Received first SERV 4WD message.... of course on the beach!
Had my first issue with the SERV 4WD message last night coming up the beach. I was just coming back after meeting up with OBXJeep (good meeting you!).
About a mile in up the beach, the sand is very, very soft. High tide, so not as many options choosing a good set of tracks to use. The middle of the beach is very soft and something I avoid, if possible.
Everything was going fine until I had to change grooves to avoid an oncoming convoy of rental Jeeps coming back down the beach. I bounced over a few grooves (towards the dune line... which is the furthest part of the beach away from the ocean surf where the dunes start). I normally would have went to the right, but the sand was even softer and the tide was in. As I go over there I could literally feel a difference in the transmission and handling. It was then I noticed the SERV 4WD light come on. Nothing like this to get the heart pounding a bit quicker, especially since I had seven more miles to go up the beach.
I stopped when oncoming traffic was coming, put on the hazards and looked as apologetic as I could since I couldn't get out of there way. I aired down the tires even more, shut off the vehicle in the hopes of resetting the message. No such luck. Did have an older Wrangler stop and ask if we needed help. The guy did rib me a bit about his vehicle not having a "fancy computer system" to control his 4X system. (yes, I know)
Managed to slowly rock it out of the sand and away I went. Had to stop a few more times (since those coming down the beach were all the way on "their" right and were more than a bit pissy that I wasn't moving out of the way). I was worried that I was going to get stuck in the soft sand, but managed to start slowly and get up to speed. All this while still stuck in 2WD. I did get behind a convoy of vehicles a few grooves over (in softer sand but a decent groove nonetheless). We were going about 8-10mph which made me a bit anxious but no problems.
After following the convoy a few more miles, the SERV 4WD message just stopped as quickly as it started. It was back in Sand/Mud mode and in had 4WD back and everything seemed to be working fine. Still up here and haven't ventured back down the beach yet. I'll keep the forum posted to share my experience. I'm also aware of the July TSB for this very problem. Just going to take it slow and steady down the beach and see if I have any more issues until I make it to the dealer.
At the very least, it handled OK in 2WD in some sand that I fully expected not to make it out of. If I had to estimate, I'd say it took about 20 minutes SERV 4WD message to go away after it initially appeared. (this is when moving at approx. 8-15mph, not stopped) Not sure what I did right for the drive cycle to complete and the system to reset itself, but that appears (on the surface anyway) to have happened.
2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland. Dark Charcoal. 18" black cast aluminum wheels. 275/65/R18 Nitto Terra Grapplers. (replaced the Firestone A/Ts in the pic) Rock rails. Skid plates. Tow hooks. Huskyliners. 44K miles as of 11/13.