Jeep Wrangler Service Transmission Light

Problem Deep Dive

Updated on Author: Sergei Lemberg

Lemberg Law is investigating an increasing number of complaints about the 2024 Jeep Wrangler having service transmission errors. Typically, owners report that after getting a “service transmission” message, their vehicles break down and are undrivable. There are many accusations that dealerships won’t help. However, numerous owners discover their vehicles need a new transmission. Jeep hasn’t issued a recall and there is no official explanation for all these failures. Research indicates that this problem isn’t a new one, proving that multiple owners of previous Jeep Wrangler models have had the same problem.

Transmission Error Explained

When a vehicle triggers a “service transmission error” message on the dashboard, this is essentially a warning light alerting the driver to a potential issue that needs attention. While Jeep has failed to provide an explanation, we’ve taken a deep dive into the problem to try and understand what might be wrong.

There are various possible causes of a service transmission error code, most commonly low transmission fluid. After all, transmission fluid is vital for lubrication and smooth operation. If the fluid level is low, it can lead to overheating, slipping, and difficulty shifting gears.

Another possibility is that the transmission fluid may be contaminated. This could happen if the transmission fluid breaks down or becomes contaminated with debris. If that happens, it is likely to affect the lubricating properties of the transmission, which can lead to shifting problems.

Faulty sensors that monitor the transmission’s operation might malfunction, sending inaccurate signals to the car’s computer and triggering the error message. But this wouldn’t lead to a vehicle breaking down.

Solenoids are electronically controlled valves that regulate fluid flow within the transmission. A malfunctioning solenoid might be another cause of shifting problems that could trigger a service transmission error message.

In some cases, the error message might indicate more serious internal issues within the transmission itself, like worn gears or damaged clutches.

But this is all guesswork because Jeep is avoiding the issue, implying that only a few vehicles are faulty. The company appears to have no interest in explaining the service transmission error.

Don’t be stuck with a lemon. You have legal rights to cash, return or buyback.

The law makes Jeep pay legal fees.

We've fixed thousands of lemon problems. Message or call 877-795-3666 today.

What is the Problem?

The most common transmission complaints to the National Highway Traffic Association (NHTSA) is that vehicles display a service transmission error and then dealerships tell them they need a new transmission. Some show additional error messages, and not all owners report a solution. All in all, close to 40% of these complaints relate to some sort of service transmission problem.

There are no manufacturer communications on file about service transmission messages with the NHTSA, so clearly they aren’t considering a recall. There are, though, lots of communications from the manufacturer about transmission leaks.

Discussions on various Jeep forums tell similar service transmission stories, and not only about the 2024 model year. Some go back as far as the Jeep 2006 MY. Furthermore, some forum comments relate to other Jeep models including the Jeep Cherokee and Renegade.

NHTSA Complaints

Complaints to the NHTSA about service transmission errors are posted in various categories: electrical system, engine, powertrain, and unknown or other.

An owner from Massachusetts states that twice within the first week, the engine of a 2024 Jeep Wrangler stalled while stopped at a red light in traffic. “Both times the dash flashed ‘service transmission’ and then instructed me to place the vehicle in ‘park’. Once in park, the dash instructed me to push the ‘start/stop’ button but nothing would happen. I was stuck for a few minutes each time in traffic until the whole system finally powered down and I was able to restart.” The transmission was replaced after a month with the dealer.

Warning that “People are at risk of injury or death!”, this owner states: “They replaced the transmission even though this was a brand new vehicle out of the factory with serious safety issues and should have never been sold in the first place.”

An owner from Pennsylvania also experienced the service transmission error twice during the first week of ownership. Both times the vehicle was towed to a dealer. The only warning was the “service transmission” message. “During the first service trip to the dealer, I was told that software needed to be updated, but on the second visit, I was told that the entire transmission needed to be replaced.”

An owner from California reports the shifter getting stuck in park. Both the check engine light and power steering lights came on and a “Service Electronic Stability” message showed on the dash. Because the tow truckers weren’t able to put the Wrangler in neutral, they had to drag it onto a flatbed to be towed to the dealer. The dealer said the solution was to fully replace the transmission as well as the computer.


Three-quarters of the complaints about powertrain problems relate to service transmission error messages.

An owner from Washington states that while exiting a parking garage after work, “my Jeep Wrangler just turned off. Light flashed service transmission and shift vehicle park. Once I shifted the vehicle to park and tried to start, nothing happened.” After about five minutes of blocking all traffic trying to leave the parking garage, the Jeep started. “Not sure what’s up but if this happens at freeway speed it could be dangerous.”

Six days later, the same owner complained that “service transmission” came on the dash and turned the vehicle off. The only allowable action is to put it in park, sit for 10 to 15 minutes, and then the vehicle turns on again. The complaint states that there are no codes for the dealer to check. “Will not drive again until it’s fixed.”

An owner from New York states that when the Wrangler shut down at a stop light, an error message “service transmission” displayed. A few seconds later the error message changed to “Park Brake Auto Engaged Press Brake” plus “Push Switch to Release.” The owner did this several times. “After about 10 minutes the vehicle started with a service error message still on the dash.”

Forum Conversation

After owning a 2024 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon X for only four months, the owner started a discussion in 4xe Forums about the service transmission issue. The problem started with the Jeep “lurched” while braking. While maintaining consistent brake pedal pressure, he realized that “something was clearly going on in the powertrain because there was a sudden surge and lurching. Right now it won’t go into park and can’t turn it off. When I press the brake and power button I can hear and feel a clunk noise coming from the engine bay followed by a second larger vibration a few seconds later from a different location that shutters the entire Jeep.”

The dealer’s technician said that a cable on the passenger side of the transmission that went through the firewall needed to be repositioned. “He didn’t give me a very good answer about why the ‘service charging system’ warning was activated though. He said it was related to the fact that the lever was in the ‘P’ position but not actually in park status.”

Another owner wrote on JL Wrangler that on the seventh day of owning a 2024 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, he had transmission problems, with the vehicle not going into reverse. The dealer said it needed a valve body — but that didn’t fix it. Instead, they said it would need a new automatic transmission. While waiting for it to be installed, he wrote: “I have a loaner, but a Cherokee is not a Wrangler. I’m looking into the lemon law.”

Same Issue for Prior Model Years

The owner of a new 2023 JLU Willys got service transmission messages after traveling 236 miles. “This is the third time in about a week, it seems to occur when the vehicle has sat for a few days. I checked the fuses and connections and didn’t see anything obvious. I also was DISMAYED to see in my Jeep app that the vehicle had been serviced for battery and electrical system just PRIOR to my purchase… it NEVER occurred to me to ask for maintenance records on a brand new vehicle.”

A few months later, the owner of a brand new Rubicon with a manual transmission got service transmission messages. After being with the dealer for a month, “nobody seems to know (how) to fix it.”

The owner of a 2022 Wrangler JL Sahara started a discussion in the Wrangler Forum after experiencing “cascading power failures of many different systems.” A former Jeep dealer, he warned others, “Don’t shift until transmission service or you may not be able to shift again.”

In response, another forum member posted a link to JL Wrangler The owner of a 2021 model got a warning: “Service Transmission Continue in D. Do Not Shift or Turn Engine Off.” The check engine light came on, but the Jeep wouldn’t go above 35. After switching off at home, the Jeep wouldn’t start or turn off even though the computer, HVAC, and radio stayed on. This time, the issue turned out to be “a short in the wiring that went to the DEF tank.”

Another 2021 owner states in the same forum that the Jeep wouldn’t move in driver or reverse after the check engine light went on and the service transmission message displayed. “They told me everything is normal and nothing is wrong with the Jeep.”

Cherokee Transmission Problems

Of course, a Cherokee isn’t a Wrangler, but they also have transmission problems.

In October 2023, the owner of a new Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe started a discussion about service transmission error messages on 4xe forums. The dealer couldn’t identify any codes or leaks so couldn’t help.

The owner of a brand new 2023 Jeep Renegade had the same experience at 600 miles and then again at 1,000 miles. “Awful feeling of being stranded as we head back home from our trip. Brand new jeep, was this a lemon I was sold?”

Wrangler Transmission Issues? What Should You Do

If you own a 2024 Jeep Wrangler that has service transmission problems, Lemberg Law would like to hear from you. We are assessing the likelihood of these vehicles being lemons. If it turns out that your vehicle is a lemon, you will be eligible for compensation from the manufacturer — Stellantis. 

All you have to do is fill out a contact form or call our Helpline. The law says Stellantis must pay the legal bills for lemon law cases, so it’s not going to cost you anything.

Sergei Lemberg

About the Author:

Sergei Lemberg is an attorney focusing on consumer law, class actions related to automotive issues, and personal injury litigation. With nearly two decades of experience, his areas of practice include Lemon Law (vehicle defects), Debt Collection Harassment, TCPA (illegal robocalls and texts), Fair Credit Reporting Act, Overtime claims, Personal Injury cases, and Class Actions. He has consistently been recognized as the nation's "most active consumer attorney." In 2020, Mr. Lemberg represented Noah Duguid before the United States Supreme Court in the landmark case Duguid v. Facebook. He is also the author of "Defanging Debt Collectors," a guide that empowers consumers to fight back against debt collectors and prevail, as well as "Lemon Law 101: The Laws That Lemon Dealers Don't Want You to Know."

See more posts from Sergei Lemberg

Leave a Reply or Comment

Write a comment below to share online. Or, instead you can to our legal team.

Please select your star rating.

Briefly describe your experience Briefly describe your experience

What’s your name? What’s your name?

What’s your phone number? Please enter a valid phone number

Want to know if you could sue? Get a free legal evaluation from Lemberg Law?

Get Your No-Obligation
Case Evaluation

Send a secure message to our legal team.

What’s your name? What’s your name?
What’s your email address? What’s your email address?
What’s your phone number? What’s your phone number?
Briefly describe the problem Briefly describe the problem
Confidentiality Guarantee: We keep your information completely confidential and will not send you spam or sell your information.
By submitting above, I agree to the privacy policy and terms and consent to be contacted by an agent via phone call or text message at the phone number(s) listed above, including wireless number(s).