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Old 06-29-2007, 12:58 PM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2001
Posts: 6,140
Default Transmission making whining noise

Probably about 2 months ago my Jeep started making sporadic noises from somewhere in the transmission area. It's pretty hard to describe the noise but I would say it's a loud whiney noise with another lower pitched and lower volume grumble. It happened for a few weeks from time to time with no real obvious impact on performance. One week I had the check engine light come on and I noticed while highway driving it was "hiccuping". I was going maybe 70-75 and the RPM's were occasionally dropping a couple hundred and then right back up. Took it in the shop and they were unable to recreate the noise (I've now noticed it seems to happen more often after driving for an hour or two). Pulled the codes on the CEL and it was for the throttle position sensor and the cruise control which both checked out ok. They cleared the CEL and it hasn't come back on since. I'm still having problems with the noise out of the transmission and if I've already damaged it I want to do whatever I can to minimize it.

I found the thread below the other day and it sounds like the guy is having the same noise although worse than me. I have had it off-road including some pretty serious mudding back in early March where I got stuck for a little bit (because of the soft mud, not engine related) and it's entirely possible I have crap in there.


Question is....what should I do from here? Should I flush the transmission fluid? I've heard the same thing the guy in the thread mentioned that if you have a dying transmission then changing the fluid can sometimes put it over the edge. Should I just drop the pan and see what it looks like? I've checked the color and level from the dipstick and everything looks good.

Disclaimer: I know a helluva lot more about computers than cars, part of my reason for buying the TJ was so I can learn some of this stuff. Pretend like I have no clue about anything car related.

funky noise coming from what I think is the transmission
change fluid/just drop pan?
don't want to make it worse
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Old 06-29-2007, 04:03 PM   #2
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Default Transmission making whining noise

Cover the basics first. Is it full of fluid, does the fluid look okay, if not, flush it. You're already pulled the codes and don't have a tranny code. So unless you can drop by the dealership when the noise is happening and let someone hear it, this is about all you can do.
Also, are you sure it's not the transfer case? Probably not, but you gotta be sure.
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Old 06-29-2007, 05:38 PM   #3
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Default Transmission making whining noise

Is this an automatic? How deep was that mud? Does the sound follow with RPMs or with engine speed?

My opinion is that you have angry sparrows. This is the term that Jeep people use for failing CV front driveshafts. Check it here.

Also, you mentioned mud, so you need to check your diffs. The rule of thumb is to change your differential fluid every time they are submerged. Axle noise will make a whining sound. Pull the cover off the front diff and check for metal shavings or water. Water will make the fluid look milky. Just a note, diff fluid stinks.

As Pacfanweb mentioned, check the fluid in the transfer case. IIRC, it requires a 10mm allen wrench.
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Old 06-30-2007, 12:14 AM   #4
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Default Transmission making whining noise

If you're hearing the noise after driving for a period of time it is very likely that filter is becoming clogged and the noise you hear is a pump whine. Chrysler transmissions are notorious for the torque converter clutches coming apart and the majority of the debris ending up in the pan to clog up the filter.

The best thing to do now is to drop the pan and inspect it for clutch material. The viscous clutch material will appear as a reddish brown sediment in the bottom of the pan. You will probably see some embedded into the filter as well. Cleaning the pan and replacing the filter may reduce the symptoms for the short term but the source of the problem will still be there. If there is converter clutch material in the pan the only way to properly fix the problem is to replace the torque converter.
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