As time passes, cars become increasingly dependent on various electronic systems. That includes transmission systems on Jeeps which are now controlled by transmission control modules (TCMs). These systems can benefit from the occasional reset, but how do you perform one?
You can reset a Jeep transmission with nothing more than the key in its ignition. You’ll have to turn the key and press the gas pedal following a specific sequence that will reset the transmission control module (TCM) and clear any errors it’s experiencing.
Resetting your Jeep transmission is helpful when the system is experiencing problems, but resetting it regularly will also help maximize its performance.
Learning how to reset your Jeep transmission isn’t tricky, and this guide will help you do it. You’ll also discover when such a reset would be incredibly helpful to you, as well.
How To Reset a Jeep Transmission Control Module
You can reset the transmission on your Jeep by carefully following these steps:
To begin the reset process, you’ll have to sit in the driver’s seat and have your car key with you. Once you’re ready, step on the gas pedal and keep it down with your foot.
With that gas pedal still down, turn your key in the ignition one step to the ON/RUN position. Remember that you must do this process without starting the engine.
Wait for 30 seconds. Your foot must remain pressing the gas pedal, and the key should still be at the ON/RUN position in the ignition. Changing either one will require you to start this process all over again.
Once those 30 seconds have passed, you must turn the key to the OFF position in the ignition. Your foot must still press on the gas pedal while you do this.
Lastly, gently release the gas pedal. That marks the end of the transmission reset sequence for your Jeep.
Following these steps will reset your Jeep’s transmission control module. The precise steps might differ for your particular Jeep model. So, always refer to the car owner’s manual to see if different steps are involved in resetting your car’s transmission system.
Suppose the transmission reset doesn’t work for your Jeep, or you don’t feel confident doing it yourself. In that case, the most effective solution is to bring your car to your preferred workshop.
The mechanic or automotive technician there will know precisely how to reset your transmission. Plus, they’ll have all the professional equipment necessary to troubleshoot and repair any transmission issues while you’re there.
When Should You Reset Your Transmission?
Resetting your transmission is not something that needs to be done all the time. However, it can be incredibly useful in many different situations, such as the following:
1. After Buying A Used Car
The first instance when a transmission reset will be helpful is when you buy a new Jeep, particularly a used one.
Most used car sellers are honest and upfront about the condition of their vehicles. Still, you can never be too sure about what kind of experience the Jeep or its transmission has gone through.
As such, resetting the transmission would be an excellent idea. That way, you’ll get a fresh start and ensure that the transmission functions as optimally as possible.
2. When Installing A New Transmission
The same is also true when buying a brand-new transmission.
Suppose, for whatever reason, you had to replace the entire transmission on your Jeep. The transmission might be new, but remember that the transmission control module (TCM) is not.
Firstly, your existing TCM is familiar to your previous transmission and not the new one. That’s especially true when you consider that the TCM has been collecting data from your old transmission for a very long time.
So, when switching to a new transmission, resetting the entire system would be a good step. Some newer Jeep models have TCMs that need to ‘learn’ about the new transmission, and resetting it would be an excellent first step.
3. After Regular Servicing
Like all motor vehicles, your Jeep requires regular servicing for things like oil changes and fluid top-ups. Despite being a routine process, some mechanics unfortunately make mistakes.
For example, they might have accidentally tampered with the transmission or the TCM when inspecting that part of your vehicle. Doing so could affect how the transmission performs when you drive your car the next time.
So, if you think that the mechanic made a mistake or if you’d just like to err on the side of caution, resetting your Jeep transmission would be an excellent idea.
4. When Experiencing Transmission Issues
As you read earlier, transmission control modules collect data from the transmission and feed it to the car’s computers. That data is used so the car can perform better overall.
Unfortunately, the TCM can also mistakenly collect and send incorrect data to the car’s computer. That will result in transmission and other performance issues that affect how the Jeep drives.
You can solve that problem by performing a reset on the Jeep’s transmission. That will give the TCM a chance to restart fresh without any errors bothering it.
Then, the TCM can resume collecting and sending the correct data so your Jeep can function as it should. Besides that, a transmission reset should be your first troubleshooting step when experiencing problems like:
- Warning lights: Whenever you see warning lights on your dashboard that relate to the transmission system, a reset would be an excellent way to start troubleshooting the issue.
- Shifting problems: Whether you’re in an automatic or manual vehicle, problems shifting relate to the transmission. As such, a reset could be helpful when that problem occurs.
- Slipping: Transmissions that can’t hold their gears are experiencing a condition called ‘slipping’. This can happen due to an error fixable with a transmission reset.
- Discolored fluid: Check your transmission fluid for any discoloration. That could indicate the system is malfunctioning internally and may require a reset.
- Other erratic behavior: Lastly, any erratic or unusual behavior from the transmission should first be treated with a reset.
5. To Maximize Performance
Lastly, the occasional transmission reset also helps to maximize your Jeep’s performance. All transmission systems lose a bit of their efficiency over an extended period.
So, even if the one in your Jeep doesn’t demonstrate any of the issues listed above, a reset can benefit it significantly.
What Exactly Is The Transmission Control Module On A Jeep?
Before diving deeper into how to reset a Jeep transmission, it’s essential to understand what the component is and how it works. That way, you’ll understand the effects of the reset that you’ll perform.
When talking about resetting a Jeep transmission, you’re really resetting its transmission control module (TCM). Cars are increasingly becoming computerized and relying on electronic parts, and your Jeep is no different.
As the name suggests, the TCM interacts closely with the car’s transmission and engine. It continuously performs calculations to determine when and how to change gears. When it functions correctly, you’ll enjoy a smooth ride, and your car will perform to the best of its abilities.
The TCM can also collect data on the transmission and communicate any error codes to the onboard diagnostics. After all, with all the data it collects and its calculations, it’s in the best position to identify all transmission problems.
You likely understand that the transmission is one of your Jeep’s most critical systems. By extension, that also makes the transmission control module incredibly crucial to the car’s overall function.
A failing or malfunctioning TCM can leave your car immobile, so you must learn how to reset the transmission control module. That way, you can minimize downtime and keep your Jeep functioning as it should.
How Often Should You Reset A Jeep Transmission?
Despite having no problems with your Jeep’s transmission, a reset every now and then is still an excellent idea. Doing so once every 6 months (i.e. twice a year) is a good target to aim for.
Some vehicles might require a transmission reset more frequently, like every 3 months or so. You can refer to your car owner’s manual or speak to an automotive technician to see what works best for your particular Jeep model.
Alternatively, you could also have it done each time you bring your car in for its routine maintenance. That will make it much easier for you to remember when to perform routine maintenance tasks, such as a transmission reset.
Overall, asking the question, “How do I reset my jeep transmission?” is an important one for all Jeep owners, regardless of their transmission system’s condition.
A transmission reset, or more specifically, a transmission control module (TCM) reset, is an excellent way to clear many of the common problems experienced by the system. On top of that, it’s also a way to keep the TCM healthy, as it gradually loses its ability to collect and send accurate data about the transmission.
So, performing a transmission reset on your Jeep every 6 months or whenever you take it for regular maintenance is an excellent idea, whether or not you’re experiencing transmission problems.
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(featured image: jeep.com)