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ray.czaplewski@gmail.com

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  1. The 2016 Jeep Cherokee is susceptible to a damaging shimmy while being flat towed. The Family Motor Coach Association published a short article in the RV News section of the January 2016 issue of FMC Magazine titled “Towing Solution For Jeep Cherokee.” Please read this article for the details, but here’s a short version. Onset of the shimmy is related to some perturbation, such as driving over a speed bump at low speed or hitting a pothole at high speed. The only immediate solution is to come to a complete stop, and then resume travel. Page 613 of the 2016 Jeep Cherokee Owner’s Manual (4th Edition) advises “Before towing, see your authorized dealer for the Mopar flat tow wiring kit.” Page 617 states “Failure to use the proper Mopar wiring kit to power the steering system during recreational towing may damage the vehicle’s steering system and/or other vehicle components.” I’ve been told this wiring kit will keep the electric power steering pump active while ignition is in the recommended OFF position for flat towning. I contacted the parts technician at the local dealership from which we purchased our 2016 Jeep. He could not find this wiring kit in his online Mopar inventory system. He contacted “Chrysler Specifying.” Their database titled the part “Tow Vehicle Assist Wiring”. He was able to get the following part numbers. U68321424AA is the wiring kit for the 2014 Cherokee, which might work for the 2016 Cherokee. There were about 15 of these kits on national inventory at retail dealerships. However, none of those dealerships were willing to give them up. It remains uncertain whether or not the 2014 kit will work correctly on our 2016 model. U68321424AB is the wiring kit for the 2016 Cherokee. It has more detailed installation instructions than the 2014 part. According to this FMC Magazine article, Jeep will “provide a complimentary jumper wire harness and switch to ensure the vehicle’s EPS system has power to function while it is being flat-towed.” However, the local Jeep parts technician said his Mopar “Specifying” source told him the wiring kit will cost about $120 not including labor for installation. As of March 22, 2016, the U68321424AB part is not available from any source. I contacted Chrysler Customer Service at 877-426-5337. They professed no means to advise me when that part would be, or becomes, available. I did ask that a formal complaint be filed under my name in their customer service database. The customer service representative advised me that any damage to our Cherokee caused by towing without the “Mopar flat tow wiring kit” might not be covered under the factory warrantee. I must say that the local parts technician was very eager to help, but in the end, all he could do is take my name and promise to check his inventory system periodically. The customer service representative at Chrysler’s national call center was very thorough and professional, but again, there was little she could do to help other than take down my formal complaint. Page 615 of the Cherokee Owner’s Manual (4th Edition) states “You must ensure that the Auto Park Brake feature is disabled before towing this vehicle, to avoid inadvertent Electric Park Brake engagement. The Auto Park Brake feature is enabled or disabled via the customer programmable features in the Uconnect Settings.” The idea is to reduce risk of accidentally setting the Park Brake during flat tow. Documentation for the Uconnect Settings starts on page 408 of the Owner’s Manual (4th Edition). I did not find anything specific about the Auto Park Brake in this section of the Manual, but it was easy to figure out when I accessed the onboard Uconnect 8.4 Settings Menu 0n our Cherokee dashboard.
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