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How to Troubleshoot a Jeep Liberty's Transmission

by Chris Orr

Chrysler introduced the Jeep Liberty in 2002. There are two versions of the Liberty. The KJ series which was produced from 2002 to 2004, and the KK series introduced in 2005 to the present. There are four wheel drive models and two wheel drive models. Two types of transmissions are available for the Jeep Liberty, a five speed manual transmission, and a 4 speed automatic. The steps to troubleshooting transmission problems depend on which type of transmission is in the vehicle. It must be noted that automatic transmissions generally require the services of a professional mechanic.

Manual Transmissions

Start the engine and check for noise in neutral. If the transmission is noisy while the Jeep idles in neutral, the input shaft bearing, countershaft bearings may be worn. The main drive gear bearing or countershaft also may be damaged.

Check for noise in a particular gear. This indicates worn, damaged or chipped gear teeth. The synchronizer for the gear may also be worn or damaged.

Drive the vehicle and check for slippage in high gears. Loose transmission to clutch housing bolts, or misalignment of the transmission housing cause these issues.

Drive the vehicle and check for noise in all gears. Insufficient gear oil due to a leak can cause the gears to chatter. Check the transmission oil seal or vehicle speed sensor O-ring.

Automatic Transmissions

Drive the vehicle and check for gear slippage, noise or no drive in forward or reverse gears. Lack of automatic transmission fluid can cause these issues.

Check if the engine starts in gears other than Park or Neutral or moves while in Park. This indicates that the shift cable is mis-adjusted. Check the shift gear linkage for damage.

Check the Brake/Transmission shift Interlock Solenoid. Turn the ignition key to Run and attempt to shift out of park without without stepping on the brake pedal. If the gear shift button can depress, the solenoid is defective.


About the Author

Chris Orr began his career in 1988 as a sports writer. His work has appeared in "USD Vista," "UNLV Rebel Yell" and the "East Honolulu Newspaper" among other publications. Orr has a Bachelor Arts from the University of San Diego and a Master of Arts from the University of Hawaii in political science. He has worked in information technology since 1995.

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