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Jeep Grand Cherokee AWD Transfer Case Problems

lv06lv06 Posts: 3
I was driving in forward then reverse to make a path in the snow when I heard a loud "clunk". My tires spun after that. The Jeep drives fine except that it is all over the place with no traction. Obviously, my 4 wheel drive is out. My Jeep is AWD and you would never even notice anything was wrong except in the inclimate Ohio weather we are having right now. I was told by a friend that my transfer case needs replaced. Now for my 4.7L it is about $2200 for the trasfer case. Could there be something wrong in the case and I would not have to replace the entire thing? Additionally, is it safe to drive in normal road conditions? Can I take it to the dealer and can they tell without taking the whole thing apart?


  • gotoomangotooman Posts: 2
    I have a 2001 GC with 114500 miles that I just purchased. After about 5 miles of driving I hear a whining noise that is very irritating as I accelerate and slow down. It sounds like the tires are rubbing the fender well but that is not the case. It will not make the noise when put on a rack and the transmission seems to work fine. I was told possible wheel bearings, or maybe propeller shaft problem in front differential. The noise will go away when I slow to below 10 mph, anyone have this problem, I would appreciate any input. Already had right axle replaced thinking this was the problem/ Thanks
  • tuggajbtuggajb Posts: 646
    could be front diffrencal bearings remove front drive shaft ant drive see if noise goes away
  • tuggajbtuggajb Posts: 646
    can remove front drive shaft and run in 2 wheel drive for the summer and then replace transfer in fall have clutches inside transfer that go bad
  • scraggly2scraggly2 Posts: 1
    just bought 2 weeks ago, learned the transmission was shot so i replaced it with a used one with 40k miles on it. The 2nd day after I picked it up, I was pulling out of taco bell on Dixie in the rain and the rear passenger tire broke traction and kept spinning – I thought it was odd that nothing buzzed and transferred power to the other wheels. it is full time 4wd with a quadra trac 2 transmission.

    I was putting the wheel speed sensor in tonight and noticed the front wheels spun freely in park while breaking the nuts loose. Didn’t think this was normal so I backed into a small ditch forcing the passenger rear wheel to spin. the front wheels were not getting power to pull me out of the small ditch, the passenger rear wheel was the only wheel turning

    using a neighbors lift,We lifted it 3 inches off ground, started, and put into gear and the front wheels did not spin

    When in park with engine off, both front wheels spin freely when turned by hand

    Also with engine off I can turn front driveshaft with hands

    Started and lifted off the ground the front driveshaft does turn, but motion stops at the front differential

    please help me if there would be any reason for the front drive shaft to be turning under power but the differential not transferring the power to either front wheel. It make no noises when driven at all.
    Email me at with any suggestions
  • tuggajbtuggajb Posts: 646
    do you see the front axelshaft to the front hubs?

    remove filler plug and see if front ring gear is there (could have removed that because of front noise

    i run mine in two wheel drive by removing the front axels because they cost so much to replace will find some in pick a part this summer
  • gotoomangotooman Posts: 2
    thanks so far for all info: i took to different shop with good reputation, found out it was front left wheel bearing. had it replaced and noise is now gone, still might need to have rear diff worked on this summer but at least no one is starring at me as i drive down the road.
  • i was leaving work to night and my transfercase sounded like there was a bearing bouncing around in side. it makes the sound when in 4 wheel all time but not in 4 low. yet neutral and 4 low both engage as 4 low. so i am lost. please help
  • I have a 95 Jeep grand cherokee Quad-trac 4x4 all wheel drive...after a short highway drive it jerks and skips in tight maneuvers as in parking lots..believe problem is in transfer case;probably the viscuos coupler as suggested by other writers..I'm thinking of removing the front drive shaft for the non snow months of the year..hopefully this gets rid of the problem.My questions are ...will this improve gas mileage?...will it put too much strain on the transfer case,which is probably designed for four wheels pulling?...I do not intend to tow the very least it should isolate the problem and indicate whether the problem is in the front end or the transfer case/rear diff..any advice or helpful info would be appreciated...thankyou Peter
  • I purchased a 2009 Grand Cherokee Limited brand new. After about 10 months and 9,000 miles the front differential went out, locking up the right front tire at 70 mph. Fortunately no traffiic around me so no injuries or damage to the body of the vehicle. Dealer replaced the front diff. under warranty. Exactly 12 months and 10,000 miles later, in year 2 the same exact thing happened again, only this time it didn't completely lock up right away and I was able to get off the road. Dealer replaced again, but Chrysler won't authorize any more work to determine the root cause and says it is "normal wear and tear". The dealer disagrees but it looks like I am screwed by Chrysler at this point. Has anybody heard anything like this before on these vehicles or does anyone have any suggestions as to root cause. I never pull anything with the vehicle and it has never been off the paved or gravel roads. Live in North Dakota so we deal with snow and ice on the road, but that is it. Dealer thought it might be the transfer case was engaged full time causing premature wear and tear on the front diff. Chrysler authorized them to pull some fluid and test. Claim everything is ok so now the dealer has been stonewalled.
  • I would look into Lemon laws and possibly seek legal action
  • I have a 2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited. When I make a slow, tight left-hand turn (like a u-turn, or in a parking lot) a violent grinding noise comes from under the car. It shakes all the way up into the steering wheel. I don't notice any leaks from either the transfer case or the transmission. I have replaced the transfer case about a year ago. After transfer case was replaced the grinding was gone for about a week, then slowly came back. I am completely out of ideas. It does not happen every time, but most of the time. It's as if some differential, transmission, transfer case is for that moment not having any lubrication in it. Right-hand turns never cause a problem, and I don't think I have ever noticed it while driving off road.
  • If you off road check your track bar bolts and tie rods. If the bolt is loose it starts with the grinding and gradually over time will shake if not fixed.
  • pjsideaspjsideas Posts: 1
    I bought my Jeep brand new, a GC Ltd. Had about 30,000 miles on it and was on a long trip, when the service 4 wheel drive system light came on. I called the service dept at my dealership and was told it was probably a sensor and would be ok till I got home, however if I wanted to find a dealer and run it by to have the code checked I could. I took it in when I got home and was told that nothing came up on the computer, and they reset whatever so the light would go off. It stayed off for months and then back on. Took back to dealer and they replaced 2 sensors at over 400.00 dollars. The light went off. After about 80,000 miles light back on. Dealer says it is the transfer case clutch. I never put my jeep in 4 wheel low as I live in the south and don't mud ride. They said it would cost over 2500.00 dollars to replace. I have done nothing and have had no problems with the jeep. I have had to have some axle seals replaced and other maintenance like brakes, etc. I take very good care of it and everyone is shocked when they find out it is an 05 because it looks so nice. Not good on gas and will have to replace soon as it now has over 125,000 miles on it.
  • melm217melm217 Posts: 1
    I know your post is from back in 2011 but I'm having a huge issue with my jeep and it sounds just like yours as well as the 4wd light coming on. I have a 2006 Grand Cherokee Limited that I got back in 2009. When i first got it the 4wd light kept coming on and they said it was the sensor and changed it and it seemed to fix it for the time being. Maybe 6 months ago all the noise started, ive had to replace my tires twice so far since 09'. It was just in the shop for the grinding front end noise (this time it wouldn't go away as it had in the past), I was told it was going to drive like a brand new jeep once it was fixed, well........... $2,600 later (that including again, 4 new tires) I had my Jeep for about 2 days and it started making the SAME :cry: exact noise and vibration as what brought me to the dealership in the first place. I was told that they could not duplicate the issue. I had left my Jeep there a few days ago to have it checked AGAIN and now they are telling me its going to cost me another $1,800+ :lemon: to have the problem fixed. I was lucky it didn't freeze up like yours did while driving, and to read that it happened again for you again is disheartening. I was told by the dealership that the problem is the clutches that are in the front axle differential case and that by driving the jeep with bad tires is what causes it or even if you use your spare full sized tire with your older other three this would cause it too. It now at this very moment is sitting on the lift still at the dealership, they are saying that it is now completely stuck now in this state and it can not be driven until fixed. So I now have to redo the loan I got less than 2 weeks ago. Not Happy!!!!!
    I love my Jeep but I'm not sure if I love it this much :sick: . If by chance you know or have had any other problems with your Jeep could you message me back, please and ty :)
  • I have the same problem with my 2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee. It grinds horribly when making a slow left turn and continues to grind when turning left even at higher speeds but not as loud. It was up on a rack at an auto store when they showed me that when turning the wheel left it actually sticks during the turn and then jumps back to where it should be when it gets past that point in the turn. I live in snow country and this explains why my jeep has be sliding instead of turning when I turn left on an icy/snow road.

    I've been told it's the CV Boot, Boot Strap, Transfer Case, etc. How do I identify what the problem really is and what do you think the repair should cost?

    Stuck in Truckee...
  • I have 80,000 miles on an 08 Grand Cherokee (second owner) and am getting Service 4WD on the display. The error code is c1438. I am being told that the transfer case needs to be replaced. It shifts fine and I hear no clunks, grinding or whining noises. Is there a sensor or something else that should be looked at before replacing the transfer case?
  • mussledmussled Posts: 1
    I took my daughter's 2005 Grand Jeep Cherokee for service and some repairs. Later, they called and told me the air bag sensor was coming on. When Jeep looked, only one was bad, but I was told that if they replaced one, all the other 3 would go out. I asked for the statistics on that, but all they had was the technician who said this always happened. He also said there were bottles rolling around under the seat that was the problem as there are sensors under the seat. I said there is nothing in the book about that, and no one told us. If there are going to be problems if you leave bottled water and it goes under the seat, shouldn't it at least be in the book as a warning?
    Has anyone had any of these problems. I really don't believe that about fixing one sensor, and the others going out, but how could I take a chance with my 19 year old?
  • I had the exact same problem, it turned out to be the CV Boot. It was pretty pricey, $450+ to replace the CV boot. We found a local independent auto repair shop and they replaced the whole front axle with a remanufactured axle which included a remanufacture of both of the CV boots, for only $250. $150 for the parts and $100 for the labor.
  • We own both a 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee and a 2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee, and we are the original owners. I can't tell you how much money we could have saved repairing our 2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee if we had known then what we know now.

    When you have an engine or transmission problem don't pay for any repairs until you have replaced both your TCM and PCM. These parts can be purchased online, for about $125 each and best of all you can install them yourself.

    We have had a huge variety of intermittent error codes and mechanical problems over the years including but not limited to: multiple fuel injector failure, limp mode transmission, engine electrical failure, alternator failure, transmission slipping and/or hard shifting, transmission won't engage, shifter stuck in park, engine won't start, engine quits while driving and the list goes on... The Jeep Dealership said our car was haunted, no kidding!

    All of the above issues were fixed when we replaced both the TCM and PCM. It was easy to do ourselves and now we love our 2000 Jeep again. NOTE: The 1997 Jeep was not affected, all of the problems where with the 2000 Jeep as it has a lot more computer controlled components.

    Hopefully, this will help you. If it does, let me know and spread the word :-)
  • I haven't had this but 6 months, and I am starting to hear noise at 50,000 miles. I am not sure if it us U-joint, transfer case or transmission., or none of the above. I am not seeing an error code. This is the second Chrysler I purchased that seems to be a lemon. The last one was a truck that got two new transmissions is 11,000 miles. I'd like to know why they cannot build a vehicle that is a tough as a F150 and reliable as a GMC Jimmy
  • 1988xj1988xj Posts: 2
    I would 03, grand Cherokee,a v8 awd version of my Chrysler 300m? Oh yeah. Let me ask has all the.30k drive train service been performed on these jeeps?and.were all As a shop manager for 15 years I've always been wary of quadra trac, I see no ones.mentioned axleseals, which always leak and blow diffs out., are we changing transfer case fluids? Always hated the awd because of this, Durango can have a 59 2/4wd setting.mabey when I buy one ill insyall a np242, and just resolve this issue
  • 1988xj1988xj Posts: 2
    Subaru is worse, if you dont change.all four tires at one time and a variance of 2/3 32nds of any tire you will blow viscous diff, something never "romanced" during your purchase, or told.the.tire.industry yay.
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