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Discussion Starter #1
My V6 TH just passed two years old and 16k miles.

I've noticed that over the past couple of months, the ESS no longer activates unless I've gone on a highway drive of more than ~45 minutes. On my daily 20min (each way) commute, the stop/start system only displays "system not ready, battery charging." There are no warning lights on. If I put on a battery tender overnight, it indicates that the battery is fully charged, but I still don't get ESS. And I'm in near San Francisco, so it's not that it doesn't get up to temperature...

Last week it was at the dealer for an oil change and tire rotation (last one from the Wave program!). Since then, about every other day on my way home, at basically the same location while on a fairly steep incline, the Jeep goes for a shift and seems to get really confused. A couple of times it told me to shift into N or P and then back into gear. Other times, the RPM gauge jumps up but it doesn't sound like engine is actually revving and I don't make any forward progress (and no dash messages). Then eventually it "catches" and I can move forward again. When this happens, it usually happens a couple of times in a row until I get to the top of the hill. Always fun to be holding up a line of cars when everyone is trying to get home.

There are no warning lights or other messages, which seems odd to me.

Any thoughts on this behavior? I hate to drop it at the dealer if it's not 100% reproducible and there are no warnings. Note that on my visit last week I mentioned the week battery and they checked the codes, but found nothing. Due to the annoying way they do servicing (no appointments for oil, appointments needed for everything else), I did not leave it with them for a full diagnostic last time. Apparently that was a mistake.

I really like the TH, but these electrical and tranny gremlins don't inspire confidence.

210613
 

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My V6 TH just passed two years old and 16k miles.

I've noticed that over the past couple of months, the ESS no longer activates unless I've gone on a highway drive of more than ~45 minutes. On my daily 20min (each way) commute, the stop/start system only displays "system not ready, battery charging." There are no warning lights on. If I put on a battery tender overnight, it indicates that the battery is fully charged, but I still don't get ESS. And I'm in near San Francisco, so it's not that it doesn't get up to temperature...

Last week it was at the dealer for an oil change and tire rotation (last one from the Wave program!). Since then, about every other day on my way home, at basically the same location while on a fairly steep incline, the Jeep goes for a shift and seems to get really confused. A couple of times it told me to shift into N or P and then back into gear. Other times, the RPM gauge jumps up but it doesn't sound like engine is actually revving and I don't make any forward progress (and no dash messages). Then eventually it "catches" and I can move forward again. When this happens, it usually happens a couple of times in a row until I get to the top of the hill. Always fun to be holding up a line of cars when everyone is trying to get home.

There are no warning lights or other messages, which seems odd to me.

Any thoughts on this behavior? I hate to drop it at the dealer if it's not 100% reproducible and there are no warnings. Note that on my visit last week I mentioned the week battery and they checked the codes, but found nothing. Due to the annoying way they do servicing (no appointments for oil, appointments needed for everything else), I did not leave it with them for a full diagnostic last time. Apparently that was a mistake.

I really like the TH, but these electrical and tranny gremlins don't inspire confidence.
Hey there,

Well... for the ESS problem, it does sound like a dying battery. Putting a non healthy battery on an overnight charge may yield a charged reading, but that doesn't mean the battery is healthy, just that it reached a certain voltage. I was able to get a charged condition with my OEM battery when it was slowly failing. ESS is a good, though unintented, battery health monitor... When you see the message about battery charging (and no ESS) for a while and then it goes away and ESS works, it's (to me) pretty clear you need a new battery. We've had quite a few members report about early battery death in their 2019s, perhaps less with 2018s but the possibility is definitely there ; it could be a defective battery cell doing this.
My advice : have the battery load tested at the dealership. Explain to them how ESS comes and goes, with the battery charging message. If they test it and say it's good, I would go for a second opinion... as in a load test at an auto parts store or small garage.

Is there a link between your possibly dying battery and the weird shifting going uphill ? Can't say I've seen this before, sounds more like a tranny issue of some kind. I guess you'd need to make this reproduceable so you have ammo at the dealership... Just curious : have you tried using ERS (electronic range select) to manually shift/set high gear when going up that hill ?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply, @Mark_.

Yes, I just need to get the dealer to properly test the battery. Annoying since I was just there! My fault for not persisting, I guess.

I haven’t tried ERS going up that hill, though I use it every day going down that spot so I don’t have to ride the brakes. I’ll give it a shot. And maybe use my GoPro on that section to record what happens.
 

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My V6 TH just passed two years old and 16k miles.

I've noticed that over the past couple of months, the ESS no longer activates unless I've gone on a highway drive of more than ~45 minutes. On my daily 20min (each way) commute, the stop/start system only displays "system not ready, battery charging." There are no warning lights on. If I put on a battery tender overnight, it indicates that the battery is fully charged, but I still don't get ESS. And I'm in near San Francisco, so it's not that it doesn't get up to temperature...

Last week it was at the dealer for an oil change and tire rotation (last one from the Wave program!). Since then, about every other day on my way home, at basically the same location while on a fairly steep incline, the Jeep goes for a shift and seems to get really confused. A couple of times it told me to shift into N or P and then back into gear. Other times, the RPM gauge jumps up but it doesn't sound like engine is actually revving and I don't make any forward progress (and no dash messages). Then eventually it "catches" and I can move forward again. When this happens, it usually happens a couple of times in a row until I get to the top of the hill. Always fun to be holding up a line of cars when everyone is trying to get home.

There are no warning lights or other messages, which seems odd to me.

Any thoughts on this behavior? I hate to drop it at the dealer if it's not 100% reproducible and there are no warnings. Note that on my visit last week I mentioned the week battery and they checked the codes, but found nothing. Due to the annoying way they do servicing (no appointments for oil, appointments needed for everything else), I did not leave it with them for a full diagnostic last time. Apparently that was a mistake.

I really like the TH, but these electrical and tranny gremlins don't inspire confidence.

View attachment 210613
Hello clr,
While I understand your hesitation of reaching back out to your dealer for diagnosis, we kindly recommend connecting with your dealer if you are not able to remedy the concern based on the advice provided here. If you are in need of any additional assistance with that process, please feel free to send us a private message.
Laura
JeepCares
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Just a follow-up... I'm scheduled to have the battery checked out at the dealer next Wed. At this point I am pretty convinced that all the weird behavior I'm seeing is related to the battery.

Still baffled that all this stuff only happens on one particular hill on my commute, especially as I go up (and down) other hills too!

Anyway, today I got some warnings and messages which I've documented and will provide to the dealer.
  • "4WD system unavailable"
  • ESC light stays on in the cluster
  • CEL with code P1614, which seems to be related to a low-voltage situation
 

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FCA Customer Support Group
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Just a follow-up... I'm scheduled to have the battery checked out at the dealer next Wed. At this point I am pretty convinced that all the weird behavior I'm seeing is related to the battery.

Still baffled that all this stuff only happens on one particular hill on my commute, especially as I go up (and down) other hills too!

Anyway, today I got some warnings and messages which I've documented and will provide to the dealer.
  • "4WD system unavailable"
  • ESC light stays on in the cluster
  • CEL with code P1614, which seems to be related to a low-voltage situation
Hello clr,
Please keep us updated with your dealer appointment. If you need any additional assistance throughout that process, please do not hesitate reaching out to us.
Laura
JeepCares
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Got the car back from the dealer today. Results: battery replaced under warranty. Everything else tested ok. Due to the current situation I won’t be commuting for a while, but I anticipate that this is now all resolved.

While I’m glad it was just the battery, it was surprising to me how much influence it has over the operation of the rest of the vehicle, even seemingly unrelated systems- like the ability to use 4WD. Guess that’s the way it is with new-ish cars.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Got the same symptoms today at the same spot! Why is this one small section of incline able to regularly defeat a "trail rated" Cherokee Trailhawk?

Obviously I haven't been driving much due to the current situation, but everything had been fine after the battery replacement a couple of months ago.

And then on the hill today: the Jeep seems to miss a gear, forward progress is halted, then it lurches as it finds a gear, and the CEL comes on. P1614, same as before. No other messages this time.

So annoying. How I can I trust this thing in the mountains if I can't even get up a little hill by my house?
 

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Got the same symptoms today at the same spot! Why is this one small section of incline able to regularly defeat a "trail rated" Cherokee Trailhawk?

Obviously I haven't been driving much due to the current situation, but everything had been fine after the battery replacement a couple of months ago.

And then on the hill today: the Jeep seems to miss a gear, forward progress is halted, then it lurches as it finds a gear, and the CEL comes on. P1614, same as before. No other messages this time.

So annoying. How I can I trust this thing in the mountains if I can't even get up a little hill by my house?
Can you take it to another dealer? I ask only because I don't know how spread out there are in your neck of the woods. I know I had a check engine light come on in my 2019 at one point, brought it to the dealer and the service advisor used to service managers personal code reader read the code said it was related to the transmission and there was a star case patch to fix it, and made an appointment to do so. the cleared the code for me so that I did not have a check engine light binging at me. and it fixed some rough shifting that I was having going up steep hills. (although I never had your experience of coming to a stop on them)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks @Bellingham Trailhawk. Yes, it seems like it's time to try a different dealer. There are plenty of options nearby, just have to drive a bit further. I really want to like this vehicle, but the electrical gremlins are super annoying.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Is ESS working ?
Yes, ESS is working.

Though on the first part of my trip I did get some other weird (i.e., not seen before) errors about servicing the parking brake, followed by the ESC being disabled. It fixed itself after a subsequent restart.
 

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Sounds like it could be a voltage problem. Not using the vehicle regularly still drains the battery without recharging it. This has happened before...I assume a trickle charger wasn’t used.


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Discussion Starter #14
It's not on a tender, but I am driving it at least 2x per week, and it has enough charge to use the ESS system on those trips.
 

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Hmmm. If it were low voltage related, ESS would be offline. This is a tough one. Could be a faulty sensor, or a bad ground somewhere.
Battery connectors on tight ?
 

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Hmmm. If it were low voltage related, ESS would be offline. This is a tough one. Could be a faulty sensor, or a bad ground somewhere.
Battery connectors on tight ?
Yeah, it's bizarre because it's been fine since I got the new battery in March- until today. I'll take it for another drive tomorrow and see what happens.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
This is becoming quite the saga...

Took it to the dealer on Wed. They reprogrammed the TCM and said all was good.

On the way home from the dealer today, it did the clunk-rev-rev-clunk-go routine, and then it got stuck in 3rd gear with many warning lights lit. That's annoying.

Pulled the codes when I got home and they were pretty much all TCM related. After letting it sit and then restarting, it was able to find 1st gear again, but I didn't try driving it.

So, it goes back to the dealer tomorrow. At least this time I'm getting a loaner.
 

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I hope this is the final update to this thread.

My KL was at the dealer for the last several days and they replaced the transmission control module. The shifts still feel a bit clunky, but maybe I'm just overly sensitive at this point! Will see how it does on future drives.

I will say that the 8spd ZF in the Grand Cherokee loaner I had was great! No weird shift behavior, clunks, or any other funny business. Just reliable and repeatable results. Nice.
 

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Yes, the ZF 8-speed is a great transmission, I had it in my 392 Challenger. The 9-speed is....not so much. Admittedly the latter was designed for a tiny space and is in no way a performance tranny, so a direct comparison is probably unfair. At least mine has been reliable and not overly annoying. Hope the OP’s is fixed to his liking.



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