NOT simply taking the easy way out of just telling you to replace the whole trans.


A couple of things to keep in mind:
  • The way a transmission has to be built, there are only a couple of parts that can be replaced without having to totally dissemble the entire transmission. If you've got the transmission totally disassembled, you'd be fool NOT to pay the extra $150 for the rebuild kit, so that its rebuilt when you put it all back together. That is why rebuilds for transmissions are so often the diagnosis.
  • Since a lot power is transmitted through those clutch packs, a malfunction can easily cause them to burn up or wear out in a very short time. Imagine driving around in a manual trans car with the clutch pedal pressed halfway down constantly with the clutch constantly slipping? Automatic trans, if problems are NOT fixed right away, they often burn themselves up.
  • If you have NOT changed the fluid and filter in 180k miles on the transmission, a worn out clutch pack or malfunction that caused the trans to burn up its clutch packs is NOT surprising at all.
  • The real frustration with modern trans, its possible a simple sensor failure or solenoid failure could be misdiagnosed as an internal failure needing a rebuild, when all you needed was a new $30 sensor. That usually happens by incompetent or unethical shops that just want to change the trans and make a lot of money. I don't trust Dealerships, unless they have proven themselves to be honest, so if I brought a vehicle in, as soon as I noticed a trans problem and they told me the trans has to be replaced for $3800, I'd get a 2nd opinion.
  • Again, automatics burn themselves up if you drive them with a malfunction. So if you've been driving a while with this malfunction, a trans replacement diagnosis is NOT that surprising. I would comparison shop and get other quotes for replacing the trans, $3800 sounds a little steep, but NOT insane.
Some of the latest "advanced" automatics that outperform standard transmissions in everyway, have "Hybrid" torque converter and are much more than just a lock-up torque converter, they are more wet clutch (since they have a clutch like a manual trans inside the trans fluid) with a small torque converter. The automatic trans is literally engaging a wet clutch between shifts with a small torque converter do the same as old torque converters in
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top