What Does Snow Mode Do In Jeep Cherokee

What Does Snow Mode Do In Jeep Cherokee?

There are few vehicles on the road today that have a better all-terrain reputation than a Jeep Grand Cherokee, but what are the specific features that they offer? You’ve probably looked at the options and thought to yourself, what does Snow Mode do in Jeep Cherokee?

The Snow Mode button in a Jeep Cherokee is designed to be used when you are driving in deep snow, rather than on icy surfaces. It engages traction control and adjusts the gear selection to improve both power and torque so that your SUV can tackle snowy conditions.

Read ahead to discover what this mode actually is, how it works, and the other terrain options that your Cherokee has to offer.

How Does Snow Mode Work?

When you activate Snow Mode, it will make a few adjustments to the way that the vehicle operates which are designed to improve your jeep’s performance in heavy snow.

In terms of the actual mechanics, there are a few basic things that happen when you switch Snow Mode on:

  • The traction control system will adjust, allowing the brakes to be applied to individual wheels. This will improve traction and reduce wheelspin and slippage.
  • The transmission system will adjust to reduce the power that is sent to the wheels. This makes for smoother starts and makes it so that the vehicle operates almost as though it is starting in second gear – with lower revs and better traction.
  • The stability control system will adjust to handle the increased likelihood of wheel slip. This enables the vehicle to gain better traction on a snowy surface.
  • Eco-Mode will be switched off.
  • The 4WD will fully engage, if it is not engaged already.
  • Selectable Rear Axle (SRA) and ABS will be active.

Essentially, all of these things are designed to tackle the main problem that you can face in the snow: losing grip and having the wheels spin out. It gives you more control over the vehicle and enables you to move at steady, consistent speeds.

How To Drive In Deep Snow

It is important to note that, while Snow Mode is designed to help you to maintain traction and control without losing forward momentum in the snow, it is not going to completely handle the conditions for you. You should still be cautious about the way that you drive, and take extra care in difficult conditions.

To drive effectively in deep snow, there are a few tips that you should follow, whether you are using Snow Mode or not:

  1. Accelerate gently and keep the revs low.
  2. Try to get into a higher gear as quickly as possible (Snow Mode helps with this).
  3. Start in second gear rather than first (Although Snow Mode will make starting in first gear a lot easier).
  4. Move at a consistent speed and keep a safe stopping distance, leaving a lot of room in front of you so that you can maintain a constant speed without changing gear.
  5. Use a low gear for going downhill, and avoid braking unless it is necessary.
  6. When turning, brake before you start to turn the steering wheel.
  7. If you start to skid or lose grip, take your foot off the accelerator and steer into the skid rather than against it.
  8. Keep your speed down and use your lights when visibility is poor.

If you are expecting to be driving through the snow relatively regularly, then you might want to invest in some additional hardware that can improve your Jeep’s performance.

Winter tires, snow socks, and snow chains are all options that can offer more grip – and chains are particularly effective for deep snow. You will need to check your local and state laws, though, as regulations on the use of alternative tires do vary.

When Should I Use My Jeep Cherokee’s Snow Mode?

It’s important to note that this is not just a switch to press when you notice that it’s snowing outside. Snow Mode is not designed for ice and frost and it is not as effective on these kinds of surfaces.

You should ideally activate Snow Mode just before you enter deep snow. This gives the system a chance to calibrate and properly adjust before the wheels hit the snowy surface – which will make the adjustments much more effective and reduce the likelihood that you will get trapped or the wheels will start to spin.

How To Switch On Snow Mode

Depending on the model of Grand Cherokee that you have, there are a couple of different ways that you might activate and disengage Snow Mode.

You might have a button labeled “Snow Mode” on the central console. If this is the case, you simply press it and it will light up when it is engaged, and press it again to disengage it, so that the light turns off again.

Alternatively, you might have a scroll wheel that you can use to select one of the various terrain modes that you have available to you. All you have to do is rotate the scroll wheel so that the light next to “Snow Mode” turns on, which indicates that Snow Mode has been engaged.

What Other Driving Modes Do Jeeps Have?

Snow Mode is not the only option that you might have on your Jeep, and you may want to choose one of the others depending on the exact conditions you are facing. Besides Snow Mode, you may have:

  • Auto Mode: automatically determines the road surface and adjusts the settings for optimal grip.
  • Sand/Mud Mode: Recalibrates the throttle management and torque distribution to avoid getting stuck on a soft surface.
  • Rock Mode: Can only be engaged in the low range. This mode locks the axles and has a high gear ratio to overcome larger obstacles without slipping.
  • Sport Mode: Reduces the interval between gear changes and adjusts the anti-skid, suspension, and steering systems for a more dynamic ride.
  • Track Mode: Further reduces the interval between gear changes and adjusts 4WD, anti-skid, and steering systems for track performance.
  • Tow Mode: Adjusts torque output for smoother starts and modifies suspension to counter pitch and yaw.

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Summary: What Does Snow Mode Do In Jeep Cherokee?

So, what does Snow Mode do in Jeep Cherokee? This setting adjusts the traction control, transmission, and stability control systems to make sure that you have as much traction as possible and can move at consistent, low speeds with low revs to avoid wheelspin.

You should turn it on just before entering deep snow, and you should also adjust your driving to make sure that you are as safe and in control as possible.


Is Snow Mode available on all Jeep Cherokee models?

Unfortunately, not all Jeep Cherokee models have snow mode. It’s typically included as part of a package or trim level. Still, snow mode is available on many newer Jeep Cherokee models and you can select it using your car’s touchscreen or other controls. 

Does Snow Mode improve fuel economy in a Jeep Cherokee?

Snow Mode is primarily designed to improve traction and stability in slippery conditions and may not have a significant impact on fuel economy. However, in some situations, such as when driving in deep snow or on steep inclines, snow mode may help reduce wheel spin and improve fuel efficiency.

Can Snow Mode be used while off-roading in a Jeep Cherokee?

Yes. You can use snow mode while off-roading in a Jeep Cherokee. It helps improve traction and stability on slippery or loose terrain. Still, other off-road driving modes may be more suitable for certain off-road conditions such as Mud Mode or Rock Mode

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