Jeep Cherokee (KL): Brake/Transmission Shift Interlock System. Nine-Speed Automatic Transmission. Gear Ranges

Jeep Cherokee (KL) 2014 - 2023 Owners Manual > Starting and operating > Automatic transmission > Brake/Transmission Shift Interlock System. Nine-Speed Automatic Transmission. Gear Ranges

Brake/Transmission Shift Interlock System

This vehicle is equipped with a Brake Transmission Shift Interlock system (BTSI) that holds the shift lever in PARK unless the brakes are applied. To shift the transmission out of PARK, the ignition must be turned to the ON/ RUN position (engine running or not) and the brake pedal must be pressed.

The brake pedal must also be pressed to shift from NEUTRAL into DRIVE or REVERSE when the vehicle is stopped or moving at low speeds.

Nine-Speed Automatic Transmission

The transmission gear range (PRND) is displayed both beside the shift lever and in the Electronic Vehicle Information Center (EVIC)/Driver Information Display (DID). To select a gear range, press the lock button on the shift lever and move the lever rearward or forward. You must also press the brake pedal to shift the transmission out of PARK, or to shift from NEUTRAL into DRIVE or REVERSE when the vehicle is stopped or moving at low speeds (refer to Brake/Transmission Shift Interlock System in this section). Select the DRIVE range for normal driving.

The electronically-controlled transmission provides a precise shift schedule. The transmission electronics are self-calibrating; therefore, the first few shifts on a new vehicle may be somewhat abrupt. This is a normal condition, and precision shifts will develop within a few hundred miles (kilometers).

The nine-speed transmission has been developed to meet the needs of FCA current and future lineup of FWD/ AWD vehicles. Software and calibration is refined to optimize the customer's driving experience and fuel economy. By design, some vehicle and driveline combinations utilize 9th gear only in very specific driving situations and conditions.

Only shift from DRIVE to PARK or REVERSE when the accelerator pedal is released and the vehicle is stopped.

Be sure to keep your foot on the brake pedal when shifting between these gears.

The transmission shift lever has PARK, REVERSE, NEUTRAL, DRIVE, and Electronic Range Select (ERS) shift positions. Manual downshifts can be made using the ERS shift control (refer to Electronic Range Select (ERS) Operation in this section for further information). Moving the shift lever into the ERS (-/+) position (beside the DRIVE position) activates ERS mode, displays the current gear in the instrument cluster, and prevents automatic upshifts beyond this gear. In ERS mode, toggling the shift lever forward (-) or rearward (+) will change the highest available gear.

NOTE: If the shift lever cannot be moved to the PARK, REVERSE, or NEUTRAL position (when pushed forward) it is probably in the ERS (+/-) position (beside the DRIVE position). In ERS mode, the transmission gear limit (1, 2, 3, etc.) is displayed in the instrument cluster.

Move the shift lever to the right (into the DRIVE [D] position) for access to PARK, REVERSE, and NEUTRAL.

Shift Lever
Shift Lever

Gear Ranges

DO NOT race the engine when shifting from PARK or NEUTRAL into another gear range.

NOTE: After selecting any gear range, wait a moment to allow the selected gear to engage before accelerating.

This is especially important when the engine is cold.

PARK (P)

This range supplements the parking brake by locking the transmission. The engine can be started in this range.

Never attempt to use PARK while the vehicle is in motion. Apply the parking brake when leaving the vehicle in this range.

When parking on a level surface, you may shift the transmission into PARK first, and then apply the parking brake.

When parking on a hill, apply the parking brake before shifting the transmission to PARK, otherwise the load on the transmission locking mechanism may make it difficult to move the shift lever out of PARK. As an added precaution, turn the front wheels toward the curb on a downhill grade and away from the curb on an uphill grade.

WARNING!

  • Never use the PARK position as a substitute for the parking brake. Always apply the parking brake fully when parked to guard against vehicle movement and possible injury or damage.
  • Your vehicle could move and injure you and others if it is not completely in PARK. Check by trying to move the shift lever out of PARK with the brake pedal released. Make sure the transmission is in PARK before leaving the vehicle.
  • It is dangerous to shift out of PARK or NEUTRAL if the engine speed is higher than idle speed. If your foot is not firmly pressing the brake pedal, the vehicle could accelerate quickly forward or in reverse.

    You could lose control of the vehicle and hit someone or something. Only shift into gear when the engine is idling normally and your foot is firmly pressing the brake pedal.

  • Unintended movement of a vehicle could injure those in or near the vehicle. As with all vehicles, you should never exit a vehicle while the engine is running. Before exiting a vehicle, always apply the parking brake, shift the transmission into PARK, turn the engine OFF, and remove the Key Fob. When the ignition is in the LOCK/OFF (key removal) position, the transmission is locked in PARK, securing the vehicle against unwanted movement.
  • When leaving the vehicle, always make sure the ignition is in the OFF position, remove the key fob from the vehicle and lock the vehicle. If equipped with Keyless Enter-N-Go, always make sure the keyless ignition node is in "OFF" mode, remove the Key Fob from the vehicle and lock the vehicle.
  • Never leave children alone in a vehicle, or with access to an unlocked vehicle. Allowing children to be in a vehicle unattended is dangerous for a number of reasons. A child or others could be seriously or fatally injured. Children should be warned not to touch the parking brake, brake pedal or the shift lever.
  • Do not leave the Key Fob in or near the vehicle (or in a location accessible to children), and do not leave the ignition in a vehicle equipped with Keyless Enter-N-Go in the ACC or ON/RUN position.

    A child could operate power windows, other controls, or move the vehicle.

CAUTION!

  • Before moving the shift lever out of PARK, you must turn the ignition switch from the LOCK/OFF position to the ON/RUN position, and also press the brake pedal. Otherwise, damage to the shift lever could result.
  • DO NOT race the engine when shifting from PARK or NEUTRAL into another gear range, as this can damage the drivetrain.

The following indicators should be used to ensure that you have engaged the transmission into the PARK position:

  • When shifting into PARK, press the lock button on the shift lever and firmly move the lever all the way forward until it stops and is fully seated.
  • Look at the transmission gear position display and verify that it indicates the PARK position (P).
  • With brake pedal released, verify that the shift lever will not move out of PARK.

REVERSE (R)

This range is for moving the vehicle backward. Shift into REVERSE only after the vehicle has come to a complete stop.

NEUTRAL (N)

Use this range when the vehicle is standing for prolonged periods with the engine running. The engine may be started in this range. Apply the parking brake and shift the transmission into PARK if you must leave the vehicle.

WARNING!

Do not coast in NEUTRAL and never turn off the ignition to coast down a hill. These are unsafe practices that limit your response to changing traffic or road conditions. You might lose control of the vehicle and have a collision.

CAUTION!

Towing the vehicle, coasting, or driving for any other reason with the transmission in NEUTRAL can cause severe transmission damage. Refer to "Recreational Towing" in "Starting And Operating" and "Towing A Disabled Vehicle" in "What To Do In Emergencies" for further information.

DRIVE (D)

This range should be used for most city and highway driving. It provides the smoothest upshifts and downshifts, and the best fuel economy. The transmission automatically upshifts through all forward gears. The DRIVE position provides optimum driving characteristics under all normal operating conditions.

When frequent transmission shifting occurs (such as when operating the vehicle under heavy loading conditions, in hilly terrain, traveling into strong head winds, or while towing a heavy trailer), use the Electronic Range Select (ERS) shift control (refer to Electronic Range Select (ERS) Operation in this section for further information) to select a lower gear range. Under these conditions, using a lower gear range will improve performance and extend transmission life by reducing excessive shifting and heat buildup.

If the transmission temperature exceeds normal operating limits, the transmission controller may modify the transmission shift schedule, reduce engine torque, and/or expand the range of torque converter clutch engagement. This is done to prevent transmission damage due to overheating.

If the transmission becomes extremely hot, the "Transmission TemperatureWarning Light" may illuminate and the transmission may operate differently until the transmission cools down.

During cold temperatures, transmission operation may be modified depending on engine and transmission temperature as well as vehicle speed. This feature improves warm up time of the engine and transmission to achieve maximum efficiency. Engagement of the torque converter clutch, and shifts into 8th or 9th gear, are inhibited until the transmission fluid is warm (refer to the "Note" under "Torque Converter Clutch" in this section).

Normal operation will resume once the transmission temperature has risen to a suitable level.

SPORT - If Equipped

This mode alters the transmission's automatic shift schedule for sportier driving. Upshift speeds are increased to make full use of available engine power.

SPORT mode is activated using the rotary switch on the center console. Refer to Selec-Terrain in this section for further information.

Transmission Limp Home Mode

Transmission function is monitored electronically for abnormal conditions. If a condition is detected that could result in transmission damage, Transmission Limp Home Mode is activated. In this mode, the transmission remains in fourth gear regardless of which forward gear is selected. PARK, REVERSE, and NEUTRAL will continue to operate. The Malfunction Indicator Light (MIL) may be illuminated. Limp Home Mode allows the vehicle to be driven to an authorized dealer for service without damaging the transmission.

In the event of a momentary problem, the transmission can be reset to regain all forward gears by performing the following steps: 1. Stop the vehicle.

2. Shift the transmission into PARK.

3. Turn the ignition switch to the OFF position.

4. Wait approximately 10 seconds.

5. Restart the engine.

6. Shift into the desired gear range. If the problem is no longer detected, the transmission will return to normal operation.

NOTE: Even if the transmission can be reset, we recommend that you visit your authorized dealer at your earliest possible convenience. Your authorized dealer has diagnostic equipment to determine if the problem could recur. If the transmission cannot be reset, authorized dealer service is required.

Electronic Range Select (ERS) Operation

The Electronic Range Select (ERS) shift control allows the driver to limit the highest available gear. For example, if you set the transmission gear limit to 5 (fifth gear), the transmission will not shift above fifth gear, but will shift through the lower gears normally.

You can switch between DRIVE and ERS mode at any vehicle speed. When the shift lever is in the DRIVE position, the transmission will operate automatically, shifting between all available gears.

Moving the shift lever to the ERS position (beside DRIVE) will activate ERS mode, display the current gear in the instrument cluster, and set that gear as the top available gear. Once in ERS mode, moving the shift lever forward (-) or rearward (+) will change the top available gear.

To exit ERS mode, simply return the shift lever to the DRIVE position.

WARNING!

Do not downshift for additional engine braking on a slippery surface. The drive wheels could lose their grip and the vehicle could skid, causing a collision or personal injury.

NOTE: To select the proper gear position for maximum deceleration (engine braking), move the shift lever into the ERS position, then simply press and hold it forward (-). The transmission will shift to the range from which the vehicle can best be slowed down.

Torque Converter Clutch

A feature designed to improve fuel economy has been included in the automatic transmission on your vehicle.

A clutch within the torque converter engages automatically at calibrated speeds. This may result in a slightly different feeling or response during normal operation in the upper gears. When the vehicle speed drops or during some accelerations, the clutch automatically disengages.

NOTE: The torque converter clutch will not engage until the transmission fluid is warm (usually after 1 to 3 miles [2 to 5 km] of driving). Because the engine speed is higher when the torque converter clutch is not engaged, it may seem as if the transmission is not shifting properly when cold. This is normal. The torque converter clutch will function normally once the transmission is sufficiently warm.

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