Car electrical system

I have a 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee with a start button and key fob and all the new electronic controls. While driving recently, the dash electronic console display turned off (I thought the car engine had died). It spontaneously lit up again, but all the warning and check engine lights were on. The car would only move forward very slowly (as if stuck in 1st gear). When I was able to pull over safely to the side of the road out of traffic, I was unable to get the car out of drive into park. Because it wasn’t in park, I could not turn off the engine! I was afraid to take my foot off the break, fearing it would begin moving, so I couldn’t get out to disconnect the battery. Is there any way in these new technology cars to force the engine to shut down in the event the electrical system is malfunctioning?

Can you say “CAN”?

CAN is an acronym for Controller Area Network.

Take the vehicle to the dealer for diagnostics.


A poor ground connection is a possibility.
Disconnecting the battery probably wouldn’t have shut the engine off.
Pulling the fuse to the engine computer is the way I would go.
Another reason I’m glad I have a regular ignition key switch.

Nothing about this car is “normal” anymore. That start button simply tells the computer to start the car. It no longer depends on how long or short you push it or anything else except IF you pushed it when the car is not running. Push it when the car is running and NOthing will happen because the computer knows the engine is running a won’t allow it. Much like not allowing you to turn your engine off because it was not in Park.

I only use this as an example to illustrate that this “gremlin” you experienced could be a hardware failure in a number of ECU’s or a software bug that just jumped out to bite you. The dealer for this one. Don’t be surprised if they are stumped, too.

To shut off the engine when not in park, push and hold the start/stop button.

3. If the shift lever/gear selector is not in PARK, the
ENGINE START/STOP button must be held for two
seconds or three short pushes in a row with the vehicle
speed above 5 mph (8 km/h) before the engine will
shut off.

We rented one last winter. Not sure what year but probably a 15 and the monitor went blank a couple times and came back again. No other symptoms like you had but this may just be a common fault. I think its dealer time.

I suggest you have the power circuit for the cluster checked out for an intermittent problem. These kind of issues can be difficult to find. Tapping on suspected trouble areas with a screwdriver handle may help show up something. Sometimes temperature can trigger the issue.

Tipm- it’s been causing gremlins in all Dodge, Chrysler and Jeeps. There have been recalls on these, but they try to deny there’s a problem.

Seems there’s one more reason for using caution when making a decision to purchase a vehicle with w/a fob rather than a key.

Italian mopar . . .