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Hmm, so it sounds like I had the N23 done through the previous owner which gave me the "service 4WD" message when switching to 4wd low. Then I had the FDCM reprogrammed last June (via TSB) which fixed my 4LO. Just recently I received a notice for the P73 recall. Since my 4LO works now I'm wondering if I should even take it in. What do you guys think?
 

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I'm scheduled for the P73 next week. Glad to hear it seems to be working. I'm getting kinda tired of pulling the fuse every time I want 4-Lo. I'm always a little worried that when I get back to pavement, it won't go back to 4-Hi.
 

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Hmm, so it sounds like I had the N23 done through the previous owner which gave me the "service 4WD" message when switching to 4wd low. Then I had the FDCM reprogrammed last June (via TSB) which fixed my 4LO. Just recently I received a notice for the P73 recall. Since my 4LO works now I'm wondering if I should even take it in. What do you guys think?
After the N23 ordeal, I'd wait to make sure nothing else emerges from this after guys have run it for a while. If your 4LO is currently working, I don't see any real reason to take it in. My 4LO was taken out by N23, but after doing the fuse trick, I've actually been able to consistently shift into 4LO over the course of the last 6 months, so I guess I don't have it too bad. Since I am not currently having problems, I'm not planning on taking it in. Plus, if I take it in they're going to want to do the ignition recall on my XK as well, which is no more than a waste of my day.
 

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After the N23 ordeal, I'd wait to make sure nothing else emerges from this after guys have run it for a while. If your 4LO is currently working, I don't see any real reason to take it in. My 4LO was taken out by N23, but after doing the fuse trick, I've actually been able to consistently shift into 4LO over the course of the last 6 months, so I guess I don't have it too bad. Since I am not currently having problems, I'm not planning on taking it in. Plus, if I take it in they're going to want to do the ignition recall on my XK as well, which is no more than a waste of my day.
Yeah, that's kind of what I'm feeling- if it ain't broke, don't fix it. However, I wonder if the P73 will make it more reliable than the TSB that fixed the N23 issue. Oh well, we'll see what eventually happens but I'm glad Chrysler finally issued a recall for the "service 4WD" issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Another way to fix the problem that no one has brought up that I did. I bought a FDCM module (new one) that has (I assume) the latest updates on it. After installation I have not had a problem since. Have been using the Low range on and off continuously this summer when on vacation without a single glitch. I found an online parts house that sold it to me for 242.00 dollars. Being that all the dealers around me within a 100 mile radius are idiots I felt this was the low cost option for me.

Dan
 

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FYI P73 did NOT fix my issue. Been in the shop now 3 times...
 

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thanks! I never got this notice. I am in Chrysler service getting P41 done. I asked them to check on N23...didn't know what I was talking about, but did find P73, which is now being performed. Glad i was able to confirm it with your posting.
 

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I think the issue is that there was a lot of defective FDCM's (the module that controls the XFR Case). The circuit board could crack and cause it to malfunction. That resulted a few Commanders XFR Case shifting themselves into neutral and them rolling away when parked.

The "Service 4WD" message can come on for lots of reasons. Something mechanically wrong inside the XFR Case, the motor that shifts the XFR Case could have failed, the wires could have shorted or broken, the FDCM could have failed or failed its self test. So just because the "Service 4WD" message comes up doesn't mean its the N23 or P73 recall that is behind it, it might be one of those other things that failed, but it is a possibility.

Best I can tell, since Chrysler had a huge liability issue and the NHTSB was breathing down their neck about a couple Commanders rolling away after being parked, they created the N23 software flash that did a tougher self-test on the FDCM and then disabled the shifting of the XFR Case if it did fail.

That solved Commanders rolling away after being parked, but judging from everyone's complaints, the self-test was too sensitive and failing perfectly good FDCM's and thus disabling the XFR Case shifting in just about all Commanders.

The P73 software flash, looks like the got the software right, and its only failing FDCM's that really do have a problem.

So, and again I'm guessing from the few posts on the board, it looks like the P73 software flash will solve you're "Service 4WD" problem, if you had no problem to begin with. You could still have a problem with the system, and doing the P73 won't solve that problem, you have to diagnose it and fix it. The P73 only fixes good working Commanders, that had the "Service 4WD" message erroneously.
 
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I just had the P73 flashed on my '07 and it fixed my issue. Prior to the update I had to use the fuse pull solution to get the 4WD Low to engage.
 

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Cool, my 4wd works as of now but I'm going in
on Friday to get the latest P73 flash. At least
it will be on Jeep if something screws up!
 

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I finally went ahead and had my transmission oil and filters changed 2 weeks ago. They did the N23 update - my 4 wheel low is working fine. Possibly this new one is for ones that may have a sluggish Transfer case motor??? I heard it includes a part? Need more input!! The recall specifically said QTII - ? Not QDII???
I have QTII and I also had the N23 update completed some time ago.

I also just checked my VIN number on Chrysler's safety/recall website and the P73 campaign the Original Poster mentioned is not listed.

I can also tell you that about 16 months ago (Only 2 months after I bought the vehicle in Sept 2014) the actuator motor on my transfer case locked up to where it was stuck in 4-HI and would not drop into 4-LOW at all - and I got the dreaded service 4WD system indicator.

The dealership told me the transfer case actuator motor failed & was bad; I wound up having it replaced (As the 2nd owner, I had a Fidelity 1 yr 10,000 mile warranty that I received from the dealership where I bought the vehicle that covered the power-train and all sealed internal engine components - and I was still well within the warranty period, however, this was not covered because this was not a sealed internal component - the actuator motor is actually mounted externally on the transfer case housing).

So, I was handed a $638.00 repair bill.

I am kind of curious if this is the reason why I see no information on Chrysler's website about a P73 campaign for my vehicle - because I had this repair done back in 2014.

EDIT: The P73 campaign is there - but it is listed as "REPROGRAM FINAL DRIVE CONTROL MODULE" in the format of a hyperlink; Once you click on the hyperlink, the notice for the P73 campaign comes up. I've attached the P73 Campaign notice to this post.
 

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Now, I understand what happened. The P73 campaign did not come out until 2015. Looking at my vehicle's history on Chrysler's recall website, my Commander was not checked for this (P73) Final Drive Control Module reprogramming until May 2015.

I replaced my transfer case actuator motor in Sept 2014 - before the P73 campaign came out. Therefore, I feel that I paid for a repair that most likely was not necessary.

I now surmise, that it was the need for the reprogramming of my final drive control module that caused my problem (not being able to shift into 4-LOW) and that the transfer case actuator motor was most likely fine.

I just finished submitting a request for reimbursement on Chrysler's recall/safety website with the repair bill attached as well as all the other applicable information. They say they will review the claim within 60 days, so, we'll see what happens.
 

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If the problem was properly diagnosed, then the motor was bad. If it was improperly diagnosed, then they may have replaced a perfectly good motor thinking it would fix the problem and it would NOT fix the problem, you would continue to have the problem.

So that is the key, after the dealership replaced the motor, were you able to shift into 4LOW and it continued to function normally??

If they corrected the problem, they fixed it correctly. If they did NOT correct the problem, and you continued to have it, then you have an argument.

I think the Chrysler Claims Department is going to check for records of you going back to the dealership and complaining that the problem was NOT corrected. If there is a record (and they may have it in a computer database), of you bringing the vehicle back and insisting they had NOT fixed it, you'd have a case. If there is no record, they probably aren't likely to honor your claim.
 

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We took ours in for the ignition switch recall and while it was there they did the P73 without telling me until we picked it up. Only time will tell if it worked. I put it in 4wd without issue and used it today, but when I do the fuse trick it works for about a week, so who knows. So far so good though, and the best part is my no start issue seems to be fixed with the ignition switch recall.
 

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We took ours in for the ignition switch recall and while it was there they did the P73 without telling me until we picked it up. Only time will tell if it worked. I put it in 4wd without issue and used it today, but when I do the fuse trick it works for about a week, so who knows. So far so good though, and the best part is my no start issue seems to be fixed with the ignition switch recall.
Not picking here, just interested where you use 4wd lo in FL, are there trails close by I do not know about? Are you rock crawling or mud slinging? Inquiring minds want to know.
 

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Not picking here, just interested where you use 4wd lo in FL, are there trails close by I do not know about? Are you rock crawling or mud slinging? Inquiring minds want to know.
Well there are plenty of places to go wheeling, but I park my boat behind my house and the only way to access it is on a sugar sand road, and trust me, without 4wd, you wont get back there, and without 4wd low, you wont be pulling a boat out of my yard.

But there are lots of places out off of 42 and out near Astor, or on up to Ocala. You aren't allowed to go on Matanzas beach without 4 wheel drive.
 

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If the problem was properly diagnosed, then the motor was bad. If it was improperly diagnosed, then they may have replaced a perfectly good motor thinking it would fix the problem and it would NOT fix the problem, you would continue to have the problem.

So that is the key, after the dealership replaced the motor, were you able to shift into 4LOW and it continued to function normally??

If they corrected the problem, they fixed it correctly. If they did NOT correct the problem, and you continued to have it, then you have an argument.

I think the Chrysler Claims Department is going to check for records of you going back to the dealership and complaining that the problem was NOT corrected. If there is a record (and they may have it in a computer database), of you bringing the vehicle back and insisting they had NOT fixed it, you'd have a case. If there is no record, they probably aren't likely to honor your claim.
Replacing the transfer case actuator motor did fix the problem - and I have not had another problem with it since.

Well, I submitted the claim anyway, if they say "No" then so be it.

No harm in trying, as I feel it is a legitimate issue.
 

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Replacing the transfer case actuator motor did fix the problem - and I have not had another problem with it since.

Well, I submitted the claim anyway, if they say "No" then so be it.

No harm in trying as I felt it was a legitimate issue.

My understanding of the whole N23 issue that triggered this P73 is that the system would recognize and cite the motor as being bad when it really wasn't.

*As I understand it* The system used a series of tests that it compared to pre-programmed parameters to test if the motor is functionally capable of completing its assigned tasks. The N23 recall was to address another issue where, as I recall, the transfer cases were slipping in to 4LO when they weren't supposed to, or were getting stuck in 4LO. The N23 addressed and fixed the intended issue, but because the parameters were in such a tight tolerance band, it ended up calling most everyone's shift motor faulty. This "faultiness" was due to original manufacturing tolerances paired with use over the past years, so while the motors were still capable of proper function, they were operating outside of the programmed tolerance band for resistance and current, and therefore considered faulty by the PCM's test, and the system was disabled, triggering the "SERVICE 4WD SYSTEM."

All this to say: just because replacing the shift motor fixed the issue doesn't necessarily mean that replacing the motor was a necessary step, provided the test procedures in place were practical (which it seems they were not in the case of N23). This, as far as I know, is what P73 addresses. That is, it increases the band of allowable parameters returned by the shift motor after the self-check procedures, which allows the system to give a "passing score" to most motors deemed faulty by the N23 software.

So just because N23 called your shift motor faulty doesn't *necessarily* mean it was, and the fact that replacing it fixed the problem still doesn't change that. However, from Chrysler's point of view, There's no way for them to confirm or deny whether or not your shift motor was in fact faulty or the N23 system just called it faulty when it was still good. So your claim is probably still up in the air.

A pretty good indicator of whether your shift motor is fine is the fuse trick. I did the fuse trick over a year ago and my 4LO is still functioning and I'm running N23. Had you ever tried the fuse trick prior to replacing the motor?
 

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I do NOT know the following for a fact, these are just facts I have strung together with a little speculation that makes sense in between, to figure out the issue. Remember, with big corporations and especially car corporations, there is always one lawsuit after another, with people trying to get rich off any mistake they make, so they never truly admit to any problem and are sparse on details because that is what the lawyers, trying head off all the lawsuits, recommend.

There was problem with some Commanders having their XFR cases shifting into Neutral uncommanded, while they were parked and thus a few Commanders rolled away down a hill and caused a collision.

I'm sure the NHTSB got involved, this could be a safety defect.

The problem was a few FDCM (the electronic module controlling the xfr case) were defective and could fail in a mode where they would shift the XFR case into modes uncommanded.

So Chrysler designed a software update to do a self-test to catch this failure and disable any shifting of the XFR case until it was fixed. The N23 update, which I'm sure satisfied the NHTSB. Problem was, the N23 update had problems and was failing the self-test for perfectly fine systems that did NOT have any problems. And thus, those that got the N23 update were all getting "Service 4WD" messages with any shifting of the XFR case disabled. So folks weren't happy.

The P73 update finally got the software right, or at least it appears to be at this point. The self-test does NOT erroneously fail the FDCM and disable a perfectly fine XFR case and disable the sifting.

Here is the thing, before, during and after the N23 update, it didn't change any of the other features. If you had a component fail, like the shift motor, it would still fail the self test. So, just because you had a "4WD Service" doesn't mean it was an erroneous failure caused by the N23 update, it could be for anyone of the dozens of things that legitimately would cause that warning to come up.

If it was the N23 update causing the problem, it would have been telling the tech's the problem was the FDCM, not the shift motor. Only replacing the FDCM would fix the problem. Replacing the Shift motor would NOT fix the problem, it would come back right after replacing the shift motor.

If replacing the shift motor fixed your problem, then that could only mean the shift motor was the problem, NOT the N23 update.

Good luck, I suspect they will look over the records and conclude there is no evidence that the repair you paid for was improper and it corrected the problem like the dealer said it would. The N23 update had nothing to do with it and thus won't honor the claim.
 

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Again, I don't have direct experience with the N23 issues other than the fuse trick that worked for me for a year. I'm also speculating, based on information I've read over the years. That said, in my reading, I have come across far more people who have had dealers replace the shift motor rather than the FDCM, sometimes multiple times before getting the SERVICE 4WD SYSTEM indicator to turn off and return to proper function.

From a logical standpoint, I don't see how the computer module would be listed as faulty when the shift motor fails it's self tests initiated by the FDCM. Further, this wouldn't explain why the fuse trick would work, as effectively all it does is reset the FDCM, initially clearing the stored codes. If the problem was faulty software in the FDCM, the fault would reoccur immediately. If it were the component it was testing, the self tests could pass a "marginal" component for any number of times until the correct set or external parameters resulted in the test being failed due to higher current or resistance from outside temperature, speed, ect. which explains the fuse trick working. And once the self test fails once, the shift motor is permanently disabled until the fault is cleared.

Again, just speculation. I'm not saying you're wrong or I'm right, just my hypothesis based on my current knowledge.
 
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