service 4wd system

Asked by joegacek Apr 02, 2008 at 09:57 AM about the 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 4WD

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Hi ,on this jeep i have the service 4wd system light comes on alot took it to dealer they said nothing wrong but can`t keep the light off how can i get it to stay off. thanks Joe

32 Answers


Something is wrong or there wouldn't be a light on. Try a different Jeep dealer, or an independent mechanic. Many dealerships don't want to get involved in warranty work as it pays less. When I was a Dodge service advisor, Chrysler paid around $64/hour for warranty repairs, there was a fixed diagnosis time allowable, plus there was a more involved process for receiving the money and claiming the parts. Dealership charged Joe Customer $76 per hour, and he had to pay for parts and labor upon picking up the vehicle. If we were busy enough with Joe Customer work, the service manager tried everything he could to AVOID doing warranty work. Not right at all, just letting you know how it works from the inside. A more ethical dealer may be willing to help you out.

23 people found this helpful.

agreed, my brother works for a very large Toyota dealer and it is the smae everywhere. Try another dealer

3 people found this helpful.

Mine did this for a few minutes before my battery went quit working, it's crazy but it didn't show up again after i got a new battery! Maybe you could have your battery checked for free at a car parts store, before you go to start your car and it won't start like mine did :) Hope this helps!

18 people found this helpful.

Go to advance auto parts and get them to put a code reader on it. It will help narrow things down. It might be mileage sensitive light to tell you to change the fluid in the transfer case.

22 people found this helpful.

There is a technical service bulletin out for this issue. Take it to a 5-star dealer and they will know what to do. The TSB says the light comes on when there are no faults found. The dealer will need to downlaod the new software for the Final Drive Control Module so the light stops coming on erroneously. Here is the TSB:

45 people found this helpful.

hi I just bought a used limited 2006 same problem with the 4wd message, and yes the battery was the problem! As soon as I changed it- the message went away. Good luck

11 people found this helpful.

Is it still gone after replacing the battery? I have the same issue and it's driving me crazy.

6 people found this helpful.

Don't know if this will help or not. I just bought a used 2008 about a month ago. Long story short, the indication came on on the EVIC display. Took it to the dealer and they "re-flashed the software for the Final Drive Control Module". It ran fine for about 5 miles and then shifted into 4wd Lo coming down the Walt Wittman Bridge in Philadelphia... at about 50 mph. Not sure how much damage was done to the transmission. I was able to get the transmission back into 4wd hi and drove it back to the dealer. Just saying I don't think this is necessarily the fix for all these problems. They've had it for about a week now. Thank goodness I bought an extended warranty at the time of purchase.

12 people found this helpful.

Sometimes you can clean the gets Corrosion on it or road grime. can try WD 40 ...This is a fairly common thing with jeeps and it's normally nothing to be worried about.

22 people found this helpful.

It's funny how these posts come back to haunt you. Or in my case it's a good story. Apparently the wife slid down this horrible ice hill we live on in, somewhat backwards in the middle of winter. The dummy light comes on and stays on until I took it out, locked up the brakes on a small patch of ice on the dirt road. Battaboom batta bing. Light goes off. Apparently computer thought Anti-lock wasn't working on the solid ice. Cycled through it (brakes pulsing) and then the light disappears (still gone). Just to be sure I tried it again, light comes on when the vehicle anti lock brakes are being actuated going........backward! Locked em' up again on the same patch moving forwards, light goes off.

9 people found this helpful.

I had the same issue and low battery was the reason. I replaced the battery and light went out. The battery was at between10.5 and 11 volts and the brake controller (after market) was acting up as well.

7 people found this helpful.

I replied to this post a few months ago. Just to raise the pucker factor a little bit, I was getting this message, after numerous re-flashes to the final drive control module, it ended up being my transfer case at a cost of about $3000.

15 people found this helpful.

My 95 GC Limited would do it a few times at random. I just went under it, where the transfer case is, and wiggled the wire harness. The "Service 4WD Switch" hasn't come back on since.

9 people found this helpful.

it has nothing to do with the switch atall this is a common problem in all 95 ltd v8 grand cherokees the display screen itself is faulty and if u disconect the switch you have no speedometer replace the display out with one from a newer ltd i believe you have to do sum simple wiring replaceing sum pig tails... wow this guy asked this like 5 yrs ago any one think he fixed it yet??

2 people found this helpful.

I just bought a 1994 jeep GC limited and the "service 4wd " error was on. it also said to check oil. So i just did an oil change and oil filter change on the jeep and both errors went away.....LUCKY ME!


When there are no faults that show up when the service 4wd comes on, you need to inspect your wiring to and from the transfer case. I was advised to look for a short or bad connection (corrosion in the connectors). Also, there is a possible short in the differential. If you raise the vehicle up and rotate a rear wheel while checking for continuity at the connector to ground, the problem may be in the differential. If you have intermittent continuity to ground while rotating the differential gears, you will have to find the short inside the differential that goes to that connector. This is not a TSB, but a suggestion from a Jeep Engineer that worked with the 4wd system to suggested this for my 2006 Grand Cherokee with the same problem. I cannot look into this until the Spring as I have no garage and it is too cold where I live. Good Luck.

12 people found this helpful.

My service 4wd system light is on and it wont go into 4low ? 05 Jeep grand Cherokee laredo 4.7

51 people found this helpful.

I think it could be the battery dropping the voltage bellow a certain value special when starting(during cranking) after the car was off for a longer perioad of time and an error is reported from the 4wd module.If that is the case after few minutes warm up,turn the car off then back on and the message should go away and 4wd low should work again.It might require a new battery soon or maybe an overnight charge will help..All this will assume good connection to the battery terminals and/or chassis ground.

8 people found this helpful.

Just had my 05 4.7 in for the factory recall on the final drive deal. Now I can not get low range and getting the message service four wheel drive system

33 people found this helpful.

have 2012 grand overland. service 4wd light on, took to independant shop, (my uncle in business 40 years, code said no comunication to electronic possie in rear. took to jeep he ran and said the actuator to rear diff has to be replaced, after I told him of investigation by bueru of auta repair (394complaints) look up tech bullitin 21-001-14 alot of info on that web sight. 39000 miles and will be done on warenty.

10 people found this helpful.

My 2102 Overland has the same problem.. Took it back several times but the service 4wd light and trac light keeps coming back. Finally today they said there was a bad wiring harness, a sensor and one of the axles needs replacing? They are o order under warranty. Sure hope this fixes

1 people found this helpful.

Serv4wd and trac light came on intermittently with no obvious cause. When lights were on, driving it seemed to drag. I'm guessing because 4wd not engaged. Battery checked fine. Threw a nonsense code, mechanic did nothing was wrong with it. Lights are off. Got in the jeep to leave and the same lights were on. Finally threw code for rear differential motor. 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk 5.7L V8 Hemi

8 people found this helpful.

Not sure if anyone will see this on such an old post...all the lights mentioned come on when starting up my 2012 liberty and stay on. If I use the remote starter, they don't come on at all. How can this be?

4 people found this helpful.

Just had the Serv 4wd light and the trac light that came on - along with the lights indicating my front and rear crash detection off - this is a 2017 grand Cherokee Trailhawk - 5500 miles. It has been at the dealer 8 days and they cannot figure out what is causing it - they changed a sensor, but no luck - now they have contacted Chrysler direct to see if they can fix it........

3 people found this helpful.

this is the 3rd time my jeep cherokee is in dealership for this. first time they said, can't find anything, need to see when light is on (did not put computer on it). 2nd time I took picture of it, was at dealership 4 days, they did an update and it seemed to be gone. Approx one month later, SVC 4WD light on again, been at dealer a week,they can't figure it out. going on vacation, so they are keeping it til we get back and hope it's fixed by then. If not going to go the Lemon Law route. only 5400 miles on car...have had car one year.

6 people found this helpful.

I've got the same problem.It was fixed with the software update but it could also be caused by a sudden voltage drop during start up,special on cold mornings,so make sure the battery is good


N23 and P73 recall FDCM reprogramming. A few cars put themselves in neutral when started with remote start and a recall was issued. N23 reprogrammed the system of the FDCM. P73 checked the reprogramming because after N23 many were showing Service 4wd System and not shifting into 4lo. My 2008 jeep gc overland 5.7 hemi is now doing it and when I called Chrysler Jeep they informed me that since my vehicle has been serviced for both N23 and P73 it's a crap shoot as to if it will be covered at a dealership for a fix and may be on my dime. Hence... a few people didn't place their parking brake on and remote started their vehicle. Something failed on their vehicles and now we are all suffering from the reflash "fix". Hoping to front the diagnostic cost soon at the stealership.... uugh!

2 people found this helpful.

good morning I had that same problem, I went to the dealer and they changed the PCM, after a while he did the same again. Solution: disassemble the PCM (it is on the right side of the passenger side) and weld all the pins.

2 people found this helpful.

My 2011grand jeep Cherokee has been lighting up saying service 4x4 system...I took it in for diagnostics and was told imy 4x4 system was fine but that I had a transmission leak with condenser that needs replacing and that my radiator was clogged and needed to be replaced all for 1700.00 and I don't understand my jeep never overheats or no lights show that is getting hot so I am confused...I hope I'm not being scammed

5 people found this helpful.

Got same problem on my 2005 Grand Cherokee Hemi. After went to a dealar had oil change. The next day the SVC 4WD light on and can't apply 4WD. Back to the dealar and paid $110, told me that I need transfer case replace. I have rarely use 4WD and never had this problem. Anyone have ideas?

1 people found this helpful.

My 2007 Grand Cherokee had a bad battery which caused the service 4 wheel drive and the engine lite on . New battery and the code and service warning went away with no stored codes.

I have had this light on for 2 weeks. I have just taken my 2015 Cherokee into the garage and the Diff has exploded dont leave it like l did

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