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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Started experiencing problem several months ago. Live 4 miles of road and run 4W when there. Coming onto pavement, shift out of 4H and headed on down the road. Revs would be excessive, pull off, shut down and restart, head down the road again and revs normal, low. Couple of weeks ago began experiencing hard downshift lunge when coming to a stop; on and off, not every time. Now, after heading out from anywhere, immediate shift into 2nd where it remains; shutting down and restart does nothing. Found TSB from 12/09/2009, #21-007-09 REV. A: Customer may experience transmission remains in “Default” mode (second gear) after an engine start. Transmission will not shift into higher gear. Condition may be intermittent. Solution: reprogramming. Checking here before contacting dealer, no trust there. Anyone have this happen and what did you do to get it fixed??? TIA.
 

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That is the default or "limp" mode. The transmission is not receiving the proper signals from the computer to shift or there is an issue with the transmission. I have never experienced this in a Jeep Wrangler but did have an issue with a new 1996 Chrysler Concorde. The problem was a bent pin in a connector. The first time it occurred to me, I did what you did, pull off and rebooted the vehicle. However, the next morning it happened on the way to work and rebooting did not help.

Since you did indicate the year of your Jeep and mileage and whether you bought it new or used, it is hard to diagnose. If it is brand new, take it to the dealer, it will most likely be something simple like my bent pin which took they all of 30 minutes to fix. However, they came and got it on a rollback and left me a loaner since the dealer was 40 miles away and I was working. I picked the Chrysler back up that evening and never had another issue as long as I owned the car.

However, if your Jeep is "experienced" it can be computer related issues or transmission related issues. Either way, the dealer is your best solution. If your warranty is no longer in effect, hope for something simple and cheap.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks! 2010 JK Sport, 145,000 miles. Did have it in at the dealer several months ago for all 5 recalls; lived 240 miles from nearest dealer so had it done in Austin all in 1 morning. Had to go back because they bent a pin during the steering wheel clockspring replacement and horn didn't work; learned during last 50 miles home and not at all happy about this! Only transmission work was the skid plate; can't see how this would cause a problem though.
 

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Wow, if you are 240 miles from the nearest Jeep dealer and that is in Austin, you must live in West Texas. (I grew up in Houston and went to school in College Station).

Skid plate wouldn't have caused a problem unless they had to unplug the electronics from the transmission and then plug them back up later. If they did not touch the transmission at all, then it most likely is internal to the transmission.

Is there a trusted transmission repair facility close to you?

With 145,000 miles, you should have done at least two and be looking at a third transmission service. With the engine running, check the transmission fluid level. With the dipstick out, wipe it with a white rag/towel and see what the color looks like. It should be a bright red, if it is brown that is trouble. Take a sniff of the fluid and see if it has a burned smell. If it does, that is trouble.

The only thing that is weird, is that if it was the fluid or bands, there would be warning signs, of sluggishness in shifting, not having full power. My former neighbor was a transmission repair man and once my sister was visiting from E. Texas and was commenting on her Dodge Truck transmission not acting right. She had just had it overhauled by the Dodge dealer in E. Texas and they took a long time and it didn't have the normal feel to it. My neighbor drove it and when he came back, he put the front wheels into a small depression in my back area and tried to back out. The truck would not back out. He told her to take it to a local Dodge dealer I did business with and have them open a case with Chrysler. We had to go that route because it was a dealer to dealer issue. Chrysler had my dealer have it repaired and it was charged back to the dealer in Texas.

But you did not mention a loss of performance, just suddenly going into limp mode. Of course a band could have broken, but without error codes or a physical examination, it's hard to tell, and with the dealer, 240 miles away, that's a long drive at 20 MPH.

I am fortunate in that I have a good local mechanic that not only does mechanical work, but transmission as well. I have a good friend who does a lot of his minor work himself and as a teenager worked for this fellow. Now my friend takes all of his serious work to him and just recently had him overhaul his transmission. This is why I asked if you have a local trusted mechanic, I would take it to him. (I don't trust chain shops).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Actually 500 miles to Austin; 240 to Odessa; I lived in Terlingua of the Big Bend. But, now in Florida; arrived just in time for Irma by way of north Texas since IH-10 was shut down from Harvey! and OK. Anyway, thanks again! Fluid good; going to hope it's just a reprogramming thing? Perhaps the PCM is malfunctioning. Will have to go to a dealer here but first, I'll try to hook up with a club here and find out who is reputable here in Pinellas County, Florida. Maybe someone reading this is from my new location and can help? Please! Thanks
 

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Wow, you were in the boonies. The last time I was in Big Bend was in 1958 on a Scout trip out of Houston.

If you are now in Pinellas County there should be several CDJR dealers there. The trick is to find the best service department. Keep us advised. I wish I could help you with the dealers down there, but I am just above the Ga-Fla line off of I-75.
 
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