Jeep Grand Cherokee Won’t Move in Gear: Causes And Fixes

Jeep Grand Cherokee Won’t Move in Gear

Jeep Grand Cherokee not moving in gear is another typical complaint of users of all the models. Transmission malfunctions are most often to blame. The issue can also be caused by damaged torque converters, misplaced gears, damaged shift locks, damaged valves, electronic sensors, and wiring defects.

Is there a fix for Jeep Grand Cherokee won’t move in gear? A properly topped-off transmission fluid usually resolves the issue. Also, new wires, gear services, and interlock resets may help. Occasionally, you may need to replace the entire transmission. You should also check for error codes.

If your Jeep refuses to move in gear, then you need to check some components first before jumping to conclusions. Also, it’s better to avoid such a scenario from happening. Keep reading to know all these in detail.

Jeep Grand Cherokee Won’t Move in Gear: Causes

Now we will look at the most probable causes of why your Jeep Grand Cherokee won’t move in gear:

Transmission Lubricant Issue

Transmission lubricant does some important jobs in your car:

  • Lubricating the dynamic parts
  • Maintaining the temperature balance

Hence, if the amount or functionality of this lubricant decrease, then it might prevent your Jeep from moving in gear.

Defective Torque Converter

This component does the following jobs:

  • It transfers powers.
  • Works more like an internal combustion engine

When your Jeep’s inability to move in gear is accompanied by noises, then this component might be the culprit. The noise might go away eventually but your vehicle might become useless because of it.

If you don’t pay heed to the transmission system regularly, then eventually it will damage the torque converters.

Misplaced Gears

If the gears aren’t where they should be, then it’s only natural that you won’t be able to move your car in gear. There can be many reasons for this misplacement such as:

  • Worn out gears
  • Damaged gears
  • Dismantled gears
  • Seal leakage
  • Malfunctioning bearings or O-rings

This will also have noise because the broken or worn-out parts will cause grinding. You might also notice some dust.

Shift Lock Issues

Shift interlock is a unique safety feature that comes with Jeep Grand Cherokee. It safeguards auto transmission like in any other auto.

However, any part associated with this system might cause your car to stall if there are issues. Most likely the issue can be one of the following:

  • Failure of the interlock solenoid
  • Defect of the brake light switch
  • Malfunction of the park-neutral switch

Electronic Sensor Collapse

The newer models of the Jeep Grand Cherokee carry sensors to ensure smooth driving and transmission experience. However, these sensors have their cons.

If the car doesn’t move in gear after you press the pedal, the case might be that the sensors aren’t detecting movements properly. Hence, your car won’t move in gear

Split Shift Linkage Wire

This is a rare possibility. The shifting of gears of any vehicle highly depends on the wires of the shift linkage. These wires connect the whole transmission system to the gear.

Hence, if in a rare case, the wires get cut by some unusual internal collision, then you won’t be able to move your Jeep in gear.

Damaged Transmission Valve

Low transmission lubricants and erosion of the hydrostatic channels can damage the transmission valve greatly. The body of these valves is a complicated component.

This can cause your car to vibrate alongside stalling. Other problems that can happen are:

  • A state of limbo
  • Rough idling
  • Damaged valve spring

Jeep Grand Cherokee Won’t Move in Gear: Fixes

Now let’s discuss how you can fix the above-mentioned issues:

The lubricant for transmissions isn’t functioningAfter finding the transmission dipstick from behind the engine pull it out. Clean it and replace it. Again pull it out. Write down all the details of the lubricant.If the level is low, then add some lubricant.If the color of the lube is burnt, then consult a mechanic.
Defective torque converterConsider maintenance of the transmission system first.If the damage is severe, then you will have to replace the whole transmission system.
Misplaced fearsConsult a mechanic without taking any matter to hand. Check if the whole transmission system is being maintained or not. Don’t forget to check the coolers and valves.
Shift lock issuesReset the interlock system by pressing the release button. Ask for additional help if this doesn’t work.
Electronic sensor collapseStudy the error code of your vehicle. You can find it from the various blinking of the lights. Consult a transmission specialist to solve the problem digitally.
Split shift linkage wireBuy new wires. Bring a mechanic to replace the split ones with the new ones.
Damaged transmission valveIt will be the most hectic of all the solutions. You will have to replace the whole transmission system. The broken parts will have to be cleaned one by one.

How to Understand The Error Code of Jeep Grand Cherokee?

Here is a chart to let you know the meaning of each error code of your car:

Code NumberSignal
11Engine speed sensor not present
12Output shaft sensor not present
13Vehicle Speed Sensor not present
14Governor Pressure Sensor
15Throttle Position
16Transmission Temperature
17Overdrive Off Switch Circuit
18The system Voltage is too high
19Standby Voltage is too high
21Governor Pressure Solenoid Circuit
223-4 Solenoid Circuit
23Torque Converter Clutch Circuit
24Overdrive Off Lamp Circuit
25EEPROM Checksum Error
26Governor Pressure Sensor Offset Drift
55End of Message

What to Do When The Car Is Stalling?

The first thing you need to do is calm down. Afterward, ensure the following:

  • Check whether the engine is on or not.
  • Look at the parking brakes to make sure that they are off.
  • Attempt for a new gear, be it forward or reverse. This will point out where the problem actually is.
  • Ensure all the clips and bolts are tightened properly.

How Much Might It Cost to Fix This Problem?

As we have discussed already, there might be cases where you will need to change the whole transmission system. This will skyrocket your costs, unfortunately. Here is an estimate of the cost:

OptionsCost Range
Getting a new transmission system$2,500-$3,500
Repairing the current system$1500-$1800
Buying a refurbished system$1600-$2000

Don’t forget about the warranty terms before picking any of these options. Also, go to a trusted dealer.

Jeep Grand Cherokee Won’t Move in Gear: Prevention Is Better Than Cure

As you’ve seen already, the inability to move your Jeep in gear can not only be a handful but also costly. Hence, it’s always better to prevent such atrocity in the first place. Here are some tips to help you:

  • Ensure proper lube level all the time.
  • Thoroughly service the transmission system regularly by a trusted mechanic.
  • Don’t stress the inner parts of your car with rough and careless driving.
  • Don’t carry excessive weight on your Jeep.
  • In cold weather, make sure to heat your car properly before acceleration.


Here are some more queries answered regarding issues with your Jeep Grand Cherokee.

How do you know if your Jeep transmission fluid is going out?

You can know it from harsh sound during acceleration, foul smell, and irregular gear shifts.

What is limp mode Jeep?

With limp mode, the air conditioning will be turned off, and the Jeep will drive at a slower speed.

Final Thoughts

If your Jeep won’t move in gear, you should consider servicing from a trusted mechanic. And as the transmission system failure is the most likely reason, you should have a healthy budget for the servicing.

However, it’s good to know the causes beforehand by checking the codes and other symptoms. Moreover, you should not let this thing happen at all by taking proper care of your Jeep.

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