Tip & How-To about 1998 Jeep Cherokee

1997 Jeep Cherokee no backup lites wont start wont go into 4th gear driving check engine light

1997 probaly 1998 too their option selction would not let me post for a 1997 Jeep would not shift into 4th gear which is overdrive I believe, also check engine light will come on and then it will not shift. Sometimes it will not start and no back up lights. OK this fix is is easy well I think it is. get yourself an ACTRON engine analyzer it shows any codes and clears them it is around 100.00 buck or take it some where and have the code failure cleared after you fix it. On the transmissin is a switch housing that in it is the backup lights switch and this switch lets the computer lnow which speed you have selected 1st 2nd third or Drive. if the computer cannot see this switch the engine will not start  and if you are driveing the CHECK ENGINE lite comes on and you  will notice it will not shift out of 3rd into overdirve or 4th gear. first unhook the negative battery terminal then remove the switch from the transmissin and open up the housing and clean and lube the switch contacts reinstall the housing line up the rod going thru the transmission check it for operat watch the backup lights and have the code cleared out using you code reader or at a friendly parrts store or seervice staion best to have one of these readers any way they are worth their weight in gold. This repair saved me about 400 bucks doing it myself the switch is overpriced it is around 330 bucks. Well if have have these symptoms I would say this is the fix!!

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my 2001 jeep grand cherokee wont shift into 4th it only goes to third what would cause the 4th gear to not engage

There are several things that could cause that.
> Replacement transmission not equipped with overdrive
> Overdrive solenoid in replacement transmission defective
> Overdrive control circuits damaged or loose pins or connections.
> Gear shift linkage or cable out of adjustment
> Transmission range sensor malfunction or out of adjustment

Since you have a computer-controlled transmission, it would be better to ask the onboard computer that question....you will probably get a much more definitive answer.

Apr 18, 2012 | 2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee

3 Answers

1999 transmission

the 4th gear clutch shaft has very fine teeth that wear over time, if vehicle has high miles, this shaft may have failed, a sprag may have failed, the 4th gear selenoid may be bad, the 4th gear clutches could be fried, the valve body may be leaking / venting clutch apply pressure, the range selector may be off causing the VCM to believe you are in 3rd. Good luck!

Nov 22, 2008 | 1999 Pontiac Grand Prix

2 Answers

2000 es300 lexus auto w overdrive button overdrive 4th gear not work

There isn't anything wrong with your car. This is perfectly normal. I have a 2000 ES300 as well as other people that I know and it operates in the same way. Overdrive doesn't mean the same thing for every car or transmission. In our case overdrive is simply a reference to the top gear which is 4th gear. When you switch overdrive off(which is depressing the button causing the O/D OFF dash light to illuminate,) the highest gear becomes 3rd because you turned 4th gear or overdrive off. The application scenario for this is usually mountainous terrain where a lot of uphill driving makes it more feasible not to up shift into 4th gear while ascending and descending. It will not switch back to overdrive or 4th gear until you re-engage it by turning the overdrive back on or repressing the button. Again, when the O/D OFF dash light is illuminated, overdrive which is 4th gear is off and the highest gear will then become 3rd. It will never shift into 4th gear while this light is illuminated or overdrive is off. When you press the button and the O/D OFF dash light is NOT illuminated overdrive is on and therefore it will shift into 4th gear as usual. This applies to all 97-2001 ES300's and probably any other car you drive tat exhibits this same type of change when overdrive is turned off.

Nov 20, 2008 | 2000 Lexus ES 300

1 Answer


The button with a "D" with a circle around is for engaging and disengaging overdrive. Your transmission typically will have 4 forward driving gears...by having overdrive disengaged your car will not go into the 4th gear. Disengaging overdrive should only be used when towing or traveling in mountainous terrain.

Jun 29, 2008 | 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee

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