The owner of a 2007-10 Dodge Nitro model may come into your store with a complaint that his transmission pops out of gear while accelerating. FCA L.L.C. says the problem may be intermittent and is due to either the shift boot's preventing the shift lever from fully engaging or a bad first gear/1-2 synchronizer assembly.
Diagnosing the problem depends on what gear or gears are affected. If the transmission pops out of multiple gears (first, third and/or fifth, for example) chances are good that the shift boot is causing the woes. Try removing and reinstalling the boot, making sure it allows full travel of the shift lever. If the transmission pops out of first gear only, that signals that the first gear/1-2 synchronizer assembly is worn. Replacing the assembly with the parts from an updated kit, part No. 68085902AA, should take care of the transmission issue in a hurry.
"Factory Fixes" is written by Jim DePalma, a 30-year veteran of the auto repair business who has served stints as a service manager, parts manager and ASE-certified technician. His column provides vehicle manufacturers' authentic factory technical service bulletins (TSBs) that have been condensed for easier reading. Mr. DePalma advises that techs always check with a dealer or repair information system for the latest revisions before starting to work on a vehicle. He can be reached via e-mail at [email protected].