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Old 04-07-2015, 08:19 AM   #1
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Putting new Jeep into flat tow mode

Ok, all of 2 trips in our new Tiffin withheld a 2015 Jeep Cherokee Trail Hawk......

But, 2 of the times putting it into tow mode, it didn't want to go from neutral to park. It went fine into reverse, but trying to go into park, it was tight, and got a grinding sound immediately. Since it didn't want to go in smoothly, I was very slow moving it into park, and immediately heard the grind and stopped. Basically, went back and started the process all over again. Anyone know what I am doing wrong? My wife thinks it may have to do with having my foot on the brake, but that didn't seem to be it either.

Also, it seems that the parking brake automatically sets itself, and you have to start the engine to and release it as a final step.

Thanks!
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Old 04-07-2015, 08:42 AM   #2
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I have a 2014 Jeep Wrangler, so I'm not 100% sure the process is the same on the Cherokee. What I do is turn the engine off, but turn the ignition key back on to the point where I can shift gears. Then I put the transmission in neutral, then shift the gearbox lever down to neutral. Then, I re-start the engine and slide the transmission into reverse and then into drive and rev the engine, just to check to be sure the transmission is disengaged.


Then, I turn the engine back off and slide the transmission lever back up to park (I think the key has to be on to do this, but make sure the engine is OFF). One time I forgot to turn the engine off before I slid the transmission into park, and I immediately got the grinding sound you're talking about.


Once you have disengaged the transmission, you MUST turn the engine off before putting the transmission back in park. Otherwise you will grind every time. Also, you probably already know this, but make sure you never back up when your Jeep is being towed. You can do major damage if you do.


I hope this helps, and good luck!
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Old 04-07-2015, 09:10 AM   #3
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I also have a TrailHawk.
There is a setting for the parking brake to be automatic or manual.
On your touch screen, go to controls screen, I think it is in the "Safety" tab. Make it "Manual apply"

When you shift, don't mess around, shift it swiftly between the desired positions (P & R).

The instructions seem complicated, but it is basically.

Shift to N with Engine off.
Shift transfer case to neutral with recessed button
Confirm xfer case is in "N" by starting the engine and going to D & R with no vehicle movement.
Back to Park - and engine off.
Confirm parking brake is OFF.

Regards,

Dan



Regards,

Dan
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Old 04-08-2015, 06:30 AM   #4
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Thanks for the responses.

I checked the parking brake, and it is set to manual. So I guess I"ll just have to be careful, and of course do the slow pull away, walking around it a short distance to make sure everything is rolling properly. And yes, understand the no backing up part too - sure makes finding a gas station a bit of a game if your not on the interstate with truck stops along the way.

As for the shifting into park, I've been following the method outlined by Dan, which is how my manual reads too, but different than Redraider.

Dan, did you ever get the tight movement and grinding? The first time that happened it was a very stiff movement, and just did not feel right at all. The 2nd time, I was very slow and careful, and as soon as I heard something, I stopped, and restarted the process and it was fine.

I'll play around with it some more, and probably give Jeep a call.

Regards!
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Old 04-08-2015, 06:52 AM   #5
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Old 04-09-2015, 12:24 PM   #6
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I just ran through the process twice in the garage today, and did not get any grinding, and it slipped smoothly into park.

I followed the instructions in the manual very closely, and maybe my wife was right about the brake (see note below)

Turn engine off
Turn the ignition to on/run but do not start the engine (you have to have your foot off the brake he, or it will not start, but this is not what I was referencing)
Press and hold the brake pedal
Shift the transmission into neutral
Press the little button to activate neutral in the transfer case for 4 seconds and make sure the light stays on (you hear a mechanical sound when it moves into neutral)
Start the engine (you have to have your foot on the brake pedal to start it)
Shift the transmission into reverse
Release the brake pedal to ensure there is no movement
Shift the transmission into neutral (once I released the brake in the previous step, I did not reapply the brake)
Apply the parking brake (ok, if you are on any sort of incline, and you never touched the brake again, there is obviously a bit of a potential rolling problem here........; I have actually attached to the tow bar first so that alleviates that rolling issue)
Shift into park, turn off the engine
Release the parking brake

We'll see how it goes on our trip next week.
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Old 04-09-2015, 05:16 PM   #7
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We have a 2011 Jeep Liberty, manual states after putting transfer case into neutral to shut off engine before shifting into park.
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Old 04-09-2015, 07:06 PM   #8
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2014 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited put transfer case in neutral, transmission in neutral. turn off engine, put transmission in park. This is the correct procedure anytime you leave the engine running with the transfer case in neutral and you try to put the transmission in park you will hear a grinding noise. This is not good on the transmission. My prior towed was a 2008 Dodge Dakota, the exact same procedure had to be used on it.

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Old 04-18-2015, 07:42 PM   #9
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I don't have a jeep, but my 2003 Chevy tracker will also make the grinding when shifting into park after the transfer case is in neutral if I don't turn off the key first before shifting into park at the end of the tow process. (Yes, I am supposed to put it in park when the transfer case is in neutral)
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Old 04-19-2015, 09:40 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Betr2Trvl View Post
Thanks for the responses.


Dan, did you ever get the tight movement and grinding? The first time that happened it was a very stiff movement, and just did not feel right at all. The 2nd time, I was very slow and careful, and as soon as I heard something, I stopped, and restarted the process and it was fine.

Regards!
Yes, the first time I did it I got grinding because I moved the shift lever slowly.
Now I use a brisk movement and don't get the grinding noise.
To be honest, before your post, I left the engine running through the entire disengagement process. Going out of gear is never a problem with the automatics.
This is the same as shifting into 4wd-Lo, where you must be stooped with the main Trans in Neutral when that shift is made.
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Old 04-20-2015, 04:23 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpinvidic View Post
Yes, the first time I did it I got grinding because I moved the shift lever slowly.
Now I use a brisk movement and don't get the grinding noise.
To be honest, before your post, I left the engine running through the entire disengagement process. Going out of gear is never a problem with the automatics.
This is the same as shifting into 4wd-Lo, where you must be stooped with the main Trans in Neutral when that shift is made.
Well, you can't turn off the engine in N, it has to be in Park, so I think that answers that question on a 2015. I am waiting to hear back from jeep to see if they can provide any insight on the procedure. Need to follow up with them again, after "escalating" a second time late last week.
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Old 04-20-2015, 11:31 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Betr2Trvl View Post
Well, you can't turn off the engine in N, it has to be in Park, so I think that answers that question on a 2015. I am waiting to hear back from jeep to see if they can provide any insight on the procedure. Need to follow up with them again, after "escalating" a second time late last week.
D&S,

I know what is causing the grinding noise. You are shifting from Reverse to Park.
You need to go to Neutral to let everything wind down, then shift straight to park (don't stop in "R").
I just confirmed this on my Trailhawk. I had not realized it, but when I did the verification that the xfer case was in neutral, I always moved the shifter as follows: N -> D -> N ->R->N ->Park.

When I went from R ->P, it maid the grinding noise.
The transmission is connected to the engine via the torque converter.
So anytime the main tranny is in gear (D or R), it spins the gears inside.
The xfer case is after the trans. So even if the xfer case is in neutral, the engine spins up the tranny when in D or R.


This is a direct copy of the final steps from the manual:
10. Release the brake pedal for five seconds and ensure that there is no vehicle
movement.
11. Shift the transmission to NEUTRAL.
12. Apply the parking brake.
13. Shift the transmission into PARK, turn the engine OFF and remove the key fob.
14. Attach the vehicle to the tow vehicle using a suitable tow bar.

Hope this makes sense.

Dan
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Old 04-21-2015, 08:44 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpinvidic View Post
D&S,

I know what is causing the grinding noise. You are shifting from Reverse to Park.
You need to go to Neutral to let everything wind down, then shift straight to park (don't stop in "R").
I just confirmed this on my Trailhawk. I had not realized it, but when I did the verification that the xfer case was in neutral, I always moved the shifter as follows: N -> D -> N ->R->N ->Park.

When I went from R ->P, it maid the grinding noise.
The transmission is connected to the engine via the torque converter.
So anytime the main tranny is in gear (D or R), it spins the gears inside.
The xfer case is after the trans. So even if the xfer case is in neutral, the engine spins up the tranny when in D or R.


This is a direct copy of the final steps from the manual:
10. Release the brake pedal for five seconds and ensure that there is no vehicle
movement.
11. Shift the transmission to NEUTRAL.
12. Apply the parking brake.
13. Shift the transmission into PARK, turn the engine OFF and remove the key fob.
14. Attach the vehicle to the tow vehicle using a suitable tow bar.

Hope this makes sense.

Dan


Dan, thanks - makes sense! It would be nice if they noted "do not pause in R". I guess that is why it has been intermittent, just based on how quickly I moved into P.

BTW - lived in So Cal mid 80s-mod 90s, including Laguna Nigel for a few years. San O my all time favorite surf spot!
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Old 05-29-2015, 10:16 AM   #14
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We also have a 2015 Trailhawk and have been hearing the grinding noise. I think my problem is that I am going to slow when making the final shift up to P from N. Will do it much faster and hope for no grinding noise!

Hubby called Jeep and they had no clue and said to call the dealer. I knew I would get a better answer by doing a search on this board!
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