2020 Jeep Cherokee: Fix “4WD Overheated” Warning

2020 Jeep Cherokee: Fix "4WD Overheated" Warning

Navigating the rugged terrains can push your 2020 Jeep Cherokee to its limits, but an overheated 4WD system can bring your adventure to a halt. This article provides a step-by-step guide to troubleshooting and resolving the “4WD Overheated” warning, ensuring your Cherokee is ready to tackle any challenge without breaking a sweat. Whether you’re a seasoned off-roader or a weekend warrior, these practical tips will keep your 4WD cool under pressure.

What Causes The 2020 Jeep Cherokee To Display The “4WD Overheated” Warning?

The “4WD Overheated” warning in the 2020 Jeep Cherokee is typically triggered by a few common issues that cause the four-wheel-drive system to overheat:

Excessive Towing or Hauling: Overloading the vehicle or towing beyond its capacity can strain the 4WD system, leading to overheating.

Continuous Use of 4WD on Dry Pavement: The 4WD system is designed for low-traction conditions. Using it on dry, solid surfaces can cause excessive wear and heat buildup.

Lack of Fluids or Old Fluid: The 4WD system relies on proper lubrication. Low or old fluid can increase friction and heat.

Faulty Cooling System: If the cooling system for the 4WD components, like the transfer case, is not functioning properly, it can’t dissipate heat effectively.

Driving Conditions: Long periods of driving in 4WD mode, especially in hot weather or over challenging terrain, can also contribute to overheating.

Mechanical Issues: Worn or damaged 4WD components, such as the clutch or gears, can create extra friction and heat.

What Is The Step-By-Step Guide To Troubleshoot And Resolve the “4WD Overheated” warning In 2020 Jeep Cherokee?

To troubleshoot and resolve the “4WD Overheated” warning in your 2020 Jeep Cherokee, follow this step-by-step guide:

  • Stop Driving and Let the Vehicle Cool

      • Immediate Action: As soon as the “4WD Overheated” warning lights up on your dashboard, it’s crucial to immediately reduce the load on the 4WD system.
      • Find Safety: Pull over to a safe location and turn off your vehicle to prevent any potential damage.
      • Cool Down Period: Wait for at least 30 minutes to an hour to let the system cool down completely before you begin any form of inspection or maintenance.
  • Check the 4WD System Fluid Levels

      • Transfer Case and Differentials: These components should have their fluid at the recommended levels to ensure proper lubrication and cooling.
      • Top Up If Necessary: Use only the manufacturer-recommended fluid to refill these components to the proper levels.
  • Inspect for Leaks

      • Visual Inspection: Carefully inspect the 4WD system for any signs of fluid leaks, which could be a clear indicator of where the problem lies.
      • Seals and Gaskets: Pay special attention to seals and gaskets, as these are common points for leaks to occur.
  • Evaluate the Cooling System

      • Transfer Case Cooling: Make sure that the cooling mechanisms, such as fans or heat exchangers, are in good working order.
      • Clear Blockages: Remove any debris or obstructions that might be preventing proper airflow or fluid flow through the cooling system.
  • Assess Driving Conditions

      • Driving Habits: Consider if your recent driving habits have been demanding on the 4WD system, such as prolonged use on stable, non-slippery surfaces.
      • Adjust Accordingly: Modify your driving to better suit the capabilities of your vehicle and to prevent future overheating.
  • Inspect Mechanical Components

      • Wear and Tear: Check for any signs of wear or damage to the mechanical parts of the 4WD system.
      • Component Replacement: Any damaged components, like the clutch plates or gears, should be replaced with quality parts to ensure proper function.
  • Test the 4WD System

    • Safe Testing Environment: After all repairs and checks, find a controlled environment to test the 4WD system.
    • Monitor for Warnings: Keep an eye on the dashboard for any recurrence of the warning sign and ensure the system is operating smoothly.

Why Is My Jeep Grand Cherokee Overheating While Idling?

2020 Jeep Cherokee: Fix "4WD Overheated" Warning

Your Jeep Grand Cherokee could be overheating while idling due to several reasons. Here’s a comprehensive list of potential causes:

  • Low Coolant Level

If the coolant level is low, there may not be enough to properly cool the engine, especially when it’s not being aided by airflow from driving.

  • Bad Thermostat

A thermostat that isn’t opening as it should will prevent coolant from circulating through the engine properly, leading to overheating.

  • Faulty Water Pump

The water pump is responsible for circulating coolant. If it’s malfunctioning, the coolant won’t flow, causing the engine to overheat.

  • Malfunctioning Electric Fans

These fans cool the radiator when the vehicle is idling. If they’re not working, the engine may overheat.

  • Clogged Radiator Fins

If the radiator fins are clogged, they can’t dissipate heat effectively, which can cause overheating, particularly when the vehicle is stationary.

  • Heater Core Issues

Problems with the heater core can lead to poor coolant circulation, contributing to overheating while idling.

  • Air Pockets in the Cooling System

Air pockets can form in the cooling system and block the flow of coolant, leading to overheating.

  • Blown Head Gasket

A blown head gasket can cause overheating by allowing coolant to leak internally or externally.

  • Radiator Fan Failure

If the radiator fan isn’t engaging when it should, it won’t cool the engine down during idle periods.

  • Failing Thermostat

A thermostat stuck in the closed position will prevent coolant from reaching the engine, causing overheating.


A “4WD Overheated” warning in your 2020 Jeep Cherokee signifies a stressed 4WD system. By following a step-by-step approach that includes checking fluids, inspecting components, and adjusting driving habits, you can identify and address the cause, ensuring your Jeep is ready for any adventure. Remember, proper maintenance and mindful driving are key to keeping your 4WD system cool and  functional.

Share This Article