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Jeep Cherokee Service Shifter Light On: What Does It Mean?

Jeep Cherokee Service Shifter Light On: What Does It Mean?

When you find your Jeep Cherokee service shifter light on, this can never be good news for the car. Why? Because it could arise from a possible faulty wire or more commonly, a bad shifter itself. But what exactly does it mean when the light saying ‘service shifter’ comes on? Here, the Jeep is notifying you that the Jeep needs an immediate visit to the mechanic. 

That might be the best thing to do, but could it be that you are now in the middle of a secluded road or the highway, and you are thinking if you could just push or drive your Jeep home, what’s the worst that can happen even when the service shifter light is on? Read on to know all about this Jeep Cherokee Service Shifter light and what to do…

What Does It Mean When a Jeep Cherokee Displays ‘Service Shifter’ Light?

When your Jeep Cherokee displays a service shifter light, it means your Jeep’s shifter will need servicing by a professional mechanic. The mechanic will first check if the necessary fuses need replacement. Secondly, they will check if the software of the vehicle needs an update and lastly if the entire shifter needs replacing.

So facing a warning from the shifter light in a not-so-good place may make you hesitant to continue driving your Jeep and have you questioning what you should do next.

Usually, a service shifter light indicates a simple repairing task at the Jeep dealership and you may continue with the driving.

But if yours is a 2014-2015 version Jeep Cherokee KL, then you should have second thoughts about continuing the drive. Without having it repaired, you shouldn’t be driving the model unless the necessary repairs have been made by the mechanic from the recall.

But if you are not sure of the car model or year at the moment, and you’re driving the Jeep cherokee the warning is up saying, “Service Shifter”, you would be better off scheduling a visit to the mechanic’s to check for possible problems with the shifter.

So you see, if you are unsure of the model a service shifter light comes on more as a nuisance than as an emergency address. Since there is no single and true answer to the event of what the warning is indicating, it is better to diagnose the problem and let the mechanic offer a solution.

Can You Drive a Jeep Cherokee with the Service Shifter Light on?

It actually depends on your car model.

For those who need to travel a lot of distances in their Jeep to different places, being stranded on the side of the road and the Shifter Light warning at the same time may pose the question if it is actually safe to drive your Jeep Cherokee with the warning coming.

If you plan to call a tow truck to carry your car home, is it really worth the expenses? At this point, you may even think that you may be able to drive your Jeep straight home without waiting for the mechanic or towing service.

For most of this experience, it is actually quite safe to be driving home with your Jeep Cherokee while the service shifter light is still on.

Even if it is a result of a faulty wire or a system need for a security software update, it is still safe for you to keep driving your car with the shifter light still on if you do not see any other persistent car-issue symptoms. 

So the warning is never the cause for calling to tow unless it is a 15-model like mentioned above. In that case, you would be safer not to drive in it and call the tow truck anyway. In a lot of cases, even with the 14-15 models, a shifter warning may sometimes indicate not a single problem and absolutely nothing wrong.

However, it would be wiser to get the vehicle to a repair shop as soon as you can and at the same time avoid all long-distance traveling with the jeep until it gets repaired.

After the repair and servicing are done, you may still see the light on occasionally as it is a problem unique to Jeep Cherokees, but it is not a part of a massive repair effort. So if you have taken the vehicle to complete servicing but the shifter light is still on, you can be sure to safely drive.

You may also take the car to a certified mechanic from the dealership who is familiar with these Cherokee shifter light issues.

How Much Does it Cost to Replace a Jeep Cherokee Shifter?

The average cost that you need to pay for servicing the shifter light of your Jeep Cherokee and its replacement should be between $400 and $1,000 covering the necessary labor costs as well.

Is the Service Shifter Covered Under Warranty on a Jeep Cherokee?

In some cases, the Jeep dealerships and professional mechanics do not consider that your shifter’s problem is covered under any warranty. 

So you are most likely to pay for all the repairs that are made, out of your own pocket. However, you can always visit your dealership and have the issue looked into for a diagnosis.

The mechanics can help you to determine the necessary repairs and replacements and at the same time assess the application of a warranty, such as a Powertrain warranty that holds for a 5-year or 100,000-mile warranty depending on the Jeep’s model year.

My Closing Thoughts

As you saw, your Jeep Cherokee Service Shifter can easily get a warning light if there is an inherent issue, or there may be no cause at all for it to show such warnings. 

Only if it is a 2014-2015 model of the Jeep Cherokee that you did not have repaired from recall, it should be towed (and not driven) to the closest dealership so that you can replace the probable faulty parts. 

For all other models, you can drive to the dealership safely yourself and ask for necessary diagnoses and replacements.

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