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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
TL/DR: take out the radio (panel comes off by gentle yanking, radio comes out with undoing four screws using 7 mm hex socket), split it open (using T10 torx screwdriver bit), clean the AirPrime/AirStream connection (the one that looks like WiFi connection in your laptop/desktop/cellphone circuit board) and all the other connections that you had to undo using electrical cleaner, and put it back together. Total time will be less than half an hour or less than the time you will spend in updating the software!

Hi all,

I just bought my first Jeep Grand Cherokee 2014 4x4 Limited a couple of weeks ago and am very happy with the purchase! The car runs smooth with 149k on it, but I noticed that the radio was acting funny at times: it will not turn on during the first few minutes of the drive (and so no backup camera), sometimes heated seats and heater will turn on automatically, and the GPS would just not work (it could get the time correct within a few minutes, but will never lock on a GPS location and will not show any satellites under Nav > Where am I > GPS. Frustrated, my wife called UConnect support (using the number displayed on the screen itself, whenever it turned on) and the customer service rep advised on updating the version from existing 17.11.37 (I think) to the newest version (18.45.01 was available). She delegated the task to me and since the recommendation from the source (UConnect), I quickly downloaded the update (from here) and started on flashing the radio, and did not bother pondering on "what could go wrong?". BIG MISTAKE! Lo and behold, at 15 minutes through the update, the software froze on 67%, at the start (1%) of section 11, Embedded Air Card.
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After about 10 minutes, the failed update message came (Sierra Wireless: bolo file install failed), and the next I knew was I was in the infinite bootloop!
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I did not have patience or inclination to keep the Jeep driving around in the hot summer without AC and attempting to get the software update done after 20-30-40 attempts. Luckily, I found info by @trever.b.chapman, leveraged from another forum, that a custom(?) swdl.upd which apparently skips embedded air card update can go through the process and gets the update through the end. I could successfully update the software, after spending 2+ hours, but that did not address the problems I was having: It felt like the radio has a mind of its own and doesn't start with the start of the car even after the updated software and GPS fix was still not achieved (I didn't drive long enough or multiple drive cycles to notice heater on and heated seats on issue).

The post by @JJBBQ in the same thread suggested to disconnect and reconnect the airstream card (on his Dodge Challenger) to address this issue of failed update and I decided to give it a try the next day. It turned out to be way easier and faster than I thought. Here are some of the steps (some screenshots from this youtube video - but you are NOT removing the bottom part - only the radio/infotainment system!):

1. Take out the radio panel trim - the easiest way I found was to open up the cover in the bottom (where there is a charger port and SD and USB card slots), and gently pull it from the bottom. No need for any pry tools etc! Make sure you unplug the cable connecting the instrument panel before you pull it all the way out.

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2. Undo the 4 screws that is holding the radio/infotainment system using 7 mm hex socket.

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3. Unplug all the cables that are connected to the radio - note that there is no pink (GPS?) cable and that there is one extra blue cable that doesn't go anywhere.

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4. Split open the radio by undoing 4 screws using T10 torx screwdriver bit to expose the cable to airprime/airstream card - careful when you split it open not to make any damage to this cable!

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5. Unplug the airprime cable and clean it with QD electronic cleaner (absolute alcohol works too - any contact cleaner should work. Avoid touching the connections contact area with bare hands/skin, as you might accidentally put your body oil/fat which act as an insulation and therefore is not good for these electronic connections.

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6. While on it, clean ALL the connections (the two panels inside the radio, the 5 connections on the back of the radio, the 2 connections on the back of the wall as you see in step 3 pic) with this cleaner (the spray is less than 10 bucks, and it might be sitting in your garage already!), let it dry (takes a couple of minutes at the most), and close it all back by going through the steps above in reverse order.

With this, my radio came back to life, and now it starts as soon as the car starts, doesn't act funny with the A/C etc., and GPS fix is less than a minute (so by the time I reverse the car from the driveway, it is ready for me!) Since I already did the update on the software, I did not attempt the update again, but I am pretty sure that now it won't have any issue with software update either!

Save yourself from thousands of dollars and hours of back and forth with the customer support and dealerships. This will take less than an hour all together to fix your radio!

Thanks @JJBBQ and @trevor.b.chapman (and @djmjr77 on XDA forums) for the leads! I am not sharing anything new here, but hopefully the step-by-step guide with pics would help someone who is not very handy or doing any sorts of tinkering for the first time!

Cheers!
 

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Nice writeup. Definitely worth a try. Let us know if you have anymore issues in the coming weeks. I thought I had mine fixed at one point too, but it still fails to boot at times and the navigation is just junk. Yes it sucks having no HVAC controls in the heat of summer, so when it happens I just hit the off button until the screen decides to boot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks @jravey! I will write a follow-up after a few weeks/month on how it is going. Given your car's symptoms, I strongly recommend you give it a try - it is literally 8 screws and less than 30 minutes (or less, if you have ever opened up a laptop or a cell phone). Let me know if you get your navigation back after doing this. I know no one uses inbuilt navigation these days, but it is a good redundancy to have (and therefore keep it functional) IMO!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
UPDATE: Call me DareDevil, or Crazy, but although my radio is now working just fine, I attempted to flash 18.45.01 JUST TO SEE if it gets stuck at 67%, at 1% of Unit 11. I was driving back to work and figured that at worse I will have to flash again, and at best I will lose listening to music while on my way back home (about 20 minute drive). So, I plugged the flash drive with stock version of the software update and Voila! It crossed that deadly 67% mark, finished the update all the way through with all 15 units and there is no perceivable difference in functionality! (the only things changed are HU Part number ID and Request Code, which at least confirmed that the stock software update did something, lol)

This makes me believe that poor wire/cable connections result in failed updates and people should just invest 20-30 minutes of their time cleaning these connections rather than driving across the town and trying 20-30 times hoping the update will go through.

Best wishes!
 

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Well I'll be damned. IT WORKED. I took the head unit apart and cleaned all connections with contact cleaner then reassembled everything, cleaned all contact points on back of head unit. The 3 different colored plugs and the big red one from the vehicle. Then I went one step further and went to the rear of the vehicle and cleaned all connections to the antenna also and VIOLA all seems to be operating correctly, ATM, but will keep advised in the coming weeks as to whether or not it stays fully functional. I wonder if moderators will consider making this string a sticky for others to find readily quick and easy.
 

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Been 2 weeks now and all is good. Thanks again Pratik.(y)(y)(y)(y)
 
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Well I'll be damned. IT WORKED. I took the head unit apart and cleaned all connections with contact cleaner then reassembled everything, cleaned all contact points on back of head unit. The 3 different colored plugs and the big red one from the vehicle. Then I went one step further and went to the rear of the vehicle and cleaned all connections to the antenna also and VIOLA all seems to be operating correctly, ATM, but will keep advised in the coming weeks as to whether or not it stays fully functional. I wonder if moderators will consider making this string a sticky for others to find readily quick and easy.
could yoU kindly explain where in the back you were able to locate and do the antenna cleaning? Thanks!
 

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could yoU kindly explain where in the back you were able to locate and do the antenna cleaning? Thanks!
Open lift gate carefully remove center header trim panel, it pulls down rather easy and pull down headliner just enough to see the antenna and its corresponding connections.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
could yoU kindly explain where in the back you were able to locate and do the antenna cleaning? Thanks!
Gently open up the radio after removing screws using torx T10 driver. You will see a cable going from one side to the other. Clean the connections of this cable on both the sides.
 

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Gently open up the radio after removing screws using torx T10 driver. You will see a cable going from one side to the other. Clean the connections of this cable on both the sides.
That tiny cable inside the unit is the Satellite radio connection, I would recommend leaving that one alone as the the end attached to the circuit board is rather fragile, mine broke and I had a hell of a time locating a new one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Sorry you had to go through it, that's why I said gently and also warned beforehand. You could've stripped off the broken cable and just add a patch cable and would've been fine...
 
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