Whenever a warning light appears in your Jeep Cherokee, it indicates that your vehicle is facing an issue and you need to inspect it as soon as possible. The service shifter light indicates a problem like any other warning light. It informs you to do a close inspection to avoid further damage.
Also, as all the shifter lights go on, you will have difficulty determining what gear you are in. So, In the article, I will provide you with an in-detailed overview of the Jeep Cherokee service shifter light and why this light appears, and possible fixes to eliminate the glare.
What Does The Service Shifter Light Mean In A Jeep Cherokee?
You may notice a warning message in the instrument panel with all shift indicators illuminated in your Jeep Cherokee. It means the Engine Control Unit detects an operational error in the shifter. The problem needs to be inspected by a professional mechanic to take further steps.
However, the Jeep Cherokee 2014 to 2017 KL series is subject to recall for the shifter light issue as the part has been engineered incorrectly. If you own any models and notice the light contact with the dealer, they will do the proper inspection and fix the issue.
Possible Reasons Why The Jeep Cherokee Service Shifter Light On
The service shifter light illuminates due to shifter malfunction and its related parts. Here are some possible reasons for the service shifter light on:
- A software glitch or missing vehicle software update
- Defective shifter
- ESM service error
- The shifter’s wiring harness fails to transfer the proper signal
- Due to faulty shifter bezel
- Blown out fuses
How to scan the Service Shifter light on a problem?
If the problems occur due to mechanical issues, a proper inspection is needed to fix the problem. Scanner tools are always an excellent option for finding the cause of an issue. You must use an OBD2 scanner tool to know why the light is on.
First, Connect the OBD2 scanner tool with the vehicle OBD2 port. You will find the port under the dash or steering wheel. Now, run the tool and read the fault code.
If you find the P1C86 or U1465 error, the shifter assembly will need to be fixed. If you get the U165 code, it indicates the problem on ESM. Also, a visual inspection is required to determine the actual issue.
How to fix a service shifter light On Malfunction in a Jeep Cherokee?
It is always better to contact a dealer if you find a problem in your vehicle shifter. Proper mechanical knowledge is required to identify the problem.
Also, if your Jeep Cherokee model is under recall, don’t try to do this on your own, and ask the dealer to do the process for you.
However, below are mentioned some possible fixes you might try while the service shifter light is on if you have mechanical knowledge:
Replace the shifter bezel
If you notice that the shifter gets stuck in one or erratic gear shifting along with the light, you need to replace the shifter’s bezel and wiring to turn off the light. Follow the below steps to replace the shifter wiring:
- First, separate the bezel from the shifter. You can do this by hand and need to pull the bezel upward.
- You will notice a wire harness connected to the bezel. Remove it and also remove the connector from the engine control arm.
- Take the new bezel. A new cable will be included with the new bezel. First, connect the wire harness to the engine arm and then to the bezel.
- After connecting it properly, reverse the removal procedure to get everything back together.
You will eliminate the check shifter light if there are no other problems.
Replacing the Shifter
If you own a Jeep Cherokee model earlier than 2016 and before, you cannot replace the shifter bezel only. You need to replace the shifter if the problem occurs on those models.
If it is necessary to change the shifter to solve the problem, it is recommended to do this process with the help of a professional.
However, if you want to do the process yourself, follow the visual guide below to understand everything correctly.
How To Reset The Service Shifter Light In A Jeep Cherokee?
If your vehicle service shifter light appears due to a software issue, a simple reset can fix the problem. Here are mentioned two easy methods to reset the light:
Restart the vehicle
If you notice the light, you should first try to reset the light by restarting the vehicle. All you need to do is stop the vehicle, turn off the ignition switch, wait for 2 to 3 seconds, and then again turn it on. When you restart the car, everything will be reset, and the shifter message will go away.
Unplug the battery
Sometimes the software glitch on the ECU will cause the service shifter to illuminate. If you unplug the battery for around 15 to 20 minutes, it will drain all the electronic power, and the ECU will take a reset which eventually turns off the light.
To disconnect a car battery, you need to remove the negative power cable from the negative terminals using a socket or wrench. Then, wait for around 15 minutes, and the system will take a reset. Then, connect everything properly.
If there are no other issues, the light and warning message will disappear from the screen.
Can you fix the shifter light on the issue at home?
You can quickly fix the shifter light issue at home if you have a little mechanical background and know how to use the scanner tool. Also, if the problems occur due to a software glitch, a simple restart can resolve the issue, in this case, you don’t need to have mechanical knowledge.
Can I drive my Jeep Cherokee with the service shifter light?
You can drive the vehicle with the service shifter light. But there is a chance that the shifter can get stuck in the drive. So you will not like being stuck on the roadside. Also, there is a chance of an accident if the shifter is stuck. So, it is better to drive to a nearby service center and fix it before going for a long drive.
How long can you drive the vehicle when it says service shifter?
If the service shifter light is on, you can drive the vehicle as long as you want, but if the shifter is stuck, you will face great trouble. So, I recommend not driving the car without any emergency and contacting a professional mechanic.
How much does it cost to replace a Jeep Cherokee shifter?
The shifter replacement cost will vary depending on your location and vehicle year. The Jeep Cherokee shifter parts will cost around $200-$250. The labor cost will also be added if you replace it from a repair shop.
There has been a recall for some Jeep Cherokees due to this shifter issue. So, if you notice the Jeep Cherokee service shifter light on, you should be concerned about it. I hope in this regard, today’s guide would help you know what it means, the possible reasons, and how you can fix it.
I am Rick Bofia, a Jeep mechanic with a wealth of experience in repairing and maintaining Jeeps of all models and ages. I take pride in my expertise in diagnosing and repairing complex Jeep problems, from engine and transmission issues to suspension and brake system repairs. My passion for Jeeps and my dedication to delivering top-quality services have earned me a reputation as a reliable and trustworthy mechanic in the Jeep community. Whether you need routine maintenance or major repairs, you can trust me to get your Jeep back on the road in optimal condition.