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Old 02-02-2012, 07:20 AM   #1
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Jeep Question

Just got a new Wrangler and plan to tow it behind the motorhome. Trying to figure why the owners manual says to leave the key in the ACC position and to disconnect the NEG terminal on the battery. The steering wheel doesn't lock when the key is removed so it doesn't need the key to steer and I can't find anything that would drain the battery while towing. The service manager says he doesn't know why but he'll try to find out. I need 12 volts for the brake buddy but can't get it if the battery is disconnected. Anyone have any info on this? Thanks
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Old 02-02-2012, 07:45 AM   #2
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Tom,

You do not need to leave the key in the ignition or disconnect the battery just put the transfer case in neutral as per the owners manual and go. Great toad congrats!
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Old 02-02-2012, 08:09 AM   #3
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Thanks. My 08 Colorado is the same way and I tow it wit no key and the battery connections intact.
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Old 02-02-2012, 09:12 AM   #4
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Also, the owners man says to have the transmission in gear but not which gear. I'm guessing 6th would be the best. Any input?
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Old 02-02-2012, 09:25 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TTT1953 View Post
Also, the owners man says to have the transmission in gear but not which gear. I'm guessing 6th would be the best. Any input?
I would think it wouldn't matter as long as the xfer case is in neutral.
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Old 02-02-2012, 09:39 AM   #6
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We have a 2007 Wrangler and it does not have an ignition lock. There are 2 12 volt receptacle's (one hot all the time and the other hot only when the ignition switch is on). I put the jeep transfer case in the disconnect position and the gear shift in park. I plug the brake buddy into the all time hot 12 volt plug.

The only caution I have is if you are towing for a couple days or one long day and have been using the brakes a lot you might want to think about the battery in the Jeep. If the brake buddy or some similar axillary device gets a lot of use or if you are traveling for a couple days and not driving the Jeep, the Jeeps battery will need charging.
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Old 02-03-2012, 09:28 PM   #7
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TTT......I encountered the same problem. I needed to leave the ACC in the on position to keep the steering wheel from locking......but then the electronic odometer was on.....and racking up the tow miles. So now if you disconnect the neg (-) battery terminal with the old blade style disconnect.....you had no power to the 12V cig plug for the brake buddy.
So my solution ( bit involved ) was to install a 12V " latching " relay ( made by Intellitec ) to disconnect the pos (+) side of the battery. I installed it between the battery and the main fuse panel. The great feature of the latching relay is ....it does not require power to remain in the open or closed position......just a quick shot to operate the relay ...then it locks. There is no drain on the battery to keep it in either position. Here is a picture......



now.... to deal with the loss of power to the stock 12V cig plug when in the disconnect position.....I mounted a auxiliary 12V cig plug under the dash.....feed from the " hot " side of the relay when in the disconnect position....( with an in-line fuse )....to supply my brake buddy when towing.

The kit also comes with a remote button that gets mounted inside the vehicle....to eliminate the need to open the hood every time to disconnect or connect the battery. Like this .......



Here is the unit........

http://intellitec.com/PDF/5300066.100.pdf

It was a great install.........well worth the cost and effort.
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Old 02-04-2012, 10:38 AM   #8
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As long as the transfer case is in neutral, What gear (other than neutral) you leave the transmission in is ...Won't make a difference, 1,2,3,4,5,6,R, all the same, Since no power is transmitted to it.

As for the ignition: The folks who wrote the manual likely do not drive Jeeps, or if they do they drive a Jeep that is more Car than SUV. And in these vehicles when you lock the lock and remove the key the steering wheel locks.

Since yours does not. Heed the experts above instead of the folks who .. Wrote the wrong procedure in the book cause they have a different car.

I NEED MONEY (To buy a JEEP with)
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Old 02-04-2012, 11:13 AM   #9
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That is true......transfer case must be in " N ".......and I also put the tranny in " N " .....but I'm not sure if that is neccessary.
I leave the ( spare tow key ) in the ignition....and in the ACC position.....with the battery disconnected......so far 3500 miles later .....no problems. ( knock wood )
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Old 02-04-2012, 01:58 PM   #10
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An Answer

Got this info from a member in another forum.

If you look here: My Jeep: Jeep Owners Service Manuals - 4x4 SUVs, Sports Utility Vehicles, Off Road and you look up 2012 Jeep Wrangler, there are 3 manuals you can download:
  • Owner's Manual
  • Supplement
  • User Guide

The Owner's Manual still has the same outdated instructions, but the User Guide has been updated - it no longer includes the instructions about leaving the keys in the ignition or disconnecting the battery - see page 80 & 81.
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Old 02-04-2012, 02:45 PM   #11
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Thanks for that update. We're considering a 2012 Wrangler, too.
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Old 02-04-2012, 02:47 PM   #12
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Many people have contacted Jeep to try and see why they require disconnecting the battery, so far, no one that I've heard of has gotten
a good answer, especially what could happen if you did not disconnect the battery. Most people disregard disconnecting the battery and so far I haven't heard of a single problem except some have had the battery go dead.
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Old 02-04-2012, 03:18 PM   #13
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The 2012 Wrangler 2 & 4 door DO NOT require the key in the ignition. That is a misprint in the Manual. The steering does not lock in '09,'10,'11 or '12 models. try it if you go to a dealer.
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Old 03-04-2012, 11:24 AM   #14
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I think it was with the '07 or '08 model year Chrysler changed the Jeep ignition module which is when you had to pull a fuse or disconnect the battery. The new module caused every system in the vehicle to power up thus killing the battery on a long tow. They've since changed again in 2010/11 to an ignition module that does not lock nor do you have to disconnect 12v power.

The owners manual for the most part, is shared across several Chrysler platforms (true with other auto mfrs as well) and is not updated as fast as they make changes to platform models.

So with '11 & '12 models, no key required, transfer case in neutral, transmission in Park if auto or any forward gear if manual, never neutral or reverse.... you're good to go.

If still in doubt got to the service tech at the dealer, not the salesman!
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