Going neutral while driving

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wasuky

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Hi everyone. Been reading this forum for a couple months now. I just got a 02 KJ and I love it. I live in Venezuela... particularly in a small city callled Cumaná which has a lack of qualified car technicians when it comes to Chrysler (this is why I started fixing my cars in first place).

I got my KJ in August 23. It came with 171k miles. I changed all fluids, gaskets, seals and everything that could give me headaches. It has been running smoothly until yesterday. I was driving in the city (maybe at 20-25 mph) and suddenly it lose power, started shaking and turned on the MIL. I pulled over, turned it off, checked that everything was "in order" and thought of coming back home. It turned back on as usual but then when I shifted to D, it started running almost with no power (it felt like it was going neutral/D/neutral/D/neutral/D as I could hear the engine revving for a moment). Anyway, after 2min trying to make it to the safe side of the street I just turned it off and got towed back home.

At this point I did the auto diagnose to see if the dashboard showed me any error code. I only got the P0700. Also it was Neutral in each shift... P-R-N-D-2-1... they were all in neutral, except P in which the KJ was locked (as it should be).

Things to know:

- This KJ has a 45RFE trans.
- Fluid level is OK.
- Filters were installed 2 months ago.
- It's been working flawlessly until yesterday. No funny noises or nothing odd.

Once I got home I scanned it with one of these small scanners that can be used with any smartphone. I got these codes:

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I cleared all the codes. Turned the KJ on and this time there was no MIL light but the scanner showed me this:
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I got down and saw the Line Pressure Sensor harness was loose (I believe it was a cat that has been coming in and out my house at night). Anyways, I plugged it in and now I get now codes, however the I've got the same failure. Now, this morning I've got some interesting details from the scanner while reading the live data from the line pressure sensor.

When cold, the line pressure sensor sends 0,5v when is in neutral (P or N) and 2,5v when is in R or D (I read somewhere it's suppose to send 5v) and the shifts are actually made (it engages R or D). As the engine warms up, the 0,5v in P-N stays the same, but the pressure goes down along with the 2,5v until it gets to 0,5v and at that point it stays in neutral in every shift.

So for now I have 2 theories (as far as my knowledge let me make them:)

1- Bad Line pressure sensor. It got crazy and it's sending odds voltages.
2- Bad oil pump or loose filter which is causing the pressure drop as the engine warms up.

I have never worked on a transmission before but I am planning to get the oil pan down to have a look (I read that some times one of the filters falls off and whole trans get crazy), but before that I would like to know if there is something I'm missing.

Having 0 experience with transmissions I would like to have some lights from you guys, so any comment, idea, swear, etc is highly appreciated.

You can be sure I am super grateful in advance.
 

Ksat

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Was the CEL blinking when it came on originally? Have you tried driving it since you had it towed back? You may want to check the fuel trims on your scanner, if you can get the problem to repeat itself. Also note if the problem starts once the car warms up or if it begins right from cold.

Although I guess anything is possible, I doubt the power steer pressure switch is your problem. That only is meant to bump up idle slightly when the wheel is turned in order to prevent the engine from stalling.
 

Billwill

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Is this a CRD or a gasser?

2002 KJs in the foreign market came in with a 2.5 L engine with a Fixed Vane turbo....which is what I have!

I think the 2002 2.5 L models only came out with a Manual Transmission....you obviously have an Automatic!;)
 

wasuky

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@Ksat No.t The CEL was not blinking. It just came on and stayed that way until I cleared all the codes. And yes... Shifts start malfunctioning once the car warms up. If the car is cold, I R-D engage and the car moves forward and backward (I just checked it was moving in my drivewat, I didn't run it down the street).

@Billwill Mine is gasser (it is quite odd to find any car/suv/small trucks running by diesel in this country although I have seen a few, usually imported ones). Mine is automatic 3.7 4x2.

I am about to record the live transmission data doing a cold start until the car warms up while I shift from P to 1 and back.

I've been searching info about the desire pressures but I can't find anything (or at least that's what I think).
 

derekj

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What does your scan tool have for live data pids for the transmission? Do you have an actual and desired pid for line pressure? Usually if the pcm sees a voltage from the pressure sensor that doesn't line up with the data tables it will put the transmission into limp mode so you will still be able to move the vehicle but it will probably just be stuck in 2nd gear. I would be dropping the pan and looking for metal in the fluid. I am not familiar with the 45 but if you have a pressure gauge there should be a test port on the housing so you can tap into the pressure feed off the pump and manually check your line pressure. You will need a gauge that can read up to at least 300 psi.
 

Ksat

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I had an issue with my kj where I lost power and the car would buck. Initially it felt like I was having a transmission issue, but turned out to be caused by bad oxygen sensors causing fuel trims on both banks to go haywire. If the problem only happens after warm-up, it makes me suspect it's more of an engine issue.
 

wasuky

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Well... where do I start? Welcome to my country. Remember I said there is a lack of qualified technicians in my city? Remember I said the oil and both filters were changed a few months ago? Well.. I just dropped the oil pan and found.

1-No magnet.
2-Dark oil
3-Something silver that looks like dust (I presume metal).
4-A few little build-ups of a greasy mud on a few spots of the pan.
5-2 small pieces of something. One is like 2mm and the other one maybe 4-5mm long.

This is exactly why I started fixing my own cars years ago.

Anyway... I am going to put new oil, new filters, seal everything and crank it up just to see if there is any change. If not, I will have to take it to a different place (of course) and cross my fingers.

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turblediesel

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My magnet jumped off it's perch but it was still in there. I also found some manufacturing chips.
 

wasuky

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My magnet jumped off it's perch but it was still in there. I also found some manufacturing chips.

Why did you drop the pan? Was the trans doing crazy things or was just for filters and oil change? Did it keep working after you found the chips?
 

wasuky

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Well I just installed the oil pan and torqued all bolts. I am going to wait 24hrs to put the oil, start the engine and see what happens.

I installed new filters and of course I am going to use new oil (Mopar atf+4).

Found out that the seal of the suction filter was kinda loose and all bended.

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Also, have a look of the cleaned pieces of metal I found it in the oil pan.

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Hopefully it was one of those cases that everything ends up well with just an oil and filters change.
 

KJowner

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Well I just installed the oil pan and torqued all bolts. I am going to wait 24hrs to put the oil, start the engine and see what happens.

I installed new filters and of course I am going to use new oil (Mopar atf+4).

Found out that the seal of the suction filter was kinda loose and all bended.

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Also, have a look of the cleaned pieces of metal I found it in the oil pan.

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Hopefully it was one of those cases that everything ends up well with just an oil and filters change.

Hope so!
 

blackhawk

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Hi pana, I'm from San Antonio de los Altos, Miranda state. Add far as I know, and I know few things ,v regarding the codes the most important to check is the p0932, commonly when there is a fault of circuit it can cause to have many different codes.
Attached you can see the p0932 diagnosis chart:
 

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wasuky

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Pana mio! Thanks for that screenshot! I need to put my hands in the AllData info about the KJ!!

So... last week I changed the trans oil and both filters. The oil was black and the seal of the suction filter was sort of bended (like someone had pulled it out causing to bend and the installing it back again), as you can see in my previous replies. Any way... installed new filters and threw almost 7 quarts of Mopar oil. I started the car and after 15min idleing and at working temp it was able to engage R-D (before the oil and filter change it would go Neutral). I took it out for a drive and it was driving/shifting nice and cool (I took it up to 3rd) until I had to slow down to pass a bump and it started making a noise like metal crushing against metal (like if there was a metal fan slowly spinning but rubbing at one point). The sound seemed to come from the transmission. I could hear the sound for a few seconds and then it stopped. At that point I went back home (I didn't hear the sound again after it topped). I forgot... for some reason the steering wheel felt rough and vibrating when turning left (this was working OK before all this mess).

I then scanned the car but it showed no error code.
 

blackhawk

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Hi, a friend por mine faced problems with 45rfe transmission on his 2003 kj. The scanner always showed any dtc related to transmission. He ended up repair it with the Mopar super master kit. I heard my times that sound you mentioned, also we felt for 2 seconds a kind of vibration after 60 km/h. But always one or more Dtc were present.
I hope you don't have a trans mechanical issue.
 

wasuky

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Yeah! Im taking it to the garage tomorrow. The guy and I took it for a drive and noticed it kicks when shifting to/from 3rd (like someone hits the car from behind) and again, no error codes. He said it could possibly be fixed with a quick learn, buuut the 2 metal pieces I found in the oil pan is a clear indicator of something broken in there, so most likely a quick learn would be a waste of money. So, he plans to take the trans down to check what's going on in there.

Now... I have never had issues with a transmission before, so I have no idea which are the good replacement brands and which are the ones to avoid. Any help on this?
 

blackhawk

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I don't really know buddy. I suggest you to open a new post . I had a 2007 kj , i broke transmission twice, It was my first automatic ride. I sold it and bought a 2006 also automatic and I use to drive it like a grandma lol.
 

wasuky

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Well. At the end it was a mechanic "issue" in the transmission. So... basically the overdrive drum broke (half of the disks were totally shredded and the drum got scratched). The solution was replacing the whole drum and that was it. Why did that happen? The guy told me "it seems like the pressure line sensor stopped working or got disconnected while you were driving" (I didn't tell him anything about a cat going crazy with the sensor's wires). The drum stops receiving the right amount of oil and everything starts grinding inside. Don't know if that actually works like that but kinda makes sense.

By the way... the metal pieces I found inside the oil pan were parts of a nice and shiny bearing that sits outside the drum.

A few pictures of what we found:

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Cheers guys!!!
 

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