I just had a nice young gentleman come in describing a transmission problem on his Jeep Grand Cherokee 4x4 that was stuck at his house. The vehicle would not go into gear (automatic transmission). “Your first problem,” I proceeded to inform him “is that you bought a Chrysler product and are expecting the transmission to function”.
He had been doing some work on it, it started to roll forward, he jumped in and crammed it into Park. I commend him for thinking fast and avoiding possible catastrophe.
He phoned a local shop known for doing good work on transmissions, and they couldn’t suggest anything but to get it towed in and they would have a look at it. This is not unreasonable in any way. BUT, he decided to stop in at my shop before paying the towing bill. I listened to what happened, and suggested he: 1) Check that the transmission fluid is topped up. 2) See if he can get it to move if the transfer case was put into anything other than 2 high. 3) Crawl underneath to see if he can move the shift linkage manually to try and get it into gear. Of course he would need someone with their foot firmly on the brake, and with the wheels blocked. Safety first people!
It turns out that it was just a bushing in the shift linkage. An easy and very inexpensive problem that he can fix himself.
Just by getting some advice from someone willing to listen and then offer a few minutes of their time and experience, he saved the tow bill, hours of hassle, and a good chunk of money that would have been spent on shop labour.
This made my day. A happy stranger, back on the road again. This is a win on every level. Moral to the story? Call around! Get advice! And at least check the internet, and Google till you can Google no more. Your pocketbook will thank you.
View From The North is written by Shawn T. Greek, located in the Great White North of Salmon Arm, BC. That’s in Canada, eh! “Silly” is my default setting.