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2020 Jeep Cherokee Limited 4x4 "4wd overheated temporarily unavailable"

1186 Views 19 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Mark_
I just bought a used 2020 jeep cherokee 2 weeks ago. Was in the mountains last weekend and got stuck at the bottom of a moderately steep driveway covered in hard packed snow. I got the message "4wd overheated temporarily unavailable" every time I tried to get out. The rear wheels were not spinning at all. All temps normal. It was 10 F outside. I had no issues going up the driveway the previous two days on auto or snow mode. It took me over an hour to get out and had 6 guys push my car and used a ton of gravel to get traction. Got the same message about 10 times after turning the engine on/off Did I buy a lemon with broken 4wd?
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They will overheat with heavy use, and need to cool down. It will be fwd until it does. It has nothing to do with engine or transmission temps. Do you happen to have a low range? If so, use that in those situations as it locks the front and rear axles together. Once it overheats, you need to give it time to cool off. Shouldn't take too long with it being 19 degrees outside, but you need to let it sit and not keep trying, or it will keep heating up.
Google shows me a few forums posts about this : here at JCC, at JeepGarage and CherokeeForum (KL section). Members who posted never returned with follow-ups. Some had their PTU and RDM replaced with no success. Like you say, this system is sensitive to heat often caused by excessive wheelspin. 4-Low helps if you have it. Good winter tires should help here (don't know if OP has some) to minimize wheelspin.
Letting it cool down is the only way to get moving again, for sure..
It's not the wheel spin, it's the traction control braking the wheels. I've never had mine overheat ever, even during serious offroading on a 100° summer day...You gotta learn how the system works, and use it correctly. These things aren't Grandpa's old CJ...😉😎
Yes but... but... to get into a fight with traction (aka stability) control, you have to have wheelspin first :p
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Hay thanks fly by night I have the attached same as you sent selector ,when i push the traction control it turns on a light immediately I don't have to hold it for 5 seconds why don't I want traction control on when in snow or sand or mud? BTY Thanks for the time and feed back and I still cant figureout how those guys got the tyranny to over heat and what is active drive 1 or 2 no I dont know and will try to find out :love:(y)
You have Active Drive 1 (AD1), which means AWD but without a Low range (and without a transfer case Neutral as well). AD1 is less capable for off-roading, more serious off-roading that is. When in deep snow, the AD2 system (with Low range) is more efficient and using 4 Low in high rolling resistance conditions (deep snow, mud, sand, etc...) means there will be less or no AWD system overheating.

BTW : when you quickly press the stability control button, yes the light will come on, but you are only in 'Partial Off' mode. Problem is we have no visual indication of this anywhere. But trust me, haha. If you hold the button for 5 seconds, you will get into 'Full Off' mode, for traction control, but only under 35 mph (if memory serves).
So when in Full Off mode, if you speed up to more than 35 mph, the computer will silently go into Partial Off mode again.

Turning traction control off, in high rolling resistance conditions, helps prevent AWD overheating. Many here have tried different settings and have reported this to be true.
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OP here. I got a new set of tires because the dealer said the original issue was due to mismatched tire treads. Now i have Falken Wildpeak AT Trails but I had the same “4wd overheated, temporarily unavailable” message last night when trying to drive up a moderately steep driveway with packed snow. I couldn’t make it up. I tried turning traction control on/off, but the back wheels still would not kick in and i got the message almost immediately after the front wheels started spinning out. Any suggestions? Is this jeep just defective? Thanks.
Hard to say over a forum. We don't know how long the driveway is, how steep it is, how much snow, how wet/packed it is, etc...

About traction/stability control : not sure from your message but I think you disabled it once you had the overheating message, correct ? If so, well, it needs to be shut off before you attack that driveway because once the system overheats, the only cure is to let it cool down.
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