Most car owners already know where the car battery is: under the hood. They just open it and tinker with the battery when necessary. But if you own a Jeep Grand Cherokee and need to jump-start the battery, it will come as a shock to find that the battery is not under the hood.
So, where is the battery in a Jeep Grand Cherokee? You must understand that this car brand is a little different from others. The basic functionality is the same in all cars, but the battery location and number may not be the same.
This article is for you if you have trouble finding the battery in your Jeep Grand Cherokee. Since there are different models by year, you will also know where each model’s battery is located.
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Battery Location in a Jeep Grand Cherokee
You will find the battery under the passenger seat of the car. To reach the battery, you must move the seat forward as far as it will go and raise it as high as possible. The terminal access points are on the engine compartment under the hood but on the passenger side.
If you are not used to this vehicle’s design, it can be frustrating to find your way around it. It may take you some time to get used to it, but you will eventually come around to finding and working on the battery.
Battery Location by Model and Year
Jeep Grand Cherokee has been in the business of making cars for many years. It is one of the original Jeeps and the best off-road SUVs on the market, with a sizable interior. More recent models have advanced technologies that make the car top of the class.
Models manufactured between 2011 and 2021 are designed to have batteries under the passenger seats. As with many other car models, Jeep Cherokees use 12-volt batteries that you can detach, jump-start, or service while still usable.
But while these batteries are accessible from under the passenger seat, you will find the terminal access points under the hood. It is from these points that you can jump-start the battery when necessary.
Models older than 2011 have their batteries under the hood where you will typically find other car batteries. So, the older the model, the more likely you are to find the battery quickly.
Peculiarities of the 2016 Model
The model made in 2016 also has a battery under the passenger seat. However, you will also find a second or auxiliary battery. In other words, this model typically has two batteries, and you can remove each through the same method since the auxiliary battery location is the same as the primary one.
Newer model Grand Cherokees typically have more features than older models. They have features such as a rearview camera and heated seats for cold weather. Because of these extra features, a supporting battery is necessary if the car will not prematurely wear the primary battery out.
There are a few perks of having two batteries, although they are difficult to locate or remove. One advantage is that the vehicle can run on the auxiliary battery if the primary one happens to malfunction or discharge while you drive.
Another advantage is that the accessories and electrical system can continue functioning even after you turn off the engine. You can continue using the features of the car even if you are not driving. The battery helps the engine to run more efficiently and takes the load off the alternator.
How to Remove a Jeep Grand Cherokee Battery
The most challenging part of handling a Jeep Grand Cherokee battery is removing or replacing it. The process can be a little frustrating because maneuvering the passenger seat to move the battery can be a tight squeeze. However, it helps if you move your seat forward as far as it will go.
Follow the basic steps below to remove your car battery if you use a model between 2011 and 2021. This applies whether or not your model has two batteries.
Step 1: Move the Seat
The first step is to move the passenger seat forward. Sometimes, you may not know how to do this, especially if you have never had to move it. If it is your first time, consult the vehicle’s user guide to determine the specific steps.
There are usually knobs or levers you must raise or move to get the seat forward. So, locate the lever by following the instructions in the guide and move the seat. Ensure you move it as forward as it will go.
Step 2: Lift the Carpet
The vehicle usually has a panel you must lift to access the battery. But the panel has a carpet over it, so you must lift the panel and carpet at the same time. You can lift the carpet first before the panel if it is easier that way.
Step 3: Remove One Battery Cable
Once you lift the panel from the floor, the next step is to remove one of the cables. Start with the negative battery cable; you will need a wrench to loosen the fastener on it.
You may already have a handy wrench for this purpose, so pull it out and use it at this point. Otherwise, you may have to borrow one to loosen the fastener. Carefully do this to avoid damaging the battery head. Once loose, remove the cable from the negative terminal.
Step 4: Pull Out the Vent Tube
Now, locate the vent tube on the battery. The user guide should have a description and instructions on how to locate it and what it looks like if you are unsure.
When you find it, pull it out from the battery’s side. After that, find the hold-down plate on the battery with the two fasteners. You will need a wrench to loosen these fasteners and remove them.
Step 5: Remove the Second Cable
Next, remove the positive battery cable from the positive terminal. Again, use the wrench to loosen the fastener on the cable so you can pull it off. As with the other cable, do this carefully to avoid damaging it.
Step 6: Lift the Battery Out of the Car
Now, you can lift the battery out of the car when all the cables are loose and off the battery. However, you may need to wiggle the battery a bit before removing it from the car because of the space issue.
Possible Reasons for the Battery Location
It does not make any sense to put a car battery under any seat, no matter how convenient the location may be. If you have this thought, you are not alone because of the difficulty in reaching the battery when necessary. Why can a Jeep battery not be under the hood like other car batteries?
Jeep Grand Cherokee models between 2011 and 2021 typically use Absorbent Glass Mat batteries. AGM batteries are lead-acid batteries and are some of the most advanced ones worldwide. The technology used to design these batteries make them able to resist vibrations and intense shock.
Their fiberglass material makes the batteries more stable than their counterparts made with gel. Also, they have special vents through which they release vapors while in use. This is part of the reason Jeeps are the go-to vehicle for off-road trips and jaunts.
However, this special design makes these batteries unable to withstand high temperatures. Lead-acid batteries must operate in temperatures lower than 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Any temperature higher than that can damage the battery.
Since the radiator typically gets hot when you drive and the battery sits close to it, it may affect how well the battery functions. So, the manufacturers considered this possibility and designed the car to hold the battery under the passenger seat.
Another possible reason for locating the battery under the seat is that the manufacturers require more space for the engine and electrical components. Although the battery is a crucial part of a vehicle’s operation, it can still work from a location other than the usual under-the-hood spot.
Maintaining Your Car Battery
To properly maintain the battery on your Jeep Grand Cherokee, clean the battery terminals to ensure there is no corrosion. You will need to use a wire brush and baking soda solution to clean the terminals.
Also, ensure you regularly charge the battery by driving the vehicle. This applies even if the model has an auxiliary battery. Use a battery charger if the battery runs down over days of non-usage.
It is best to replace the battery every five years, although it may last longer than that, depending on how you use it. The battery size and weather conditions also matter. Signs that you need a battery replacement include dimming headlights, a slow engine crank, and a warning light on the dashboard of the car.
It is not strange that you have no idea about your Grand Cherokee battery location. Several users have the same problem, but this article explains the location and possible reasons the battery is there.
Follow this guide if you need to put in a new battery yourself. However, note that it may be a bit of a struggle to replace it because of the space. Therefore, it may be best to let an auto technician fix battery issues.