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Important Towing Information: 2014-2016 Jeep Cherokee

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We have the kit installed BUT the steps required are a PIA. It was towed three times OK then we were in NC in November, hooked up and the rear wheels were locked up. Brake was off. I disconnected again and went through the steps again. Then the car went nuts. Would start and run 3 seconds, odometer was flashing, dash display said steering requires service. Called the rollback, hauled to the closest dealer. We planned to be in NC for one day but the dealer had it for a week. The problem disappeared while they were checking it, could not duplicate it. Lots of error codes and most cleared when it started working again. 

I assume the EXACT sequence must be followed when setting up and again when disconnecting from towing mode. I now have my own instruction sheet (attached) made from the exact steps in the owner manual with the switch and fuse instructions inserted where it belongs. Setup has 22 steps, disconnect has 17 steps. I hope this works but we do not trust it. Lots of extra stress every time we tow because it takes 10 minutes to connect and another 10 minutes to disconnect. Busy camp grounds will not be happy with me whoile blocking the roadway. We do not want to be staying extra days somewhere while a dealer tries to get it working again. We like the Cherokee but maybe we should be towing a Wrangler. We had two Wrangler over the last 12 years and no issues.

I am curious if anyone else has had issues. Jeep does not seem to have any clue about the whole thing.

Cherokee Towing Setup Rev-1.xls

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I sent an email to Kori about my Cherokee as suggested by bobged but never received a reply. But I went ahead a got the wiring harness installed today. It only cost me $290.44 including the cost of the harness so it sounds like I got off better than some who have posted on this forum. still think it is very irresponsible of FCA to not stand behind a design flaw and safety hazard.

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My Cherokee has been a PIA but now seems to be OK with the kit. I added a relay in place of the toggle switch as discussed on this forum. It seemed like a great idea. Here is my experience and one last question for the forum. Sorry this is rather long but may help others with their Cherokee.

In North Carolina (my relay was still used in place of the toggle switch), the parking brake came as I hooked up on so I disconnected everything and started the process all over. Then the engine would not start and the dash display said "power steering service required" and various other strange things happened. A rollback took it to a dealer since it would not start. After staying unplanned for an extra week, the dealer said it suddenly started OK. They cleared a lot of error messages and it worked OK.

I believe my addition of a relay in place of the toggle switch caused part of the problem. It was triggered on at the same time as the under hood relay was energized. I believe both relays engaging at the exact same time created confusion on the network buss. I went back to the factory toggle switch and so far no problem except for the following observation:

Steering stays activated
I noticed that the steering stays active for 17 minutes after the toggle switch is turned off and the relay under the hood is de-energized. I have seen others comment about this. I have avoided any ignition sequence to get it back to driving mode until the steering goes inactive. So far this has worked OK but the Jeep is often setting in the roadway for 20 minutes before I dare try to move it. I do not want to risk another incident as I believe starting the vehicle while the steering is still powered up may have been the cause of my issue in North Carolina.

I would appreciate others sharing their experience regarding the steering remaining active.
 

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Is anyone using a battery charger/maintainer to keep the battery up while towing? If so what type are you using? Or does the wiring harness modification not draw that much. The instructions I received with the wiring harness/switch said one should be used if towing for more than 3 hours.

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On 2/23/2017 at 7:11 PM, smokey67 said:

I sent an email to Kori about my Cherokee as suggested by bobged but never received a reply. But I went ahead a got the wiring harness installed today. It only cost me $290.44 including the cost of the harness so it sounds like I got off better than some who have posted on this forum. still think it is very irresponsible of FCA to not stand behind a design flaw and safety hazard.

I just saw your post.  I'm surprised that either Kori or someone else from JeepCares didn't get back to you.  In any case here is Kori's direct email address: (EMAIL OWNER REQUESTED EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED).  Just keep in mind she can only help those with 2014-2015 Cherokees get a reimbursement.  She cannot do anything for 2016 and newer since Jeep subsequently changed their User's Guide which now states the wiring kit is a neccessary option in order to flat tow.

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On 2/25/2017 at 6:16 PM, smokey67 said:

Is anyone using a battery charger/maintainer to keep the battery up while towing? If so what type are you using? Or does the wiring harness modification not draw that much. The instructions I received with the wiring harness/switch said one should be used if towing for more than 3 hours.

Yes I am using the RVibrake Towed Battery Charger https://rvibrake.com/products/towed-battery-charger?variant=8804388741  I have received information from other KL owners that have somewhat automated the activation of the wiring kit so the fuse can stay inserted all the time.  As soon as the snow clears and I can get my coach out of the driveway, I'm going to do set mine up in a similar fashion.

This might be a little difficult to explain, but let me try.  The RVi charger has a line that runs from the coach to its charging module.  On a Freightliner chassis that line is ONLY hot when the engine is running.  It then runs to the RVi charger module that monitors the state of charge of the towed vehicle's battery, and adjusts the charging rate from the coach accordingly.  That module also has a diode in it so the towed vehicle's battery cannot backfeed through the module.  This is designed so the towed vehicle battery is not drawn down in case the coach batteries fail.

However this diode also can come into play with the Mopar wiring kit.  I am going to remove the kit's fused wire from the power distribution panel and attach it to the RVi wire between the coach and the RVi module.  This will allow the fuse to remain in the line at all times as it will only be activated when the towed is connected to the coach, and the coach's engine is running.  When the coach engine is shutdown there will be no power to the towed and the fused line in the toad will be deactived.

I will still need to use the switch in the center console, but if I'm just stopping for the night and not starting the Jeep, I can leave it in the up position over night.

I haven't personally tried the above yet, but hopefully will be able to in the coming week.  I'll report back on how my initial testing goes.

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Does anyone know if this wobble problem occurs in the 2017 models? I am purchasing a Cherokee Trailhawk next week and just read these posts. I'm also going to ask the salesman if he knows about this issue.

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emorypeggy,

Before you purchase the Trailhawk, you might want to go through a few of the topics here (history) and get as familiar with the issue as possible.  I wouldn't take the word of any salesman because they just don't have the technical know-how.  For example: a few years back we looked at a small Nissan pick-up to use as a toad.  Salesperson told us there wasn't a problem towing it behind our coach.  We asked for the owners manual before purchasing - and with a lot of hemhawing around he produced the owner's manual - low and behold it was not towable.

We reviewed the owner's manual on the Grand Cherokee we bought last year and went through the steps of putting it in tow mode before we purchased.  Albeit, that would have not worked with the folks that bought a Cherokee because their issues didn't arise until they were hooked up and towing.

We specifically didn't buy a Cherokee because of the wobble issue.

Blake

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If the owners manual says an after market wiring harness is required for towing then the problem still exists.  From what I have read, this is Jeeps new position on the problem and they have turned the issue over to the owner to resolve at the owners expense.

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Not sure but I thought the problem was only with the Cherokee not the Grand Cherokee or other models. I agree with you Bill Jeep ?  fluffed it off on the consumer. We currently have a 2012 Grand Cherokee had jeeps for the last 2 toads only because they have been no problem to tow.

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Have it written in sales contract that they will look after any issues or give a complete refund 

then you are half covered   :rolleyes:

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17 hours ago, jrock said:

Not sure but I thought the problem was only with the Cherokee not the Grand Cherokee or other models. I agree with you Bill Jeep ?  fluffed it off on the consumer. We currently have a 2012 Grand Cherokee had jeeps for the last 2 toads only because they have been no problem to tow.

JRock,

Correct.  From everything I've read the problem is just with the Cherokee.  We've never had a problem with our Grand Cherokee

Blake

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Blake we love the Grand Cherokee ours is a 2012 towes great and is good to ride around in. Only one that can be towed 4down is the one with the quadra-trac 2 transfer case it can be put in neutral and has no steering lock so that you don't have to leave the key in it 

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John,

Ditto that on the Grand Cherokee.....here's a funny moment.....the first time we hooked ours up to tow behind the coach I could not for the life of me figure out how to unlock the durn steering wheel.  Ours is a keyless push button ignition and I've been used to having to manually unlock the truck's steering wheel and leave the key in.

After searching the owner's manual (nothing) and Google (nothing) it finally dawned on me that perhaps the steering wheel doesn't lock!  hehehe.

Blake

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First time fo me was trying to use the weird plastic thing they call a key to set it up ours has the bottom two finely figured out you just pull the button out and stick it in the hole and it then works like an old fashioned key ? 

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On 9/30/2016 at 9:01 PM, WILDEBILL308 said:

Earlier this month when we were caravaning (20 coaches)  up to the FMCA 6 State rally in Shawnee Ok. one member had a problem with his Jeep. They were 2 coaches ahead and I was able to see first hand the "Death Wobble" it was pretty impressive. It turns out he had done the upgrade but didn't set it up properly before he started out that morning. Fortunately he was able to pull over and fix the problem.  

Having seen the Death Wobble first hand I think it is more of a Death Through, I am amazed it didn't damage the car or the tow bar. I am glad they are geting the fix out there for the owners.

Bill

I have a 2016 Jeep Cherokee and I had a dealership installed wire harness added to the vehicle. I experienced the notorious death wobble going to and returning from my destination. In both instances two separate dealerships ( one in NY the other in Fl.) Could not explain why. Or offer a solution.. The warning lights turned off. so their scanner could not identify the problems. I showed them several pictures from my Ipod. There response was they could not recreate the scenario.

Joe

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On 2/24/2016 at 8:25 AM, rpbuttery said:

Regarding Administrators post immediately above, as a first time Jeep owner--a 2016 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk purchased especially and specifically to tow behind my motorhome--I am not going to be a happy camper (pardon the bad pun) if Jeep tells me I have to buy an accessory, no matter the cost, to make their product perform as they market it. The model's ability to be easily and seamlessly flat towed is splashed throughout Jeep's marketing materials.

I have not towed mine yet, but plan on leaving for a six month trip from Orlando to Alaska May 1, and do not relish finding out in Whitehorse YT that my Trailhawk has the problem!

I just got mine fitted with the fix; it took many phone calls back and forth, the dealers still say they don't know anything about it; but did get it done free. Towed it twice in the last 2 weeks, and the new fix causes the battery to die; be aware.

 

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I have a 2016 Cherokee, and just got the fix installed by the dealer. They insisted they didn't know anything about the issue; we even explained that we were shown by our sales person how to set it up to tow. After many calls to Jeep Corporate customer service, who then contacted the dealer and set up the service, it was installed at no cost to us.

When checking out at the dealer, the clerk said that he had seen several of these being installed there!

Warning, the battery on the car does die while in tow. We will now look at that issue

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10 hours ago, rhalay said:

I have a 2016 Cherokee, and just got the fix installed by the dealer. They insisted they didn't know anything about the issue; we even explained that we were shown by our sales person how to set it up to tow. After many calls to Jeep Corporate customer service, who then contacted the dealer and set up the service, it was installed at no cost to us.

When checking out at the dealer, the clerk said that he had seen several of these being installed there!

Warning, the battery on the car does die while in tow. We will now look at that issue

It would be fairly easy to set up a charge line to keep the battery up.

Bill

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On 6/7/2016 at 5:15 PM, Grandriver said:

My wiring kit is being installed tomorrow (June 8) and I was informed today that it will be covered as a warranty item provided the mileage (or kms) do not not exceed the warranty limit.  

Yesterday I provided the service manager with Service Bulletin KL-08-022-16 that makes it every clear that the kit is to be installed under the warranty.  

Anyone who has had to pay for this kit and installation should demand a refund.  

GR

Where did you get this service bulletin.. can you send it to me. I am going to buy MAYBE a 2016 Cherokee Trailhawk for flat towing but seeing all these posts MAYBE Not.. 

 

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