Jeep Grand Cherokee Transmission Problems

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The Jeep Grand Cherokee has always been sought after for its unibody chassis that the vehicle maintains from the start of its manufacture.

That being said, the Jeep Grand Cherokee is not as perfect as it may seem, being a host to many issues.

When it comes to all of these issues, whether they be part of the electrical system or the engine, transmission problems can be quite difficult to overcome.

Here are some of the Jeep Grand Cherokee transmission problems that you can face:

  1. Acceleration Issues
  2. Grinding While Driving The Vehicle
  3. Slippage Of Gears
  4. Transmission Failure
  5. Rough Shifting
  6. Vehicle Jolting Forward
  7. Difficulty In Shifting
  8. Loud Clunky Noises
  9. Shaking And Shuddering
  10. Torque Converter Malfunction
  11. Burning Smell
  12. Less Or No Response

Dealing with any of these issues can be a real drag. Luckily for you, I will explain all of these issues so that you can identify and get rid of them before they can fester into something more.

12 Signs Of Transmission Problems In A Jeep Grand Cherokee

Does a Jeep Grand Cherokee have transmission issues? Let's find out

This section will deal with all of the problems mentioned above.

I will try my best to explain them as efficiently as possible so you can easily understand the problem.

This will aid you in identifying and getting rid of them as soon as possible.

1. Acceleration Issues

If you have developed any transmission issues, the first thing that you will notice is that your Jeep Grand Cherokee will take longer to accelerate from a stop.

An issue likely causes this with the torque converter. While I will explain the torque converter later down in this list, at this point, your main sign is undoubtedly a lack of acceleration.

2. Grinding While Driving The Vehicle

Along with actually hearing various grinding sounds, you will see that the transmission suffers from a major issue with its gears.

This could force you to either get the gears in check or replace them entirely.

It can easily cause more issues by further degrading your transmission, so it is a matter that should be taken seriously.

3. Slippage Of Gears

Another indicator of malfunctioning gears is the slippage of the gears themselves. It causes the gears not to engage properly and slip out of sync.

While this is common in transmissions near the end of their lifecycle due to wear and tear, it can easily indicate more serious issues if occurring early in the component’s life.

4. Transmission Failure

The major issue that you can face in transmission is complete transmission failure. This sign is the easiest to identify, but at that point, the damage is already done.

Your transmission will not be replaced entirely as it has undergone irreparable damage. Luckily for you, there are many other signs you will notice before you get to this point.

5. Rough Shifting

One of the earlier signs is the rough shifting of the gears. You may struggle to shift between gears and even find it difficult to make a smooth transition between two gears.

When you try to do so, you feel a thud or a bump in the shift, making it distinctly different from shifting as you would normally.

6. Vehicle Jolting Forward

In some odd cases, if you try to switch between gears, you will see the car suddenly jolt forward. A sudden shift in the gears usually causes this issue.

Usually, your transmission should make this much smoother to do, but due to many issues, it can easily disrupt the flow. That sudden increase causes the car to jump forward.

7. Difficulty In Shifting

You will find it much more difficult to shift between the gears of your Jeep Grand Cherokee when dealing with transmission issues because the gears can often get stuck together.

The previously mentioned bumps can also easily cause this issue to occur. It is one of the first things you will notice when dealing with a bad transmission.

8. Loud Clunky Noises

Another common sign that your transmission is faulty is you will hear clunking sounds when you try to shift the gears. Once again, this problem is likely in the gearbox.

Worn-out gears or low transmission fluid can also be the cause when it comes to issues like this, so check these two out first.

9. Shaking And Shuddering

This could also be caused by a lack of transmission fluid.

If you see your transmission or gearbox/gear stick shake while attempting to switch gears, especially with a check engine light, you have a problem.

While it may be subtle in some cases, at other times, it is quite obvious something is wrong. This is a sign that you simply cannot ignore.

10. Torque Converter Malfunction

Another reason your Jeep Grand Cherokee may shake and shudder is torque converter malfunction.

Any issue with this component can easily cause your car to vibrate, even when you are not going fast. It is quite noticeable as your car will also lag and generally have low acceleration.

11. Burning Smell

One odor you do not want to smell inside your Jeep Grand Cherokee is something burning.

While it could mean several things, such as a short circuit or even an engine error, chances are it is your transmission that is suffering.

You will want all the components, including the transmission, checked out; otherwise, things might get dangerous on your next drive.

12. Less Or No Response

Another common issue you can face with the transmission is that you engage the gears and shift correctly but they still do not work.

An unresponsive transmission can result from low transmission fluid, but it could also mean actual issues with the transmission of the Jeep Grand Cherokee.

You would not ignore this issue and get it checked out immediately.

How To Prevent Your Jeep Grand Cherokee’s Transmission Issues

The above problems can leave lasting issues in your Jeep Grand Cherokee, so you should do your best to ensure that all signs point towards a good and healthy transmission.

Here is how you can make sure your transmission remains in tip-top shape:

1. Carry Out Scheduled Maintenance

You should appoint a day every 2 to 3 months when you carry out maintenance on your Jeep Grand Cherokee. You can opt to do this or have an experienced mechanic do it.

Regardless, the maintenance of the car will help point out any issues the transmission is facing and also help to make sure the transmission remains in top form.

You can also get the rest of the car your maintenance while you are at it.

2. Keep The Transmission Fluids At Optimal Levels

As I have mentioned quite a few times, having a low amount of transmission fluid can easily lead to many of the problems mentioned above.

The best way to avoid them is to ensure you maintain a good amount of transmission fluid.

You can add more when you take your Jeep Grand Cherokee out for maintenance or if you plan on getting the transmission serviced.

3. Get The Transmission Serviced As Needed

Briefly mentioned above, getting the transmission serviced is another good way to ensure no problems pop up. This should be a routine habit you develop, similar to an oil change.

Not only should you have the transmission cleaned out, but you should also maintain the fluid levels mentioned above.

This way, you can say with a 100% guarantee that your transmission will not develop any issues.

4. Get Any Problems Checked Out By A Mechanic

If you get any small issues or problems, you should not wait. Instead, you should do your best to get the Jeep Grand Cherokee to a mechanic as soon as possible.

Make sure the problem is fixed in its early stages. This will prevent it from developing further and ensure no major issue falls on the transmission.

How To Fix The Jeep Grand Cherokee’s Transmission Problems

While you may be unable to fix all of the problems of the Jeep Grand Cherokee, there are a few that you can patch up yourself.

One of the most common ones is leaks. You will have to isolate and locate the leak and patch it up to prevent transmission fluid leakage.

Many times, you are just running low on transmission fluid. Adding more should solve a lot of the problems.

As mentioned above, you may be dealing with a torque converter issue. Getting that part of the transmission replaced may be the solution to all your problems.

You can also change the transmission filter to get even more of a boost.

For more complex problems, such as issues in shifting gears or transmission failure, your best bet will be to get to a mechanic.

Which Year Did Jeep Grand Cherokee Have Transmission Troubles?

Many models have been put out over the years when it comes to the Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Here are the ones which have been known most for their transmission-related issues.

2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee

2015 was the biggest offender regarding transmission issues, so I have to mention it first. Most of the complaints this year got were for rough shifting and jerking.

2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee

The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee had borderline defective transmission.

Rough shifting, jerking, and hesitation while gear shifting were also common here, making this year one to be avoided.

2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee

Along with suffering from value body issues and giving out a loud noise in reverse, the 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee could straight up get transmission failure and would not shift properly.

2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee

The transmission computer had a lot of issues, while the shift solenoid was prone to failure, just like the transmission itself. Apart from this, the transmission would jerk a lot as well.

2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee

In the case of the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee, the transmission would not work properly at all. It would often fail and leak fluid which would cause even more problems.

2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee

Transmission slipping and flux leaks were all too common in the 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

The transmission would downshift while driving and the car would roll even while in the park.

2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee

The 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee was mostly tame regarding transmission issues. It would not shift out of the first gear and suffered from the valve body and transmission shifter failure.


Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. How Much Does A Jeep Grand Cherokee Transmission Replacement Cost?

You can expect a minimum cost of $3,000 if you are getting a replacement transmission of your Jeep Grand Cherokee.

While the servicing may cost 30 times lower than this, the replacement is much more expensive, going as far as $4,000. This makes the average cost $3,500.

Q2. What Is The Lifespan Of A Jeep Grand Cherokee’s Transmission?

Typically, the average transmission should easily last over 150,000 miles. If you take good care of the transmission, then you should be able to see it go upwards of 200,000 miles.

In the same way, if you do not take good care of it, it may even give out as early as 10,000 miles.


Q3. Is It Safe To Drive A Jeep Grand Cherokee With A Bad Transmission?

You cannot safely drive your Jeep Grand Cherokee with a bad transmission.

Not only do you risk crashing into other cars due to slow or sudden acceleration, but you also risk getting stranded in the street. This can open you up for getting robbed or your car stolen.


Since its introduction back in 1992, the Jeep Grand Cherokee has been capturing the hearts and wallets of car enthusiasts worldwide.

With that being said, if you are wondering about its transmission issues then not only does the lineup have various issues, it has had specific recall when it comes to Jeep Grand Cherokee transmission problems.

These issues can get out of hand quickly and do a number on your Grand Cherokee.

Luckily for you, this article should cover all of the problems and help you get them resolved as soon as possible.