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Towing 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee

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I purchased a 2014 Grand Cherokee to replace an older Liberty/dinghy with a manual transfer case. After having Camping World install a 2nd vehicle package on the GC I tried to prepare it to be towed IAW the User Guide (page 116).

The instructions (I condense them for space) were to select "run" without starting the engine and to shift the transmission to Neutral before depressing the transfer case Neutral button. I could not move the transmission selector handle out of Park. A quick trip to a nearby Jeep dealership and having a service tech follow the instructions produced the same non-result -- which prompted a call and a one hour trip to the selling dealership.

To cut to the bottom line, the instructions in the User Guide are WRONG and contain inaccurate information. (Perhaps the instructions are a carryover from the 2013 that no longer apply to the 2014.)

One must start the engine and shift to Neutral before depressing the transfer case button. The message the instructions indicate will be displayed on the Electronic Vehicle Information Center (EVIC), won't. When Neutral is displayed in the top, left area of the EVIC, then turn off the engine. The transmission automatically shifts to Park and frees up the steering wheel to tow the vehicle. I will attempt to contact Chrysler/Jeep to inform them of the faulty instructions. If I can't reach the right person at Jeep, I created a WORD document that provides my version of the instruction that can be clipped and taped over the instructions in the User Guide. To receive a copy, contact me at

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LeRoy, did you depress the brake pedal when attempting to shift from park to neutral? I have a Jeep Wrangler, the instructions are probably the same. I find the Dealers are not much help on infomation regarding towing and their tech department is no help at all, you get someone in India.

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Greetings, I had spoken with someone at a campground in June in Massachusetts they had a brand new 2014 Grand Cherokee Limited. They had told me about the manual being wrong. As I am getting close to delivery of my Jeep Grand Cherokee Diesel I sought to review the situation. Thank you for your report, I did a google search and came right to here.

It does seem like they have made some changes since your edition was published; what Edition was it? I am guessing the first. I don't think they have perfected it though, what areas are still wrong? I think, from what you said only the message part is wrong now.

Also, the main reason it is completely different this year(BTW the version in your manual didn't even apply to last year), is the new electronic 8 speed transmission. One thing is, there is no physical linkage between the shift lever and the transmission.

Below is the current way the Fourth Edition of the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Owners manual shows the procedure for shifting the transfer case into neutral for recreational towing:

1. Bring the vehicle to a complete stop, with the engine running.

2. Press and hold the brake pedal.

3. Shift the transmission into NEUTRAL.

4. If vehicle is equipped with Quadra-Lift™ air suspension, ensure the vehicle is set to Normal Ride Height.

5. Using a ballpoint pen or similar object, press and hold the recessed transfer case 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. A “FOUR WHEEL DRIVE SYSTEM IN NEUTRAL” message will display on the EVIC (Electronic Vehicle Information Center). Refer to “Electronic Vehicle Information Center (EVIC)” in “Understanding Your Instrument Panel” for further information.

6. After the shift is completed and the NEUTRAL (N) light stays on, release the NEUTRAL (N) button.

7. Shift the transmission into REVERSE.

8. Release the brake pedal for five seconds and ensure that there is no vehicle movement.

9. Shift the transmission back into NEUTRAL

10. With the transmission and transfer case in NEUTRAL, press and hold the ENGINE START/STOP button until the engine turns off. Turning the engine off will automatically place the transmission in PARK.

11. Press the ENGINE STOP/START button again (without pressing the brake pedal), if needed, to turn the ignition switch to the OFF position.

12. Firmly apply the parking brake.

13. Attach the vehicle to the tow vehicle using a suitable tow bar.

14. Release the parking brake.


• Steps 1 through 4 are requirements that must be met before pressing the NEUTRAL (N) button, and must continue to be met until the shift has been completed. If any of these requirements are not met before pressing the NEUTRAL (N) button or are no longer met during the shift, then the NEUTRAL (N) indicator light will flash continuously until all requirements are met or until the NEUTRAL (N) button is released.

• The ignition switch must be in the ON/RUN position for a shift to take place and for the position indicator lights to be operable. If the ignition switch is not in the ON/RUN position, the shift will not take place and no position indicator lights will be on or flashing.

• A flashing NEUTRAL (N) position indicator light indicates that shift requirements have not been met.

• If the vehicle is equipped with Quadra-Lift™ air suspension, the engine should be started and left running for a minimum of 60 seconds (with all the doors closed) at least once every 24 hours. This process allows the air suspension to adjust the vehicle’s ride height to compensate for temperature effects.

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With regard about the transmission being placed into reverse (step 7) after the button is pushed for the transfer case to shift to NEUTRAL, is it imperative that the transmission be placed in REVERSE??? Could it likewise be placed into DRIVE/SPORT to achieve the same purpose? Usually (at least when I leave home) we are parked facing uphill and the natural thing to happen is that placing the transmission into reverse will duplicate movement caused by the slope, and not necessarily REVERSE. Is there a mysterious reason (required by the software controlling the transfer case) that one must use REVERSE? Would not the same purpose be served if one used FORWARD instead of REVERSE or is it a requirement to satisfy the on board computer that the transmission MUST be shifted to REVERSE? I know that common sense would dictate that both REVERSE and DRIVE would indicate that the engine would move the car if the transfer case was not in NEUTRAL. We are dealing with computer logic, not common sense logic.


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Yes the 2014 Users Guide is wrong and has been noted in probably every forum on towing.

I suggest everyone with a 2014 Grand Cherokee order the Full Owners Manual (600+ pages) and other publications offered for free to the first owner. Look on the Consumers Assistance page (mine is page 183) in the Users Guide and find the Publications Ordering section and call the number to get the latest Owners Manual.

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I have a Jeep Cherokee Limited. When I tried to put the transfer case into neutral, I could not do it for more than four hours for trying. It was hot outside as I was trying. I tried following the manual numerous times during those four hours, but the transfer case would not go into neutral. Since it was hot outside, I left the car door open during those four hours.

Then it began raining, and I closed the door and tried again. Lo and behold, it worked; the transfer case went into neutral. I did not realize that it was necessary to have the door closed when going through the process of putting the transfer case into neutral.

So, REMEMBER, CLOSE THE DARN CAR DOOR when you are trying to switch the transfer case into or out of that neutral condition.



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We have a 2011 Grand Cherokee Overland (new to us) when I do the process everything seems to work but those words do NOT come up on the dash. We can roll the Jeep freely but it doesn't say that in the EVIC? Anyone else have that problem?

We've towed Jeeps for years and no problem which is why we bought this one.



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