I am new to this forum and have owned my first Jeep, a 2013 Grand Cherokee for less than a week. It has the Quadra Trac II.
Does anyone know how the hill descent button works and how to engage it? I was going down a steep hill and wanted to use it. Every time I hit it, the light would flash, then go out. So I switched into 4WD low and then was able to use it.
The manual says it can be used in 4WD low or regular, but with the knob in the 4WD standard position, I have not been able to engage hill descent no matter what speed I am going or if in Drive or Neutral. There is also no discussion of how it works, what it does or when it should be used.
I don't know about the jeep one, but I had hill descent on my 2010 Nissan Frontier Pro4x. It is for slow steep descents. It disengages itself as certain speeds or if you apply the gas. It is designed so that you can concentrate on the steering. It engage the brakes/traction control/transmission to a slow steady descent. On the Nissan it was quite loud...but nice to have
From the Owner Manual - UNDERSTANDING YOUR INSTRUMENT PANEL
9. Hill Descent Control Indicator Light — If Equipped
The symbol indicates the status of the Hill
Decent Control (HDC) feature. The lamp will
be on solid when HDC is armed. HDC can only
be armed when the transfer case is in the “4WD
Low” position and the vehicle speed is less then 30 mph
(48 km/h). If these conditions are not met while attempting
to use the HDC feature, the HDC indicator lamp will
From the Owner Manual - STARTING AND OPERATING
Hill Descent Control (HDC) — Four-Wheel Drive
Models With MP3023 Two-Speed Transfer Case
HDC maintains vehicle speed while descending hills
during off-road driving situations and is available in
4WD LOW range only. To enable HDC, press the HDC
switch or put the Selec-Terrain™ system in “ROCK”
mode (“ROCK” mode is only available in 4WD LOW
When HDC is enabled, the HDC icon will be illuminated
in the instrument cluster. HDC will automatically apply
the brakes to control downhill speed to the selected level
when necessary on grades greater than approximately
8%. It will usually not activate on level ground.
The HDC speed may be adjusted by the driver to suit the
driving conditions. The speed corresponds to the transmission
HDC operation can be overridden with brake application
to slow the vehicle down below the HDC control speed.
Conversely, if more speed is desired during HDC control,
the accelerator pedal will increase vehicle speed in the
usual manner. When either the brake or the accelerator is
released, HDC will control the vehicle back to the original
From the Service Manual:
HILL DESCENT INDICATOR
The hill descent indicator gives an indication to the vehicle operator when the QuadraDrive four-wheel drive transfer case gear selector is in the 4WD LOW position and the hill descent control push button in the instrument panel switch pod has been depressed to turn the feature ON. This feature uses the grade sensing logic of the CAB to sense the vehicle is descending a hill and employs the brake system to automatically control the hill descent speed of the vehicle. This indicator is controlled by the instrument cluster logic circuit based upon cluster programming and electronic messages received over the CAN data bus from the CAB.
The hill descent indicator function of the electronic display unit is completely controlled by the instrument cluster logic circuit, and that logic will only allow this indicator to operate when the instrument cluster receives a battery current input on the fused ignition output (run-start) circuit. Therefore, the hill descent indication will always be OFF when the ignition switch status is anything except ON or START. The instrument cluster will turn ON the hill descent indicator for the following reasons:
Hill Descent Indicator Lamp-On Message - Each time the cluster receives an electronic hill descent indicator lamp-ON message from the CAB, the indicator will be illuminated. The indicator remains illuminated until the cluster receives a lamp-OFF message from the CAB, until the cluster arbitrator logic determines that another display request has priority, or until the ignition switch status transitions to OFF, whichever occurs first.
The CAB continually monitors electronic message inputs from the Final Drive Control Module (FDCM) and the CCN to determine the status of the QuadraDrive four-wheel drive system and the hill descent control switch, then monitors its own internal grade sensing logic to determine when the hill descent mode should be engaged. The CAB then sends the proper lamp-ON or lamp-OFF message to the CCN.
For proper diagnosis of the hill descent control switch, the FDCM, the CAB, the CCN, the CAN data bus or the electronic communication related to hill descent indicator operation a diagnostic scan tool is required. Refer to the appropriate diagnostic information.
Jeep Social Care Specialist
Thanks for that. I just noticed that line in the Owners Manual today. However, the vehicle ships with two books. The other is the "Users Guide" and it states:
The Hill Start Assist system assists the driver when starting a vehicle from a stop on a hill.
The Hill Descent Control system maintains vehicle speed while descending hills during off-road driving situations and is available in 4WD HIGH range and 4WD LOW range.
That contradicts what is in the Owners Manual. I am guessing that since I am unable to use the Hill Start Assist in 4WD HIGH, that the Users Guide is in error.
I own a 2013 Jeeo Grand Cherokee Overland. I do not understand why my 4 wheel drive vehicle doesn't allow me to down gear or shut off the highest gear like my 2004 Jeep limited allowed me to do by shutting off my overdrive when going down a steep hill on a road requiring me to limit my speed going downhill? I am in Colorado where I can use and enjoy my cars off road capabilities, but riding on many of the roads to get to some of these off road sites I am coming down mountain roads losing 2,500 vertical feet over 5 to 10 miles with a speed limit from 35 to 50 miles per hour on these roads. I am using the brakes so much that I am over heating them and am starting to get the un smooth bumping motion during my rides in these inclined driving locations. Thus I will be wearing my brakes out quickly when it shouldn't have to be this way (if I could increase the engines rev's and not have to use [or over heat] my cars brakes excessively by down gearing my transmission like large trucks do).
Is there something I am doing wrong? Will Chrysler install my new brakes free of charge or for some discounted rate because of this flawed engineering design? Again I use the car in Eagle and Summit County Colorado and I have been driving on vacation in Mesa County South of Grand Junction, Colorado staying at 8,000 feet and traveling to 10,700 feet 5 to 10 miles away and coming back in the evening. Please offer me some assistance. I have been a long time Jeep owner and am currently retired for the past 9 years. Thank You.