I have an automatic Rio Grande, 1995. For the past year I've been having such a time with my jeep's transmission. It started with a little smoke...but now it's doing the following.
1. Leaking continuously, and causing a lot of white smoke while idling. (Fluid dripping onto pipes, I imagine?)
2. Shuttering when at a stop and still in drive. Roughly every five to ten seconds the entire vehicle rumbles and the four wheel drive stick shakes...then it goes back to normal. Usually the white smoke comes after each rumble.
3. Highway driving is usually without incident, but stop and go driving and ESPECIALLY stop and go driving with hills...she has a hard time shifting at the proper time when coming out of a stop.
4. Sometimes stopping altogether. For instance, when highway driving and stopping at a toll booth, the slow inching forward makes her "rumble" (see above) and then she'll shut off altogether. Or she'll shut off when I'm going in reverse and then switching to drive. I can start the jeep again, usually just putting it in neutral.
THE CURES: Here are the current "cures" I've got.
1. I keep it constantly full of transmission fluid...which is becoming a huge financial issue. But as long as I put one or two bottles in a week the problems are usually minimal. It drives like new immediately after I put fluid in it.
2. I find that at a stop, when it's likely to shudder and rumble, I put it in neutral and it seems to behave.
3. I have bought the transmission fluid with GUNK additive. And while that seems to have slowed down the leaking, it hasn't cured anything.
Now just from everything that I'm seeing I think that it's nothing more than a transmission leak...and a bad one at that. But I don't want to take it in expecting to get a few plugs or valves changed and end up with a $1000.00 bill. This is the first car that I bought myself (I'm 22) and the first Jeep Wrangler I've ever owned. I'm trying to make it work, and I just don't have the money to be putting a new transmission in.
So here are my QUESTIONS:
1. To more experienced owners and Jeepsters, what does it sound like the problem is, and what do [I]you[I] think is the solution?
2. Do you think it will be expensive? Rough estimate?
I'd really like to get this problem fixed, get a good transmission flush, and have her back safely on the road again. You guys have really helped me out in the past and I appreciate hearing from you. Thanks in advance for all your advice! Save Our ShiP!