Flashing warning lights on the dashboard might be unsettling or panicky to the driver, especially if he has just started driving. The reason behind these warning lights is that various computer systems or sensors are installed in our vehicle for troubleshooting any malfunction notified in the form of a service message.
Service messages could range from low tire pressure warnings, end of fuel warnings to the safety belt, ABS, or even service-required warnings.
If you see a blinking notification of “Service 4WD System,” I recommend you to check before routing your jeep forward. For more information, read the following DIY techniques to fix your Jeep Grand Cherokee warning service 4WD system.
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- To avoid this message, ensure shifting from 2WD to 4WD while the ignition is turned off.
- Seek professional help if there is an issue with the transfer case motor or solenoid.
- Regularly take your jeep for service maintenance to protect it from permanent damage.
What does ‘4WD’ mean?
4WD stands for ‘Four Wheel Drive. There are four types of drivetrains in an automobile, i.e., Rear-wheel, four-wheel, all-wheel, and front-wheel. These drive trains require different fuel consumption along with the variation of power they can deliver.
The most common type is rear-wheel drive, in which the engine supplies most of the power to the rear wheels that control the jeep’s driving mechanism. Rear-wheel drive is suggested for daily use where less energy is required and fuel consumption is low.
However, if the roads are bumpy or stacked with mud or ice. In that case, 4WD is suggested as the engine supplies power to all four wheels giving extra energy for driving smoothly on rough terrain. But, the downside of 4WD comes with additional fuel consumption.
What is a ‘Service 4WD System’ warning?
‘Service 4WD system’ flashlight activation means an issue with the four-wheel driving system that needs to be checked immediately.
Some of the possible causes for the service 4WD warning are listed here:
- An incomplete shift in gears
- Programming faults
An incomplete shift in gears
Usually, when a driver converts the transmission from 2WD to 4WD during driving, the gears are not shifted completely, leading to the blinking of this service warning.
It might result in causing permanent damage to your engine, or if the problem is not that serious, you may feel a lack of driving power in mud or snow.
Automobiles work similarly to a computer. Numerous times, there is no apparent fault in the jeep; still, it is flashing some unusual warning signs. It is due to any programming fault in jeep sensors resulting in fake warning messages.
If you are a new driver, I highly recommend you get your jeep checked by a professional mechanic before you mess up the whole thing.
If the problem is with the gear shift motor circuit. In that case, you may have to pay around $400 to $600, depending on the issue’s sensitivity. If the problem is due to the solenoid, the possible expenditure would be about $150 to $250.
DIY – How to Reset Jeep Grand Cherokee Warning Service 4WD System?
You can reset this service 4WD system warning message by yourself if you have some know-how with driving and maintaining jeeps. But ensure you reset this button only if you have performed the scheduled maintenance; otherwise, it could easily keep you stranded somewhere offroad.
Moreover, I recommend you to check your owner’s manual before applying any of the methods below, as they might vary with the change of Jeep Cherokee models.
Method #1: Brake
- Switch on the ignition but don’t start driving.
- Put your foot on the gas pedal and accelerate it three times.
- Turn off the ignition
- Start your jeep after 2 minutes.
Method #2: Resetting Computer
- Open the bonnet of the jeep.
- Disconnect the negative terminal
- Reset the computer
Method #3:Reset through STEP
- Turn on the ignition without driving.
- Now locate the ‘STEP’ button in your Jeep Grand Cherokee
- By the time you find it, press and hold the STEP button
- A menu will be displayed on the screen asking, ‘How many miles are left until scheduled service?”
- Press the RESET button
These methods would clear out the message if the message displayed were a fake issue or if there was some temporary gear shift problem of the motor.
Seek professional help
First, check whether this is a programming fault, or your jeep needs maintenance.
You can do this by setting the type of drive in 4WD first, then driving the jeep up to 10 feet in a straight motion on concrete pavement. Then turn your steering to the extreme right or left direction and drive forward. If you feel any resistance from the jeep, your 4WD is working fine; otherwise, in the case of no resistance, you must get it checked by a mechanic.
The mechanic will check the coded message through a scanning tool to determine whether there is a problem with differential solenoids or gear shift motor circuits.
How to avoid this message?
To avoid this service 4WD system warning, make a habit of turning off the engine first, then shift in the gears. This will help you protect your jeep from any further damage. Also, it is going to help you in a smoother transition.
Shifting from 2WD to 4WD works like transitioning from a gasoline engine to a CNG engine. This transition also works smoothly while the engine is turned off.
4WD is always more expensive than 2WD due to the functional complexity and fuel expenditures. Besides complexities, 4WD is always beneficial in areas where you need to drive on rough terrains, heights, or muddy fields.
I always recommend you take your jeep to a professional expert on scheduled maintenance routine for protecting hefty damage to your wallet. However, if you are expert enough in dealing with the problems yourself, you can try the above-given methods.
I hope you find this article helpful. Till the next one, have a safe drive!