Jeep Grand Cherokee Transmission Fluid Leak – Common Leak

10:56 am Consumer, How To Auto Repair, Jeep


Common transmission leak on many Chrysler products is the electrical plug housing.

© Summary: A common (Chrysler product) transmission fluid leak which affects many models including Jeep Grand Cherokees is covered here. The leak can easily be mis-diagnosed as a leaky pan gasket. A lot of unsuspecting consumers may end up spending a thousand dollars or more to rebuild a transmission with a leak like this. There’s no recall at this time from Chrysler, perhaps there should be, with such a widespread problem. The good news is that this auto repair blog describes the source of the problem and how to repair. A simple repair process to stop the leak for the cost of around ten dollars. Even a do-it yourself-er and can save possibly thousands of dollars from having a mis-diagnosed leak repaired by a transmission rebuild. The vehicle that the transmission leak occurred in, in this case was a 2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 3.7L, GAS, Vin K, Eng Cfg V6.

The transmission fluid leak appears to be coming from the pan seal or gasket at the right front corner. However the common leak is from around the electrical connector housing for the wiring that goes into the transmission. The fluid leak can progress to a fairly rapid leak. This trans. is a Mercedes style transmission and has the European type of electrical plug. The plug is undone by twisting the plastic tab downward while slightly pulling outward. There is a 7 mm bolt in the center of the connector which can be accessed once the electrical plug has been removed. The updated part can be purchased from Chrysler for around $10, the part number is 68021352AA.

1. Start with a cold engine, since the service area is near the exhaust. Place a drip pan under the transmission to catch fluid. Disconnect the wiring harness connector by turning to the left or downward.

2. Remove the electrical housing by taking out the 7 mm bolt in the center of the connector secures it to the transmission. After the bolt is unscrewed, the plastic connector housing can be removed along with two o-rings. Use the updated part from Mopar/Chrysler part #68021352AA. Be sure to clean area where the o-rings will contact and that the old o-rings are removed.

3. Place the new replacement housing in position – it only goes on one way. The 7mm screw should be tightened with hand tools only and caution taken not to forcibly start it. After it is started it should NOT be over-tightened

4. Clean the fluid off from the work area with a part cleaner such as brake clean. Dry area with compressed air. Check transmission fluid level with vehicle running and top off if necessary.


The old electrical connector and o-rings.

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125 Responses
  1. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: April 24, 2013 @ 7:28 am

    Hello Mike. We ship within the USA. Some of our customers use Bongo freight forwarding for hard items to get in certain countries outside the USA. Good Luck.

  2. Brian :

    Date: May 7, 2013 @ 8:32 pm

    Hi. I have a 2005 with leaking fluid. I changed the pan gasket, but still leaking. I will try this fix when I get the part, but I am now getting an over temp warning. Could this plug be the cause? The light came on shortly after I started the jeep, within 3 minutes, so I know it couldn’t be that hot yet, I’m thinking something electrical, but I don’t know if this connector could be the problem?

  3. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: May 8, 2013 @ 7:08 am

    It’s possible. Since the leak needs to be fixed, I would try repairing that first. Clean and dry the terminals within the plug so there’s no chance of shorting across the terminals. Good luck.

  4. Alex Souza :

    Date: May 14, 2013 @ 5:10 pm

    Nice post, I have read almost all coments and lie down under my car to check the plug, unfortunatly mine is ok, not leaking. I have checked my transmission and oil is leaking by the right side (opposite side of plug) and it seems to come from the top, not sure. There is a cylindric part above the gear box that I don’t know what is. Any comments regarding other kind of leaking on this Cherokee/Benz transmission? Thank you

  5. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: May 14, 2013 @ 6:22 pm

    Alex, the best thing to do is go to the dealership and have the parts guy bring up a parts breakdown for your particular vehicle. Could be a rubber seal around a speed sensor. A good parts man can help determine what part may need replacing as long as you can point it out. The breakdown may look like the one below (both # 9’s are speed sensors, input and output).

    Trans external parts breakdown.

  6. Alex Souza :

    Date: May 15, 2013 @ 9:17 am

    Dennis, I’d like to thank you by answering my post. I took the car into the car shop for a check and they said the leak is not from the gear box but from a sensor located right in front of the common rail which is leaking over the engine and dropping on the transmission.

    I have a Land Rover program here to locate parts to my Defender however I don’t know which one I should use for Jeep parts. Which one do you recommend? Thanks again.

  7. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: May 15, 2013 @ 9:30 am

    Alex, I would Google the part that you are looking for. There are many parts websites that can assist you. Good Luck.

  8. Jason Lee :

    Date: June 13, 2013 @ 12:28 am

    Just wanted to thank you for the informative post on here. It was the first thing that came up when researching my 2006 Grand Cherokee transmission leak. ~$25 and about a half hour of labor later the leak is fixed.

  9. Cheryl :

    Date: August 22, 2013 @ 3:00 pm

    My daughter has a 2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee. It has an oil leak at the top back of the engine. Could it be a valve cover gasket or is there another common problem? Oh and I printed out your response about the transmission leak. Her trans leak right now is small but it almost appears to be seeping through the pan. The pan is rusted and paint peeling.

  10. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: August 22, 2013 @ 3:32 pm

    The valve cover gasket is a common problem/leak. The trans pan actually leaking through the metal is not common. It can be checked easily by cleaning it with brake clean spray and drying it with compressed air and rechecking to see where the fluid is coming from. If it leaks too slowly to check this way, a UV dye can be added and then checked with a UV light to see where the leak is coming from. Good Luck.

  11. alex :

    Date: May 16, 2014 @ 2:57 pm

    Hi! I have a 08 jeep commander 3.7 AWD. My dash would read “TRANS OVER TEMP”. The truck runs great shifts gears on-time. The problem is that when I was driving on the freeway a couple of weeks ago apperently it was shooting some tranny fluid out the upper Breather hose that caused the fluid to burn on the exhaust causing smoke behind the rear of the truck along the way. I have dropped the tranny pan changed the filter, gasket and trans oil. I also cleaned out the trannys thermostat that sits inside an aluminum block by the passenger side next to the engine where the ins/out lines connect… long story short. It’s still leaking fluid from that upper breather… Can it be a faulty thermostat that is not opening up for the fluid to pass thats causing it to overheat? Maybe a bad Cooler? Maybe the breather, Or perhaps the Radiator not working properly? Any feedback close to possible fix would be appreciated… it only leaks when driving on the freeway…

  12. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: May 16, 2014 @ 3:21 pm

    Alex, this is a not so common problem with the Commander. Usually Commanders are known for broken inside door handles and as far as the transmission usually just leaky trans cooler lines. Your problem with the fluid going out the breather hose (vent hose) is usually caused by 1. Air getting into the system causing foaming or 2. Excessive heat usually caused from heat transfer from the radiator coolant portion to the transmission fluid which also travels through the radiator. When the fluid overheats it expands and goes out the vent hose. Towing a lot of weight with hot outside temps could also cause this. If the engine temperature is not getting too hot and there’s no blockage of the radiator; the problem is most likely within the trans. The transmission thermostat would make sense. I would be very interested if that resolves your issue. Good Luck.

  13. Chris C :

    Date: May 29, 2014 @ 11:54 am

    I have changed the connector with orings twice and had my fluid level checked at dealer multiple times. My 06 300c doesent leak at connector it leaks out of breather and doesn’t stop till its 3 QTS low. Dealer is dumbfounded. I have seen other people with same problem but no one tells the fix.
    I am an experienced mechanic. I can visually see the oil come out the breather and streak down the side.I have cleaned and reconfirmed this many times.
    Can anyone help?

  14. Chris C :

    Date: May 29, 2014 @ 2:18 pm

    The transmission has been leaking out of the breather for four years and fifty thousand miles.I just regularly have it filled at the dealer. Also it leaks worse the harder you drive the car. It leaks out of the breather. My dealer has verified this also.

  15. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: May 29, 2014 @ 2:49 pm

    I would check the temperature that the fluid is getting up to. It’s possible it’s getting too hot and overflowing. Good Luck.

  16. Marissab :

    Date: July 21, 2014 @ 2:10 am

    Good day, I have a 2.7 CRD Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited. It seems to be leaking oil from the breather. When one holds your hand against the breather it creates small amounts of white smoke. What could be the problem or is this ok on diesel Mercedes engines. The vehicle is not using oil or smoking from its exhaust

  17. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: July 21, 2014 @ 7:16 am

    As long as it’s not losing oil (and you don’t have to add) I wouldn’t be concerned. Good Luck.

  18. Marissab :

    Date: July 22, 2014 @ 4:32 am

    Thank you very much for the feedback.

  19. melanie :

    Date: December 14, 2014 @ 4:28 am

    We have a 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee laredo 4.7 litre that has just starting heavily leaking ATF and puddling under the car. Would this fix work for this year and model?

  20. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: December 14, 2014 @ 9:06 am

    No, it’s a completely different transmission. Could look to see where the fluid seems to be coming from though. Most likely a pan gasket/seal. Look for clean areas where the fluid has been tracking. Good Luck.

  21. brandonS :

    Date: February 26, 2016 @ 9:51 am

    Hey dennisb, I’m looking to buy a 98 jeep grand cherokee Laredo v6 4×4 for 700, but I’m pretty mechanical savvy but not with transmissions and they warned me that the transmission has just started slipping, so I checked the fluid and was almost bone dry, so I filled it for the young lady. But my concern is why is it leaking but I’m guessing it could be several things, but what would you recommend? The vehicle itself is very well maintained other than the low tranny fluid, and I didn’t get to fully test drive but I drove it around a parking lot and it seemed fine to me, do u think I should ask to lower the cost due to this situation?

  22. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: February 26, 2016 @ 10:00 am

    Driving in the parking lot is not sufficient to test the transmission. Even a short test drive running through all the gears may not reveal a problem. Driving it on a longer test drive at all speeds may reveal other problems too. A common problem with Jeeps is a whining rear end (differential). See our Jeep Differential Problems article. Check underneath to see where the fluid leak is. Take to a shop to put up on a lift if needed. Some leaks are cheap to fix, other’s require a complete tear-down. This could cost more than what the vehicle is worth. I’d decide if I wanted to make an offer after checking it out further. Good Luck.

  23. Phil :

    Date: April 22, 2017 @ 9:38 am

    My 07 Grand Cherokee has been at the garage 3 times in the last 2 weeks at 2 different garages to fix a transmission fluid leak. Every time they say its the pan gasket and replace it. They let it sit, pressure test it, and drive it around a bit and nothing leaks. I get it home and drive it 20 miles and it starts leaking again. I assume the real problem is this one you are referring to. Is there any way to tell for sure before replacing the one around the electrical housing?

  24. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: May 19, 2017 @ 12:36 pm

    Could dye check to see where it starts.

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