What Does It Mean When Jeep Cherokee Says Service Shifter Light?

Your transmission is a critical component in your vehicle. When your Jeep Cherokee displays a warning light saying service shifter you need to take this advice seriously.

When a Jeep Cherokee displays a service shifter light it means there are possible transmission issues that need to be addressed by a certified technician.

Transmission Basics

The transmission has the task of taking the power the engine is creating in the vehicle and transferring that power to the wheels of the vehicle to propel you down the road. If the transmission stops working in your Jeep Cherokee then the Cherokee will sit in one place until repairs are done.

The transmission adjusts the gear ratio between the engine and the wheels to control the vehicle as you try to go faster or slower.


Man with Hand on Gear

The gears in a vehicle are each designed to function during specific speeds. Your vehicle is powered by an internal combustion engine. Those engines spin at certain revolutions per minute according to the amount of pressure you apply to the accelerator.

Your transmission is designed with different gears and the gears are designed to let the force of the engine has been matched in rotations per minute on the wheels. 

When your car engine reaches between 2,500 and 3,000 RPM then you need to shift into a higher gear to maintain momentum and performance.

1st Gear should be used when you first take-off and until the car reaches a maximum speed of about 10 mph.

2nd Gear should be used as you start to gain speed and until you reach about 20 mph.

3rd Gear should be used until the vehicle reaches about 30 mph.

4th Gear should be used until the engine is running about 40 mph.

5th Gear should be used when you want to drive faster than 40 mph but want to maintain a steady speed.

Benefits of being in the correct gear

Driving in the right gear has benefits for you and the vehicle.

  • When you are driving in the correct gear according to the speed in which you wish to travel you will have better control over the vehicle.
  • Driving in the correct gear places less stress on the engine and the wheels so your vehicle performs better and lasts longer
  • You save fuel when you drive in the correct gear

Driving in the Wrong Gear

When you drive in the wrong gear you can make the engine run faster than it is designed to. For a short period of time, this may not be an issue but if you do this on a continual basis you are going to damage your vehicle and require expensive repairs.

Service Shifter Light

Credit: jeepcherokeeclub.com

The service shifter light on a Jeep Cherokee will help you to do maintenance and preventive repairs that could save you from having to replace a transmission or engine in your vehicle.

The light can illuminate for several different reasons, but you really should take the vehicle to a certified technician when this light is on. The transmission in your Jeep is critical and you should not ignore warning signs that something is going wrong with it.

Possible reasons for the service shifter light to illuminate:

  • You may have a loose or blown fuse. 
  • You may have a loose or corroded connection to a sensor or to the shifter cable.
  • It may be time for your vehicle to have a software update
  • You may have a shifter that is malfunctioning and needs to be replaced.

Replacing the shifter in a Jeep Cherokee can cost you between $400 and $1000. If you can take care of the problem before it causes the shifter to need a total replacement then you could save yourself some dough.


What Does The Shifter Do on a Jeep?

A shifter or gear shifter allows the vehicle to be shifted into another gear like reverse, first, second, and so on.

Are New Shifter Gears Expensive?

An automatic transmission cable is going to cost you somewhere in the ballpark of $350 dollars. You will then also have to pay labor charges to have the new cable installed.

What Causes Gear Shifter Damage?

If you regularly change gears in an aggressive manner you can damage the bushings at the bottom of the shifter and cause it to become loose or less responsive.

Final Thoughts

The newer models of the Jeep Cherokee have improved warning and preventive measure indicators. If you see a service shifter light on your dash you need to make an appointment with your technician right away. It is much better to be safe than sorry.

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