What Does Jeep Cherokee SVC 4WD Mean? (Causes & Fixes)

When you notice the “4WD System Unavailable Service Required” warning light on the dashboard of your Jeep Cherokee, this means there are problems in the four-wheel drive system.

As the four-wheel drive system is one of the critical features of off-road vehicles like the Jeep Cherokee, any issues with that shouldn’t go unchecked to avoid further damage.

So, once you notice the warning signal, you should diagnose and fix the issue to avoid costly repairs.

Why Does Your Jeep Cherokee Show the SVC 4WD Warning?

Multiple reasons can cause the SVC 4WD sign to appear on the dashboard of your Jeep Cherokee. The four-wheel drive system combines many electrical and mechanical components. 

So, the SVC 4WD warning light may appear on the dash even for the slightest issues with the components. Some fundamental causes behind the SVC 4WD sign are;

  • Bad transmission case
  • Faulty differentials
  • Defective wheel-speed sensor
  • Blown fuses
  • Faulty/Loose electrical connections

How Do You Fix the Jeep Cherokee SVC 4WD?

We have contacted the Jeep Cherokee owners who have experienced this issue at different times. 

Different solutions work for them. Once you determine the cause of the problem, it becomes easy to fix it. 

1. Check and Replace the Bad Transmission Case

The transmission case, or, as some people say, the “power transfer unit” (PTU), is one of the significant components of the four-wheel drive system of your Jeep Cherokee.

The transfer case’s key role is delivering or providing power between your Jeep’s front and rear axles, which is essential for the 4WD system. 

If the transfer case starts to malfunction, this can ultimately create trouble for the four-wheel drive system to function correctly. 

In such a case, you may face difficulty shifting gears. Plus, you might hear odd noises from the transmission. 

To deal with the issue, ensure the transfer case works fine. Wear and tear, in most cases, causes the transfer case to malfunction. 

Besides, a low transfer case fluid level can also impact the 4WD system of your Jeep Cherokee. 

It will be better if you can check the PTU with a qualified mechanic. And if the transfer case goes bad, you should replace it, which can cost you $2,500-$3,000.

2. Check and Replace the Faulty Differentials

If the differential of your Jeep Cherokee becomes faulty, there will be an interruption in the four-wheel drive system. Why? 

The differentials have to play a vital role in transferring the engine power to the wheels of your Jeep Cherokee so the wheels can rotate at different speeds.

They can become faulty for several reasons. And if this happens, you notice the wheels lose their traction. And in most cases, the differential fluid might be leaking. 

So, you need to check whether there is any leakage in the differential. Then, you have to repair the leakage or replace the entire differential with a qualified mechanic. 

You can watch this video to replace the differential.

3. Defective Wheel Speed Sensor

The wheel speed sensor of your Jeep Cherokee monitors the wheel speed and sends the signal to the powertrain control module (PCM). 

But, if the wheel speed sensor becomes bad or defective, it can’t send the proper signal to the PCM of your Jeep Cherokee. 

And if this happens, the four-wheel system can’t engage at the right time when off-roading. Therefore, the service 4WD light comes on. So, you need to check the wheel speed sensor. 

The wheel speed sensors can be corroded. Besides, the wiring harness of the wheel speed sensors can also become damaged. 

So, after checking all the possible issues, you need to replace the wheel speed sensor if required.

4. Check and Replace Blown Fuses

Many electrical components are involved in the 4WD system on your Jeep Cherokee. 

And to protect different electrical components and circuits, there are fuses, allowing the four-wheel drive system to function correctly. 

But due to short circuits, the fuses can be blown, which severely impacts the functioning of the 4WD system, allowing the computer to illuminate the warning light.

So, you need to look for the blown fuses out there. Unfortunately, if you find any, you should replace them immediately. 

Doing so might cost you $30-$70. You can watch this video to locate the 4WD system fuse. 

5. Check and Fix the Faulty Electrical Connection

You will find many electrical connections connecting different parts of the 4WD system. Sometimes, the electrical connection becomes bad, worn out, or loose. 

And if this happens, the electrical signal from the fuse and sensors will be disrupted, causing issues with the 4WD system. 

So, you need to check the wiring connections carefully. Make sure you check all the electrical wires one by one. 

If you see any broken or damaged connection, you should replace it. Besides, never forget to tighten the loose connections as well. 

Is It Ok to Drive with the Service 4WD Light On?

Unless you have to drive your Jeep Cherokee off-road too often, driving with the service 4WD light on is okay. 

However, any issues regarding the 4WD system can cause significant damage and costly repairs. 

So, you should be smart enough to explore what causes the issue of the service 4WD light on your Jeep Cherokee. 

For example, if the transfer case goes bad, you shouldn’t drive your Jeep Cherokee for a long time.

The transmission may become damaged or malfunction if you don’t care about the 4WD warning light due to a bad transfer case. 

Frequently Asked Questions

The 4WD service light is a common issue for Jeep Cherokee owners. Consequently, we’ve encountered some of the most often-asked questions about the subject. Let’s know their answers!

Is the Jeep Cherokee always in 4WD?

Yes, the 4WD is always active in the Jeep Cherokee, and this feature makes it one of the most robust off-road vehicles. However, based on the model, there are variations regarding the 4WD system in the Jeep Cherokee. 

How many 4WD systems does the Jeep Cherokee have?

You can have four 4×4 systems on your Jeep Cherokee. And the reason behind having multiple 4×4 systems is to ensure your Jeep Cherokee runs fine, no matter how extreme the road conditions. 

Is the Jeep Cherokee a good 4WD?

Yes, the Jeep Cherokee is one of the most popular off-road SUVs. The impressive 4WD system lets the vehicle stay up to speed when driving off-road. However, there can be issues with the 4WD due to a lack of maintenance.

Can the 4WD light on your Jeep Cherokee go off after some time?

Yes, Jeep Cherokee owners claim the 4WD light on the dashboard goes off after a few minutes while driving their Jeep Cherokee. But, if the light stays on for a long time, you must take steps to deal with the issues.

Final Words

Fixing the Jeep Cherokee SVC 4WD light can be tricky sometimes. We highly encourage you to go with professional mechanics.

Besides, you need to be careful about the regular maintenance of your Jeep Cherokee to avoid this type of issue.

In most cases, owners who experience this issue need to be more careful about maintaining the 4WD system of their Jeep Cherokee.

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