Jeep Wrangler Transmission Problems & Cost | 42RLE | W5A580 | 545RFE

The Jeep Wrangler was equipped with the 42RLE, 545RFE or the W5A580 (NAG1) transmission. But they aren’t without their problems though, so let’s look at some of the most common Jeep Wrangler transmission problems, look at cost estimates and figure out what you can do about them.

Need a replacement transmission? Get an estimate for replacement transmissions and local installation. Look up your transmission model by vehicle make and model.

What Transmission Do I Have?

Jeep Wrangler Transmission Models

Jeep Wrangler Transmission: 42RLE
Jeep Wrangler Transmission: W5A580 (NAG1)
Jeep Wrangler Transmission: 545RFE

Jeep Wrangler Transmission Replacement Cost Estimate

Pricing varies by model. To be 100% sure on pricing, have your VIN# handy and use our Get An Estimate feature to look up your transmission by VIN#.

Replacement Jeep Wrangler Transmission Prices:

TransmissionStreet Smart Transmission
42RLE2152
W5A580 / NAG12589

What are the DTC codes related to Jeep Wrangler transmission problems?

Trouble CodeDescription
P0700Transmission Control System (MIL Request)
P0706Transmission Range Sensor Circuit Range/Performance
P0710Transmission Fluid Temperature Sensor Circuit
P0711Transmission Fluid Temperature Sensor Circuit Range/Performance
P0712Transmission Fluid Temperature Sensor Circuit Low Input
P0713Transmission Fluid Temperature Sensor Circuit High Input
P0714Transmission Fluid Temperature Sensor Circuit Intermittent P0715
P0717Input/Turbine Speed Sensor Circuit No Signal
P0720Output Speed Sensor Circuit
P0730Incorrect Gear Ratio
P0731Gear 1 Incorrect Ratio
P0732Gear 2 Incorrect Ratio
P0733Gear 3 Incorrect Ratio
P0734Gear 4 Incorrect Ratio
P0735Gear 5 Incorrect Ratio
P0740Torque Converter Clutch Circuit Malfunction
P0742Torque Converter Clutch Circuit Stuck On
P0743Torque Converter Clutch Circuit Electrical
P0748Pressure Control Solenoid 'A' Electrical
P0750Shift Solenoid 'A'
P0751Shift Solenoid 'A' Performance or Stuck Off
P0755Shift Solenoid 'B'
P0760Shift Solenoid 'C'
P0765Shift Solenoid 'D'
P07833-4 Shift
P0841Transmission Fluid Pressure Sensor/Switch “A” Circuit Range/Performance
P0846Transmission Fluid Pressure Sensor/Switch “B” Circuit Range/Performance
P0871Transmission Fluid Pressure Sensor/Switch “C” Circuit Range/Performance
P0880TCM Power Input Signal
P0881TCM Power Input Signal Range/Performance
P0882TCM Power Input Signal Low
P0884TCM Power Input Signal Intermittent
P0888TCM Power Relay Sense Circuit
P0891TCM Power Relay Sense Circuit High
P0897Transmission Fluid Deteriorated

Jeep Wrangler Transmission Recalls

Recall 05V460000 / E14 – Transmission may not hold in the park position
2005 – 2006 Chrysler 300 – 2005 – 2006 Dodge Charger – 2006 Dodge Dakota – 2005 Dodge Durango – 2005 – 2006 Dodge Magnum – 2005 – 2006 Jeep Liberty – 2005 – 2006 Jeep Wrangler
Summary – In November 2005, Chrysler recalled 256,409 vehicles equipped with the 42RLE transmission, because the cup plug that holds the park prawl anchor shaft may not have been properly installed. If the shaft moves out of position, the vehicle may not be able to achieve the Park position.
Consequence – If this occurs and the parking brake is not applied, the vehicle could unexpectedly roll away, causing serious injury and damage.
Remedy – Dealers were instructed to install a bracket to ensure that the 42RLE parking prawl anchor shaft will stay in the proper position. Concerned owners may call Chrysler customer service at 1-800-853-1403 or NHTSA at 1-888-327-4236.

Jeep Wrangler Technical Service Bulletins (TSB)

None Found

Common Jeep Wrangler Transmission Problems

Shifting problems and solenoid/pressure switch DTCs – 42RLE transmission
Problem – Drivers may experience 42RLE transmission problems that include slipping and harsh shifts. The check engine light may also be illuminated with the following codes stored in the ECU: P0750, P0755, P0760, P0765, P0846, P0871, P0841.
Solution – The problem may be caused by corrosion in the 10 pin solenoid harness connector. This may also be caused by a wiring issue between the TCM/ECU and the transmission harness connector. A new design 42RLE 10-pin connector will need to be installed and/or wiring issues repaired.

Delayed and/or harsh 3-4 or 4-5 shifts – 545RFE Transmission
Problem – Owners may experience an unusually delayed or harsh 3-4 or 4-5 gear change, where the transmission doesn’t seem to want to go into that particular gear.
Solution – This issue is related to valve body problems where the material used to make one of the checkballs has broken down to the point that fluid is able to get past and engage the underdrive clutch during those shifts. An upgraded #2 checkball will be needed to solve the issue.

Lack of Response
Leaking Fluid
Low Fluid
Burning Smell
Grinding or Shaking
Whining, Clunking or Humming
Refuses to Go Into Gear
Torque Converter Issues
Valve Body Issues
Transmission Noisy in Neutral
Gears Slipping
No 3rd or 4th Gear
No 1st or 2nd Gear
No Reverse
Dragging Clutch
Trouble Codes / Check Engine Light

Can I drive with a transmission problem?

If your Jeep Wrangler can still make it up and down the road, you might say “It’s fine, I’ll just drive it until I can get it fixed”. But that is not always a good idea, depending on the symptoms. You see, there are a lot of (very expensive) moving parts inside of a transmission, and if something isn’t right, continuing to drive with a transmission problem could damage something else.

How often does a Jeep Wrangler transmission need to be replaced?

The overall lifespan of a Jeep Wrangler transmission largely depends on how well it was maintained. Factory design flaws also factor into this equation, along with how/how hard you drive. But on average, we’ve seen the Jeep Wrangler transmission last for between 130,000-180,000 miles. A high quality replacement transmission however, can last considerably longer if all of the factory design flaws have been addressed and the vehicle has been maintained.

How are Jeep Wrangler transmission issues diagnosed?

It is fairly easy to guesstimate what the root cause of your Jeep Wrangler transmission problems might be, but you won’t truly know unless you have the right tools and experience. A good mechanic or transmission repair center will be able to connect your truck to a computer and find out which diagnostic trouble codes (DTC’s) have been stored. Once they know what to look for, they can perform a visual inspection to verify the problem.

How is a Jeep Wrangler transmission replaced?

In order to replace your Jeep Wrangler transmission, the truck has to be lifted from the ground in order to gain access to all of the parts that will need to be unbolted. Then the transmission can be lowered to the ground (typically with a transmission jack), so the new transmission can be installed.

Recommendations for Jeep Wrangler transmission issues?

To save time and get back on the road faster, have your 17-digit VIN# handy and you can get an online quote for a reman Jeep Wrangler transmission here, then find a local shop using our Find a Shop guide to install it for you.

How to Solve Jeep Wrangler Transmission Problems

Solution A: Buy a Used Jeep Wrangler Transmission

The quickest way to fix your transmission problems is to simply buy a used transmission or used transmission. These can be found at most junk yards, and they often come with a 30-90 day warranty. However, there’s no way to determine the actual condition of the internal components, so you could be spending a bunch of money to have the exact same problems. Plus, that warranty only covers the transmission if it’s defective, not the labor costs that you’ll have to pay.

Solution B: Buy a Rebuilt Jeep Wrangler Transmission

Another option would be a rebuilt transmission or rebuilt transmission. A local repair shop will remove your transmission, then install a bunch of new parts during the rebuild. The problem here is, the skills and experience of each transmission rebuilder will vary widely from shop to shop, so you could have problems from something that wasn’t adjusted properly. And the 1-2 year warranty might only cover you at certain transmission repair shops, in a specific geographical area.

Solution C: Buy a Remanufactured Jeep Wrangler Transmission

Many owners depend on their vehicle to commute and get things done. Their gasoline engines are designed to go 100’s of thousands of miles, so it makes sense to invest in a remanufactured transmission.

Need a replacement transmission? Get an estimate for replacement transmissions and local installation. Look up your transmission model by vehicle make and model.

What Transmission Do I Have?

What Problem Does Your Jeep Wrangler Have?

Let us know the year, mileage and problem you’re having as well as any trouble (OBD) codes you’ve found. If you’ve been given a quote or paid for a repair, we’d like to hear about that too!

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Steven Torres
1 month ago

I have a 2011 4dr 4×4 jeep wrangler with auto tranny on a 3.8l engine. The mechanic has rebuilt it 4 times. It was brought in due to a shudder at around 40mph. After 2 attempts, I bought a new torque converter and it seemed to solve the problem. Well, it then began to shake when going into reverse. Then we lost reverse completely. Once again, I brought it back in. After he tried again to figure out what was going on, we then lost forward and reverse when the transmission was hot. I am at a loss on what to do other than trying to find another transmission guy. The problem is the guy won’t give the money back and insists on trying to fix it. What is the area to focus on a transmission that seems to fail when heated?

Last edited 1 month ago by Steven Torres
Leah
3 months ago

I have a 2011 RHD Jeep Wrangler sport
42RLE trans
Was rebuilt 3 years ago by certified mechanic
I’m a mail carrier , so transmissions don’t like us. After jeep warms up , it will randomly stop going into D,1 or 2. It goes in park and in reverse . But when I shift into drive (from either Park or from reverse ) it doesn’t go anywhere. After I turn it off and cool down it will start working again temporarily. Then it will do it again a few min later .
Mechanic saying it’s not throwing any codes . He did replace the wiring harness to transmission due to several wires being old and no coating left .
Thought that was the problem. Nope . Still does it .
Could it be the computer or sensors?

Anonymous
2 months ago
Reply to  Leah

Leah, have you found a solution. Mine is doing the exact same thing.

Tresa
3 months ago

2016 Jeep Rubicon; we are on the third replacement of the transmission and second replacement of the transfer case. We never take it off road, only use 4WD when snow conditions require and have not towed over the weight limit. So why are we having to replace so many transmissions on the thing? It has spent more time in the garage than on the road.

Darryl stade
3 months ago

When it shifts into 4th gear it goes into limp mode code po730

Gee
4 months ago

My 2017 Jeep Wrangler Sport would not engage in any gear after stopping in the middle of a very busy street. The vehicle only has 50,000 miles on it. I had it towed to the dealer where it was initially diagnosed that for some inexplicable reason the valve body just came apart. After further diagnosis metal shavings were found in the transmission. The transmission issues appear to be the result of a latent defect making me wonder what type of Quality Assurance, Quality Inspection and Quality Control does Jeep have? The Wrangler is to expensive to function like this.

Bonita Scott
5 months ago

The check engine light came on , had it checked out …transmission speed senor in the front. The mechanic showed me the old sensor and it had metal on top of the sensor and said I might need a transmission, help.

Walter Jackson
6 months ago

Jeep is a 2011 with the 4spd automatic

Walter Jackson
6 months ago

Bought jeep locally and changed oil. Hot oil light keeps coming on dash after driving over an hour. Usually around time tempature is high enough for high speed fan to kickin. Thought this was because of clogged filter, so went to drain fluid and replace filter, but the fluid that came out was unusually thick and gritty. Looked to be 80/90w gear oil. Tried to flush all oils from transmission but still have oil in torque converter. New issue is that hot oil light comes on more often. Have to pull over after 12 miles and let jeep idle in neutral till oil light goes off. After a week of this, noticed new problem of fluid severely leaking from front of transmission as if its being forced from the front main seal area. Have parked jeep and not drive it since. Vehicle has 123,482 miles…..

Randall Neighbors
7 months ago

First gear on my 97 jeep tj wrangler 4l 5speed will not stay engaged. You can shift into First gear fine even on down shift and it will stay in gear. But as soon as you add power it jumps out of gear

Juan Carlos Ramirez
9 months ago

Good afternoon my 2011 sahara it was running good and know is like stock on second gear i but reverse and barley move and but on neutral goes to the front thanks I’ve you can help i will appreciate

Jeremy
10 months ago

2011 JEEP Wrangler Sahara won’t move in any gear it does run through the selections though.. getting error code p0841. It’s full of transmission fluid

Henri
10 months ago

j18 fuse keep blowing and my jeep wrangler 2009 is stuck in second gear when it happend

daryl holmes
1 year ago

i have no reverse – full forward however when i accelerate at times the engine revs but the car doesnt accelerate.

Gregory Bond
1 year ago

Recently my check engine light came on. I got a P0868. The P0868 code is a generic OBD-II code that detects a problem with the transmission fluid pressure. … When the powertrain control module (PCM) detects that the pressure of the transmission fluid is either too high or too low, the P0868 trouble code will be triggered. I changed my fluid and filter. I put the recommended amount of ATF+4 and ran it. The code came back up after I change the fluid and filter.i have 152,000 on a 2010 jeep wrangler

RICK
7 months ago
Reply to  Gregory Bond

SLIPS AT FIRST START IN MORNING THEN GOOD AFTER WARMS UP

Dennis simpson
1 year ago

I’m convertting to a automatic transmission. 2011 jk I’m just looking for a parts list can you help thanks.

Robert
1 year ago

2012 Rubicon JKU.
Recently the automatic in my rig has been stuck in first gear. If it works I can drive down the street and it shifts as designed and is smooth. When I come to a stop, either a light or a sign and the tranny downshifts as designed, it gets to first gear and stays there.
Shifting from drive to neutral to park and back again doesn’t solve the issue anymore. For a few days it did.
I am not, repeat NOT, getting any codes thrown so am I to assume that the solenoids are not the issue here?
I have also checked and verified that the linkage is sound and tight. Mechanically the connection to shift from park to drive isn’t the issue. Having the computer select the proper gear is.

Fluid level is normal. Coloring is normal. No leaking and the fluid doesn’t smell burned at all.

I don’t get it! Help!!!

Stevie Black
1 year ago

2015 wrangler unlimited sport 4 door 2 1/2 inch lift with 33s. Auto, shifts 1 through 4 just fine when in auto or manual mode, 4 th to 5 the or drive seems strange either skipping 5th and going to drive or not going from 5th to drive roms at 70 mile per hour flat ground around 2200 rpm fuel mileage has drop from around 21 hwy 16

Fay Ratchford
1 year ago

I have a brand new 2021 jeep wrangler purchased in Oct.2020. Always parked in a heated garage. Several times, when I put it in reverse to back out, the light on the “R” flashes and it won’t go into reverse. I put it back in park and tried again several times.Turned off the vehicle and tried again and it went into reverse normally. took it to the dealer and because it wouldn’t do it again, no codes showed what was wrong. The other day it did the exact same thing, but this time when i tried to put it in drive. Back to the dealer, again no code showing what the problem is. This is a 4 month old vehicle and there is definately something wrong.

Anonymous
1 year ago
Reply to  Fay Ratchford

I have the exact same problem. When I start it first thing in the morning, and I back out 4-5 feet and put it in park, the computer does not recognize the park position and I cannot turn it off. i have to start it, go for a ride of 10km without putting it in park, and then, i can put it in park but the Check transmission message stays. It is still at the garage, they change the transmission computer and are now thinking of changing the transmission…

Jimmy Messick
1 year ago

2007 keep wrangler automatic 100,000 miles this just started. When driving shifts good then when you go about 5 miles it acts like your in neutral you can stop then go again but it does not shift out of first. Thanks for your help

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