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  #1  
Old 06-02-2015, 07:19 PM
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Unhappy 2014 Cherokee - Starting by Itself

I can't believe this is the issue I'm dealing with, it sounds insane to me, but it's happening.

My fiance drives the Cherokee Limited in our household, and on two separate occasions in the past week she has returned to her car after work to find the engine running and lights on.

The car is currently in the shop, where they have been working on it all day and do not have a lead on what might be causing the issue. I have a terrible feeling that this is a very hard problem to solve.

Facts:
1) Ignition was off and doors were locked when she left the car in the morning. There is just no way she got out of the car and left it idling, especially twice! The car is parked in a somewhat sketchy neighborhood and she takes a lot of precaution to lock the car. Plus, pretty much everyone is in the habit of locking cars when getting out, I think we can call agree.

2) Engine was running and lights were on when she returned. This happened on 2 days in the last 7 or so days.

3) Each time, the car burned through a noticeable amount of fuel (likely at least 1/4 tank).

4) Car was parked in roughly the same place.

5) She has U-connect app on her phone, but says the only way to remote start is from the internet, which she has never done. She has not been logged into the app on her phone.

Speculation:
1) Maybe someone has a transmitter that matches her car exactly?

2) Maybe a student (she works at a college) is smart enough to hack it!?

3) Maybe there is a random signal being sent to start the car, generated from inside the car?

4) Maybe someone is hacking the internet site and starting the car? However, the remote-start is supposed to shut down after 15 minutes if idle. That is not happening given the evidence provided by the fuel burn.

I don't think anyone has ever had this problem.

I'm guessing it will be very difficult to solve.

I'm guessing lemon may be the ultimate answer many, many weeks from now (can you sense my lack of optimism?)

I'll keep the thread posted.

-Cali

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  #2  
Old 06-02-2015, 07:56 PM
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Re: 2014 Cherokee - Starting by Itself

I've never heard of this problem. What's displayed on the center 7" screen when she returns to her Cherokee and it's running? In my GC, when I use Uconnect remote start I believe it displays a message on the center screen when I unlock the car and enter it - I also have to press the ignition button before being able to drive off in it. Is that the case with her Cherokee? If not, then no one is hacking the Uconnect and it's a defect in the ignition somewhere.
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Old 06-02-2015, 08:21 PM
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Re: 2014 Cherokee - Starting by Itself

If I was to take a WAG... where does she carry the fob, in her purse? Could something in there jostle against it and be pushing on the remote start button? I know that sounds strange, especially since it takes 2 pushes to activate remote start. And it doesn't explain the length of time the vehicle seems to be running.
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Old 06-02-2015, 08:37 PM
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Re: 2014 Cherokee - Starting by Itself

Quote:
Originally Posted by MDBones View Post
If I was to take a WAG... where does she carry the fob, in her purse? Could something in there jostle against it and be pushing on the remote start button? I know that sounds strange, especially since it takes 2 pushes to activate remote start. And it doesn't explain the length of time the vehicle seems to be running.
Or maybe a defective fob. If the dealer finds nothing, she should switch fobs and see what happens.


---
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Old 06-02-2015, 08:40 PM
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Re: 2014 Cherokee - Starting by Itself

Quote:
Originally Posted by bill_de View Post
Or maybe a defective fob. If the dealer finds nothing, she should switch fobs and see what happens.
That's entirely possible as well. The fob would be the first thing I'd try to rule out.
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Old 06-02-2015, 09:05 PM
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Re: 2014 Cherokee - Starting by Itself

On another form a member told a similar story until he saw his wife pressing the radio mute button to turn off jeep. She swore it was off because the radio turned off, just saying. I myself have unintentionally left my Cherokee running for a short time, and locked the doors until I got use to start/stop button.
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Old 06-04-2015, 12:45 PM
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Re: 2014 Cherokee - Starting by Itself

Thanks for the replies all. This is day 3 of the Cherokee at the dealership for repair. So far, they haven't given me anything.

I appreciate the brainstorm and will reply if I hear anything else. Luckily for most, this doesn't seem to be something anyone else has encountered.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Northland View Post
I've never heard of this problem. What's displayed on the center 7" screen when she returns to her Cherokee and it's running? In my GC, when I use Uconnect remote start I believe it displays a message on the center screen when I unlock the car and enter it - I also have to press the ignition button before being able to drive off in it. Is that the case with her Cherokee? If not, then no one is hacking the Uconnect and it's a defect in the ignition somewhere.
When she enters the car, the display has a message that is something like "the Key has left the car." I'll have to ask the dealer, or maybe check the manual, to find out what should be displayed on the screen if it's remote starting as we've never used it. I'm guessing it's pretty similar to your GC.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MDBones View Post
If I was to take a WAG... where does she carry the fob, in her purse? Could something in there jostle against it and be pushing on the remote start button? I know that sounds strange, especially since it takes 2 pushes to activate remote start. And it doesn't explain the length of time the vehicle seems to be running.
Definitely thought about this. Just seems really unlikely - once maybe; twice, really unlikely. Not turning off after 15 minutes - something is wrong.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bill_de View Post
Or maybe a defective fob. If the dealer finds nothing, she should switch fobs and see what happens.---
We never did switch the FOB, so worth trying, but frankly it wouldn't explain the car staying on for so long.
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Old 06-04-2015, 12:48 PM
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Re: 2014 Cherokee - Starting by Itself

Quote:
Originally Posted by MDBones View Post
If I was to take a WAG... where does she carry the fob, in her purse? Could something in there jostle against it and be pushing on the remote start button? I know that sounds strange, especially since it takes 2 pushes to activate remote start. And it doesn't explain the length of time the vehicle seems to be running.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bill_de View Post
Or maybe a defective fob. If the dealer finds nothing, she should switch fobs and see what happens.


---
Quote:
Originally Posted by GCWIMMER View Post
On another form a member told a similar story until he saw his wife pressing the radio mute button to turn off jeep. She swore it was off because the radio turned off, just saying. I myself have unintentionally left my Cherokee running for a short time, and locked the doors until I got use to start/stop button.
Ha, yeah - I mean, I guess you can't rule that possibility out 100%, but it just seems terribly unlikely, especially because it's no longer a new car - she's been driving it almost a year and this issue just started.
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Old 06-04-2015, 01:18 PM
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Re: 2014 Cherokee - Starting by Itself

The fact that the display says the key left the vehicle indicates that it was left running. I've read a few stories of where people have left their cars running unintentionally. If someone is on the phone or busy gathering stuff, it could be very easy to think you turned it off but not.
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Old 06-05-2015, 09:57 AM
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Re: 2014 Cherokee - Starting by Itself

IIRC, UConnect remote start only runs the vehicle for 15 minutes. So if the vehicle was running for a long time, then it's more likely a FOB related start issue if it's an electrical problem.

Given that she's not new to the vehicle, this is a long shot speculation......
To shut off the engine, the brake must be depressed more than just lightly. Perhaps she hit the STOP button but didn't quite get the deal done due to a light brake touch. If the area has a lot of ambient noise perhaps she didn't hear it running. Not sure if there is an exit chime if the FOB leaves the vehicle while running, but there is a notice in the dash display if that happens.



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Old 06-05-2015, 11:00 AM
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Re: 2014 Cherokee - Starting by Itself

This happened to me several times and it did turn out to be my fault. As I left, I unintentionally left the car running. On one occasion it stayed on for the whole day and I did burn up half a tank, until someone mercifully pointed out that the car was running in the parking lot. I had a red face for the next few days.

I also had the car remotely start because the fob in my pocket got depressed, by mistake, but this is unlikely in your case. The length of time it was running, it seems that leaving it on, is the only logical explanation (other than a major fault in the system).
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Old 06-05-2015, 11:08 AM
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Re: 2014 Cherokee - Starting by Itself

Quote:
Originally Posted by Desert Hiker View Post
IIRC, UConnect remote start only runs the vehicle for 15 minutes. So if the vehicle was running for a long time, then it's more likely a FOB related start issue if it's an electrical problem.

Desert Hiker

I pulled the car out of the dealership/ repair shop yesterday as the technicians said there is nothing they can do until they hear back from high-level maintenance folks in Michigan.

I think the FOB also has the 15 minute timer, no? If not, then maybe there is the possibility that it fired just as she was far away not to notice the car turn on.

If it does have the timer, then maybe that's happening but the timer is broken? SOMETHING is wrong with the car electronics as well as the FOB if that's the case.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Desert Hiker View Post
Given that she's not new to the vehicle, this is a long shot speculation......
To shut off the engine, the brake must be depressed more than just lightly. Perhaps she hit the STOP button but didn't quite get the deal done due to a light brake touch. If the area has a lot of ambient noise perhaps she didn't hear it running. Not sure if there is an exit chime if the FOB leaves the vehicle while running, but there is a notice in the dash display if that happens.



Desert Hiker
Yeah - I understand why this might seem like a possibility, but I've completely ruled it out at this point. One thing I remembered when I drove the car last evening is that, when the ignition is turned off, the driver's seat moves backwards to allow for easier egress. Additionally, the radio shuts off when the door is opened, as long as the ignition is off. There is just no way someone used to driving that car gets out with it still running - there is way too much feedback (or lack of feedback where there should be much). While I know I cannot eliminate the possibility absolutely, I now am confident there is a 99.9999% probability that the issue is not getting out of a running car. If this happened once, maybe - but someone would also be hyper-sensitive about turning off the car a mere week after the issue happened the first time. It's close to impossible in my view.
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