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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have a 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Altitude, I assumed it had ESC, but I tested in the snow and the rear drifted without any indication of the brakes kicking in. I did see the traction control light. I have ESC on another car and it feels and sounds like antilocking brakes kicking in when the car starts to slide.. didn't feel it on my Jeep.

I tried looking in the Uconnect car manual and it does talk about the different options for ESC, and the different settings, but it isn't really clear on where to go for it. I'm guessing it's just a generic manual for all trims and not mine specifically.

Thanks for any help in advance!
 

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Had a 17 Altitude, pretty sure its always in 4wd
Do not believe Jeep calls it ESC
Quadra trac 1 is whats its called. From Jeep website

QUADRA-TRAC I® 4x4 SYSTEM

The brilliance of this 4x4 system is in its simplicity. Quadra-Trac I® 4x4 operates in a full-time high-range mode—delivering optimum traction in virtually any driving situation, with no driver input required. The center differential splits the power—sending 48% to the front axle and 52% to the rear axle—and quietly works with the standard Brake Lock Differential and Four-Wheel Brake Traction Control Systems to deliver confident all-weather traction.

  • Single-speed transfer case
  • Fully automatic and seamless operation
  • Balanced torque distribution with brake lock differential
 

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2015 WK2 Overland
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It does.
 
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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the replies. It's just weird, I tested it in a parking lot on a snowy day, and when I accelerated hard on a turn, the rear would start to drift on me and there was no indication of any stability control kicking in.. I had to correct and counter to stop from spinning around. Also, my wife said when she was driving home while it was snowing last week, at one point she felt the back start fish tailing and she had to counter steer a few times to get back on track.

My only reference is my Chevy which has stabilitrak (their version of ESC). When I tested the Chevy in the snow, you can hear and feel the brakes kicking in on certain wheels to direct you back on your intended path.. and it resists from spinning around. I don't get that feeling with my Jeep.

Does this technology apply brakes independently to specific wheels to help guide the car back on a straight path (like typical ESC)? Reading the description above, it sounds like it but as mentioned when testing doesn't feel like it.
 

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2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit 3.6L 4x2
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You have full time 4WD not Stabilitrak ESC. Totally different systems.
 
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2014 Summit 5.7 4wd 20" tires swapped to 18", added all skid plates
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Thanks for the replies. It's just weird, I tested it in a parking lot on a snowy day, and when I accelerated hard on a turn, the rear would start to drift on me and there was no indication of any stability control kicking in.. I had to correct and counter to stop from spinning around. Also, my wife said when she was driving home while it was snowing last week, at one point she felt the back start fish tailing and she had to counter steer a few times to get back on track.

My only reference is my Chevy which has stabilitrak (their version of ESC). When I tested the Chevy in the snow, you can hear and feel the brakes kicking in on certain wheels to direct you back on your intended path.. and it resists from spinning around. I don't get that feeling with my Jeep.

Does this technology apply brakes independently to specific wheels to help guide the car back on a straight path (like typical ESC)? Reading the description above, it sounds like it but as mentioned when testing doesn't feel like it.
It's not clear to me what you are comparing so if I'm off base that's probably why. There can be huge differences in the friction of snow depending on many things like how old, how packed, how cold, etc. So what happened on snow at a different place, different time, different vehicle is probably not very comparable to what happens with another and different vehicle, different, place, different time. When you are sliding on snow it means you don't have enough friction to keep the tires in place. Putting on the brakes would be expected to make that worse.. so if it was sliding I would not expect the system to apply brakes, EXCEPT to the extend it might to slow down but not stop the wheel from turning. Or it might do that by cutting power rather than applying brakes. I've been in several snowstorms (in cars) where I felt it would be better to stop but found I could not. I was able to keep moving forward but any attempt to use the brakes, even a tiny bit, caused enough loss of traction that the car started to slide off the crown and toward the ditch. I was lucky in each case that I was able to keep going till I got out of the storm, in some cases having to drive thru a parade of stopped/crashed/slid off the road vehicles scattered along the highway.
 

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ESC or "Nanny" has throttle authority which is the ability to shut down the engine if the trucks's yaw angle exceeds what seems right to the software writers. It is mandated by law. Throw the truck into a turn on snow and try to swing the back around with the throttle. ESC will shut it down.
My 2020 Overland has a button on dash for traction control which the book says partially turns off ESC. It does and I am happy with it.
My GC has rearward power bias which mean the back slides out under power as if it didn't have full time 4wd. This is achieved through gearing, not braking. This ability to steer with throttle is enhanced by turning off ESC.
Gotta turn off ESC if you get stuck in snow cause you want your tires to be spinning and digging you out. ESC will prohibit the tires from spinning cause the girls who write the software decided the wheels should turn at pretty much the same speed.
All this crap resulted from exposes by the liberal media documenting that poor people often didn't have ESC and constantly crash so now all models get it and air pressure monitors and so forth. Poor people are still crashing. They didn't have any air in their tires and their tires were folding in the corners allowing their rims to catch asphalt and they were rolling over. They are still rolling over.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
You have full time 4WD not Stabilitrak ESC. Totally different systems.
Right I understand I have 4WD, but I am asking if I ALSO have ESC which isn't just 4WD.
It's not clear to me what you are comparing so if I'm off base that's probably why. There can be huge differences in the friction of snow depending on many things like how old, how packed, how cold, etc. So what happened on snow at a different place, different time, different vehicle is probably not very comparable to what happens with another and different vehicle, different, place, different time. When you are sliding on snow it means you don't have enough friction to keep the tires in place. Putting on the brakes would be expected to make that worse.. so if it was sliding I would not expect the system to apply brakes, EXCEPT to the extend it might to slow down but not stop the wheel from turning. Or it might do that by cutting power rather than applying brakes. I've been in several snowstorms (in cars) where I felt it would be better to stop but found I could not. I was able to keep moving forward but any attempt to use the brakes, even a tiny bit, caused enough loss of traction that the car started to slide off the crown and toward the ditch. I was lucky in each case that I was able to keep going till I got out of the storm, in some cases having to drive thru a parade of stopped/crashed/slid off the road vehicles scattered along the highway.

It could be just me misunderstanding all concepts of ESC as well. My impression of all ESC is the system doesn't know snow from dry so when it feels you verying off the intended course it will correct by applying brake pressure asynchronously to get you back on course. Which you hear (because it sound like the abs system does) and feel with stabilitrak. This was also listed on its sticker when I purchased it. The Jeep's sticker doesn't mention anything about ESC, just rear brake assistant and panic brake assistant.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
ESC or "Nanny" has throttle authority which is the ability to shut down the engine if the trucks's yaw angle exceeds what seems right to the software writers. It is mandated by law. Throw the truck into a turn on snow and try to swing the back around with the throttle. ESC will shut it down.
My 2020 Overland has a button on dash for traction control which the book says partially turns off ESC. It does and I am happy with it.
My GC has rearward power bias which mean the back slides out under power as if it didn't have full time 4wd. This is achieved through gearing, not braking. This ability to steer with throttle is enhanced by turning off ESC.
Gotta turn off ESC if you get stuck in snow cause you want your tires to be spinning and digging you out. ESC will prohibit the tires from spinning cause the girls who write the software decided the wheels should turn at pretty much the same speed.
All this crap resulted from exposes by the liberal media documenting that poor people often didn't have ESC and constantly crash so now all models get it and air pressure monitors and so forth. Poor people are still crashing. They didn't have any air in their tires and their tires were folding in the corners allowing their rims to catch asphalt and they were rolling over. They are still rolling over.
I watched a YouTube video of someone demonstrating how to turn off ESC on their JGC (I think it was an SRT).. and you had to hit the traction control/ESC button once which is a partial off turning off TCS. Then hit and hold it again for about 5 seconds for full off. The dash screen will show ESC off.. I tried that and never could see a ESC off notification, just traction control off.

Maybe I just need to play around with the technology a little more on my next opportunity.
 

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I watched a YouTube video of someone demonstrating how to turn off ESC on their JGC (I think it was an SRT).. and you had to hit the traction control/ESC button once which is a partial off turning off TCS. Then hit and hold it again for about 5 seconds for full off. The dash screen will show ESC off.. I tried that and never could see a ESC off notification, just traction control off.

Maybe I just need to play around with the technology a little more on my next opportunity.
My 2020 Overland no longer has the option of fully disabling ESC. "Partial" works for me.
 

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Right I understand I have 4WD, but I am asking if I ALSO have ESC which isn't just 4WD.



It could be just me misunderstanding all concepts of ESC as well. My impression of all ESC is the system doesn't know snow from dry so when it feels you verying off the intended course it will correct by applying brake pressure asynchronously to get you back on course. Which you hear (because it sound like the abs system does) and feel with stabilitrak. This was also listed on its sticker when I purchased it. The Jeep's sticker doesn't mention anything about ESC, just rear brake assistant and panic brake assistant.
I wouldn't put too much value in the names different companies use. I believe "stability control" is what they all boil down to and it was mandated by the feds for all "light vehicles" for at least 5 and maybe 10 years, just like ABS has been mandatory. OTOH, "traction control" is sort of a cousin but not exactly the same thing and I don't think it's mandatory. So perhaps the two of your experiences are correct and the combined system on the GM worked better than the Jeep implementation... or it could be different places, different times. For low friction conditions something as little as one having a cross slope and the other being flat could make a substantial difference.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I wouldn't put too much value in the names different companies use. I believe "stability control" is what they all boil down to and it was mandated by the feds for all "light vehicles" for at least 5 and maybe 10 years, just like ABS has been mandatory. OTOH, "traction control" is sort of a cousin but not exactly the same thing and I don't think it's mandatory. So perhaps the two of your experiences are correct and the combined system on the GM worked better than the Jeep implementation... or it could be different places, different times. For low friction conditions something as little as one having a cross slope and the other being flat could make a substantial difference.
Good points. Thanks for the help!
 

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ESC is mandatory; you have it by law. It would not be on the build sheet. If you want a puzzler, figure out how the manufacturers can route more torque to the rear wheels without having them turn slower. I just could not believe it when BMW claimed they had done it. Well, I kept an open mind and eventually realized it was possible. I forgot how they do it but I believe it like the Immaculate Conception-give me a break!
23 years ago, I bought a Mercedes SUV w/ 3 open differentials and the computer could brake 3 wheels and all the power would flow to the remaining wheel allowing the hero in Jurassic Park to defeat the T-Rex and save the trailer dangling over the cliff. I was very disappointed that I could not power drift that pricey SUV. So now they have trick gearing and the tail hangs out just fine. Ponder how they did that while I work on where Baby Jesus came from.
 

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I have a 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Altitude, I assumed it had ESC, but I tested in the snow and the rear drifted without any indication of the brakes kicking in. I did see the traction control light. I have ESC on another car and it feels and sounds like antilocking brakes kicking in when the car starts to slide.. didn't feel it on my Jeep.

I tried looking in the Uconnect car manual and it does talk about the different options for ESC, and the different settings, but it isn't really clear on where to go for it. I'm guessing it's just a generic manual for all trims and not mine specifically.

Thanks for any help in advance!
Apologies in advance but this a long one and I hope it helps.

With a lot of good discussion on here so far, there is still quite a bit of speculation or conjecture. Here is the most definitive explanation I could find for 2011- present (WK2) Jeep Grand Cherokee ELECTRONIC STABILITY CONTROL (ESC): Here the link where I found this information: WK2 ESC Link

ELECTRONIC STABILITY CONTROL (ESC)

This system enhances directional control and stability of the vehicle under various driving conditions. ESC corrects for oversteering or understeering of the vehicle by applying the brake of the appropriate wheel to assist in counteracting the oversteer or understeer condition. Engine power may also be reduced to help the vehicle maintain the desired path.
ESC uses sensors in the vehicle to determine the vehicle path intended by the driver and compares it to the actual path of the vehicle.

When the actual path does not match the intended path, ESC applies the brake of the appropriate wheel to assist in counteracting the oversteer or understeer condition.

• Oversteer - when the vehicle is turning more than appropriate for the steering wheel position.
• Understeer - when the vehicle is turning less than appropriate for the steering wheel position.

The “ESC Activation/Malfunction Indicator Light” located in the instrument cluster will start to flash as soon as the tires lose traction and the ESC system becomes active. The “ESC Activation/Malfunction Indicator Light” also flashes when the TCS is active. If the “ESC Activation/Malfunction Indicator Light” begins to flash during acceleration, ease up on the accelerator and apply as little throttle as possible. Be sure to adapt your speed and driving to the prevailing road conditions.

WARNING!
The Electronic Stability Control (ESC) cannot prevent the natural laws of physics from acting on the vehicle, nor can it increase the traction afforded by prevailing road conditions. ESC cannot prevent collisions, including those resulting from excessive speed in turns, driving on very slippery surfaces, or hydroplaning. The capabilities of an ESC equipped vehicle must never be exploited in a reckless or dangerous manner which could jeopardize the user’s safety or the safety of others.

ESC Operating Modes
Depending upon model and mode of operation, the ESC system has up to three operating modes: “ESC On” “Partial Off,” and “Full Off.”

ESC On – Two-Wheel Drive Vehicles And Four-Wheel Drive Vehicles In 2WD And 4WD High Range

This is the normal operating mode for ESC when operating a two-wheel drive vehicle. It is also the normal mode for operating a four-wheel drive vehicle in 2WD or 4WD HIGH range. The ESC system will be in “ESC On” mode whenever the vehicle is started or the transfer case (if equipped) is shifted out of 4WD LOW range. This mode should be used for most driving situations. ESC should only be turned to “Partial Off” or “Full Off” for specific reasons as noted. Refer to “Partial Off” and to “Full Off” for additional information.

Partial Off – Two-Wheel Drive Vehicles And Four-Wheel Drive Vehicles In 2WD And 4WD High Range

The “Partial Off” mode is intended for driving in deep snow, sand, or gravel. This mode raises the threshold for TCS and ESC activation, which allows for more wheel spin than what ESC normally allows.

The “ESC Off” button is located in the lower switch bank below the climate control. To enter the “Partial Off” mode, momentarily press the “ESC Off” button and the ESC Activation/Malfunction Indicator Light” will illuminate.

To turn the ESC on again, momentarily press the ESC Off button and the ESC Activation/Malfunction Indicator Light” will turn off. This will restore the normal “ESC On” mode of operation.

NOTE: To improve the vehicle’s traction when driving with snow chains, or when starting off in deep snow, sand, or gravel, it may be desirable to switch to the “Partial Off” mode by momentarily pressing the “ESC Off” button. Once the situation requiring “Partial Off” mode is overcome, turn ESC back on by momentarily pressing the “ESC Off” button. This may be done while the vehicle is in motion.

Full Off – Four-Wheel Drive Vehicles In 4WD High And 4WD Low Range

The “Full Off” mode is intended for off-highway and off-road use when ESC stability features could inhibit vehicle maneuverability due to trail conditions.

The “ESC Off” button is located in the lower switch bank below the climate control panel. To enter “Full Off” mode, press and hold the “ESC Off” button for five seconds while the vehicle is stopped with the engine running. After five seconds, the “ESC Activation/ Malfunction Indicator Light” will illuminate and an “ESC OFF” message will appear in the odometer. Press and release the trip odometer button located on the instrument cluster to turn off this message.

In this mode, ESC and TCS are turned off (except for the “limited slip” feature described in the TCS section) until the vehicle reaches a speed of 40 mph (64 km/k). At speeds over 40 mph (64 km/k), the system automatically switches to “Partial Off” mode, described above. When the vehicle speed returns to less than 35 mph (56 km/h), the ESC system will return to “Full Off” mode. The “ESC Activation/Malfunction Indicator Light” is always illuminated when ESC is off. To turn ESC on again, momentarily press the “ESC Off” button. This will restore the normal “ESC On” mode of operation.

NOTE:
• “Full Off” is the only operating mode for ESC in 4WD LOW range. The ESC system will be in this mode whenever the vehicle is started in 4WD LOW range or the transfer case is shifted into 4WD LOW range.
• The “ESC OFF” message will display and a chime will sound when the shift lever is moved from any position to the PARK position and then moved out of the PARK position. This will occur even if the message was cleared previously.

WARNING!

With the ESC switched off, the enhanced vehicle stability offered by ESC is unavailable. In an emergency evasive maneuver, the ESC system will not engage to assist in maintaining stability. “Full Off” mode is only intended for off-highway or off-road use.
 
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