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Discussion Starter #1
I'm not sure where to post this, but I will start here under General Discussion.

Approximately 4 months ago I purchased a used 2006 Jeep Commander 5.7 hemi with ~56,000 miles. I’m the second owner and the original had purchased it from the same dealership where I had purchased it. The Carfax data looked good with regular maintenance performed – as far as I could tell the jeep was well kept.

Using this forum as a reference, I’ve since changed the spark plugs, replaced the shocks and struts and replaced the front grill/headlights for a blacked out look. Things have been fine so far, but just recently I’ve started seeing messages in the EVIC.

The first message which displayed recently was the ‘spare low pressure’ which I fixed by inflating the spare tire. Shortly thereafter, the ‘service 4x4 system’ message appeared on my dash (appears immediately after starting the jeep). The ‘perform service’ message also just appeared which I removed by changing the service interval in the EVIC. And yesterday (for no apparent reason) another message appeared stating “memory system disabled – seatbelt fastened”, but I’ve since learned it’s possible my leg may have hit the memory seat buttons on the door while driving.

At this point, I’m left with the ‘service 4x4 system’ message. I understand there is a technical service bulletin on this topic and per a different jeep dealership near where I live, my commander was given the flash or software update which was supposed to fix this problem. However, I can confirm my 4 Lo is not working so I’m now wondering if the original flash/update worked. In hindsight, I wish I had tested 4 Lo at the dealership before purchasing, but I figured I would never use it as I have a Jeep JK for my off-road four wheelin needs.

I plugged in my OBDII reader which provide no diagnostic codes. The service guy at the other Jeep dealership where I live said I should call Jeep and request approval for a second investigation into the ‘service 4x4 system’ message. Seems odd, but I’m not sure where to turn. Btw, the jeep seems to run fine even with ‘service 4x4 system’ message. Hopefully, driving is not doing any harm.

Is it possible the original TSB did not work correctly and may require a second flash/update?
Is there a way for us (vehicle owners) to find out what the problem really is or does it require a special code reader at the dealership?

I did try removing fuse #25 per a YouTube video, then driving forward/backwards, re-inserting the fuse – but that did not work.

Any input appreciated.

thanks!
 

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You need to find out what recall was done, the N23 or P73. If only the N23 was done, they need to do the P73 which seems to have fixed the problems caused by the N23 flash.
If the P73 has been performed you may have an actual problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
You need to find out what recall was done, the N23 or P73. If only the N23 was done, they need to do the P73 which seems to have fixed the problems caused by the N23 flash.
If the P73 has been performed you may have an actual problem.
got it. thanks for the information!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Found a VIN lookup on jeep.com. Some of the recalls say "repaired", but P73 TSB just says "inspected." My hope is inspected means it was only inspected and maybe they determined at the time there was no reason to perform the P73 update. Otherwise, I would think it would say "repaired" if they actually performed the update. Looks like I have an ignition recall outstanding too.
 

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An OBDII code reader will only read the OBDII codes, perhaps a few other that the manufacturer may port over. OBDII is the federally mandated emissions protocols for emissions only, nothing else. Since 98% of the engine malfunctions could effect the emissions just about all your engine diagnostic codes are part of OBDII.

There are hundreds, even thousands of codes stored in all the different electronic modules in the vehicle that the manufacturer chooses to make proprietary. An OBDII scanner, even an expensive one, can NOT read the other codes, like the codes from the FDCM that sets that "Service 4WD" warning light.

Your options to read those codes is to take it to the Dealer that have the proprietary tool that can read the codes, which they will charge you a hefty fee -OR- try to find an honest independent shop that has invested in the expensive tools that can read those codes, expensive either because of the licensing fees the tool maker has to pay the manufacturer or the tool maker had to reverse engineer all the manufacture's codes. Only the tool makers that reverse engineer the codes, are the ones denying the manufacturer their hefty cut for keeping the protocols proprietary.

Already mentioned, there were 2 Software Updates done for the FDCM that sets that "Service 4WD" warning. The first, the N23 was done in response to FDCM failures that were shifting the XFR case into neutral uncommanded. The N23 Software Update was flawed, it was failing the self test for perfectly good vehicles and disabling the shifting, but it did stop the safety problem of Commanders and Grand Cherokees accidentally shifting into neutral.

The P73 Software update was released recently, it fixes the software problems of the N23 update and stops the erroneous warnings and disabling of the XFR case shifting.

Keep in mind, if you have suffered a real failure or problem, the FDCM and software may be reacting exactly how it was designed, and you need to get something fixed in the drivetrain.

Software Updates needing to be re-applied? No, it doesn't work that way. The Dealership should have checked the software version after doing the update, the electronic modules just don't go and retro-reload old software, especially without a source hooked up with software to load. But, guessing from what you posted, the FDCM software may have been updated to N23 but hasn't had the P73 update done yet. The N23 is bad and cause perfectly good vehicles to erroneously set a warning and disable the XFR case shifting, bad but it prevented a safety issue, while the P73 is good.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
An OBDII code reader will only read the OBDII codes, perhaps a few other that the manufacturer may port over. OBDII is the federally mandated emissions protocols for emissions only, nothing else. Since 98% of the engine malfunctions could effect the emissions just about all your engine diagnostic codes are part of OBDII.

There are hundreds, even thousands of codes stored in all the different electronic modules in the vehicle that the manufacturer chooses to make proprietary. An OBDII scanner, even an expensive one, can NOT read the other codes, like the codes from the FDCM that sets that "Service 4WD" warning light.

Your options to read those codes is to take it to the Dealer that have the proprietary tool that can read the codes, which they will charge you a hefty fee -OR- try to find an honest independent shop that has invested in the expensive tools that can read those codes, expensive either because of the licensing fees the tool maker has to pay the manufacturer or the tool maker had to reverse engineer all the manufacture's codes. Only the tool makers that reverse engineer the codes, are the ones denying the manufacturer their hefty cut for keeping the protocols proprietary.

Already mentioned, there were 2 Software Updates done for the FDCM that sets that "Service 4WD" warning. The first, the N23 was done in response to FDCM failures that were shifting the XFR case into neutral uncommanded. The N23 Software Update was flawed, it was failing the self test for perfectly good vehicles and disabling the shifting, but it did stop the safety problem of Commanders and Grand Cherokees accidentally shifting into neutral.

The P73 Software update was released recently, it fixes the software problems of the N23 update and stops the erroneous warnings and disabling of the XFR case shifting.

Keep in mind, if you have suffered a real failure or problem, the FDCM and software may be reacting exactly how it was designed, and you need to get something fixed in the drivetrain.

Software Updates needing to be re-applied? No, it doesn't work that way. The Dealership should have checked the software version after doing the update, the electronic modules just don't go and retro-reload old software, especially without a source hooked up with software to load. But, guessing from what you posted, the FDCM software may have been updated to N23 but hasn't had the P73 update done yet. The N23 is bad and cause perfectly good vehicles to erroneously set a warning and disable the XFR case shifting, bad but it prevented a safety issue, while the P73 is good.
Great info - thank you! I just spoke with a Chrysler rep (800-992-1997) who could see the dealer notes on this particular update. Unfortunately, there is nothing definitive which says P73 was ever performed. The rep also informed me P73 was "investigated" Aug 14th 2015 which is just prior to when I purchased the jeep. Apparently, we get 1 year to follow-up on any issues related to a particular tsb (i.e. - i can take my jeep back to the dealer 'at no charge' and ask them to update P73 since it is not clear the update was ever completed.

If this does not fix the problem, I suspect they will tell what the problem is 'at no charge' since their initial work is based on performing the P73 update. Time to schedule an appointment. :)
 

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If you have the N23 software update, it is possible the software is erroneously reporting the FDCM failed its self test. If that is the case, and the FDCM is good, then the P73 software update should fix it and report the FDCM passes its self-test.

Even if you have the N23 software update, if its reporting a diagnostic code for something other than the FDCM failing its self-test, then likely bad software is NOT your problem, it is correctly identifying something that failed in the system and needs to be fixed. Of course still do the P73 update.

But like mentioned before, if still get the light and codes after the P73 update, then you do have something wrong with the system that needs to be repaired.
 

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Great info - thank you! I just spoke with a Chrysler rep (800-992-1997) who could see the dealer notes on this particular update. Unfortunately, there is nothing definitive which says P73 was ever performed. The rep also informed me P73 was "investigated" Aug 14th 2015 which is just prior to when I purchased the jeep. Apparently, we get 1 year to follow-up on any issues related to a particular tsb (i.e. - i can take my jeep back to the dealer 'at no charge' and ask them to update P73 since it is not clear the update was ever completed.

If this does not fix the problem, I suspect they will tell what the problem is 'at no charge' since their initial work is based on performing the P73 update. Time to schedule an appointment. :)
There is a Chrysler/P73 recall thread here in the General Commander discussion forum I suggest you read in detail.

If the P73 recall (Reprogramming of the final drive control module) doesn't solve your issue of not being able to shift into 4-LOW, you are probably looking at having your transfer case actuator motor replaced. If the dealership covers it - no muss no fuss for you. If you have to pay for it, it's about a $700.00 repair bill. (Been there and done that)

One question I would ask you is do you have the Quadra-Trac II or Quadra-Drive II 4WD system?

I believe the P73 recall (reprogramming the final drive control module) is specifically for Commanders with the Quadra-Trac II 4WD system.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
At dealer now who will run the P73 update. Have any of you replaced the actuator motor should that be my problem? Any idea how much the part is? I don't care about 4lo since I have a jk. If the only problem is 4lo does not work I might let it ride for a while. Don't really feel like spending 700 on something I'm not going to use - though the evic message is annoying. :)

Appreciate all the responses. Thanks


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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Here is the latest after visiting the dealer today. The technician confirmed my commander had the P73 software update, so apparently they did not peform the P73 update again (makes sense).

I was then shown a printout listing several DTC codes from a system called wiTech (wiTech is listed at the top of page so assume this is the system which checks for errors). Here are the DTC codes listed:

DTC code: C1405
Status: Stored
Description: transfer case range position sensor circuit high

DTC code: C1406
Status: stored
Description: transfer case brake performance

DTC code: C140F
Status: Active
Description: transfer case range position sensor erratic performance

DTC code: C1438
Status: Active
Description: transfer case differential clutch worn

DTC code: C2109
Status: Stored
Description: drivetrain supply voltage circuit low

DTC code: P0713
Status: Stored
Description: transmission temperture sensor 1 high

DTC code: P1684
Status: Stored
Description: battery was disconnected

DTC code: C0077
Status: Stored
Description: low tire pressure

DTC code: C1506
Status: Stored
Description: left front tire pressure trigger module performance

So, I had to get going as I have things to do today, but I've scheduled a follow-up appointment for Monday to drop off my jeep. I plan to have ignition recall completed.

The service technician explained they would have to investigate further into what exactly is triggering the 'service 4x4 system' message, so they plan to look at that Monday as well. They plan to charge me $137 which is their hourly rate to tell me what the underlying problem is - seems high for an hourly rate btw - may check other dealers near me for their rates.

On the way home today I noticed the 'service 4x4 system' message is no longer listed. I'm not sure what changed, so I may not pursue/fund a further investigation. I have not tried engaging 4Lo, but will definitely give it a go later today.

At this point, I think the trans temp code bothers me most, but not sure how I can get a readout on what the trans temp really is. I do plan to buy a superchips traildash for my JK, so maybe I'll plug into the commander first.

thanks!
 

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At dealer now who will run the P73 update. Have any of you replaced the actuator motor should that be my problem? Any idea how much the part is? I don't care about 4lo since I have a jk. If the only problem is 4lo does not work I might let it ride for a while. Don't really feel like spending 700 on something I'm not going to use - though the evic message is annoying. :)

Appreciate all the responses. Thanks


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I did not replace the actuator motor myself, I had it done at the dealership. The bill was $638.00....but that was 16 months ago.

From what I recall, the actuator motor itself, was fairly expensive.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I did not replace the actuator motor myself, I had it done at the dealership. The bill was $638.00....but that was 16 months ago.

From what I recall, the actuator motor itself, was fairly expensive.
Thanks for the info! Gives me reference heading into the dealer tomorrow. The 'service 4x4 system' is now appearing again. At least tomorrow I will know what the problem is and can move on to next steps. If it is the actuator motor, the cost appears to be in the high 300's if I'm looking at the correct part. I guess I will know more tomorrow.
 

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Thanks for the info! Gives me reference heading into the dealer tomorrow. The 'service 4x4 system' is now appearing again. At least tomorrow I will know what the problem is and can move on to next steps. If it is the actuator motor, the cost appears to be in the high 300's if I'm looking at the correct part. I guess I will know more tomorrow.
Happy to help.

Let us know how it goes.
 

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Thanks for the info! Gives me reference heading into the dealer tomorrow. The 'service 4x4 system' is now appearing again. At least tomorrow I will know what the problem is and can move on to next steps. If it is the actuator motor, the cost appears to be in the high 300's if I'm looking at the correct part. I guess I will know more tomorrow.
None of those codes indicate the Shift Motor to me. Those codes seem to indicate multiple sensor problems and wear.

Have you've been rotating tires and changing the XFR case fluid? You've got a code for low tire pressure, and NOT from the TPMS system, so likely the FDCM or 4WD system can tell the XFR case differential is turning more than it should while your going straight, a tires being different sizes will do that, including tires with different amounts of wear on them or tires inflated to a big difference in air pressure.

Leaking XFR cases can get oil in the connectors and cause shorts that can trigger multiple codes.

That would cause excessive wear on the XFR case, as well, excessive wear, especially on clutch packs will put magnetic powder (goo like grease) in the case that can collect on sensors and interfere with their performance. As well, excessive wear will cause mechanism to over travel and the sensors will return out of range results.

You can't tell the real cause of these multiple readings, it might be multiple problems or single problem with multiple results.

You can look over the XFR case yourself, if it is coated in Grime and Crud, or its wet, it could be shorts caused by the leaking oil in connectors.

The first shop may have just jumped to conclusions reading those multiple codes, but they may be right, the XRF case is worn out. Likely something went wrong to cause premature wear (if its worn out, we don't know that for sure), it leaked and you drove it on low fluid, or you have a tire pressure problem and have been driving with one or more tires at significantly less pressure than the others, meaning the tires spin at different speeds and spin the differential excessively when they should be still.

The Dealership, if they are good techs, will have a troubleshooting tree of things to check to eliminate possible causes and narrow down the total number of causes to they discover the final one.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
None of those codes indicate the Shift Motor to me. Those codes seem to indicate multiple sensor problems and wear.

Have you've been rotating tires and changing the XFR case fluid? You've got a code for low tire pressure, and NOT from the TPMS system, so likely the FDCM or 4WD system can tell the XFR case differential is turning more than it should while your going straight, a tires being different sizes will do that, including tires with different amounts of wear on them or tires inflated to a big difference in air pressure.

Leaking XFR cases can get oil in the connectors and cause shorts that can trigger multiple codes.

That would cause excessive wear on the XFR case, as well, excessive wear, especially on clutch packs will put magnetic powder (goo like grease) in the case that can collect on sensors and interfere with their performance. As well, excessive wear will cause mechanism to over travel and the sensors will return out of range results.

You can't tell the real cause of these multiple readings, it might be multiple problems or single problem with multiple results.

You can look over the XFR case yourself, if it is coated in Grime and Crud, or its wet, it could be shorts caused by the leaking oil in connectors.

The first shop may have just jumped to conclusions reading those multiple codes, but they may be right, the XRF case is worn out. Likely something went wrong to cause premature wear (if its worn out, we don't know that for sure), it leaked and you drove it on low fluid, or you have a tire pressure problem and have been driving with one or more tires at significantly less pressure than the others, meaning the tires spin at different speeds and spin the differential excessively when they should be still.

The Dealership, if they are good techs, will have a troubleshooting tree of things to check to eliminate possible causes and narrow down the total number of causes to they discover the final one.
Thank you Mongo. Great info. As far as the tires go, the dealer where I purchased the jeep in September had just installed new tires and I do keep them inflated properly and they are all pretty close in terms of psi. I have not rotated the tires because I've only put on 3,000 or so miles since the purchase. I figure around 5k I will rotate the tires.

UPDATE: I heard from the service technician yesterday. When they began troubleshooting, they focused on the transfer case clutch Active code. Per the troubleshooting instructions, the technician cleared all the codes then drove the jeep (approx 10 miles) to try and reproduce the error codes. Apparently, they were unable to trigger any codes and the 'service 4x4 system' message no longer appears. I asked if 4Lo is working and they said yes. The service technician does not believe the "problem" is fixed, but there is not much they can do as there are no DTC's to reference.

At this point, I'm going to pick up my jeep today and drive it as is. If a message should appear again, I'm supposed to take it back for follow-up troubleshooting. So far, I'm out $120 for the one hour of labor for diagnosing the issue. The jeep dealer had originally quoted $137 per hour, but I called four other jeep dealers in my area (Sacramento area) and found one who charges $120 per hour, so the dealer near me matched it (pretty cool).

My differential, transfer case and tranny fluids are due for a change (approaching 60K miles). Perhaps changing the transfer case oil will help too as you indicated above.

I suppose there is not much more to do except drive the jeep, enjoy it and hope the codes do not return. :)
 
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