Jeep Cherokee Selec-Terrain 4x4 System in East Hanover, NJ

Mopar Mike's Blog | Jeep Cherokee Selec-Terrain 4x4 System

Looking at or own a new Jeep Cherokee? Chances are, if you have ever gone into a dealership to test drive one, the sales professional probably went over the selec-terrain system quickly, pointing out the dial letting you know that you can keep the vehicle in all-wheel drive, or select a specific terrain, and then moving onto another feature of the vehicle. But surely there has to be more to these technology-packed Select-Terrain vehicle systems than that right? Of course! If you have questioned what do these selections do differently than being in "Auto" mode, then keep reading!

Each Jeep product with the exception of the Jeep Wrangler comes with a variant of the Jeep Selec-Terrain system. For today's blog we will be focusing on the Jeep Cherokee. The Jeep Cherokee Selec-Terrain system comes equipped with Active Drive I or Active Drive II systems.

The Jeep Cherokee Selec-Terrain System with Active Drive I is available on the Sport, Latitude, and Limited models. The system includes a one-speed disconnecting power transfer unit, muli-piece driveshaft, one-speed rear drive module with an electronic control unit, a torque transfer device, and a rear axle disconnect feature.

Starting with the Selec-Terrain System in the "Auto" position, the vehicle will automatically adapt to any driving condition providing optimal traction and steering. While in "Auto" mode, the 4x4 AWD system only engages when necessary, providing improved efficiency while reducing emissions. Examples in which the 4x4 AWD system will engage is in lower temperature environments, changes in slope, weather related conditions such as rain, snow, or sleet in order to provide maximum efficiency.

Positioning the dial to the "Snow" position, the vehicle will adjust it's performance for maximum traction and driveability in slick, slippery conditions due to snow, sleet, slush, and ice. In "Snow" mode, power is variably distributed between the front and rear axles. The torque is split, giving 60% of the torque to the front wheels, and 40% to the rear wheels. Furthermore, to keep the tires from slipping from launch, "Snow" mode will automatically utilize second gear while acceleration begins from a complete stop.

Sport mode essentially is the opposite of snow mode. All about fun and performance, when the dial is positioned to the "Sport" position, the vehicle provides a more aggressive shift pattern from the transmission, giving the driver a more sporty driving experience. Likewise, the Sport mode also provides variably distributed toque to the wheels, but mirrors the split, giving 40% of the torque to the front wheels, and 60% to the rear wheels.

Lastly, if you turn the dial to Sand/Mud, you would do so if you are driving through a loose or viscous terrain. The Sand/Mud selection helps maintain momentum when it really matters so that you don't get stuck. To do this, the vehicle maximizes the capabilities from the torque transfer device to provide variable torque with up to 100% torque to the rear wheels.

The Selec-Terrain System includes a brake-lock differential. Similar to that of a locking differential, this system ensures the wheels on each axle are turning at the same speed. If one wheel loses traction, brake pressure is automatically applied to that wheel and torque is transferred from that wheel to the other wheel on the axle that still has traction. Although this system is not a substitute for a locking-differential, it certainly extends the capability of the Jeep Cherokee.

The Jeep Cherokee comes with the available Active Drive II system. The Active Drive II system, available on the Jeep Cherokee Sport, Latitude, and Limited models, has all the same features as the Active Drive I system, but also includes a 4WD Low mode, and neutral mode for flat towing. In 4WD Low mode, torque is balanced between the axles. Braking and throttle control is also optimized to provide better precision response during low-speed driving. Active Drive II provides a 56-1 crawl ratio giving superior control in low-speed driving conditions. To engage the 4WD Low mode, the driver should shift the vehicle to the "neutral" position while rolling between 1-3 MPH. While the vehicle is still in motion, press the 4WD Low button. You will see the 4WD Low light illuminate and feel it engage. Come to a complete stop, and shift the vehicle back into drive. The vehicle is now properly engaged in 4WD Low.

The "Trail Rated" Jeep Trailhawk and Trailhawk Elite models have an additional feature called the "Active Drive Lock." The Active Drive Lock is essentially a mechanical rear-axle lock added to the Active Drive II system. You will notice that these models also have an additional "Rock" option on the Selec-Terrain System.

Many individuals ask what indented N button stands for and what does it do. The "N" stands for Neutral. Doesn't the vehicle already have a Neutral position? Yes, but this button is to engage the flat towing neutral mode. This will allow you to flat tow the vehicle behind another vehicle such as an RV. To engage the flat towing neutral mode, ensure the vehicle is off. Press the ignition button two times without applying the brake pedal (don't start the engine). Shift the transmission to neutral, then while pressing the brake pedal down, press and hold the indent "N" button down for 10 seconds. System is now engaged. To take the vehicle out of flat towing neutral mode, simply reverse the process.

I hope you found this article informative. If you have any comments, questions, have a different Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep, or Ram vehicle with similar features you would like me to go over, please subscribe to my Blog, and contact me. Please also be sure to subscribe to my youtube channel at as I will be uploading videos on these topics shortly! Until then, remember "It's Mopar or No Car

- Mopar Mike

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