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Jeep Cherokee Transmission Problems [+Complete Solutions]

If anything, Jeep Cherokee transmission problems have been some of the most predominant issues in the automotive industry.

Any Jeep owner knows how common transmission problems are among these vehicles.

Unfortunately, some of these transmission problems might require replacing the unit itself, which is pretty expensive, to say the least.

However, most of the time, a simple fix might get rid of the problem.

So, before getting the transmission rebuilt, we suggest going through the following list of problems and see if it fixes yours.

With that being said, let’s take a look to find more about the most common issues and solutions.

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Jeep Cherokee Most Common Transmission Problems

Here’s a compilation of the most common Jeep Cherokee issues you’ll likely come across.

You’ll also find an explanation on how you can fix the problem.

1. Rough Shifting

Jeep Cherokee owners have complained thousands of times about how hard it is to shift with their brand new vehicle.

As expected, drivers take their vehicles to the dealer, but some can never get them fixed.

Strangely enough, some drivers have pointed out that this issue goes away after 10,000 miles.

If you recently got a brand-new model, chances are the vehicle is still learning your driving habits.

After reaching 10,000 miles, the truck should smooth out.

In the meantime, you might have to learn how to deal with that.

However, if you’ve had the vehicle for a while and it has over 10,000 miles, you might want to turn off the hill assist.

Disabling this option does help a little bit. To turn it off, follow these steps:

  • On the Uconnect dashboard, go to controls, settings, driving safety, and then find the hill stop setting. Now uncheck it.

Keep in mind that this is not a magical solution. You might notice a slight improvement, but that’s about it.

2. Clunking Noise

Now, let’s address another common Jeep Cherokee bad transmission problem.

That issue is hearing a clunking noise when shifting.

Here’s how it goes: As soon as you put your vehicle from park to drive, the Jeep makes a rather annoying clunking noise.

That’s pretty scary and concerning for most drivers. The first thing that comes to mind is that the transmission stopped working.

But that might not be the case for you. To get around this problem, follow these steps:

  • Take the vehicle to the dealership. There are several updates that your car needs. These updates will address this annoying issue.

After getting the updates, you should notice a massive improvement.

Though you might still experience the hard shifting from time to time, it’s not nearly as bad as before.

If that doesn’t work for you, here’s another way to get rid of the clunking noise:

  • Keep your foot on the brake pedal. After that, push the emergency brake all the way down. Do not lift your foot from the brake pedal.
  • Next up, shift into park. Next time you want to shift out of park to reverse, you won’t hear the clunking noise.
  • Before driving away, take off the emergency brake and then reverse. If you want to park again, repeat the steps above.

If you want to know more about the updates your vehicle needs, watch this video:

3. Hesitation

Were you going down the road when you realized the transmission was not shifting correctly and felt like the engine was continually shutting off back and forth?

Well, chances are you need to replace the spark plugs.

When the spark plugs go bad, you’ll notice a loss of power, low fuel economy, and your car might have a hard time starting up.

So, to get rid of the problem, replace the spark plugs. This is a simple fix, and you can change them within 20-30 minutes.

Moreover, you can get a new set of spark plugs for $32-$50.

But if you take it to the dealer, expect to pay anywhere from $250-300 for the labor.

If you want to know more about this problem, we suggest watching this video:

4. Transmission Shifting Early

One of the most common Jeep Cherokee automatic transmission problems drivers have complained about is that the truck is shifting too early.

So, the culprit behind this annoying issue is the throttle valve cable.

When this little cable is not adjusted correctly, you’ll run into some nasty issues.

The geometry and tension are pretty critical for your transmission to work correctly.

To get rid of this annoying problem, adjust the throttle valve cable. That said, follow these steps to alter it on your own:

  • Pop the hood of your vehicle and then find the cruise control. Next up, press the button on the TV cable. Make sure to push it all the way down.
  • After that, hop in the vehicle and push the gas pedal down.

After doing this, your Jeep Cherokee should be working as intended.

If you can’t get it to work on your first try, don’t be scared to mess with it.

It might take a couple of attempts for some people, so there’s no need to worry.

5. Jeep Cherokee Won’t Shift

Is your vehicle not going into four-wheel drive? Well, you might have to reset the four-wheel drive.

This is pretty simple, and anybody can do it. However, this is not a permanent fix. That said, here’s how you can do it:

  • Turn on the key and then shut off the key. After that, pop the hood. From there, go to the fuse box and pull out the one labeled FDCM/EDIFF.
  • Once you’ve removed the fuse, go back inside the truck and then start it up and put it in neutral. Next up, shut off the vehicle and head over to the fuse box to put it back on.
  • Start the engine once again, and then put the vehicle in neutral.

And that’s about it. Keep in mind that this is a temporal solution. However, this is enough to get you going for a while.

6.    Car Won’t Shift Out of Park

Now, this issue is not as common, but you could still give it a try. So, the problem is that you cannot shit out of park no matter what you do.

As you’ve seen so far, there are plenty of culprits behind this problem.

But perhaps, there’s something wrong with the electrical system. For one thing, it could be the shifter interlock.

When it goes bad, you will not be able to shift it out of park. To get rid of this problem, you have to replace the shifter interlock.

However, if you really need to start up the vehicle, you can disconnect the wires.

Disconnecting the wires should temporarily fix the problem.

The only downside to this temporal fix is that you won’t have to press the brake pedal to shift the vehicle out of park, which can be pretty inconvenient.

This problem is very rare, but it can certainly ruin your day and get you in trouble.

7.    Low Transmission Fluid

Ever heard about how you might never need to change the transmission fluid?

If you’re having Jeep Cherokee transmission problems, you might be running low on transmission fluid.

Unlike the motor oil, the transmission does not need regular change. In fact, you’ve probably never changed it before.

To find out that this is indeed the problem, considering the following symptoms:

  • The first sign that suggests you need to add more fluid is hard shifting. If you’re driving down the road and as soon you shift gears, the transmission makes a horrible sound and seems to be working hard and idling; then, you might need to change the transmission fluid.
  • Another symptom that you might have experienced is a delayed shift, meaning if it takes 2-3 seconds for the car to get into reverse, then it’s safe to assume you’re running low on transmission fluid.
  • The third indication of being low on transmission fluid is slipping. If you’re driving and noticed that the vehicle is slipping, it could be very well the transmission fluid. Sometimes, the problem is not as noticeable and only at slow speeds. Regardless, it’s most likely the transmission fluid.

If you’ve experienced many of these problems, consider adding fluid so that it’s at the proper level.

This is a rather complicated job, and it can get pretty messy.

But if you’re feeling confident, change the fluid by draining and refilling it.

8. The Check Engine Light Is On

Did your Jeep Cherokee start slowing down as you were driving, and then the check engine light came on?

Well, you might have to replace the TCM and then flash both the PCM and TCM.

Furthermore, the dealer might have to perform quick learning and drive procedure to work again.

After completing this procedure, your car should drive as designed.

How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Transmission?

Transmission problems can be expensive to fix.

This is one thing drivers want to avoid, but you cannot pretend it’s not there when it stops working.

To fully understand how much you should pay for one of these, check the section down below:

Transmission Replacement Cost

Jeep Cherokee transmission starting cost can go anywhere from $2,500 all the way up to $3,500.

Depending on where you’re located, any given price here is subject to change.

So, it’s best to shop around. Also, keep in mind that you should go to a dealer that offers the best warranty service.

If the repair or replacement fails in regular service after a certain period, they should fix it free of labor charges.

Transmission Rebuilt Price

The average price for a rebuilt transmission is about $1,800.

However, professional mechanics would advise truck owners against rebuilt transmissions as they are not as reliable as a factory remanufactured transmission.

As cheap as they can be, you will likely spend more money down the line.

Studies show that 33% of the transmissions rebuilt in the US end up failing after some time.

So, chances are you’ll experience that same fate. Instead, get a remanufactured transmission. Those are as good as they can get.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The Jeep Cherokee is unique in its own way.

To learn more about transmissions problems these trucks experience, refer to the section down below:

Do Jeep Cherokees have transmission problems?

Yes, Jeep Cherokees have transmission problems. Anything 545RFE should be avoided at any cost if you don’t want to waste your money.

They make great looking cars, but unfortunately, Jeep Cherokees still have a long way to go.

How many miles does a Jeep Cherokee last?

If you regularly take care of your Jeep Cherokee, you should expect to reach 150,000 miles.

Does the 2015 Jeep Cherokee have transmission problems?

Yes, the 2015 Jeep Cherokee is one of the most problematic trucks.

Many drivers have reported how hard it is to shift gears, and sometimes the reverse gear might not even kick in.

Furthermore, the 2015 Jeep Cherokee is quite expensive to fix.

What are the best years for Jeep Cherokee?

If you don’t mind getting an old Jeep Cherokee, we suggest giving the XJ Jeep Cherokee a try.

This is by far the best Jeep Cherokee you can get. Change the fluid once, and it’ll last over 300,000 miles.

Conclusion

Many of the above Jeep Cherokee transmission problems can be easily fixed by tweaking a couple of things.

Worst case scenario, you have to get a new transmission. But that rarely happens.

Most of the time, the problem goes away after a while. Keep in mind that your vehicle is learning your driving habits.

So, it might take some time before the car truly learns how you drive.

Nonetheless, it’s good to know at least what’s going on behind the scenes to track down the issue.

Chances are, you’ll quickly fix the problem.

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