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9-speed Cherokee update

by David Zatz on

Jeep Cherokee (very small)

According to informal source oh2o, Jeep is readying a “flash” to improve shift quality in the nine-speed automatic transmission used by the Cherokee (KL). Essentially a change to the “firmware” in Cherokee computers, the upgrade will apply to any Cherokee built before May 5, 2014. Customers are to be informed when the update is fully prepared, which will reportedly be sometime in mid to late May.

Firmware updates for powertrain computers are not unusual, and can be issued long after a car is on the road.  As transmissions have become more complex and have gained additional gears — from four to nine in less than a decade — programming has become an ever-greater challenge for automakers. The ZF transmissions have the ability to handle dozens of shift maps, depending on conditions; for Cherokee, the situation is complicated by the addition of all wheel drive, as well.

David Zatz founded Allpar in 1998 (based on a site he had begun in 1993-94), after years of writing reviews for retail trades. He has been quoted by the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Detroit News, and USA Today. Before making Allpar a full-time career, he was a consultant in organizational psychology. You can reach him by using our contact form (much preferred) or by calling (313) 766-2304

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