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Jeep Grand Cherokee Maintenance and Repair



  • kkuligkkulig Posts: 150
    Sounds like you've got enough years and mileage on your 95 where it's starting to "nickel and dime" you to death if you hang onto it. The earlier JGC's were definitely plagued with several problems. Even the early production 99's (the new design) had more than their fair share. But what you do here is a decision you have to make for yourself.

    With the end of the 02 model year coming up, you can get some great deals on new JGC's along with decent rebates or 0% financing. With what's offered now, I wouldn't even consider a lease. The 02's have been virtually complaint-free and much smoother and quieter than previous years. Or, maybe you may want to try another make/model of vehicle for a change. That's fine too... there's great financing options on almost everything out there today.

    To answer your question about the viscous coupler... this is located in your transfer case and is the component that transfers power between front and rear wheels. It's kind of like a hydraulic differential. The symptoms you described are a failing coupler. This can be fairly expensive to fix... I believe over $400 depending on whether your dealership does it the hard way by removing the transfer case or if they were smart enough to get the "tool" that allows them to remove the coupler parts without removing the transfer case. The repair cost is high due to the amount of labor involved... not the parts.

    You also need to take what bigorange30 has to say with a grain of salt. His feelings towards Jeep are well-known out here and he loves to troll in this forum. While I'm sympathetic to the bad experience he had with his Jeep (and he does have a right to voice his opinion), he's only owned one... and to me that doesn't justify the amount of complaining he does about them. Anybody can get stuck with a bad vehicle. My 98 JGC went back under the lemon law. Sure, I certainly didn't like that but it didn't "turn me off" on the JGC's. As for his statement that "there's no comparison between a JGC and a QX4"... I'm LOL.

    I'm sure you're intelligent enough to be able to read between the lines and weed-out some of the extremely biased opinions you'll find out here. Good luck to you!
  • hansm14hansm14 Posts: 16
    Has anyone had good luck with this vehicle?
  • bigorange30bigorange30 Posts: 1,091
    domi4 did. I just passed it along.
  • kkuligkkulig Posts: 150
    My appologies... I thought that was your quote.
  • Unlike most of you, apparently, we have really enjoyed our Jeep and have experienced very few problems. I am however starting to experience some loud roaring noise sometimes when accellerating from a stop. Does not happen all the time. Any ideas on the problem? Anybody else have this problem? Someone told me it could be the lock up torque converter. If you had this problem and had it fixed, let me know how much it cost.

  • kkuligkkulig Posts: 150
    Can you be a little more specific about under what operating conditions the loud roaring occurs? Stuff like hot days, AC running or not, etc. It would help us narrow down the possibilities. It could be something as simple as the fan clutch starting to go out.
  • djj215djj215 Posts: 2
    I've been having a problem with my '97 JGC. At random, when I am applying my brakes, at the point of actually stopping my vehicle, there is a spring kick-back feeling in my foot.

    Has anyone else had this problem?

    I have taken it to a break specialist, the repair center where I purchase the car (CarMax) and now an actual Jeep service center. And none of them can find a problem.

    It's not the break pads or rotors, because they were change with the recall. Any suggestions????
  • knhillknhill Posts: 33
    I bought a 95 GCL new in 95. It has 80k miles now with some mild off-roading on the clock. A plastic coupler to the transmission cooler broke causing a slow fluid leak. The transfer case tends to leak at the drain plug - two dealers worked on swapping plugs until the tendency became manageable. No other problems; I consider it a reliable vehicle (more than I can say about the wife's 97 Rustang). I wish we had a reliable dealership in Raleigh, NC.
  • chrisg6chrisg6 Posts: 3
    READ THIS!..Against my better judgement, I recently purchased a 99 Grand Cherokee I-6 2WD(4WD's are few and far between down here in Florida). My previous ride was an 87 Wrangler. I love Jeeps. I put my Wrangler to the test MANY times so I decided to give the Grand Cherokee a try. Having got much of my aggression out on the Wrangler, I figured I was ready to chill for a while in comfort. The reason I said I purchased this vehicle against my better judgement is because all you hear on sites like this is about how awful these vehicles are. So I did my homework. I researched the 99 Grand Cherokee to the T. I asked EVERY person I came into contact with driving a 99 or above about their vehicle. I'm talking at the mall, the supermarket, red lights, you name it. And this is a fact--I could not find ONE SINGLE person with a complaint. I also asked how many miles they had so I could get an idea if they just didn't have the miles that some people state their complaints start happening. NONE, ZERO. I am being COMPLETELY HONEST. I must have confronted over 50 people in a 2 month period (Grand Cherokees are everywhere) and I ALWAYS got "I love my Jeep" as the response. When I asked about the brake issue, people actually looked at me funny! I know this problem is real because I have it, but looking back on the responses, I can't believe nobody I spoke to had this problem! So after test driving a few, and being very cautious I found a 99 with 28,500 miles on it that just came off a lease. I picked it up for $15,800. Within a week I came across the well documented "wet passenger floor as a result of the AC not draining properly". I took it to the dealer because it was still under warranty. They said the drain tube needed to be pushed out further from the firewall so it could drain onto the road properly. Also there was a recall to put a "debris shield" on the manifold cover and the fuel pump seal(which is why every now and then it wouldn't start on the first crank). I knew all of these were a problem because of my research, but I wanted to see how honest and knowledgeable the dealership was. A week later my passenger floor was still getting wet. Not a huge problem, but annoying never-the-less. I took it back and they said it was not doing it. I said "Keep it overnight, drive it first thing in the morning for at least 2 hours. Low and behold they discover the problem and blow out and clean the AC drain line. I then 1 week later decide to break this thing in and see if I'm going to have some problems or not. I take it with my wife and my dog on a 2600 mile round trip road trip up to PA & New Jersey. Flawless. Not one problem,(except of course, for the pulsing, warping, brakes). It was THE most comfortable road trip I've ever taken. I folded the back seat down and my dog was in heaven. Gas mileage was about 22 miles to the gallon according to the trip computer (gotta love that thing, they should come in all cars). I will be honest, because I educated myself on this vehicle, I knew what to look for and expect. That's what makes forums like this redeeming. I recognize my brakes are warping by the gentle pulsing that is starting to build up when I apply the brakes. Yeah, it sucks that this is happening. Yeah, it sucks that Chrysler made crappy brakes on this thing. But since we all know this is a defect and Chrysler can't seem to correct it (At least on the 99's. Although NOT ONE person I asked said they had brake trouble whatsoever), do something about it..the problem has a fix people-QUIT COMPLAINING AND BUY SOME DECENT AFTERMARKET BRAKE EQUIPMENT!! Just recognize it's a freakin' defect and move on!!! Your life will be much easier!! You people out there that keep putting Chrysler brake equipment back on after it has failed you 2 and 3 times are amazing!! I genuinely believe the problems that people are stating, but sometimes you have to take matters into your own hands. The vehicle I purchased now has 34,000 miles on it and runs great. Granted, it makes a low, grinding noise when shifting into gear after it has been off for a while. I informed the Jeep dealer and had him put it in writing that this is "normal for Grand Cherokees". Should this be happening? I'm sure it shouldn't. But it's a 1 second noise I can live with. Now if anything goes wrong relating to this complaint, I will have something documented. Choose your battles people, I can let this one slide. I also as a result of forums such as this, decided a GOOD extended warranty like the one WARRANTY GOLD offers would be a good investment. Bumper to bumper 5 years from the warranty purchase date and 100,000 miles on the vehicle I am covered. I purchased this warranty because you people out there scared it into me. BUT, all these Jeeps are NOT bad. Educate yourself on these Jeeps, do your homework, find a nice one, perform ALL the maintenance, purchase an extended warranty, and for God's sake recognize that these things are Jeeps..not Mercede's and Lexus's or whatever other Luxury car SOME, not ALL, SOME of you people are switching over to because you want a JEEP. They are a different animal. I promise to keep you informed of ANY and ALL future problems. I will be completely honest. Just realize that there is NO perfect car and go in armed with knowledge.
  • kkuligkkulig Posts: 150
    Very well said! That's pretty much what I've been saying in the almost 10 years and 4 JGC's I've owned. People sometimes tend to be a little unrealistic in their expectations.

    Yes, it's sad that DC couldn't/wouldn't do anything about the warped brake rotor problem after all these years. 8 out of 10 complaints are about the rotors and people make it out to be such a "horror story." Like I always said (and you say above) the fix is simple... replace them with any decent set of aftermarket rotors for half the cost the dealer will charge for another warped set of MOPAR rotors.

    The low, grinding noise you're hearing when initially putting the trans in gear IS normal. To me, it's kind of a faint, ratcheting sound that lasts a second or two. Doesn't always happen either. Never had anything go wrong because of it on either my 99 or 02. And I don't worry about it.

    Congrats, and may you have many enjoyable miles with your JGC!
  • I thinking about purchasing a 1996 JGC Limited 4x4 with 70,000 miles, driven by a middle aged lady. Good to excellent condition. What types of problems does this vehicle have and what maintenance issues would I expect going forward?
  • bmb1373bmb1373 Posts: 8
    I know this isn't exactly the right place to post this, but as I do respect some of the people who have posted here I've decided this is where I want some advice.... I was about an ink pen away from trading in my '97 JGC and purchasing a new '02 JGC, then this silly little neighbor of mine suggested I take a look at the Trailblazer. The first thing that came to mind, "Chevy..zipp it, I don't think so!" I'm not much of a bow-tie man. But I went ahead and test drove one, '02 4x4 w/ loads of equipment on it, 270 hp and a nice hitch to boot... If it wouldn't be for the Kia looking dashboard, I think I would have stayed at the dealership... Please, someone.. anyone, talk me out of buying that Chevy!! I love my little leaky Jeep, but that Trailblazer in a side to side comparison just about takes it from the Jeep...
  • bmb1373 about the Trailblazer: I have had my trailblazer for about 7 months after trading in my 2000 wrangler. It is a XLT fully loaded 2002,
    very nice ride,no problems whatsoever, but I have had to finally admit to my husband, it just isnt me, and I need to be back in a Jeep. Actually going to Camp Jeep helped my decision along. We went in my husbands 2002 GJC Patriot Edition. So yesterday I put in the order for my Limited Liberty, and will say goodbye to the Trailblazer. I think once you go JEEP, you can't go back.
  • awaughawaugh Posts: 6
    Having just got a Dog and nociced that my Alfa Romeo just isn't built for transporting dogs, I'm looking around for other vehicles. I really like the Chreokee Ltd, especially the older boxy looking ones (early 90s???) I live in Switzerland, meaning that if I'm not driving uphill then I'm driving downhill. Questions: 1)Is the brake problem really that bad? 2) Who makes a ggod aftermarket disc? 3) Which motor (Remember that when I'm overtaking I'm doing it going uphill too).
    Jeeps here have a reputation of being expensive to keep...How feasible is self repair?


  • to maqsenior...Many problems were discussed thoroughly on the main JGC thread before a 'problems' thread was created. Check out the older posts on the main thread for discussions of those problems and solutions. Also, posts #279 & 280 (above) answer a similar request about problems. Some posts appear to be nothing more than 'heckling' (i.e. bigorange30). Still, everyone is entitled to an opinion.

    to bmb1373...When I first looked at JGC in 1993, I also checked out Explorer, 4-Runner, and Blazer, the ONLY mid size SUVs at the time.
    Explorer had mushy handling (compared to 4-Runner & Jeep). 4-Runner was under-powered and cramped (compared to Jeep & Explorer). Jeep had the most car-like ride and a v8 engine option. The Blazer still had locking hubs for four wheel drive. In fact, the Blazer salesman said he wouldn't even buy it! Granted, that was nine years ago. But I mention this because I think Jeep still has a better 4x4 transmission than Chevrolet. The ride is comfortable. There is a powerful engine for towing. Financing is cheap. Then there is the 7yr/100k powertrain warranty.

    If this was a test, I would always go with my first thought. But I'm biased-I love my 2002 Jeep.
  • kkuligkkulig Posts: 150
    The best is to stick with your original feelings. If you like the JGC, then stick with it. If you liked your 97, then you're going to love the 02. It's an entirely different animal.

    Like fishrxman, I always take a hard look at what's available whenever I'm in the market for a new vehicle. You owe it to yourself to do this so you can make an intelligent choice on how to spend your money.

    Prior to buying my first JGC in 93, I always considered myself a hardcore GM person. I've had Chevy 4WD trucks, full-size K5 Blazers, Buicks, Oldsmobiles and Pontiacs. Man, I fell in love with my first JGC! Yeah, I've had a few of the problems you've read about out here. I even had a 98 go back under the lemon law. But overall, no more problems than anyone else has had with the vehicles they drive. And anyone can get a lemon.

    There are times I wish I had a little more room than the JGC offers. I am on the tall side and would like to stretch out more. The only vehicle I'd consider as a replacement to my JGC is the Tahoe or Yukon. Everytime I buy a new vehicle, I always give these a serious look and test drive.

    I won't even look at a Blazer or Trailblazer. I can't speak for the Trailblazer, but I've heard "rumors" that it has its share of reliability issues. You may want to do some further research into that possibility yourself, so please don't take my word for that.

    I just can't help but feel the JGC gives me more value for my money. The JGC has more features, the fit and finish is better, best 4WD system out there (Q-D) and it's more manueverable... plus it's $4K+ cheaper than a Tahoe or Yukon. I always talk myself out of one when I really weigh my needs and situation. Well, I'm on my fourth JGC so far! Enough said.

    Awaugh... the earlier ZJ's (93-98) could present some problems for you. Especially if parts or service aren't readily available. It's kind of a 50-50 proposition. From watching the history of the vehicle in those model years, I'm under the impression that you either got a relatively problem-free one or one that had one problem after the other. My 93 was very dependable, and like I mentioned above, my 98 was a lemon.

    If your financial situation allows it, I'd highly recommend a WJ (99-up) with the 4.7L V8. The early production 99's (built before 4-99) had quite a few problems. WJ's produced from 4-99 to the present have improved considerably. The 02 is by far the best of the bunch. Regardless of what year you're looking at, for your driving needs, the V8 is the only way to go.

    Brake rotor warpage has been a chronic problem since 93. I see that DC has a new caliper/rotor fix. Time will tell if they finally got it right. Any decent set of aftermarket rotors will fix the problem once and for all. Do not waste time and money on MOPAR replacement rotors as they are the same poor quality as the OEM rotors.

    One good way to get an idea of what model year had the most problems is to do a search on TSB's and recalls. You can find this at either the Alldata or NHTSB web sites.

    There are no special maintenance concerns on the JGC vs. any other SUV. And like any other SUV, there's nothing cheap (money-wise) about performing maintenance and repairs. If you're outside the U.S., this will be a concern to you. Just do the research before buying any vehicle.

    Remember... people write more words of complaint than praise, so you need to read between the lines on a lot of the posts out here. Most of the JGC complaints are unrealistic and about things that are more annoying than anything that led to actual part failures, or breakdowns that left the owner stranded. To me, that's the true measure of a vehicle's reliability.
  • olizerolizer Posts: 38
    I've had my 98 JGC now for almost two years and 20,000 miles. I've had no problem with the rotors although I am of the opinion that you must torque the front lug nuts to factory specs (100 ft lbs) with a torque wrench. I think that driver technique also has something to do with the "warp-age". While driving with my son in his Tahoe last week I noticed that when he sees a red traffic signal a half mile ahead he continues at highway speed until he is almost on top of the traffic light before he starts to slow down - and he wonders why his rotors warp.
  • After five mechanics and seven days at three different independent auto and transmission shops, my 1994 JGC Limited V-8 with front end vibration and growling noise is finally fixed...with total cost of $716.15 including tax...which also included all the tranny fluid/filter, front and rear differential fluid, and transfer case fluid changes. I have been driving it for over one week now...over 1000 miles...and it is just as smooth, quiet, and drives excellent as the day I bought it back in Oct. 1993. Guess I'm one of the lucky ones with the good one of the batch!

    Happy Jeepin'!
  • kkuligkkulig Posts: 150
    Way to go milsuperdoc! You got by fairly cheap on this. May you get many more pleasurable miles off your JGC.
  • Your guess was correct. It was the front differential pinion bearing that had to be replaced. I now have over 103k miles. I never really had any problems that others have experienced on this thread...including warped rotors/brakes, A/C, Transmission...etc. Other than routine battery replacement, engine oil changes every 4k miles, tire/serpentine belt replacements and other power train/cooling system fluid/oil/coolant replacements, I've had no major repairs so far. My JGC is averaging about 17.3 mpg with regular 87 octane in mixed traffic/highway driving in Northern VA/DC area. I have owned many different vehicles in the past...all bought brand new...including '80 VW Rabbit, '84 Pontiac Trans Am 5.0L H.O., '90 Nissan Sentra XE, '99 Mercedes E430. So far, my '94 JGC Limited has been better than any one of other cars I have owned in the past. Hope this continues to be the trend. I'm now in the market for brand new Lexus LS 430. But I'm definitely keeping my JGC!
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