Mechanics

CHEROKEE (AUTOMATIC) SLOW 2ND TO 3RD SHIFT WHEN COLD

1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee • 6 cylinder 4WD Automatic • 221,000 miles

I have a 1996 jeep cherokee with an automatic transmission and the tranny is becoming excessively slow to shift from 2nd to 3rd gear when the vehicle is cold. Any suggestions?
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Deerey
December 7, 2010.



Look for a kick down cable from the throttle body to the transmission. Not sure if Jeeps used that or not but on the full-size trucks it was common for that cable to get sticky and cause a delayed up shift.

Caradiodoc

Caradiodoc
Dec 8, 2010.
The tranny is slipping the only way to find out what's going is to get it pressure tested-could be a shifting solenoid sticking-Is the fluid condition and level okay

Rasmataz
Dec 8, 2010.
Would this kick-down cable the same as what we used to call a passing gear linkage (seems like they used to have them on older auto trannys and they were adjustable). Is there any way of cleanig them? Also the tranny fluid on the dipstick seems to look relatively clean, would replacing the filter & fluid do any good?

Tiny
Deerey
Dec 9, 2010.
Yup. The cable takes the place of that adjustable linkage. A good lubricant is Chrysler's MP-50. It looks and feels like WD-40 but that is a rust dissolver while MP-50 is more of a lubricant.

Activating the shift solenoids takes very little transmission fluid so a plugged filter will not cause shift timing problems. A plugged filter is more likely to cause slipping due to incomplete or slow application of the clutch packs.

With a sticking cable, you should also notice downshifts occurring too soon when slowing down.

Caradiodoc

caradiodoc

Caradiodoc
Dec 9, 2010.
I went ahead and sprayed the cable near the throttle body with some penetrating lubricant (some stuff we use at work) on the wire part where it goes into the insulation part of the cable. The other end of the cable goes in above the tranny into an inaccessible area. My daughter drove it afterwards and it seemed to be shifting OK (mind you the Jeep sat just for a few hours and the outside temperature was around 50 degrees.) Would it take a few days or longer for the pen-lube to work its way down the cable to take full effect or is there anything else I can do in case it doesn't? Also it seemed when I was working the throttle the cable seemed to act like it had a bit of slack where you could manually move some of the wire back into the insulation (about 1/2 inch or so) after the throttle was disengaged. Thanks.

Tiny
Deerey
Jan 5, 2011.
Slack is ok. You know more about the lube you used than I do. Mopar Rust Penetrant is REAL good stuff but it doesn't include a lubricant. It will do in 20 minutes what WD-40 does in a weekend, but must then be washed off because moisture will follow it in later and make parts rustier. Some penetrating oils have a lubricant that stays behind after the job is done.

If the cable gets sluggish again, you might consider Mopar's "MP-50". It is more of a thin lubricant and moisture blocker and less of a rust penetrant.

Caradiodoc

Caradiodoc
Jan 5, 2011.