Transmission stuck in Reverse gear - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 20 Old 04-08-2020, 07:45 PM Thread Starter
phoebusl
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Transmission stuck in Reverse gear

I let the wife borrow (I know, I know) my 2102 GC Laredo with 5.7L motor, to drive 3 blocks to the store and back. She called 20 mins later and said she had backed out of the parking space, and when she put it in drive the motor died and wouldn't restart. So I hoofed it down to Longs and when I got in the car the dash display had a red lightning bolt next to the R (for Reverse), and the shifter was locked in Park. Overrode the lock and put it in Neutral like the manual said, only the Jeep didn't start like the manual said it would. Wife swore on two stacks of bibles that she didn't try to shift into Drive from Reverse while the Jeep was still moving, or do anything out of the ordinary from how she usually drives (that was comforting) . She didn't hear any noises, gears grinding, or other metal on metal sounds - the vehicle simply stopped in its tracks and wouldn't restart. After checking the clean, bright red tranny fluid, reading the manual some more hoping the answer was there, and listening to advice from a few well-intentioned passersby, I called AAA and requested a tow home since it was Saturday evening and no repair shops were open.


Over the weekend I did some research that seemed to confirm two things: 1) The transmissions in these vehicles have had their share of problems, and 2) The tow truck operator may have been on the right track when he opined that the problem could be in the linkage from the shifter to the tranny.


So I asked AAA to tow the Jeep from the house down to the mechanic that used to do repairs on my old 2000 GC Ltd. By the end of the day, he had his diagnosis: no diagnosis! He stated that the problem was not the linkage, nor could he manually change gears or reset the tranny from underneath the vehicle at the bottom of the transmission. The mechanic was/is convinced that the problem is inside the transmission, and that the Jeep must taken to a transmission shop. Now my next odyssey is to research and decide where the Jeep should be towed to next...


Sorry to ramble on, but I thought some background might turn on a llight bulb in a forum member's mind that could shed some light on what the root problem may be. I'd like to feel a little better-armed about what to expect when I contact a few of the local tranny shops...

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post #2 of 20 Old 04-08-2020, 09:52 PM
ColdCase
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When you say no start, does the engine turn over, or try to turn over? If it does, I'm not sure what transmission fault would cause a no start condition that wouldn't also prevent the engine from turning over.

The red lighting bolt is the Electronic Throttle Control (ETC) Light I think. There may be a thread around here discussing the ETC.

Did the shop read the transmission sensor data and TCM DTCs (on the 5.7 the TCMl is in the PCM). If so, what were the trouble codes?

You could have a bad PCM, won't start the engine and since it controls the transmission, its not going to work right either.

Did you try disconnecting the battery for 5 minutes and reconnecting?

A loose battery connection can cause issues like this.

The fault that caused the ETC light can put the Jeep into limp mode, or disable it.

A bad brake pedal sensor can cause some interesting behaviors.
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post #3 of 20 Old 04-09-2020, 08:44 AM
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Just observing. Hopefully it isn't a busted transmission!
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post #4 of 20 Old 04-09-2020, 03:05 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for those insights, Cold Case. The only thing that happens when you try to start the Jeep is that you hear one click from under the hood, not unlike the click you sometimes hear when the battery is too weak turn the motor over (Interstate battery is an less than two months old). Also, the dash displays the message that the car won't start because the car is in Reverse gear. I'm so dumb that I didn't think to ask the mechanic about diagnostic codes, but since he has no clue what the problem is, my sense is that he didn't pull any data from the tranny or TCM. Do you know if there's a way to disconnect the battery without having to reset a bunch of stuff? When i replaced the battery a couple months ago, i asked the installer to keep the circuit live to avoid problems but i didn't observe his method.
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post #5 of 20 Old 04-09-2020, 04:36 PM
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Disconnecting the battery won't reset any important stuff. Important stuff, like radio presets are stored in non volatile memory.

You may find the battery installer forgot to tighten the battery cable clamps and it just wiggled loose enough when she stopped to put it into drive it is causing the problem (or you got a weak battery). Its got just enough power to drive the idiot lights but thats about it.

Wishful thinking...

There is a thread around here about how to get things going when stuck in a gear, I'll try to find it and see if its relevant.

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post #6 of 20 Old 04-09-2020, 04:54 PM
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I didn't see anything for that vintage. There are a couple posts in the WK forum (same V8 transmission) where the plastic transmission filter randomly cracks and the pump draws air. instead of fluid. So it can't build enough pressure to shift so its stuck in whatever gear it happened to be in. It may have stalled the engine because of clutch drag and its now its stuck in reverse and the interlock won't let it start. If the shop put a pressure gauge on it, most shops can do that, it would have been obvious, however.

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post #7 of 20 Old 04-10-2020, 11:33 AM
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Is the ETC light still on? If so this would explain why you are only getting the click when attempting to start. Usually this is rare glitch and is fixed by selecting park and turning the ignition off for a few seconds then restarting. If the light is still on you may have a more serious ETC related issue, I would focus on this before stressing to much over the gearbox.

Have you tried using the key fob as a key rather than the push button start?
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post #8 of 20 Old 04-11-2020, 07:30 AM
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@phoebusl : Any update as to what happened?

Causes and the fix?
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post #9 of 20 Old 04-20-2020, 01:12 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the suggestions! I finally got the car towed to a transmission shop, and i found a great trans mechanic. It turned out that there's a lever inside the trans that is actuated by the cable linkage outside the trans, and that lever makes the shifts. The lever pivots on what looked like a 3/8" pin about 2" long which was spot-welded to the transmission. The spot-weld failed, thus causing the pin to slide down and become non-functional and making the trans unable to respond to the shift selector.

It was fixed the same day, and the damages were a hair shy of $600 which included servicing the trans with new fluid and filter and gasket, etc. I thought it was pretty fair for the amount of labor involved and considering the gouging stories going around due to Covid-19...
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post #10 of 20 Old 04-20-2020, 01:58 AM
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One of these linkages?

https://www.moparpartswebstore.com/a.../i2275471.html

Glad it wasn't too bad of a repair.
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post #11 of 20 Old 04-20-2020, 07:06 AM
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Its probably the weld on the end of the valve body manual valve stem inside the transmission, which connects to the external linkage shown in the referenced diagram. #4 below.
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Screen Shot 2020-04-20 at 9.01.24 AM.jpg  

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post #12 of 20 Old 04-21-2020, 01:45 PM Thread Starter
phoebusl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColdCase View Post
Its probably the weld on the end of the valve body manual valve stem inside the transmission, which connects to the external linkage shown in the referenced diagram. #4 below.
The diagram definitely shows the problem area, but the pic the mechanic showed me was a smooth, short pin.
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post #13 of 20 Old 04-21-2020, 03:38 PM
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This is worth pursuing for more evidence. More actual pictures?

If a robot makes all the pins, and the robot made a mistake, there are likely more of them (mistakes).
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post #14 of 20 Old 04-21-2020, 04:06 PM
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post #15 of 20 Old 04-21-2020, 05:46 PM
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There is a double bell crank type lever, the axle of which runs through the transmission case. The shift cable is attached to the exterior bell-crank, and the interior bell-crank rides in the shift plate shown in this video. Sounds like the pin on the end of the internal bell-crank fell off. The interior cable running to the rear of the internal bell crank is the park pawl cable.

Also about 10:45 of this video, perhaps. Seems that folks working these Chrysler transmission often see this failure.

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