Buying 2012 Cherokee, transmission question

Hey all, first post here. I’m looking at buying a 2012 Cherokee for the Mrs. Decent shape, everything checks out, but the guy selling it says he got it from out of state (he buys and repairs vehicles for sale) and said they claimed it didn’t run when he got it. Turned out the transmission lines were leaking or ruptured or something, so the trans either had no fluid or low fluid and wouldn’t go anywhere. He fixed that and I drove it around as proof positive that it indeed runs.

However, after some reflection, I’m wondering what kind of damage may have been done to the transmission while it was out or low on fluid and they attempted to drive it. Would it simply not even move out of park? Would damage occur if it remained stationary despite the engine running? I just have some concern about it working fine right now but experiencing trouble down the road. Any help would be appreciated, thanks!

Low fluid in a transmission can cause the clutches to slip, damaging them.

And if you don’t know how long the transmission was operated under that condition, I’d walk away.



Can you find another identical Jeep for same price? With no poor history?

This is a Grand Cherokee, right? There wasn’t a 2012 Cherokee, which is a different model in other years. Carcomplaints rates this car a ‘Clunker’, I’d look for a different make/model/year.
If you must have a Grand Cherokee, find a different one.
2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee Problems, Defects & Complaints (


… and that rating is apparently on Grand Cherokees whose transmission wasn’t “run dry”. I suggest that the OP run away from this deal.


As well as what engine does it have?? The 3.6L V6 has a 5 speed auto (722.6), and the 5.7L V8 has a 6 speed auto (65RFE)… Either way it is very hard for any automatic transmission, not to mention Big$$$$
As stated above, recommend a Pass on it…


If you just have to have a Jeep… pass on this one for sure.

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What did he do on the transmission? If he just repaired the leaking lines, then I’m skeptical of the SUV. Also, you need an independent opinion of this Grand Cherokee if you are still interested. Pay a different mechanic you trust to give it a prepurchase inspection. I get the idea that you want to find a bargain from your post. Maybe you can find a different SUV with a lower trim level. If you want something that big you might find a Chevy Tahoe or GMC Yukon. They are among the most reliable large SUVs.

It’s possible a transmission flluid line that connected to the radiator broke, fluid pressure sunk, and owner just parked it up. That wouldn’t usually cause any long-term problems. But if the fluid line broke inside the radiator, that could allow coolant into the insides of the transmission. And that would be very difficult to fix, usually would require a complete rebuild b/c of corrosion. Try to determine more about the nature of the cause of the original problem.

I would never bet on that.

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That is going to be almost impossible. Out of state vehicle bought from an auction . Probably traded in to a dealer that did not want to mess with it.


No, that’s just plain wrong. The fluid fed to clutches and bands is under relatively high pressure. The fluid fed to the cooler is under much lower pressure. The only way pressure would “sink” is if the fluid was gone.

If the transmission was run low on fluid the friction materials could have worn in less than a minute. If the only thing done to repair this was replace the cooler lines and refill the fluid it may be possible to inspect the filter to see how much clutch / band material is in it. If there’s no material in it the filter was changed and I’d run away. If a lot of material in it the frictions are toast and I’d still run away. If the filter looks like it has a normal amount of material in it (according to someone that is familiar with changing transmission fluid and filters) I’d still be skeptical but might take a chance on it.

The absolute worst thing you can probably do to a transmission is overheat it, low fluid level causes things to slip which causes heat buildup…

This is an almost worst case overheating after affects…

That’ll buff out.


This’ll take car of it:


I wouldn’t come close to anything chrysler regardless of details and/or circumstances.

I didn’t know that stuff was still around. I remember Ray would sometimes recommend trying it when the caller had nothing left to lose.