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Problem With Jeep Grand Cherokee Transfer Case

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I have been plagued with this problem and jeep dealers have replaced every part that can be replaced and the problem still exists. Urge everyone with this problem to email CEO Sergio Marchionne detailing your problems. His e-mail address is:

Sergio.Marchionne@Chrysler.com

The last time I had a big problem with car not starting it only took about 3 days and I was assigned a person with a direct telephone number and it didn't take long to get the problem solved. Written words seem to go further than spoken words to a customer help person. At first they replaced the motor to the tune of $785 which took 28 days to get, and only then by my e-mail to the CEO. Then they replaced the module this month to the tune of $375, the problem changed from not going into neutral into not coming out of neutral. Had only gotten one week into a planned 30 day trip. In a strange town, Atlanta, GA, and couldn't get into a shop for a week, so decided to tow it back to my dealer. Sent CEO e-mail yesterday and am waiting for a reply. Have plenty of bills for flashing, dignostics, car rentals towing, extra days at campgrounds etc: Just had a call from Chrysler to request information and he said that he would have someone take care of this problem, time will tell.

Jim Reid

Rocky Mount, NC

reidje99@aol.com

305-781-4007

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I have the EXACT same issue with my 2006 Jeep GC Overland. The N23 update was performed back in March and now I'm stuck in drive mode only. Can't use 4WD or get the Jeep into neutral for towing. It's a wonder - given the stories I have just read on this entire posting (Thanks to ALL) - that I was even able to get it into neutral on the 1st of May to tow it here.

THANK YOU especially to Tom Garrett and Jim Reid for their most recent postings. Because of their postings I made an appointment with the Bozeman MT Jeep dealer and they didn't even question why I needed to come in. As soon as I mentioned the N23 issue, they made the appointment right away. It's set for the 20th of August - the next time I make a grocery run from here in West Yellowstone MT - as I am a seasonal ranger in the park.

Please continue to reply to this issue as without some help from all of you, many of us Jeep owners would be up the proverbial creek without even a boat let alone a paddle. Thanks again guys,

Rick

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I just heard from Alex at Chrysler. He is my contact with the Special Engineering Group that was assigned to resolve my problem. He said that they had completed testing and confirmed that their new "fix" was a go. It was released to all US dealers on this past Friday. It goes out as an e-mail and dealers do not need to receive a disk. So as of this morning your dealer should have this new fix. If you are having problems please contact your dealer ASAP for the new flash. Then everybody make a posting on this Forum as to the results so we all know were we are.

Since I have a new module installed that seems to be working I am going to sit pat and think my vehicle is fixed. I will keep testing it every few days to make sure. But it is up to all of us to keep each other advised as we know that Chrysler won't admit to yet another problem. We have to work as a team. Alex had told me that Chrysler would begin to notify owners to take their vehicles back in but I'll believe that when I get something myself. I'm not doubting Alex but I am doubting Chrysler.

Thanks,

Tom Garrett

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Thanks Tom for the update. I too am a bit hesitant in thinking that the fix will do the trick. As I stated in my earlier post I have an appointment with the local Jeep dealer for the 20th of August and I will certainly let ALL know how that fix goes. In the meantime, I'm sure there are others who will get to their dealers much early than I, so I'd be interested to hear from any that can give earlier feedback.

And ... YES ... let's do this as a team effort.

Thanks again Tom.

Rick

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There is a bit of a touchy subject I would like to bring up since this is a FMCA Forum. I think we would all be a lot further along with this nightmare if FMCA had been willing to send out a shotgun e-mail to all 80,000 members about this problem and request that anyone dealing with this issue please let them know. That is the only way we will ever have any idea of the number of vehicle owners dealing with all this. But they refused. They said they had a policy of sending out as few e-mails to members as possible so as to minimize the bother to members. My comment was that they sure didn't mind sending me e-mails all the time trying to make money off of me for one reason or another.

I would appreciate it if each of you also protested this policy. I feel very strongly that they need to adjust their policy based on the situation. In my opinion they left every single member dealing with this issue hung out to dry so to speak. Without some idea of the number of owners affected we had no leverage with Chrysler. I couldn't even get Chrysler to tell me how many N23 Recalls were issued. I finally learned it was approx. 295,000 from the National Traffic Highway Safety Board on my third attempt. But it is my assumption that this number includes many more vehicles than the ones configured like ours for being towed. FMCA is the only one who could have both alerted everyone affected that they had a problem and get us all an approx. number of those affected. AND they could have also alerted everyone that Chrysler was paying all expenses for some and none for others.

I guess we all need to write a letter to both the Publishing Director Pamela Kay and the Editor Robbin Gould.

Thanks,

Tom Garrett

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I tried the battery disconnect, fuse pull, paid for a new actuator, I didn't need. I confirmed the number on my FDCM and bought one that has been in a salvage shop since Dec 2006. No N23 recall has touched it.

Do I simply unplug and remove the original one and plug in and bolt down the replacement unit?

Do I have to disconnect the battery or any other step to have it work properly?

Thank you!

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To cjv817: Don't know if you HAVE to, but we did disconnect the battery before pulling the old FDCM and plugging in the new one. Our salvage FDCM has been working fine ever since. Note the post from Tom (above) that your dealer should have a fix by now.

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Thank you. We put the salvage fdcm in. I now have ESP BAS and Traction control lights on. I assume they know there is a different computer there and just need to adjust? I have not heard from my dealer. After all I've heen thru with them and this problem you'd think I would. I pushed the traction control button and that light went out but ESP BAS are still luminated.

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Cjv817: we did not get any dashboard lights when we put in the salvage FDCM. Please read all earlier posts as we discussed this. Seems the model/ series number on the modules have to almost match. The one we found was close enough that our works. Other folks have not had the same success.

Read Tom Garretts post from June 27. Suggest you call your dealer and ask for the new fix.

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I went through the same BS with my Jeep Commander, dutifully going in for the "fix". Shortly after like everyone else the transfer case would not go into neutral.Upon my return visit my dealer said bad pin sw. I really doubted this. but OK'ed the repair.

Been back twice since then to have it "FLASHED". Both times I was hooked up behind my motorhome ready to take off! I just tried the fuse removal fix and found for me removing fuse no 33 worked instead of 25.

For now I am good to tow.

John Meints F78291

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I have a 2008 Commander Overland.

Been through the same bs with regard to the N23 recall and the dealers throwing possible solutions at the problem.

Tried the advice about removing fuse no 25, but it didn't do the trick.

I did however remove fuse no 33, and it worked!

John Meints F78291

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The sad thing about all of this that you can just about bet the value of affected models will take a noticeable hit when trade-in time comes. :ph34r:

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I have a 2005 Grand Cherokee, and have been following this forum. My history is as follows. I had the N23 change done on August 27, 2013. On October 13, 2013, I found It would not shift into Neutral to be towed. I took it back to the dealer, and they did their module magic. On a trip on April 15, 2014, it failed to shift into neutral in Nebraska. The dealer in North Platte charged me, and got it to work with a module zap. By now, I should have seen the light. On July 5, 2014, I checked before I started on a trip. Back to the Jeep dealer, who, this time, charged me for the re-zap. It seems to last more than a few days, because I was able to shift into 4-low today. But I can't really trust that. My Jeep dealer pleads ignorance of a code change that has been eluded to above. My jeep owners manual refers to fuse 23 and 25 in the Power Distribution Center, and fuse 22 in the Integrated Power Module as FDCM fuses. My dealer wants to replace a part on the transfer case, if he ever gets one in. Since the one that is there works correctly, I am not ready to do that. Can anyone give me a way to reference the code fix, so I can ask the Dealer? If not, is fuse 25 the correct one to pull?

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Just recently purchased 2007 Grand Cherokee to pull behind our motorhome. Made sure to get one that had the capability to shift the transfer case into neutral for flat towing. However, like a dummy, did not actually try it to make sure that it worked before purchase. Long story short, had all the hitch equipment and wiring etc., installed and thought it might be a good idea to hook it all up to make sure everything worked, as we have a 5000 mile trip coming up soon. Everything went as planned until it came time to shift the transfer case into neutral. Just as you have all discovered, it wouldn't work. So I started researching and luckily found this forum.

I would like to thank all of you for your entries. With the information I gained from the forum I was able to use the fuse trick to get it working, at least temporarily, and thanks to Tom Garret's entries, was able to contact my Chrysler service center and found that my vehicle had the N23 recall performed in June of 2014 before I bought it. They also advised that they had received an updated "fix" for the N23 recall in the past month. Bottom line is, they installed the new software fix this morning and so far, so good. Time will tell. If it continues to work during my upcoming trip, I will consider myself very fortunate that I was able to get this information, and get it taken care of so quickly, and best of all at no expense.

I will check back in after the trip with an after action report.

Thanks again for all the good information that put me on the right track.

Sam Johnson

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Has anyone had the new N23 software fix applied to their Jeep GC and been able to test it BEYOND the one week or so timeframe that the older fixes addressed? I'm trying to avoid getting the newest N23 fix applied to my Jeep this coming week - August 20th to be exact - and then not being able to get it into neutral around the first of October - well beyond the one week timeframe - when we leave West Yellowstone MT.

Also, can anyone verify that pulling fuse 25 also works for a short term fix?

Thanks so much you guys !!!

Rick

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Hey All,

I just had the newest N23 recall software fix applied to our 2006 Jeep GC Overland and it worked just fine. Everything is back to working like it should. I checked both shifting into neutral AND shifting into 4WD. Both work fine. No charge from dealer as well as they knew it was Jeep's N23 original recall that started this whole thing from the beginning. I'll check it again in a week or so to verify all is well and report back to this thread.

Finally,

Rick

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Just returned from 4600 mile trip over three weeks. Shifted the transfer case in and out of neutral several times with no problem. Works as designed, so the new fix that Chrysler came out with a little over a month ago seems to work fine. It took about 30 minutes at the dealer to have it installed at no cost.

Thanks to everyone who supplied information on this forum that pointed me in the right direction.

Sam Johnson

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Jeep N23 Recall problems

For starters, I have a 2006 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited that I purchased new as a vehicle to tow behind our RV. I have had no problems towing this vehicle 4 wheels down for seven years until getting the Jeep N23 recall fix. Since then it will periodically give the message to Service 4WD System when doing the procedure to put it in 4WD neutral for towing.

We have actually had to leave our Jeep on the street when we had a service appointment for our RV 120 miles away because we couldn't tow it.

It doesn't take much to find that there are thousands of people affected by this problem as quick Google search for Jeep Service 4WD System gets thousands of hits. The first few zero in on the problem for many started after getting the N23 recall fix. It turns out that after the fix the affected vehicles will eventually not be able to put the vehicle in 4WD neutral for towing or in 4WD LOW for off roading.

The reason for the recall is that a cracked circuit board that controls the 4WD Low and 4WD Neutral can cause the vehicle to go into neutral when stopped in park. This could result in the vehicle rolling away when parked across a parking lot or worse, down a hill. That of course, assumes that people dont use their emergency brake when parking.

So instead of fixing the cracked circuit board Jeep came up with a software fix. You DON'T FIX CRACKED CIRCUIT BOARDS WITH SOFTWARE. So what did they do? Apparently they fixed software in the FDCM the Final Drive Control Module. The FDCM is a different component that apparently takes instructions from the cracked circuit board, but has the ability to override that board. When you have different electronic components that communicate with each other that is usually called a Distributed Control System. It is distributed because each module takes care of its own function so you dont need one big computer running everything. So it appears the circuit board that might crack controls the 4WD Low and neutral and the FDCM transfers control to that module when that function is needed.

I work with DCS systems, my guess is that the reprogramming of the FDCM added some diagnostics that check for signals from the board that controls 4WD Low and neutral. When the signals indicate the board might have the crack that initiated the recall, the FDCM prevents that board from ever taking control of the 4WD drive system. When you try to use 4WD low or neutral you get the only message that was available in the FDCM to display Service 4WD System. This is a cheap patch that doesnt fix the problem a cracked circuit board that should be repaired or replaced.

The internet is full of how to temporarily fix this problem. You open the hood, find the fuse box with the FDCM fuse, remove the fuse, start the vehicle and move it back and forth a few feet and turn off the engine. Then you replace the fuse and now you have 4WD control again for a while. On my 2006 Jeep Grand Cherokee it is Fuse #25.

The fact that many people are able to fix the problem with this fuse trick tells me that my circuit board is probably OK or the warning message would come back immediately. I expect that the software patch that looks for a problem may be responding to intermittent noise instead of a solid indication of failure. Perhaps even electrical spikes from starting the engine or cycling the AC compressor might give a spike that the FDCM counts a failure and then locks out the 4WD control.

With this kind of control systems they should be able to add a little more logic to not only detect conditions that indicate there might be a problem, but also do some testing to be sure that the problem is solid and not an intermittent. For example something as simple as putting time delays on the inputs to make sure that the indication of a bad board stays for more than a second or two. Or add some subsequent testing to make sure that the problem exists a few minutes later. And if it doesn't, then reset the lockout.

Jeep appears to be taking a big risk with the cheap fix. They admit to knowing they have a problem with a cracked circuit board. You dont fix a cracked circuit board with software. They should fix or replace the circuit boards. We buy these vehicles because we expect some kind of quality from Jeep. As the word spreads that Jeep has screwed up the most desirable feature and is willing to cripple the vehicles rather than provide a real fix the word will get out and they will suffer like GM was over the problem with their ignition keys.

Instead they are in DENIAL that this problem exists. From internet postings it appears to have become a CASH COW for less than reputable service departments. They deny that they've heard ANY complaints from people having this problem and proceed to try to sell new actuators or other fixes. The follow up posts often tell how they pay hundreds of dollars for fixes and then the problem comes back. These are growing and may soon hit a critical mass that could be severely damaging to the Jeep reputation.

And heaven forbid that someone is killed or injured because they get caught in an off road situation and cant get into 4WD low when they need it. Or someone who tows their Jeep behind an RV has to leave it in a bad location because it wont go into 4WD Low and has it stolen or damages while they drive their RV to some place to get help.

Chrysler Jeep needs to take responsibility for this screwed up fix and do a real N23 fix. Even if they have to spend a lot of money on circuit board replacement labor, it may be well worth it to protect the brand.

I'm at a different dealer now to have it checked. We'll see.

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Hi All,

I just read dhj1974's most recent post and even though I have checked again - shifting into and out of neutral several times and shifting into 4WD several times - the newest N23 software fix seems to be working fine. But after reading this post, though, now I am a bit more concerned. Do I have a cracked circuit board or not? Is there some way to tell?

Also, is dhj1974 aware that Fiat now owns Jeep and not Chrysler? I wonder if he's onto something here that Fiat is trying to avoid a large recall of GC's and doesn't want to own up to a problem? Does anyone know what causes the circuit board to crack in the first place?

Sorry for all the questions. I just thought that everything was OK with our 2006 GC and now I'm wondering.

By the way ... THANK YOU to all who have posted here as this information is valuable and I, for one, appreciate all the effort. Keep 'em coming.

Rick

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Wow...I'm so glad I found this forum. I have a 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee that the same thing happened to last spring. We had it all hooked up for towing behind the motorhome ready for 1200 miles trip to Wisconsin when wouldn't go into neutral. And yes, the Jeep had the N23 software fix done previously at the dealer. Anyway, unhooked the Jeep, drove everything to the dealer and waited for them to open. Got in pretty quickly...they did a flash module thing and all OK. Dealer said something about actuator and $700-800 dollars and I said maybe later as we needed to get on the road. Drove to WI and then back with no issues, but then same thing happened on next short trip to beach. I drove the Jeep home separately as wouldn't go into neutral, but that's a short 1.5 hr trip. Haven't called the dealer yet to tell them about this forum, but will do soon as have another beach trip planned.

It's a shame that Jeep hasn't stepped up to the plate here and been helpful to the owners. Satisfied & happy customers are repeat customers!!! Jeep needs to go back to school on this one.

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