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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys, I recently just bought a 2016 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk for my wife. It seems to drive great on dry pavement, but on snow and ice is a different story.

When you get going over 35 to 40 mph on snow or ice the rear end starts shifting badly, feeling as if you are going to spin out of control. It feels as if once a wheel slips it seems to over compensate.

If you suddenly hit some snow or ice at highway speeds it starts losing control and feels like its going to send you in circles in to the ditch or worse yet, oncoming traffic.

We also had a scenario on dry pavement where I went to pass someone. I basically floored the gas and was changing lanes, and once I hit the rumble strips with my passenger side tires the steering wheel pulled hard towards the right badly and almost sent us in to the side of the car that I was passing.

BTW tires are brand new, and I actually have 2 sets, both of which are new and it does it with both sets, so we can rule that out.

Also it does this in Auto mode, snow mode, sport mode, etc. With or without traction control on. Although taking off traction control seems to help slightly.

To me it seems like an issue with the active drive 2 system not operating properly or something with traction control maybe.

My question is, has anyone heard of such a thing or experienced this personally.

I highly appreciate any input. Thanks for taking the time to read...
 

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Haven't had any real issues with my 2016 TH in the snow except with the stock Destination tires, were fine in snow but in hard pack and icy conditions was a bit uneasy driving. I put on BFG K02's and was a world of difference. You do have to be easy on the gas peddle if you have the v6 regardless of tires as you can get twisted up with too much throttle even on dry pavement. I found my self in some squirrely situations by mashing the throttle pulling out of a driveway or side street, can be a handful but is probably true with most vehicles with a little pep under the hood. Overall I find the TH handles very well in snowy conditions.
 

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First, welcome to JCC. Second, being from the NE Ohio snow belt, I've driven in my share of snowy/icy conditions and can honestly say that this is the best vehicle I've ever driven when the weather gets bad. I am still running the factory Destinations with 32,000 miles, and they are still doing well this winter.

Of course, driving in these conditions do present the possibility of losing traction at any and all wheels. It is a 4WD vehicle, not a tank. Like @BlackHawk2016 says, the V6 is pretty peppy, so prudence is required in the snow and ice when you "mash" the pedal.

I'm just going to say it...maybe you are going too fast for the conditions! Also, do you have the lane assist where it "steers" you if need be? Maybe it's set too aggressive and needs to be dialed back (I don't have, so I am curious). Have you driven a different vehicle (Cherokee or otherwise) that you can compare these actions with?

Lastly, maybe one of the rear brakes is hanging up slightly, and when you hit the snow or ice, the tire tends to drag. I hope you can figure this out, because my 14 TH drives wonderfully in the snow. Keep us posted if you find anything...
 
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I’m running a 2016 TrailHawk with KO2 tires and haven’t experienced anything like this, or with the stock tires. In fact, this is the best handling vehicle I’ve driven in any inclement weather. Even my Neon (which was unstoppable in snow) or my ‘49 Fargo 1/2 ton (which had crazy clearance) aren’t as good. If you have concerns, I’d have it checked over.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
First, welcome to JCC. Second, being from the NE Ohio snow belt, I've driven in my share of snowy/icy conditions and can honestly say that this is the best vehicle I've ever driven when the weather gets bad. I am still running the factory Destinations with 32,000 miles, and they are still doing well this winter.

Of course, driving in these conditions do present the possibility of losing traction at any and all wheels. It is a 4WD vehicle, not a tank. Like @BlackHawk2016 says, the V6 is pretty peppy, so prudence is required in the snow and ice when you "mash" the pedal.

I'm just going to say it...maybe you are going too fast for the conditions! Also, do you have the lane assist where it "steers" you if need be? Maybe it's set too aggressive and needs to be dialed back (I don't have, so I am curious). Have you driven a different vehicle (Cherokee or otherwise) that you can compare these actions with?

Lastly, maybe one of the rear brakes is hanging up slightly, and when you hit the snow or ice, the tire tends to drag. I hope you can figure this out, because my 14 TH drives wonderfully in the snow. Keep us posted if you find anything...
Thanks for the reply! I live in northern Michigan (Upper peninsula) so I am no stranger to snowy conditions. I can see how you may think I could be driving too fast for conditions, but literally any amount of snow and going over 40 mph you feel like you have no control. Its hard to relay exactly what I mean unless you were to actually drive it.

This jeep does not have the lane assist.

I have not driven any other cherokee's but would like to to be able to compare. I've driven many different vehicles in snowy conditions (4WD, AWD, 2WD front or rear, etc.) and this is unlike any other vehicles. I literally don't feel safe at all while driving on snow or ice.

Anything I search for online, people have said its one of the best handling vehicles in snow and this just isn't the case with ours. We are going to take it in to the dealer within the next week or so so I will keep you updated.

Also I will check the brakes, I hadn't thought of that but it is a possibility.

Again thank you for the input!
 

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Thanks for the reply! I live in northern Michigan (Upper peninsula) so I am no stranger to snowy conditions. I can see how you may think I could be driving too fast for conditions, but literally any amount of snow and going over 40 mph you feel like you have no control. Its hard to relay exactly what I mean unless you were to actually drive it.

This jeep does not have the lane assist.

I have not driven any other cherokee's but would like to to be able to compare. I've driven many different vehicles in snowy conditions (4WD, AWD, 2WD front or rear, etc.) and this is unlike any other vehicles. I literally don't feel safe at all while driving on snow or ice.

Anything I search for online, people have said its one of the best handling vehicles in snow and this just isn't the case with ours. We are going to take it in to the dealer within the next week or so so I will keep you updated.

Also I will check the brakes, I hadn't thought of that but it is a possibility.

Again thank you for the input!
Heck...you probably get more snow than I do :)

Maybe one of the local members to you can let you test drive one of their Cherokees, or even the dealer. It does sound like something "squirrely" going on. Nothing worse than having a vehicle you are not comfortable driving. Be safe until you figure it out...
 

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Being that you bought used there could be something not quite right with your Cherokee. Have dealer check for collision damage repair to unibody and check the alignment. If you vehicle was involved in a heavy collision and not repaired properly can cause all kinds of issues even though it looks fine from the outside. As a former frame tech, it is of most importance to bring the structure to factory specs during repair. Your suspension is attached to the cradle/subframe and that is attached to the unibody and if things are out of wack, that can cause weird handeling issues. Not trying to scare you but just trying to figure out why you are having concerns when the rest of us are loving the handling of our KL's in the snowy stuff. Have the dealer and even their bodyshop inspect your vehicle for old damage repair and go from there, I suspect there is missalignment somewhere.
 

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Thanks for the reply! I live in northern Michigan (Upper peninsula) so I am no stranger to snowy conditions. I can see how you may think I could be driving too fast for conditions, but literally any amount of snow and going over 40 mph you feel like you have no control. Its hard to relay exactly what I mean unless you were to actually drive it.

This jeep does not have the lane assist.

I have not driven any other cherokee's but would like to to be able to compare. I've driven many different vehicles in snowy conditions (4WD, AWD, 2WD front or rear, etc.) and this is unlike any other vehicles. I literally don't feel safe at all while driving on snow or ice.

Anything I search for online, people have said its one of the best handling vehicles in snow and this just isn't the case with ours. We are going to take it in to the dealer within the next week or so so I will keep you updated.

Also I will check the brakes, I hadn't thought of that but it is a possibility.

Again thank you for the input!
Hi there ! Congrats on the 2016 KL, and welcome to the forum :smile:
Like others have said, these KLs are terrific winter condition vehicles. We have 5 month winters up here and I've also gone through a bunch of RWD, FWD, 4WD and AWD vehicles, and can confirm this Cherokee is very forgiving when the conditions are slippery, and those who have a rather light right have trouble getting any wheel spin out of them, or any skidding... I love winter driving and like to test the limits on a vehicle, within reason, adn I've had trouble getting this thing sideways lol. What you describe there is totally unlike any story I've heard and definitely unlike my own experience... so yeah, something is not right. Brakes ? Possible. Software/computer ? Probably not... but who knows... Get this investigated while you have a powertrain warranty :wink:
 

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I live in Ontario with snow and ice an issue 5 months out of the year like Mark_ said. I have never had a major problem with snow or ice....I am a very cautious driver. I usually put my Trailhawk in snow mode and let the Jeep do what it was designed to do. Never felt unsafe at all.
I felt the Firestone's held up very well but do to the fact I needed a set of new tires to make the trip south to Florida, I put Goodyear Wrangler All Terrains on her because the Firestone's were back ordered here. It still handles just as good as ever even with the different tires. I agree with the others here, maybe a trip to the dealer for a checkup.
 

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Another Cherokee owner here with few winter driving problems. I live at a ski resort and won't see dry roads till April. So far the car has been great with the OEM tires. You learn quickly that 4WD doesn't mean 4WStop and you have to be careful, especially when trying to stop at the bottom of a hill, but normally the car has given me a lot of confidence in snowy/icy weather. Please keep us advised of what you find when your car gets sorted out.
 

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Thanks for the reply! I live in northern Michigan (Upper peninsula) so I am no stranger to snowy conditions. I can see how you may think I could be driving too fast for conditions, but literally any amount of snow and going over 40 mph you feel like you have no control. Its hard to relay exactly what I mean unless you were to actually drive it.

This jeep does not have the lane assist.

I have not driven any other cherokee's but would like to to be able to compare. I've driven many different vehicles in snowy conditions (4WD, AWD, 2WD front or rear, etc.) and this is unlike any other vehicles. I literally don't feel safe at all while driving on snow or ice.

Anything I search for online, people have said its one of the best handling vehicles in snow and this just isn't the case with ours. We are going to take it in to the dealer within the next week or so so I will keep you updated.

Also I will check the brakes, I hadn't thought of that but it is a possibility.

Again thank you for the input!
Actually driving in snow or Ice at 35-40+ is a risk. It can be done but the risk is there. The faster you go that risk increases exponentially.
The problem simply is your tires are not in direct contact with a solid grip surface like the road. There is a layer of snow or ice between your tires and the solid road.
Also at 40 degrees and lower those tires are not flexing to the surface of the road properly. That means you have less tread on the surface of the road. That means your traction is less than normal which makes the situation worse. All weather tires (3 mountain peaks and snow flake emblem) will provide that flexing in the cold.

I have had 3 prior jeeps with AT type tires and they all handle very good in snow and Ice to a point. That point is your speed must be commiserate with the conditions of the road. Once your tires lose that grip on the road there is a risk.
The vehicle will go as fast as you want on snow and Ice but should you encounter a bump in the road, even a slight braking situation, and/or
even a slight turn of the wheel your control will be compromised. Faster you go the more impact these situations have.

At some point the luck factor will run out and the vehicle will spin out or worse. The lower the speed the less chance of that happening.

In my case I have seen all of that over the last 50 years. I have learned one important tid bit. If you feel the rear of the car moving out of sync then you are absolutely going to fast for conditions. That is a sign that you are in a situation that a fish tail could develop suddenly with something as simple as a bump in the road. It matters not what vehicles you have driven in the past. Every vehicle handles differently.

I have a 2014 Limited with non AT tires. I just upgraded to all weather type non AT tires. It handles better in snow conditions than the OEM ones did. But the limitation is the same as your Trail Hawk's AT tires. If your tires do not have contact with the road it matters not the vehicle type or the 4WD system you have, if an emergency situation develops.

The stability control system that is on you Cherokee has probably kept you out of trouble to this point but I would not keep pushing the limits in snow and especially Ice.
If you feel that back end moving you are going too fast for conditions, regardless. You can keep rolling the dice but at some point you will lose control.

Just my humble opinion, though.
 

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Check your tire pressures. run what the sticker says. too much is bad as you are only using the center of the tire not the whole tread area.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thank for all the replies everyone. In my Original Post I left out one crucial detail, that finally clicked in my head. We bought the jeep used, and the previous owner either himself or at a shop had a 2 inch lift kit installed.

What I am thinking is that there was never an alignment done post lift kit. I have an appointment set up for an alignment this Thursday. Fingers crossed that this is the issue and I can get everything squared away. I will keep you updated on how it drives after the alignment.

Until then, does this seem to make sense to anyone else as to why I am having such troubles in snow?
 

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Thank for all the replies everyone. In my Original Post I left out one crucial detail, that finally clicked in my head. We bought the jeep used, and the previous owner either himself or at a shop had a 2 inch lift kit installed.

What I am thinking is that there was never an alignment done post lift kit. I have an appointment set up for an alignment this Thursday. Fingers crossed that this is the issue and I can get everything squared away. I will keep you updated on how it drives after the alignment.

Until then, does this seem to make sense to anyone else as to why I am having such troubles in snow?
Yeah... that is kinda very important... You've probably identified the cause. And it could be significantly misaligned...
 

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Yeah... that is kinda very important... You've probably identified the cause. And it could be significantly misaligned...
Hah, yeah feel kind of like an idiot for not thinking of that. I guess I just figured he would have done things right, but that's what you get for assuming.

Like I said I will keep you updated. Fairly confident this will be the fix and is nice to hear you agree. Makes me feel a little better about it.
 

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Thank for all the replies everyone. In my Original Post I left out one crucial detail, that finally clicked in my head. We bought the jeep used, and the previous owner either himself or at a shop had a 2 inch lift kit installed.

What I am thinking is that there was never an alignment done post lift kit. I have an appointment set up for an alignment this Thursday. Fingers crossed that this is the issue and I can get everything squared away. I will keep you updated on how it drives after the alignment.

Until then, does this seem to make sense to anyone else as to why I am having such troubles in snow?
Oh yeah..that can be the issue, especially if it's far off. Let's hope this is it and you can enjoy your TH to the max.
 

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Have you tried driving the car at reasonable speeds on ice, as in under 40mph, before you decide its the car and not the driver? Check the tires for uneven wear. Does the car behave ok on dry roads? I am going to agree with the other guys here- I've had my 2014 Latitude for over 5 years and it handles great on snow and ice, even with the stock Destination LEs, and even better with the second set, which are Blizzaks.
 

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As mentioned, you might put it on the rack and have it checked over as well as the alignment. Being near DFW, I don't get much opportunity for snow driving but I have been in the mountains in heavy snow and my 14TH handled wonderfully. In Dallas we do get ice and other than loss of traction which is expected, in snow mode the TH just plows along without issue. There is clearly something mechanically wrong with yours.
 

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Thank for all the replies everyone. In my Original Post I left out one crucial detail, that finally clicked in my head. We bought the jeep used, and the previous owner either himself or at a shop had a 2 inch lift kit installed.

What I am thinking is that there was never an alignment done post lift kit. I have an appointment set up for an alignment this Thursday. Fingers crossed that this is the issue and I can get everything squared away. I will keep you updated on how it drives after the alignment.

Until then, does this seem to make sense to anyone else as to why I am having such troubles in snow?
Beyond misalignment Is another crucial factor: Center of gravity! With the lift that center of gravity was raised slightly. Even slightly can have a major impact on control as there will be more lean in the vehicle while in motion. Also the existing suspension was most likely not designed to handle that 2" lift. That is one of the issues that is not talked about with "lifts". The stability of the vehicle is impacted.
 
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