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First off, thanks to everyone on this forum. It's a great resource, and I'm a very new first-time Jeep owner.

A few days ago, I got my first Jeep -- Wrangler Unlimited Sahara. Haven't driven it much yet, but it's fun. And it's totally unlike driving a regular car or SUV.

I had planned to order my own build, but I found one that had just arrived at a local dealer with almost everything I wanted -- right color (black), 6 cylinder engine, most of the packages, and the super-cool one-touch roof. But the one thing it doesn't have is Selec-Trac.

As someone used to driving an AWD car, will the absence of Selec-Trac ultimately be a big issue? I know I can flip into 4H on the fly, but I've read a lot about the need to be careful not to overuse 4H. And, of course, I'll be in 2H if I hit a patch of bad road before making the shift. I'm in the Northeast, so there will be plenty of messy road conditions this time of year.

Just wondering if I made a mistake by jumping for a Jeep without this option, or if it's easy and safe to adjust to part-time 4WD.

Thanks!
 

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First off, thanks to everyone on this forum. It's a great resource, and I'm a very new first-time Jeep owner.

A few days ago, I got my first Jeep -- Wrangler Unlimited Sahara. Haven't driven it much yet, but it's fun. And it's totally unlike driving a regular car or SUV.

I had planned to order my own build, but I found one that had just arrived at a local dealer with almost everything I wanted -- right color (black), 6 cylinder engine, most of the packages, and the super-cool one-touch roof. But the one thing it doesn't have is Selec-Trac.

As someone used to driving an AWD car, will the absence of Selec-Trac ultimately be a big issue? I know I can flip into 4H on the fly, but I've read a lot about the need to be careful not to overuse 4H. And, of course, I'll be in 2H if I hit a patch of bad road before making the shift. I'm in the Northeast, so there will be plenty of messy road conditions this time of year.

Just wondering if I made a mistake by jumping for a Jeep without this option, or if it's easy and safe to adjust to part-time 4WD.

Thanks!
I can pretty much state you made a HUGE mistake.. Everyone knows the color Blue is the best color to buy, just ask me, I own one..

As for making a mistake, no, you did just fine. You should only use your 4H or 4L when you are in the snow, dirt, or mud. It's not the same 4 wheel drive you are used to, using 4 wheel drive on a hard pavement WILL damage your tires and possibly drive train.

Jeeps are not the same 4 wheel drive like you have seen in a street car, they don't have anything close to the same drive train.

Keep your Jeep in 2H unless you are going into the dirt, mud or snow.

When I'm talking snow, I'm meaning the street is covered with it, not just spots of it.
 

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TurtleBob, I do not yet have my own first Jeep yet (I'm about to order it in the next week or two), but if this helps you at all, I went from driving an automatic, all-time, all-wheel drive 1991 Eagle Talon to a 1996 Dodge Ram 2500 pickup with 4-wheel drive, just like your Jeep. And you know, despite having driven the Talon for six full years, in Michigan with plenty of ice and snow, it was not at all a difficult transition to driving the 4WD pickup. I did have to learn to be more cognizant of my driving and the road conditions, though. But very quickly, it became second nature to realize I was getting into slippery conditions, or could imminently expect slippery conditions, and shift it into 4 wheel-drive with hardly a thought.

Just today, I drove ten miles to the nearest town to do some grocery shopping, and I was in and out of 4WD maybe four or five times. On my local streets, they are pretty much always snow and ice covered between October and April, so during the colder months I basically always have it in 4WD while leaving the house and getting to the highway. Once I am on the highway on-ramp, I then shift into 2WD, as those surfaces are usually plowed and clear of snow and ice.

Again, once you start driving the Jeep in different conditions, you will very quickly learn when you want it in 4WD, and when you don't need it to be; it really will probably come very easily to you.

The one other thing that I will say about this, though, is that it is not ideal to shift into 4 wheel drive while you are driving at any significant speed; I'm usually either essentially stationary, or doing 5 mph or less when I shift into 4WD. And if you want or need to shift it into 4 wheel LOW, you should NOT do that while driving, or not while doing more than just barely moving (1-2 mph), anyway.
 

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As someone used to driving an AWD car, will the absence of Selec-Trac ultimately be a big issue? I know I can flip into 4H on the fly, but I've read a lot about the need to be careful not to overuse 4H.
If the roads are wet, yet alone snow packed, being in 4WD is fine. If there's winter conditions that make you think 4WD is needed, you'll be able to drive safely with 4HI if you hypothetically forget to shift out. In short, no, it's not a big issue but if ordering it's something that's worth the $$$.
 

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TurtleBob - welcome to the forum.

I have had an even dozen four wheel drive vehicles (half of them Jeeps). Of those only one had full time four wheel drive - an '89 Jeep XJ Cherokee. Even driving from Virginia into Ohio on a weekly basis for several months in winter I rarely kept it in 4HI (either full time or part time). The 4WD vehicle I put the most miles on was a 1990 Dodge W250 that even had manual hubs on the front axle.

Thankfully, I don't have to deal with ice and snow on the road very often any more, only when I wander a good distance North of my home in S. Georgia, which only happens every few years. My practice is to never drive faster on slippery roads in 4WD than I would without it. While 4WD will allow you to go places you couldn't get without it, it won't keep you from skidding sideways, nor will it help you stop faster if you are going too fast.

The tires on your Jeep are also a big factor on traction. Unless they have changed, the stock tires on a Sahara are a good fair weather tread, but nothing to brag about as far as winter traction. All season tires don't do well in extreme winter conditions. If you do a lot of driving in snow and ice condition, you a tire that has the 3MPSF logo, that is the 3 mountain peak snow flake logo is far superior. The three that are the most popular with the Jeepers on this forum are the Falken A/T3W, the Goodyear Duratrac and the BFG KO2 tires. I have two of the three not for the snow rating but for the wet traction. One key when you look at the tread of a tire is the number of sipes on the tread. The more the better. The sipes are the small crosswise wavy cuts in the tread blocks. The more the better as the edges on those cuts give you good traction.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
TurtleBob - welcome to the forum.

I have had an even dozen four wheel drive vehicles (half of them Jeeps). Of those only one had full time four wheel drive - an '89 Jeep XJ Cherokee. Even driving from Virginia into Ohio on a weekly basis for several months in winter I rarely kept it in 4HI (either full time or part time). The 4WD vehicle I put the most miles on was a 1990 Dodge W250 that even had manual hubs on the front axle.

Thankfully, I don't have to deal with ice and snow on the road very often any more, only when I wander a good distance North of my home in S. Georgia, which only happens every few years. My practice is to never drive faster on slippery roads in 4WD than I would without it. While 4WD will allow you to go places you couldn't get without it, it won't keep you from skidding sideways, nor will it help you stop faster if you are going too fast.

The tires on your Jeep are also a big factor on traction. Unless they have changed, the stock tires on a Sahara are a good fair weather tread, but nothing to brag about as far as winter traction. All season tires don't do well in extreme winter conditions. If you do a lot of driving in snow and ice condition, you a tire that has the 3MPSF logo, that is the 3 mountain peak snow flake logo is far superior. The three that are the most popular with the Jeepers on this forum are the Falken A/T3W, the Goodyear Duratrac and the BFG KO2 tires. I have two of the three not for the snow rating but for the wet traction. One key when you look at the tread of a tire is the number of sipes on the tread. The more the better. The sipes are the small crosswise wavy cuts in the tread blocks. The more the better as the edges on those cuts give you good traction.
Thanks for that explanation! I got the Cold Weather Package, so the tires are Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain tires. Treads look pretty substantial, but I don't see any mountain peaks.
 

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While Selec-Trac is a great new feature and if offered when I ordered my Jeep living here in Wisconsin I would have gotten it, you have to keep in mind Jeep just started putting it on their Wranglers. For the rest of the CJ and Wrangler existence they have not had this feature and they have always been driven in snow and winter. So yes you will be perfectly fine without it. It would have been nice to have if your model came with it but I wouldn't sweat it too much. Enjoy your Jeep and don't look back! Welcome to the Forum!
 

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Thanks for that explanation! I got the Cold Weather Package, so the tires are Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain tires. Treads look pretty substantial, but I don't see any mountain peaks.
My 2018 Sahara with Cold Weather Group came with 255/70R18 Bridgestone Dueler RH-S ATs. They were pretty good in snow.

Tire Wheel Automotive tire Motor vehicle Light
 

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You'll get comfortable with knowing when you want to switch into 4hi super quickly. Personally if I could find the JL I wanted on a lot used (without being grossly overpriced) I would have jumped on it. I wouldn't get such a subtle color though :cool:
 

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Just wondering if I made a mistake by jumping for a Jeep without this option, or if it's easy and safe to adjust to part-time 4WD.
Never use part-time 4WD on the road. You'll get used to not having AWD, which never really helped you much with steering or breaking. AWD really only helped with acceleration, so it's not a safety feature. Your factory tires are a more important safety feature than AWD would be.

On balance, I'd say the advantages of having a jeep outweigh the lack of amusement from not having an on-road transfer case.
 

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Turtle bob, i too live in the Northeast, i also came from the last 20 years of AWD. yes it's on my mind, but I drove a rear wheel car in a galaxy far away. .... I will just have to rethink it. I already drove in my first snow storm from New Hampshire heading to boston airport. as soon as I crossed the mass line, it changed to rain (from snow) and I kicked it down to 2hi

i think we can figure it out....
 

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While Selec-Trac is a great new feature and if offered when I ordered my Jeep living here in Wisconsin I would have gotten it, you have to keep in mind Jeep just started putting it on their Wranglers. For the rest of the CJ and Wrangler existence they have not had this feature and they have always been driven in snow and winter. So yes you will be perfectly fine without it. It would have been nice to have if your model came with it but I wouldn't sweat it too much. Enjoy your Jeep and don't look back! Welcome to the Forum!
New to Wrangler yes.
But also, I had a 1978 CJ-7 which had QuadraTrac, the full time 4wd system.
As to the rest, yeah they are tolerable in the snow, better than a RWD or FWD car but only when using 4wd (in 2wd they can be treacherous, like it or not) but still not as good as AWD. The SelecTrac II is an awesome feature. Still not sure I would get it over CommandTrac though.

Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
 

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The Cold Weather Package on the Sport based editions only include the heated seats and steering wheel along with the remote start (if Jeep has the auto tranny). Nothing on tires. The Sahara does include all that plus the All Terrain tires. Not all of the All Terrain tires are 3 Mountain Peak Snow Flake Rated tires. The Goodyear Duratrac is (it will also have the holes for studs in the tread). If you do happen to have the Duratracs and even if your state allows them during the winter months, once the tires have been on the road, studs can no longer be inserted. They have to be inserted before the tires are on the road for the hole will start to fill up immediately).

The only three tires that I am aware of that are 3MPSF rated are the GY Duratracs, the BFG KO2s and Falken A/T3W tires. The treads are noted for a high ratio of sipping - the little grooves cut in the tires.

Here is a photos of the Duratrac tread:
Tire Wheel Automotive tire Motor vehicle Tread


And a photo of a BFG KO2:
Tire Wheel Automotive tire Light Motor vehicle
 

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I had a 1978 CJ-7 which had QuadraTrac, the full time 4wd system.
The SelecTrac II is an awesome feature.
Yes, the company's historic hesitancy to give the customers what they want is certainly perplexing.

For the longest time, Jeep's selec-trac was mechanically weaker for no particular reason, when GM made a much stronger version of the same TC for a minor increase in cost. Back in the day, the Jeep mags had articles about rebuilding your selec-trac transfer cases using GM parts.

As another example, they waited until 2012 to give Wrangler a strong engine, and then sales blasted off, after they finally started offering the Wrangler that we always wanted.

The minority view in marketing is to give the customers what they want. The majority view in marketing is that they need to educate us about how the new normal sucks, and we should pay premium prices for vehicles that withhold low-cost upgrades, such as a modern engine, a stronger selec-trac, upscale interiors, etc., etc.
 

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FCA sucks at marketing, period. Be Selec-Trac, eTorque, Chrysler, Fiat or whatever, FCA is pretty good at bringing out the right products at the right time, but not telling anyone about it.

This is part of the reason FCA can only sell Jeeps and Rams these days.
 

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Yes, it all boils down to Sergio having had a sense of style, where he gave us upscale interiors, modern engines, lifetime service plans, etc. Basically Sergio had a vision for re-vitalizing the Chrysler Jeep brands like Iacocca did.

Sergio's untimely demise hurt Chrysler Jeep because none of his successors have his sense of style and his vision for making these brands last long-term. It seems like the successors view these brands as cash cows without a lasting future in the new normal.
 

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Sergio didn’t care about anything long-term beyond next quarter’s numbers. That’s why Chrysler, Dodge, Lancia and Fiat USA don’t have a future any more. And despite his many promises and billions spent, Alfa Romeo continues to struggle.

Marchionne didn’t really understand the North American market, which is baffling for someone who grew up here. My prior employer was (still is) a supplier of marketing analyses and strategy for FCA: we spelled out to FCA what Fiat needed to focus on upon returning to N.A. Namely, erase lingering doubts about shitty quality; reassure shoppers that Fiat was here to stay; give priority to 4-door models; leverage the foot traffic of the existing CDJR dealer network, etc., etc., etc.

But Sergio “knew” better; he and his Italian team didn’t want to hear anything about a poor brand reputation still lingering after all these years, sharing showroom space with those lowly American brands, or focusing on anything but the tiny, impractical 500. Fiat’s fate in North America was sealed with the first ads it ran.

Marchionne gave us Renegade, and wanted to give us a JL with IFS and full aluminum body. His idea was to make Sport and Sahara move to IFS and retain SFA on Rubicon only. Thankfully, strong pushback from consumer research forced him to relent.

Today’s sales success is Jeep’s own doing. The key benefit Jeep got from Marchionne was that once he realized that focusing on Jeep and Ram would maximize his profits, he gave those two brands his unconditional support and the lion’s share of development dollars.
 

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Sam Walton famously said, "most of us don't invent ideas - we take the best ideas from someone else"

So Walton and Sergio were good leaders because of their adaptability, instead of using surveys to justify their tentative plans, they adjusted and came up with a better course of action than any one person could have come up with alone.

Sergio said early and often that improving quality was his top priority. He backed it up with lifetime service plans.

Hearing about Sergio change his plans after consulting with others confirms his leadership qualities. Sergio's successors evidently believe they know it all, so their surveys are used to justify what they already wanted to do.

So the survey respondents say they want (1) headunits with defective software, (2) defective auto stop-start, and (3) defective safety equipment. So that's what the company gave us, and now they're baffled why people don't want to pay premium prices for these defective gadgets when they told the surveyors that they wanted these defective electronics.
 

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Never use part-time 4WD on the road. You'll get used to not having AWD, which never really helped you much with steering or breaking. AWD really only helped with acceleration, so it's not a safety feature. Your factory tires are a more important safety feature than AWD would be.

On balance, I'd say the advantages of having a jeep outweigh the lack of amusement from not having an on-road transfer case.
Well I gotta say I disagree.. I've had several Jeeps with the standard select-trac system... It's OK to run in 4H for short periods of time.. Say a highway with spotty patches of snow and ice, but yeah sure not miles of totally dry pavement.. In heavy ran too is OK.. The system just needs the pavement to be somewhat slick.

I've also had back in the day several GM 4x4 trucks and Blazers with system with much the same setup, with 4H ran those in 4H for short periods of time with no adverse effects.

On tires, yes good or proper tires are paramount.
 
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