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Old 03-30-2016, 03:14 PM   #1
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Battery disconnect - do you have electric steering?

OK, thought I'd through this out there as my new 2016 Colorado has electric power steering and the owners manual states "disconnect the negative battery cable". The key is left in the ACC position to prevent steering wheel lock.

Many people surmise this is just to prevent the battery being run down while towing, however the same manufacturer, for different vehicles, states to pull a fuse specifically to prevent battery run down.(OK, I know different engineers have different solutions to the same problems)

So the question is - is the battery disconnect required on some vehicles to prevent damage to the electric steering? This was suggested by someone in this forum or another.
I'm not convinced as my electric power steering only kicks in when the key is in RUN.

It just seems pretty specific about a total disconnect vice a fuse and makes no mention of a battery running down.

Anyone care to comment as to whether this is may or may not be true?

Just as a note, to keep the warranty valid I will be disconnecting the negative battery cable and use an portable battery pack for the Patriot brake.

thanks

Chris
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Old 03-30-2016, 03:46 PM   #2
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I never heard of electric power steering, but after some research, I think the power must be removed from the signal and actuator sides of the power steering to prevent the power steering from fighting the induced steering, or castering, of the Colorado when the towing vehicle turns. With hydraulic ps, the actuator is off when the engine is not turning. With electrical ps, the actuator is on when the key is not off. When either actuator is powered, hydraulic or electric, not only will it try to turn the front wheels when signaled to do so, but it will hold the front wheels straight when not signaled to turn. With no one turning the steering wheel, the front tires will not turn. With the actuator off by removing power, the front wheels will caster because the actuator is not fighting. That's how I think it works, but I'd just do what the manual says.
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Old 03-30-2016, 03:54 PM   #3
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I do believe the disconnect is for the electric steering assist alone.
You can buy an extra power port and run wires directly to the battery posts.

Happy trails!
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Old 03-30-2016, 04:02 PM   #4
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Well...looking at the instructions...I don't see any other way to interpret your requirements. It mentions having to reset all lost presets. How many "presets" you have will determine how much be a PIA it will be.

I'm curious as to why there isn't a way to pull a fuse or two in order to work around this but I'm not an engineer.
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Old 03-30-2016, 04:11 PM   #5
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Interesting. I have electric power steering on the 2012 Grand Cherokee. I have towed thousands of miles and never disconnected the battery. Never had an issue with tracking or wobble.
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Old 03-30-2016, 04:26 PM   #6
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We towed a Saturn Vue with electric steering. Instructions was to pull a 2amp fuse. I found that it was for the Auto headlights, when towing in darkness it would turn on the lights.
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Old 03-30-2016, 04:26 PM   #7
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The wobble that the jeeps are having only applies to the Cherokees (not Grand Cherokees).

The current fix that has come from Jeep for this is to make some mods and add a switch so that power gets applied to the EPS.
This creates a requirement for a charge line because they state the battery may drain after 3hrs of towing.

Regards,

Dan
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Old 03-30-2016, 04:28 PM   #8
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OK I think I have found the answer.
There is an 18 page discussion on towing on this forum about the new (2015/16)Colorado/Canyon with electric steering.

According to this thread it is because of the power steering and was confirmed with GM. Also one very dedicated individual who traced the power back to the power steering confirmed that without the battery disconnected there is always power going there - no fuse to be found.

The electric power steering is different than previous models.

Note that other vehicles with electric power steering would also probably be different, but if they say disconnect it may be for a valid reason, not just a CYA.

So I guess the point is that if it says disconnect - maybe you should do it, not all vehicles are created the same.

But I sure do like my Colorado!
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Old 03-30-2016, 04:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sky_Boss View Post
Well...looking at the instructions...I don't see any other way to interpret your requirements. It mentions having to reset all lost presets. How many "presets" you have will determine how much be a PIA it will be.

I'm curious as to why there isn't a way to pull a fuse or two in order to work around this but I'm not an engineer.
Also according to persons on the other discussion thread, they are not losing their presets. Their clock and radio returned to the presets within a few minutes after the battery had been disconnected for 12 hours. I guess I'll find out.

Chris
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Old 03-30-2016, 04:34 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cvbdsl View Post
Also according to persons on the other discussion thread, they are not losing their presets. Their clock and radio returned to the presets within a few minutes after the battery had been disconnected for 12 hours. I guess I'll find out.

Chris
I would hope so. It would be rather stupid for the supplier of radios and other electronic devices to use volatile memory storage.

Good to hear if it holds up for you.
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Old 03-30-2016, 06:20 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sky_Boss View Post
I would hope so. It would be rather stupid for the supplier of radios and other electronic devices to use volatile memory storage.

Good to hear if it holds up for you.
Yep, but not towing this one yet, still using the 2013 Edge, but since I got my new toy the DW want to upgrade hers as well(the Edge).

Now looking at SUVs that can be towed four down, but I suspect if I replace the Edge that the Colorado will end being my toad.

Actually not towing at all - still waiting for the weather to get consistently above freezing so I can start the MH for the first time since October and then find a nice weekend getaway.

Chris
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Old 03-31-2016, 07:34 PM   #12
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This is the disconnect I used on my Colorado
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Old 04-01-2016, 10:28 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cvbdsl View Post
Also according to persons on the other discussion thread, they are not losing their presets. Their clock and radio returned to the presets within a few minutes after the battery had been disconnected for 12 hours. I guess I'll find out.

Chris
I do not lose radio presets, nor most stereo settings. I lose date/time (because I do not have them on auto set), and I lose my RDS setting (for some reason it always turns off when I kill battery power). Now that I know the drill it takes me less than 30 seconds to get everything back to normal once I turn the battery switch back on.
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Old 04-01-2016, 12:14 PM   #14
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Anyone thought of using a disconnect solenoid similar to that used in RV's? It would be pretty easy to route a switch on the dash. Then you wouldn't have to pop the hood every time to disconnect.

INTELLITEC BATTERY DISCONNECT RELAY 0100055000
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