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Chrysler Repair/engine shuts-off when shift out of neutral/park


QUESTION: I have a '94 grand cherokee with the 5.2 v8, auto trans,and 190 k miles. The engine starts, idles fine, but when I put it  in drive or reverse it immediately dies.The tranny was rebuilt about 30k miles ago,battery is one year old, fuel pump replaced two years back, no blown fuses I can find... any ideas?

ANSWER: Hi Marc,
If the shut off is very prompt, like as if you were driving a stick shift and you let the clutch out too fast, then I would suggest the possibility that the torque converter clutch has locked up rather than being in the normal unlocked position until the vehicle is moving faster than 45 mph. Does the van seem to jump forward/backward (depending upon which gear you have selected to shift into), or does it just die gently but quickly which would suggest an engine idling weakness situation due to a poor fuel/air mixture ratio?
If the torque converter is locked up, then that would possibly be covered by the trans rebuild warranty.
Those are the two possibilities that come to my mind for what you describe. By the way, I don't have Jeep manuals for the 90's so am a bit limited in what I can specifically suggest.
Please read the PS (below) and respond to it.

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QUESTION: Hi Roland, yes, it definately jumps when put in gear,could the torque converter be seized up due to fluid loss? I can't check it now since it's cold and also not parked on a level surface.Also,the trans. rebuild is of course past warranty, so I'm wondering if I need to get it to a tranny shop and how extensive a repair it might be

Hi Marc,
No, the torque converter lock-up is usually done by an electrical device unrelated to fluid, but I don't have the specifics about the Jeep trans that is in your '90's model. Hopefully it will be a part that can be replaced without removing the trans. Sorry to be limited about Jeeps of this vintage but only have info for '05-'07's. Did you try asking "Kevin", the other 'expert' here?
If you would do a 'thank/rate' and nominate' I would be appreciative.

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Roland Finston


Get a Free Fast answer to your repair question about a Chrysler/Dodge/Plymouth car, minivan, SUV, or truck. Problems with electronically controlled engines and transmissions as well as body wiring problems are my specialty. This free troubleshoot advice forum helps you diagnose faults, minimize repair costs or do-it-yourself.

I answer questions seven days a week and respond to you in about 30 minutes. "Maxed Out" means I am answering another question, briefly unavailable, so try again later.

I have do-it-yourself experience (50+ years) and a library of 100 1982-2012 Chrysler factory shop manuals and 20 multi-manual Chrysler Corp. CD's.

I was voted "Top Expert" 2010-2015, here at AllExperts, and have answered 20,000+ questions.


Five decades as a 'do-it-yourselfer' on domestic and imported cars.

Yahoo Autos Group called The Chrysler Lebaron Club (co-moderator)

Advanced degrees in Physics/bruised knuckles

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"Top expert" of 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 here at Allexperts. Quickest "average response time" at Allexperts (currently no. 1).

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