2014+ Jeep Cherokee Forums banner

1 - 20 of 94 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
707 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I recently took delivery of a 2019 Trailhawk Elite built to my specs. While I was waiting for the build, I noticed FCA posted a new version of the owner's manual. I looked at the differences and one thing jumped out at me - they removed all mention of the "flat tow wiring kit". Sure enough, the printed manual in my Cherokee doesn't have any mention of it either. I talked to the parts guy at the dealership and he checked into it for me. He said FCA confirmed the kit us up to 2018 models only and can't be used in a 2019. He also confirmed FCA fixed the problem with software. Apparently, when you put the transfer case in neutral it energizes the steering to put a load on it (just like the kit used to do). What he couldn't answer was if leaving the Cherokee T-case in neutral would drain the battery. There is no mention of that in the manual.

Has anyone flat-towed a 2019 yet? Any issues?

I'm still waiting on my baseplate install (mid-July).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
735 Posts
I would be easy to test. Go out and put on your emergency brake, follow the instructions to put the vehicle into "tow mode" (PTU in neutral) then turn off the vehicle and walk away for 30 minutes or so (just to be sure). Come back and without doing anything but opening the door, turn the steering wheel. If it moves freely from side to side, then the EPS is active and your battery is supplying the power. More importantly, it shows that Jeep finally fixed a glaring flaw after 5 years.

Then....put the PTU back into "drive" mode, again wait for a while with everything off (the system seems to stay energized for a period of time) and the steering wheel should go back to hard to move.

In any case, if EPS is active, you most certainly are draining the battery so just have a power lead from your Tow vehicle installed when you do your brakes/lights (whichever system you choose) so that it is charging the Jeep battery while going down the road.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
My dealer says it's required for the 2019 Elite, Now you have me thinking. It's been in the shop for two days getting the base-plate (Blue OX BX1140) and tail lights wired so far. I may get it back Monday.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,765 Posts
I recently took delivery of a 2019 Trailhawk Elite built to my specs. While I was waiting for the build, I noticed FCA posted a new version of the owner's manual. I looked at the differences and one thing jumped out at me - they removed all mention of the "flat tow wiring kit". Sure enough, the printed manual in my Cherokee doesn't have any mention of it either. I talked to the parts guy at the dealership and he checked into it for me. He said FCA confirmed the kit us up to 2018 models only and can't be used in a 2019. He also confirmed FCA fixed the problem with software. Apparently, when you put the transfer case in neutral it energizes the steering to put a load on it (just like the kit used to do). What he couldn't answer was if leaving the Cherokee T-case in neutral would drain the battery. There is no mention of that in the manual.

Has anyone flat-towed a 2019 yet? Any issues?

I'm still waiting on my baseplate install (mid-July).
Welcome to the forum ! Congrats on the TH Elite :wink:
Wow, great info there. Would be great if the extra harness was no longer required. But yeah if the EPS is energized, the battery will get drained. This was never addressed officialy in any litterature for 2014-2018s, so not much of a surprise they haven't for 2019s. Sucks though, I mean it's a relatively simple addition, why put owners in a dead battery situation...

Let us know how it all plays out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
735 Posts
@AZJeeper....................what did you find out in testing your EPS.....did it shut down. A lot of 2019 folks want to know if this is really the fix we have all been waiting for.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
629 Posts
I would be easy to test. Go out and put on your emergency brake, follow the instructions to put the vehicle into "tow mode" (PTU in neutral) then turn off the vehicle and walk away for 30 minutes or so (just to be sure). Come back and without doing anything but opening the door, turn the steering wheel. If it moves freely from side to side, then the EPS is active and your battery is supplying the power. More importantly, it shows that Jeep finally fixed a glaring flaw after 5 years.

Then....put the PTU back into "drive" mode, again wait for a while with everything off (the system seems to stay energized for a period of time) and the steering wheel should go back to hard to move.

In any case, if EPS is active, you most certainly are draining the battery so just have a power lead from your Tow vehicle installed when you do your brakes/lights (whichever system you choose) so that it is charging the Jeep battery while going down the road.
Exactly what to do to test this. :smile::smile:

Now if only we can get that software update on our older Cherokees....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
707 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Well, this certainly has gotten weird.

I have two online copies of the 2019 Cherokee Owner's Manual - 2019-Cherokee-OM-2nd_R1 and 2019-Cherokee-OM-3rd_R2 (latest on Jeep.com).

1. In 3rd_R2, there is zero mention of the flat tow wiring kit.
2. in 2nd_R1, it is mentioned in NEUTRAL Shift Procedure in the Shifting Procedures section (which is bad in all versions, see below), the chart in Towing This Vehicle Behind Another Vehicle, and in NEUTRAL Shift Procedure in the Recreational Towing - 4x4 Models With 2-Speed Power Transfer Unit section.
2. in the printed manual, I found it mentioned in NEUTRAL Shift Procedure in the Shifting Procedures section (which is bad in all versions, see below), and in NEUTRAL Shift Procedure in the Recreational Towing - 4x4 Models With 2-Speed Power Transfer Unit section. It is NOT in the chart in Towing This Vehicle Behind Another Vehicle, which is what we checked at the dealer to "confirm" it is no longer needed.

So, three versions of the manual, three versions of the flat tow wiring kit.

What is consistent in all three version is the shifting into neutral procedure. From the manual:

1. Bring the vehicle to a complete stop on level ground,
and shift the transmission to PARK.
2. Turn the engine OFF.
3. Turn the ignition to the ON/RUN mode, but do not start
the engine.
4. Press and hold the brake pedal.
5. Shift the transmission into NEUTRAL.
6. Using a ballpoint pen or similar object, push and hold
the recessed NEUTRAL (N) button (located by the
selector switch) for four seconds. The light behind the N
symbol will blink, indicating shift in progress. The light
will stop blinking (stay on solid) when the shift to
NEUTRAL (N) is complete.
7. After the shift is completed and the NEUTRAL (N) light
stays on, release the NEUTRAL (N) button.
8. Start the engine.
9. Release the parking brake.
10. Shift the transmission into REVERSE.
11. Release the brake pedal for five seconds and ensure
that there is no vehicle movement.
12. Shift the transmission to NEUTRAL.
13. Apply the parking brake.
14. Shift the transmission into PARK, turn the engine OFF,
and remove the key fob.
15. Attach the vehicle to the tow vehicle using a suitable
tow bar.
16. Turn the ignition to the ON/RUN mode, but do not
start the engine.
17. Press and hold the brake pedal.
18. Release the parking brake.
19. Turn the ignition OFF, remove the key fob, and release
the brake pedal.

There is no automatic transmission that I know of that you can place the transmission in Park with a t-case (AKA Power Transfer Unit) in neutral and the engine running, INCLUDING THIS ONE! To get it into park takes pushing the start button twice. The engine goes off and the ignition stays in ACC mode. In any case, the steering wheel remains hard to turn. Not sure that is a valid test, though, since the flat tow wiring kit applies a load to the steering to prevent the death wobble. It is not a complete energizing of the steering system. Or so I heard.

Don't know if
a) the pat head and rub belly dance to enable flat towing is disrupted by the faulty procedure,
b) the flat tow kit is really needed (though not mentioned in the latest iteration of the manual),
c) the flat tow kit is not needed but there needs to be a better procedure, or
d) none of the above

When the parts guy tried to get a confirmation of the part number in May, FCA told him that the old part number is no longer valid and "new information and a new part number will be coming out in July". He claimed he had the new information part and it was that the flat tow wiring kit was no longer needed. I have an inquiry to the dealer to re-confirm, given the above information.

Stay tuned...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
707 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
As a side note, I looked at the Cherokee 2014 and 2018 online manuals from Jeep.com. They say the same thing about getting in to neutral: Shift the transmission into PARK, turn the engine OFF, in that order.

I checked my 2008 Jeep Wrangler manual, my 2009 Dodge Ram 1500 manual, and my old Liberty manual, and they are all very clear about turning the engine OFF before putting the transmission in PARK. Just for grins, I checked the 2018 Grand Cherokee manual which states:
11. With the transmission and transfer case in NEUTRAL,
push and hold the ENGINE START/STOP button until
the engine turns off.
12. Place the transmission gear selector in PARK. Release
the brake pedal.

The Cherokee is the only bass-ackwards PARK procedure of those I checked.

OK, forum members, is anyone really following the manual and shifting the transmission into Park with the PTU in neutral when the engine is running? Successfully, I mean? What's the trick, other than to just jamb it in and ignore gear clash?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
735 Posts
Exactly what to do to test this. :smile::smile:

Now if only we can get that software update on our older Cherokees....
On the one hand this would be nice....on the other hand, we would have to somehow delete the harness (for those who have it installed). But....for the greater good I would like it fixed for all. The potential downside is the software update may not be compatible with the harness installed, so hopefully Jeep will include the appropriate work-around in their manuals.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
735 Posts
As a side note, I looked at the Cherokee 2014 and 2018 online manuals from Jeep.com. They say the same thing about getting in to neutral: Shift the transmission into PARK, turn the engine OFF, in that order.

I checked my 2008 Jeep Wrangler manual, my 2009 Dodge Ram 1500 manual, and my old Liberty manual, and they are all very clear about turning the engine OFF before putting the transmission in PARK. Just for grins, I checked the 2018 Grand Cherokee manual which states:
11. With the transmission and transfer case in NEUTRAL,
push and hold the ENGINE START/STOP button until
the engine turns off.
12. Place the transmission gear selector in PARK. Release
the brake pedal.

The Cherokee is the only bass-ackwards PARK procedure of those I checked.

OK, forum members, is anyone really following the manual and shifting the transmission into Park with the PTU in neutral when the engine is running? Successfully, I mean? What's the trick, other than to just jamb it in and ignore gear clash?
Yes...many of do, or did. The consequence is sometimes it has a grinding as the gears mesh. @Array pointed out to me that the instructions direct to shift from reverse (to test neutral) to Neutral THEN to Park. This helped, but did not eliminate completely the grinding. That said, I have tried it both ways and it seems to work the same.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,765 Posts
On the one hand this would be nice....on the other hand, we would have to somehow delete the harness (for those who have it installed). But....for the greater good I would like it fixed for all. The potential downside is the software update may not be compatible with the harness installed, so hopefully Jeep will include the appropriate work-around in their manuals.
I don't want to sound like a pessimist, but... Updating the software for 2014-2018s - if in fact only a software update is required - would be a practice totally contrary to what car manufacturers are known to do. Or not do. I'm sure there are legal implications as well, but I would be very surprised if FCA decided to allow previous model years to be updated, especially knowing this is a niche target (flat towed KLs) and also because installing these kits cost owners a lot of money... money I'm sure they would not be willing to reimburse.

There is the possibility that a tiny hardware addition was needed (if indeed it is *fixed*), to allow EPS activation ; something like an extra tiny switch at Selec Terrain Neutral position.

FCA has not been chatty about flat towing challenges ever since the KL was launched. I'd be surprised if this changed. I hope I'm wrong and that a flash will be made available for earlier MY KLs, if in fact it is all that is required.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
413 Posts
Yes, I wouldn't get too excited about any '2019 doesn't need the cable' rumors until someone demonstrates that it is actually correct. It's possible, but then again information like this from dealer service personnel is more often wrong than right, no matter how sure they may be.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,765 Posts
Yes, I wouldn't get too excited about any '2019 doesn't need the cable' rumors until someone demonstrates that it is actually correct. It's possible, but then again information like this from dealer service personnel is more often wrong than right, no matter how sure they may be.
Agreed. However, the fact that the latest revised edition of the 2019 owner's manual doesn't mention the harness is... interesting. But yeah we need double and triple verification on this.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
707 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Yes...many of do, or did. The consequence is sometimes it has a grinding as the gears mesh. @Array pointed out to me that the instructions direct to shift from reverse (to test neutral) to Neutral THEN to Park. This helped, but did not eliminate completely the grinding. That said, I have tried it both ways and it seems to work the same.
"Sometimes it has a grinding as the gears mesh" doesn't sound like a healthy recipe for the longevity of a transmission.

I've forced it in after following the manual EXACTLY, including leaving it in Neutral a bit before putting it in Park. It grinds about as severely as my other vehicles have done when I went straight to Park from Neutral with the engine running. (OK. I'm busted. Not on purpose. I forgot to shut off the engine first a time or two).

To be clear, I did try the procedures EXACTLY per the owner's manual, grindage and all. :eek: Even waited a while. The steering doesn't have any obvious changes. I'll keep pushing the dealer for an answer. I'm not going to flat tow if the death wobble is still an issue. Perhaps the "new part number coming" that the parts guy mentioned a while back is the real answer.

I'll keep posting as I learn more.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mark_

·
Registered
Joined
·
413 Posts
Agreed. However, the fact that the latest revised edition of the 2019 owner's manual doesn't mention the harness is... interesting.
Yes, it means either that:

1. There is no harness required for the 2019 (good), or

2. They screwed up and both didn't fix the problem and again neglected to note it in the manual (really bad.)

Let's all hope it was #1 .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
629 Posts
Well, this certainly has gotten weird......
....

5. Shift the transmission into NEUTRAL.
6. Using a ballpoint pen or similar object, push and hold
the recessed NEUTRAL (N) button (located by the
selector switch).................
Weird indeed! The OM procedure you describe is pretty much the way it is done with '14 to 18's. I've found that the PTU will go into or out of neutral when the gear selector is in neutral with engine off... or engine running... sometimes. ..... Moving the lever from "R" to "N", with engine on, waiting a few seconds, and then quickly moving it to "P" eliminates the grinding noise ... sometimes.


.................. In any case, the steering wheel remains hard to turn. Not sure that is a valid test, though, since the flat tow wiring kit applies a load to the steering to prevent the death wobble. It is not a complete energizing of the steering system. Or so I heard.
...........
The steering wheel remaining "hard to turn" is a pretty sure indication that the EPS is not energized. Delays in this happening have been reported; I don't recall any that were more than 30 sec though. so if the wheel still doesn't 'feel' like EPS is energized, it's not.
My understanding of the way the wobble-fix works is that the EPS needs to be ON for the "wobble-mitigation algorithm" to work at all.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
707 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Great news! Found this online: TSB 08-040-18 Rev B. Having the dealer confirm, but it looks legit.

Further research suggests there is a mechanical damper added to the steering, so no battery drain!
 

Attachments

  • Like
Reactions: UN4GTBL

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,765 Posts
Great news! Found this online: TSB 08-040-18 Rev B. Having the dealer confirm, but it looks legit.

Further research suggests there is a mechanical damper added to the steering, so no battery drain!
The picture has poor resolution, I can't read it... Do you have a linky to it ? Google isn't helping me... Thx.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
707 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
The picture has poor resolution, I can't read it... Do you have a linky to it ? Google isn't helping me... Thx.
I've asked the dealer for a copy.

I won't post the link for two reasons:

1. The image is just as bad as the one I posted, and
2. Wouldn't that be violating forum rules to post a link to another forum?

I translated the best I could. Hope this suffices for now.

Release Date: 06/22/18
Symptoms/Vehicle Issue: Flat Tow On Recreational Two 2019 KL Cherokee
Discussion: A recent update to tsb 08-040-18 rev B removes the 2019 model KL from the list of applicable vehicles for the MoPar Accessory Flat Tow Performance Kit, 19KL, in OEM equipment form, has improvements that does not require the MoPar Accessory Flat Tow Performance Kit to help stabilze the vehicle.
<<<NOTE>>> 19KL can be flat towed as lon as it has the 4x4 (sales code <???, couldn’t make out>) and Jeep Active Drive II (sales code DK4) without the MoPar Accessory harness being needed.


Forum members: feel free to bombard your dealers to get a copy of this TSB! I'm in no race to be first. Just want to be accurate.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mark_ and UN4GTBL

·
Registered
Joined
·
629 Posts
The picture has poor resolution, I can't read it... Do you have a linky to it ? Google isn't helping me... Thx.
Tried to read the text, This appears to be a report generated regarding a specific Star Case, not a TSB, I see text that looks like "does not require..." referring to the "Flat tow Enhancement Kit".

Unfortunately there was similar talk when the 2018 came out... and the 2017... and back in 2016 there was a report that the Trailhawk, with "Active Drive Lock" did not require the kit because the official TSB referred to "Active Drive 2". (and before that it was the towbar angle, the towbar or the MH itself).

If there is mechanical damping in the steering, which is something that many of us, since 2016, have said would be the best solution, why no announcement of it from FCA?
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mark_
1 - 20 of 94 Posts
Top