If you’re a Jeep Cherokee driver, you’ve encountered the dreaded Service Shifter Light ON at some point. While it may cause some alarm, it’s a helpful indicator that your Jeep needs a little attention. In this article, we’ll dive into what this light means and offer solutions to fix it.
So, if you’re scratching your head wondering why Service Shifter Light ON is still glowing, keep reading for useful insights and tips to get your Jeep running smoothly again.
What Does The Service Shifter Message Mean On A Jeep Cherokee?
The Service Shifter message on a Jeep Cherokee is an indication that there’s a problem with the vehicle’s shifting system. When this message appears, the Jeep’s computer has detected an issue with the transmission shifter, which may affect the vehicle’s performance and safety.
The message also indicates a problem with the shifter assembly or the control wiring. It’s essential to address this issue promptly and seek professional assistance to diagnose and fix it before it leads to further complications or costly repairs.
Causes Of A Service Shifter Warning on Jeep Cherokee
Several issues can cause the Service Shifter warning on a Jeep Cherokee. Here are some of the most common causes:
Faulty shifter assembly
The shifter assembly in a Jeep Cherokee is a mechanical component that allows the driver to select different gears in the transmission. Over time, the shifter assembly can become worn out, and the components inside can fail, causing the warning to appear.
Common symptoms of a faulty shifter assembly include difficulty shifting gears, a loose or sloppy feeling shifter, or the inability to shift gears at all. If the shifter assembly is the cause of the warning, it may need to be replaced entirely, and it’s best to have it serviced by a professional.
The shifter assembly is controlled by a network of wires that send signals to the Jeep’s computer to tell it which gear the driver has selected. If there is an issue with the wiring, such as a frayed or damaged wire, it can cause the Service Shifter warning to appear.
Symptoms of wiring problems include intermittent warning lights or difficulty shifting gears. A trained technician can diagnose wiring issues using specialized tools and repair or replace the affected wiring as needed.
The transmission is a crucial component of any vehicle, and if it’s not functioning correctly, it can cause a wide range of problems, including the Service Shifter warning. Symptoms of transmission issues include difficulty shifting gears, rough shifting, or grinding noises while shifting. The transmission is a complex system, and it’s best to have a trained professional diagnose and repair any issues.
Faulty Fuse Box
If the fuses or fuse box in your vehicle become faulty, it could be another reason why the service shifter light comes on. One or more fuses may become blown, which can trigger the service shifter warning light to illuminate. The fuse box is responsible for distributing electrical power to various components of the vehicle, and if it’s not functioning properly, it can cause electrical issues in the car.
Malfunctioning of Light
The other reason for the service shifter light to come on is due to a malfunction of the light itself rather than any issue with the vehicle. If the light is not functioning properly, it may turn on or off for no apparent reason, and the issue can often be resolved by fixing the switch.
In this case, the service shifter light may be providing false information about an issue with the shifter, even if no problem exists. If the switch for the light is faulty, it may cause the light to turn on or off at random times, even if the shifter is functioning correctly.
Like any modern vehicle, the Jeep Cherokee has a sophisticated computer system that controls many of its functions, including the transmission. Sometimes, a software glitch can trigger the Service Shifter warning, and the computer system may need to be reset to clear the warning. If the warning persists, it could indicate a more severe issue and a professional diagnostic may be necessary.
Low transmission fluid
The transmission fluid is critical to the proper functioning of the transmission in a Jeep Cherokee. If the fluid level is low or dirty, it can cause the transmission to malfunction and trigger the Service Shifter warning. Symptoms of low transmission fluid include difficulty shifting gears, slipping gears, or a burning smell from the transmission.
If the warning is caused by low transmission fluid, it’s essential to have the fluid level checked and topped off if necessary. In some cases, the fluid may need to be drained and replaced, or there may be a leak in the system that needs to be repaired.
Faulty transmission control module
The transmission control module (TCM) is a component of the Jeep’s computer system that controls the transmission’s functions. If the TCM fails, it can cause the Service Shifter warning to appear.
Symptoms of a faulty TCM include difficulty shifting gears, rough shifting, or the transmission getting stuck in a particular gear. A trained technician can diagnose a faulty TCM using specialized tools and replace the component if necessary.
How To Fix The Service Shifter Message On A Jeep Cherokee
The steps to fix a Service Shifter message on a Jeep Cherokee will depend on the root cause of the warning. Here are some common solutions based on the most common causes of the warning:
- Replace the shifter assembly: If a faulty shifter assembly is causing the warning, it may need to be replaced entirely. It’s best to have this done by a trained technician, as the process involves disassembling the center console and other parts of the vehicle. The technician will remove the old shifter assembly and install a new one, ensuring all components function correctly.
- Repair or replace wiring: If wiring issues are causing the warning, a trained technician can diagnose and repair or replace the affected wiring. This may involve tracing wires throughout the vehicle to find the source of the issue and repairing or replacing the damaged wires. Once the wiring issue is fixed, the Service Shifter warning should go away.
- Repair or replace the transmission: If the transmission is the cause of the warning, it may need to be repaired or replaced. This complex process involves disassembling the transmission and repairing or replacing damaged components. A trained technician can diagnose the issue and recommend the best course of action.
- Reset the computer system: If a software glitch is causing the warning, resetting the computer system may help. This can be done by disconnecting the battery for several minutes, which will reset the system and clear any temporary software issues. If the warning persists after resetting the computer, a more severe issue may be present.
- Top off or replace transmission fluid: If low transmission fluid is causing the warning, the fluid level should be checked and topped off if necessary. If the fluid is dirty or burnt, it may need to be replaced entirely. A trained technician can handle this process and ensure that the correct type of fluid is used.
Is There A Recall For The Service Shifter On Jeep Cherokee?
Yes, there has been a recall related to the service shifter on Jeep Cherokee vehicles. In 2018, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) issued a recall for more than 200,000 Jeep Cherokee SUVs due to a defect that could cause the vehicle to roll away when shifted into park.
This defect was caused by a faulty park-assist system that could fail, leading the vehicle to roll away even if the gear shifter was in the “park” position. The recall affected 2014-2019 model year Jeep Cherokee vehicles equipped with a 2.4-liter engine or a 3.2-liter engine and a nine-speed automatic transmission.
FCA notified owners of the affected vehicles and instructed them to bring their vehicles to a dealership to update the powertrain control module (PCM) software. The recall was conducted free of charge to owners.
If you own a Jeep Cherokee and are unsure if your vehicle is affected by the recall, you can check by entering your vehicle identification number (VIN) on the NHTSA website or by contacting your local Jeep dealership. It’s important to address any recall-related issues promptly to ensure the safety and reliability of your vehicle.
How To Switch Off A Service Light?
Sometimes, despite taking your vehicle to a mechanic, the service shifter light may remain on for no apparent reason. If you’re certain that there’s no problem with your vehicle, you may choose to turn off the warning light. Here are some ways to do that:
Restart Your Engine
If you’re driving and the service shifter light comes on, try stopping and restarting your engine. This can sometimes clear the service message and turn off the warning light. Restarting your engine is especially effective when you shift from automatic to manual on steep or rocky terrain.
Unplug Your Battery
Another way to switch off a service light is to disconnect the Jeep’s battery. Start by waiting for about 30 minutes after unplugging the negative and positive ends of the battery. This helps to reset the computer’s voltage and eliminate the warning lights.
When reconnecting the battery, be sure to follow the same steps in reverse. Keep in mind that this may cause other warning lights, such as the service air suspicion, vehicle display, and 4WD drive to turn on.
This is because low voltage can cause the ECU to malfunction, leading to warning lights. If you see these lights come on, consider using a diagnostics code reader to erase them.
Change the Oil
A low engine oil level can cause parts to overheat, triggering the service light. If this is the case, you may need to replace the oil to restore normal operation. Check your owner’s manual to see the recommended oil level and type for your Jeep.
Replace the Shifter
If the service shifter light remains on after trying the previous steps, it could indicate a more severe issue with the gear shifter. In this case, replacing the shifter and rebooting the engine is best.
Make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions and seek professional help if needed. After replacing the shifter, the service light should turn off.
What does the Service Shifter message mean on a Jeep Cherokee?
The Service Shifter message on a Jeep Cherokee indicates that there may be an issue with the vehicle’s shifter assembly, wiring, transmission, or computer system.
Can I still drive my Jeep Cherokee if the Service Shifter message is on?
It is not recommended to drive your Jeep Cherokee if the Service Shifter message is on, as it may indicate a serious issue that can lead to further damage or safety concerns.
How can I reset the Service Shifter message on my Jeep Cherokee?
The Service Shifter message can sometimes be cleared by disconnecting the battery for several minutes to reset the vehicle’s computer system. However, it’s important to have the underlying issue diagnosed and repaired to prevent the warning from reappearing.
How much does fixing the Service Shifter message on a Jeep Cherokee cost?
The cost of fixing the Service Shifter message on a Jeep Cherokee will depend on the root cause of the warning. Repairs can range from a simple wiring fix to a more complex transmission repair or replacement. It’s best to have the issue diagnosed by a trained technician to determine the cost of repairs.
How often should I have my Jeep Cherokee’s transmission fluid checked?
Jeep Cherokee’s transmission fluid should be checked regularly, especially if you notice any issues with the transmission. A good rule of thumb is to check the fluid every 30,000 to 60,000 miles, depending on your vehicle’s model year and driving conditions.
In conclusion, if you notice the Service Shifter message on your Jeep Cherokee, it’s important to take action to diagnose and repair the underlying issue. The causes of this warning can range from simple wiring issues to more complex transmission problems, and it’s crucial to have a trained technician diagnose the problem to ensure the proper repair is made.
Ignoring the warning and driving your vehicle with the Service Shifter message on can lead to further damage and safety concerns. You can avoid costly repairs and keep your Jeep Cherokee running smoothly by taking prompt action.
Source: Flickr / majorbonnet
Abbreviations of 10 Common Car Sensors and Their Meaning
SOURCE: BJOERN WYLEZICH/SHUTTERSTOCK
Check Charging System Light (8 Possible Causes, Signs, And Fixes)