Towing trouble - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 16 Old 05-24-2021, 02:31 PM Thread Starter
tom94567
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Towing trouble

Recently bought a 2016 Grand Cherokee Limited (63,000 miles and in good shape). It didn't come with a tow package, although the wiring was in place. I installed a tow hitch myself, then took the Jeep to the dealer to have the computer flashed to enable towing.
Hooked up to my old camping trailer ('64 Scotsman) and the turn signals and braked lights worked properly. Cheerfully hit the road and all went well until we arrived at out destination at the end of a narrow dirt road.
Parking (or turning around) required reversing into a spot. It was the first time I had reason to back up and when I discovered that 'Park assist' effectively prevented it by emergency breaking.
It was a frustrating moment. I reached for the owner's manual and read I could disable park assist. Turned out, that I couldn't. Neither by pressing button on console or through the settings page. The command refused to 'stick' and system defaults to 'on' permanently. I don't know what to make of it and wondered if anybody can explain or provide advice on how to fix it?

For the record the temporary solution was to tape white styrofoam (black tape didn't work mysteriously) over the rear view cameras and reverse extremely slowly. I was able to inch it back into spot.

Thanks for any help with this.

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post #2 of 16 Old 05-24-2021, 02:58 PM
ColdCase
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There was a recent post that disconnecting the center two park sensors (in the bumper) also defeated the system.

You probably needs a software update, there is also a recent post on that. If no one jumps in here, I'll try to find them when I get back.
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I just got lost in thought. It was unfamiliar territory;
Current: 2011 Grand Cherokee Overland V8, 2009 Liberty Rocky Mt V6
Previous: 2000 Grand Cherokee Laredo I6, 1979 CJ7 I6 Quadratrac
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post #3 of 16 Old 05-24-2021, 05:40 PM
rjlindblom
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You can disable the parking sensor. Button on the dash below the climate controls. The one marked with a “P.”
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Ryan
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post #4 of 16 Old 05-24-2021, 06:07 PM
ColdCase
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I assumed he found P button in the manual but the button didn't diable the system. There have been a few reports of this.

https://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f309...ailer-3895218/


"... you can’t back up with a trailer attached unless you change a command tu turn off the automatic braking.
In our 2016 GC, the command is found by following this path: Apps > Settings > Safety & Driving Assistance > Rear ParkSense Braking. It will be enabled. You need to turn it off or you won’t be able to back up with the trailer connected.
I learned this when I towed a small trailer, and I also found out that due to a software fault in our GC, I could not turn it off; it keeps coming back on. I have an appointment with a dealer to have this fault corrected.... " The software update fixed his issue for a mere $150.
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I just got lost in thought. It was unfamiliar territory;
Current: 2011 Grand Cherokee Overland V8, 2009 Liberty Rocky Mt V6
Previous: 2000 Grand Cherokee Laredo I6, 1979 CJ7 I6 Quadratrac
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post #5 of 16 Old 05-24-2021, 07:09 PM Thread Starter
tom94567
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Thanks so much for taking the time to reply.
Yes. My experience is exactly the same. Can't turn off Rear ParkSense Braking either with the button on dash, or through App settings. I just forked out over $150 to have the software updated for towing. I'm not experienced with sophisticated cars and don't know how software updates work exactly, so I'm not sure if I have the right to be annoyed that this issue wasn't spotted or corrected. It put us in a tricky and stressful position, though I have to take responsibility for not testing things properly before setting out on a first trip. Do you think I have grounds for complaint? And is it easy for them to fix these kinds of problems? Just wondering if you have an opinion...
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post #6 of 16 Old 05-24-2021, 07:46 PM
rjlindblom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColdCase View Post
I assumed he found P button in the manual but the button didn't diable the system. There have been a few reports of this.

https://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f309...ailer-3895218/


"... you can’t back up with a trailer attached unless you change a command tu turn off the automatic braking.
In our 2016 GC, the command is found by following this path: Apps > Settings > Safety & Driving Assistance > Rear ParkSense Braking. It will be enabled. You need to turn it off or you won’t be able to back up with the trailer connected.
I learned this when I towed a small trailer, and I also found out that due to a software fault in our GC, I could not turn it off; it keeps coming back on. I have an appointment with a dealer to have this fault corrected.... " The software update fixed his issue for a mere $150.
I went back in and reread that after I posted. D’oh!. Anyway, can it be activated when the transmission is in park? I have been able to disable it to hitch up and tow. I am not a fan of towing with my WK2. I prefer my pickup for towing. The backup camera is pretty darn spiffy.

Ryan
2018 WK2, Limited. Purchased 12-27-2019
2016 Compass. Traded 12-27-2019
KE0LXT
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post #7 of 16 Old 05-24-2021, 07:57 PM
ColdCase
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tom94567, you paid them to enable the trailer light harness, which is typically logging into their computer test set, logging into the FCA site, entering your VIN, enabling trailer lights. The FCA computer will send a configuration file to the local test set which it saves it to your Jeep's computer. Power up, check the trailer connector for the right voltage, done. No diagnostic time.

For the park sense, they will have to do some diagnosis and may find a TSB, possibly 08-081-18 I dunno for sure. They may check the PAM software version and find it out of date, then select a menu option to update. The test set flashes the PAM with new software (replaces the old one with a new one) . Usually takes 15 minutes but they probably charge an hour. Then they have to check it out somehow.

So in one case you paid to add a feature, not fix or diagnose the software versions of dozens of components. Shops typically won't fix something not broken unless the customer asks for it. The second case is probably a manufacturing defect (bad software) discovered after the warranty expired so the diagnosis and fix is on your nickel.

You could reach out to Jeep Customer Care and see if they will help you on this, contacts are on the jeep.com web sight. You won't be able to PM them here until you have ten posts or so, but its the same organization.

So you are talking about another $125 out of pocket, plus perhaps a diagnostic fee, your choice how much you want to fight it. I don't see any fault with the dealer that enabled the lighting harness, he was working in the TIPM. The PAM is a completely different component thats probably causing the problem.

I just got lost in thought. It was unfamiliar territory;
Current: 2011 Grand Cherokee Overland V8, 2009 Liberty Rocky Mt V6
Previous: 2000 Grand Cherokee Laredo I6, 1979 CJ7 I6 Quadratrac
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post #8 of 16 Old 05-24-2021, 08:25 PM Thread Starter
tom94567
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColdCase View Post
tom94567, you paid them to enable the trailer light harness, which is typically logging into their computer test set, logging into the FCA site, entering your VIN, enabling trailer lights. The FCA computer will send a configuration file to the local test set which it saves it to your Jeep's computer. Power up, check the trailer connector for the right voltage, done. No diagnostic time.

For the park sense, they will have to do some diagnosis and may find a TSB, possibly 08-081-18 I dunno for sure. They may check the PAM software version and find it out of date, then select a menu option to update. The test set flashes the PAM with new software (replaces the old one with a new one) . Usually takes 15 minutes but they probably charge an hour. Then they have to check it out somehow.

So in one case you paid to add a feature, not fix or diagnose the software versions of dozens of components. Shops typically won't fix something not broken unless the customer asks for it. The second case is probably a manufacturing defect (bad software) discovered after the warranty expired so the diagnosis and fix is on your nickel.

You could reach out to Jeep Customer Care and see if they will help you on this, contacts are on the jeep.com web sight. You won't be able to PM them here until you have ten posts or so, but its the same organization.

So you are talking about another $125 out of pocket, plus perhaps a diagnostic fee, your choice how much you want to fight it. I don't see any fault with the dealer that enabled the lighting harness, he was working in the TIPM. The PAM is a completely different component thats probably causing the problem.
ColdCase, again, thanks for taking the time to explain how it works. I've been reading around on the web since I first posted and came across TSB 08-081-18 on another site. Would be a good thing if a software update can fix it. Seems the alternative could be replacing ParkSense module. That sounds expensive. I won't be making a fuss at dealership but will point out this is a known issue and mention the TSB. Really appreciate your take on it.
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post #9 of 16 Old 05-24-2021, 09:27 PM Thread Starter
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I guess I have a couple more questions and you seem to know your stuff. Is it true that the act of plugging in tow light system is meant to automatically disable ParkSense, as I've read?
Also, the TSB symptom description doesn't exactly describe the situation in regard to towing. Lastly, if this is a known issue with my particular year and model and (in an extreme case) could be dangerous, could my instruction to "flash it and make it ready ready to tow" stretch to expecting some diligence regarding the problem? It seems this is not uncommon.
My wife thinks they ought to take responsibility. She made and kept the appointment and feels they ought to have tested it. I say that's too much to expect. We are 'discussing' it over dinner...
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post #10 of 16 Old 05-24-2021, 10:06 PM
ColdCase
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It may depend on model year, some trucks do that. I don't think a 2016 will automatically disable rear parksense. My 2011 doesn't. The automatic detection of a trailer may be part of the tow package which you don't have.

I think its only a few model year 2016s built in the month range indicated in the TSB with the defect.

You could have gotten lucky that the tech happened to recall working on one of the few Jeeps with the issue 4-5 years ago and when he enabled the lights he checked the software rev level... sometimes you get lucky but I wouldn't expect it. Perhaps if it was a widespread problem over several model years there would be more corporate knowledge. Shops perform TSBs only if the customer complains about something relevant. They do not routinely scan and update software, they may if you pay them.

A side benifit of the TSB is it also fixes the parksense disable as well as the other problem noted.

If it was me, I'd disconnect the center two sensors whenever I'm towing..... but thats just me. But I have parksense disabled, too many false alarms and I have cross path radars to go along with the rear cameras.

I just got lost in thought. It was unfamiliar territory;
Current: 2011 Grand Cherokee Overland V8, 2009 Liberty Rocky Mt V6
Previous: 2000 Grand Cherokee Laredo I6, 1979 CJ7 I6 Quadratrac
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post #11 of 16 Old 05-25-2021, 10:49 AM Thread Starter
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Ok. Thanks for explaining that it's not a common problem. Turns out my Jeep was built in June 2016 which falls within the dates named in TSB. Frankly, I'm happy to discover that it's a known problem with a simple solution.
Meantime can I disable sensors by pulling a fuse?. I'm relying on towing my family and stuff to safety in the event of wildfire and fire season has already started here in Northern California. Maybe a while till I can get to the dealer to fix it properly.
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post #12 of 16 Old 05-28-2021, 01:31 PM
Donystoy
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On my 2017 Summit, I cannot even back up to my trailer to hook it up without first turning off the park sense. Just slams on the brakes as I am approaching the trailer.
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post #13 of 16 Old 05-29-2021, 09:14 AM
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I’m one of those that had to get their rear park assist module replaced on my 2016 Overland ( has OE max tow package). Same symptoms with not being able to disable the feature with either the dashboard’s P-alert disable button nor via the touch screen setting. It kept turning itself back on within a second. Didn’t matter whether trying to disable it while running, parked, neutral, accessory mode, whistling Dixie....the rear camera was clean.

The “obstacle” was my hitch-mounted bike rack while in the grocery store parking lot, with impatient lady beeping at me to get out of the parking spot for which she was waiting.
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post #14 of 16 Old 07-05-2021, 11:56 AM
tightlines1956
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Jeep towing software update

great forum - and the post with the TSB was helpful

Jeep however was very not helpful - got the software update BUT there is a 3 year expiration on the free fix

So my jeep left the factory - with a known software glitch - and it self fixes after 3 years?? Really??

Come on Jeep - you are better than this - at least I thought so - like the Overland very much but am questioning Jeeps logic on fixing my issue without charging me for a problem that they created

they denied my question on this issue twice -
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post #15 of 16 Old 07-05-2021, 01:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tightlines1956 View Post
great forum - and the post with the TSB was helpful

Jeep however was very not helpful - got the software update BUT there is a 3 year expiration on the free fix

So my jeep left the factory - with a known software glitch - and it self fixes after 3 years?? Really??

Come on Jeep - you are better than this - at least I thought so - like the Overland very much but am questioning Jeeps logic on fixing my issue without charging me for a problem that they created

they denied my question on this issue twice -
Where did you buy it? If from a FCA dealership, in my opinion, they should be responsible for updating it pre sale. I would expect it, in a way. If some other dealer or a private sale, oh well.

2012 Overland 4X4 Mineral Gray/New Saddle, HEMI , 24p (ACC,BSM, FCW)
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