Tranny issues 1997 Grand Cherokee Laredo

mlakar87

New member
My daily driver is having some transmission issues and I was hoping someone could help me figure it out. It's a 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 2WD 4.0L Automatic transmission and it's never had any transmission issues before. On Tuesday I drove it from Portola to Truckee (about 55 miles) and it ran fine the whole way there but as I got into Truckee the ABS light came on. Then as I was pulling into a parking lot it made a loud, rapid, metallic clicking noise from the transmission area. I parked it, looked everything over, then got back in it about 5minutes later and put it in reverse but it didn't go anywhere. I gave it some throttle and it still didn't move the motor just bogged down a little.
So I called a tow truck, by the time he got there it went into reverse and backed onto the flatbed on it's own but made the same clicking noise. I had him take it 25 miles down the road and when we unloaded it it rolled just fine. I started in up, put it in reverse and mashed the throttle, it responded normally with no noise. I then put it in drive and it moved forward but again made the clicking noise. So it sat until today, I went to load it onto a trailer to bring it home and it acted completely normal, no noise in any gear or anything.

Anybody have any ideas? Is the transmission getting ready to quit? Or could it possibly be something that can be repaired without replacing the entire transmission? I would appreciate any and all input!
 

CashMoney

I piss excellence.
Search AW4 transmission I think that's what yours would have. I don't know much about those. If you aren't sure that the noise came from the trans I'd also check the rear differential
 

mlakar87

New member
Thanks, I will look into that. I do know one of the rear axle bearings was making a little noise while driving at highway speed but the clicking I heard was definitely coming from the transmission. It is just weird to me because I've had automatic transmissions go out in other vehicles and they never acted like this. The clicking wasn't like gears grinding or anything I've heard before, it was very rapid and loud almost like a playing card in the spokes of a bicycle but more metallic.
 

turbobrick

Active member
The fact that your ABS light came on makes me think your issue is not in the trans, since the ABS sensors are at the wheels IIRC. Could be a diff issue as well.
 

CashMoney

I piss excellence.
The fact that your ABS light came on makes me think your issue is not in the trans, since the ABS sensors are at the wheels IIRC. Could be a diff issue as well.

That's a good point the sound like a card in the spokes could definitely be the tone ring grinding on the sensor. Check your front wheel bearings too!
 

mlakar87

New member
Thanks for you input everyone! I hauled it the rest of the way back to Portola today. It pulled onto the trailer on it's own no problem and no weird noises. It also went into reverse normally and backed off the trailer with no noises, but now it will not go into park it just acts like it's in neutral. My buddy said the bands are probably toast.
 

renojeepster

New member
Sounds like the Park pawl is toast. Has nothing to do with the bands, but if any pieces broke loose they could cause some damage. You always want to be careful of shifting to park while the vehicle is rolling, or using Park to hold your vehicle on hills. Always use the e-brake, then shift to Park. If the tranny is otherwise fine you might consider pulling it and replacing the pawl parts.
 
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