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sprinkles08, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Jeep
Satisfied Customers: 22800
Experience:  Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep Master Certified, ASE Master and Advanced Certified, Trans and Hybrid Specialist
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My automatic transmission (Jeep Liberty 2002) seems to not

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My automatic transmission (Jeep Liberty 2002) seems to not be switching into 3rd or 4th, I can feel it go from 1st to 2nd but then drags

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer!


Your Jeep's 45RFE trans is actually stuck in third gear. It does this when the control module has seen a problem that could cause potential damage. The first thing we need to do is get the codes from the trans controller. This may or may not work, but we'll try it. With the doors closed cycle the key from off to on (don't crank the engine) three times ending with it on and watch the digital odometer display. the codes start with a p and have four numbers, there may be more than one codes. Write down any that you see and post them here.


Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I tried, no codes appeared, but I do remember in last few days some code lit up there but would go out, I could not see it now. what possible problem could it be?? I am really clueless

There's alot of possible problems it could be. Some of them cheap and some expensive. If we can get the codes I can tell you exactly what's wrong with it. We can try it again a couple times. Make sure you don't crank the engine, just go from off to on. Off is one notch forward of the locked position (where you can take the key out), and on is one notch forward of that. Make sure the doors are closed, go on, off, on, off, on and leave it.


Sometimes it just won't work. If it won't, almost all parts stores will check codes with a code reader now. If you could run by a parts store and have them check the codes and let me know what they are I'll be able to tell you what to do to fix it. It may be something that you can replace or repair yourself and save some money. I just don't want to tell you to replace something and have it not fix the problem, I'd hate to waste your money on a guess!


Customer: replied 8 years ago.
No codes, I can go to a parts store tomorrow morning and send them to you then is that ok?

Absolutely. I'll come online about midmorning Eastern time and I'll be on all day. Whenever you get the codes just post them and I'll tell you what to do!


Customer: replied 8 years ago.
OK I will, thank you Mr sprinkles08

You're welcome!


Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Hi I went to Advance they said it was error "type 35" Does that help?

No, not really. What did they do, did they hook a code reader up to it? That's what they need to do. It hooks up to a connector under the dash on the drvier's side. It will give codes like P0700, P0720, etc. I think what they saw was "type 35" printed on the front of the instrument cluster down low. That is some sort of identifying code for the instrument cluster.


Customer: replied 8 years ago.
They did hook up the reader which did not indicate anything, no codes Yes it was small red type 35 just above the odometer this appeared to light up a few days ago, maybe not Is there some other way a mechanic can reset the error code Could it be a computer glitch not a faulty transmission?

The "type 35" thing is there on every vehicle. Its just printed on the instrument cluster, and means nothing.


If they hooked up a code reader and couldn't get codes one of two things happened. If you disconnected the battery, the codes are gone now. If the engine light was still on, they either have a code reader that doesn't work, or they didn't know how to use it. If the engine light was on (or the battery wasn't disconnected) the codes are there.


Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I don't think that they had the engine turned on when they plugged in the reader, battery has not been disconnected I'm thinking different auto parts store and see again if someone can read it?

The key has to be turned on to be able to do it. If the key was off they'll never have communication. I do think I'd find a different parts store if you have another one available to you.


Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Thank you the woods are full of them so I will go out now to another one and be back to you asap, sorry this is so ongoing, don't want to waste your time

You're not wasting my time! I'm not worried about it at all. Good luck out there!


Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Well again no codes came up, no engine light, they did turn it on for sure this time sooo
not much help car still not going into higher gear what can I ask the local mechanic so I don't get caught in a costly process
I'm very sorry for the delay, I never got notice that you replied to me. Somehow the codes got cleared out of it. If the light is off and the codes are gone there's nothing to do but drive it until the problem happens again. When the engine light comes back on then some diagnostics can be done on it. Anything else would be guessing, but the most likely cause for your problem is probably the solenoid pack on top the valve body. The most common things to give the problem you had are the speed sensors and solenoid problems, and sensors don't normally take care of themselves and let the trans start shifting again. An intermittent solenoid problem would be more likely.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I did not mean to indicate that the problem has gone it still does not shift automatically into higher gear there just are no lights signalling a problem are speed sensors expensive? or solenoid packs?

I'm sorry, I read that wrong. If its not shifting there should be codes stored. For some reason noone can get them for you though. I wonder if you have a problem with the transmission controller or something like that. If the controller is dead it won't communicate with a scan tool or code reader, but there should still be communication codes stored in other modules. I'm thinking this one is going to need to be diagnosed with a full capability scan tool that will communicate with all the modules on your Jeep to get to the bottom of it.


Speed sensors are cheap, normally around $20-$30 apiece, and there are two of them. The solenoid pack is more expensive and harder to get to. Its a few hundred dollars by the time you get it installed, its mounted to the top of the valve body and takes a bit to get out. I wouldn't replace it unless I was sure it was bad though.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX would a regular mechanic (I have one that seems good, knows my car and is reasonable in price) or a dealership be able to do the full scan
It depends on what your mechanic has for equipment. This is going to take a high end scan tool to be able to read all the modules, and if it gets bad it may need a transmission simulator put on it, something only a dealer will have. Ask your regular mechanic if he is able to communicate with a transmission module and read live data from if, and if not, you'll need to head to a dealer.
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