Why does your Jeep say SERVICE SHIFTER? Is your Jeep recently out of warranty? Does the problem go away for a while when you stop and switch off the vehicle only to return a few days later? This article will discuss the possible causes of your “SERVICE SHIFTER” warning and possible DIY solutions.
This article will cover how you can replace the faulty component. If you are not a mechanically-minded person, we recommend taking your Jeep to the dealership, however, go there prepared and armed with some knowledge about the problem.
Let’s get into some more detail.
Table of Contents
Why Does Your Jeep Say SERVICE SHIFTER (SOLVED)
Faulty Shifting PRNDL Module
If you own a Jeep Cherokee between the year 2015-2018 then you most likely have this “SERVICE SHIFTER” message appear on your screen. In most cases, your Shifting PRNDL module on the BEZEL is faulty and needs replacement. How can you confirm this? Well, if you drive a modern 4WD then you can save yourself a lot of hassle if you own a decent ECU Scanner.
This will allow you to do a quick self-diagnostic to determine exactly what the problem is and determine how much it will cost to repair. I highly recommend the OBD2 Engine Fault Code Reader and Diagnostic Scan Tool. The #1 best seller on Amazon with almost 30,000 good ratings.
Once your scanner is plugged in, do a full scan and look out for the following codes:
- U1465 – Implausible Driver Shift Request Signal Received
- P1C86-1D – PRNDL display – Circuit Current Out of Range
There is an official Service Bulletin number: 08-054-18
Basically what these codes mean is that the PRNDL assembly is faulty and needs replacement, hence the message, “SERVICE SHIFTER”. It’s a rather simple repair and does not require any special tools or skills. The components that require replacement are the actual Shifter PRNDL mounted in the Bezel along with the short electrical wiring that plugs into the Bezel and the control module. You can pick up a replacement shifter Bezel here along with the wiring harness here (Amazon)
Watch this very helpful video for a full demonstration of how to do it.
WATCH – Jeep Cherokee SERVICE SHIFTER LIGHT ON FIX (VIDEO)
Is “SERVICE SHIFTER” Dangerous?
Is it dangerous? NO, Many Jeep owners report to have driven their vehicles for extended periods before having them repaired. Should you drive your Jeep with this warning, probably not since you risk damaging other components and exacerbating the problem? Jeep owners report that the shifter caught the odd notch when shifting between gears but no other issues cropped up, although each case is different.
Jeep “SERVICE SHIFTER” Repair Cost
If you drive a modern 4WD and don’t own an OBD Scanner then you should invest in one ASAP.
Dealerships are reported to charge more than $150 just to run diagnostics and others were quoted more than $600 to fix the “service shifter” issue.
Alternatively, you can watch the above video, buy the part online for a few hundred dollars, and repair it yourself for much cheaper. The good news is, even though the shifter PRNDL is an electronic component, it requires no programming, simply plug-and-play.
Can You Drive with the “SERVICE SHIFTER” Light ON?
Yes, you can but it is not recommended to do so for extended periods. The shifters are electronic for the ZF 8Spd, which simply consists of a few switches that send electrical signals and the Jeep ECU is simply telling you there is something wrong with it. Have it repaired asap if you can.
What Can cause your Jeep to go into Limp Mode?
Limp mode is a car security feature that activates when a fault is detected, reducing speed and switching off non-essential functions. It is triggered by abnormal signals from car components, such as faulty sensors, transmission issues, or low fluid levels.
If you own a modern 4WD then you absolutely need to own a BlueDriver Bluetooth Pro OBD2 Car Diagnostic Scan Tool. It is all the rage since it allows you to connect your iPhone or Android via Bluetooth to monitor live data, read and clear your car’s trouble codes, and check engine light errors like a professional mechanic. PLUS BlueDriver offers 24/7 professional support allowing you to get in touch with highly trained technicians whenever you need them by phone or in-app chat.
JEEP OWNERS’ EXPERIENCES & FEEDBACK
User Experience #1
I got this message about the service shifter on my 2017 Cherokee and I am also out of warranty, albeit just slightly. I took it to a local dealer and had them check it. I mentioned the TSB and they came back after a few minutes and said that the TSB did not apply. They said mine was in the shifter and the shifter had to be replaced. They wanted almost $800 for that. I said no to that. So my question is, has anyone out there found what the issue is and why the shifter can’t be repaired? I am afraid that if nothing changes then paying $800 for a replacement could cause the same problem. Seems like Jeep has had shifter issues for several years now and I think that’s long enough to have things worked out. They should replace the shifters on these that they say need to be replaced, regardless of warranty. Seems to me they shipped the vehicle with known bad parts or defective somehow.https://www.jeepgarage.org/threads/service-shifter-message.90088/
User Experience #2
I had the same message showing and was also seeing a stability control fault indication on the display. When I checked the history and the first dealer checked the stored codes there was no recorded fault. Like you, if I shut down the car and restarted, it was fine for anywhere from a week to a month. Also had two instances of the shifter not going out of Park and no lights on the shifter PDNR indicator.https://www.jeepgarage.org/threads/2017-grand-cherokee-limited-with-service-shifter-issue.127498/
The second dealer that had the car apparently recognized the issue and replaced the shifter controller, and re-programmed most of the modules (see my earlier post). Since the shifter controller and reprogramming was done, none of the issues have returned and the systems have worked perfectly.
User Experience #3
My WK2 (MY2015 3.6L Flex/4wd) has consistently given me the service shifter warning on start-up for the last month or so. Like IAmTodd, it doesn’t seem to have much impact on driving but it often pings me again when I attempt to engage cruise control – which itself just got serviced under a recall. The most annoying part is that it started just after I went out of the 36k warranty. Have any of you had success getting the shifter replaced under the extended drivetrain warranty?https://www.jeepgarage.org/threads/2017-grand-cherokee-limited-with-service-shifter-issue.127498/
Invest in a Decent OBD Scanner
In this day and age that we live in with everything becoming more complex with electronics, we risk being ripped off and lied to by dealerships if we don’t come prepared. A decent OBD scanner will be able to tell you exactly which component is faulty and this can save you thousands in the long run.
Many issues are easy enough to diagnose if we have the right equipment and you can either repair it yourself if you have the tools and skill and save a lot of money and time or approach your dealership armed with more knowledge about what the problem is, thus not being messed around, as is often the case.
- Photo by Kirk Thornton on Unsplash
If you don’t have an OBD scanner, we recommend visiting your dealership to have this looked into and to get a diagnosis. They can best assist in determining the needed repairs and can also assess whether any warranties apply, such as your Powertrain warranty – this is usually a 5-year/100,000-mile warranty for your model year.