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Jeep Grand Cherokee Maintenance and Repair

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  • Bought the nicest thing Jeep had at the time the 5.9 limited was touted as the "fastest sport utility"... had ALL the bells and whistles except the engine heater - which I didn't feel was a necessity in the DFW, Tx area !
    Sold it recently for ONLY $7500 - what a rip! - but that's another story...
    The engine was SOLID, never had a hiccup and ran STRONG the whole time especially after adding the K&N FIPK which advertizses 26+ Hp increase - which is TRUE - like a new engine for $250 !
    I did have dealer problems, but I've had similar problems with Ford, Pontiac, Ford, and Ford !!! (See a trend?)
    It is more the dealership you buy from or rather have service at that influences your opinions of a car more than the car... Problems will develop with anything and it's how those problems are addressed that let's you know about the dealer...

    Right now, Grand Prarie Ford in the DFW area is giving me the runaround about fixing new Excursions problems on a $40k+ vehicle... I tried to take it elsewhere(Texan Ford) and the service drive up never had anyone in the their bays to help me on three different trips there!!!
    It's more of a customer service problem we have in ALL businesses... very few care about doing a good job because they are not treated well by their employers! (SORRY FOR THE SOAPBOX! back 2 jeeps now)

    My 5.9 had electrical problems with the heated remote side mirrors, rear end pinion gear had to be replaced 3 times (I've been told it's a plastic piece in there that CAN'T last long) @ 600 to 1000 per pop... Brakes that were replaced regularly... A/c Condensor that exploded and was the final straw that made me get rid of it... it was under the dash and they did not put everything back like it should have been and everything rattled, the a/c did not work right and "they" said I would need a control unit @ $400 or so to correct the problem... I told them to go jump in any old lake! and I would bring it elsewhere and NEVER come back to them...
    I paid $150 to a body shop I've used before and had good results and they told me there was at least 20 screws missing - interlocking tabs broken from not being replaced properly, at leat 3 wires that weren't hooked up correctly to the sensors in the upper dash...

    So u see, it's more important to have a good mechanic than a good doctor!!! we just need to find that one good one !!!

    The moral of the story is document EVERTHING, save all receipts, do the maintenance on time, save receipts (again!), make copies of them so the dealer will not "misplace" them... and then sell it when they won't fix it right...
    It's made a leasor of me... even though I don't like leasing...

    Whew, thanks - I feel better now !!!
    Will go "borrow" my wife's nice new Lincoln LS V8 and go have some fun around some corners now :o)
    Got it from John Eagle in Dallas - Great thus far !!!
  • My wifes 1999 JGC needs to have both heated seat elements replaced. Dealer quoted price of 1400.00. Tried to get relief from Chrylser but they said no since it was out of warranty (car had about 40k when problem occurred). We've had various other problems but this one is what's making us consider cutting our losses and trading in. Anyone else have expensive heated seat repairs?
  • Can someone tell me can I still see a lawyer about my Jeep 1999 and it's MANY problems if I was not the first owner?
  • kkuligkkulig Posts: 150
    Generally speaking, a state's lemon law usually applies only to the original owner of a new vehicle, and within a certain time/mileage period. I doubt you'd qualify under this law.

    I would suggest contacting your state Attorney General's Office to see if you have any other recourse for your vehicle. Please do that before you spend the money on an attorney.

    Good luck with your class action law suit.
  • suon1suon1 Posts: 1
    Has anyone had problems with 2002 "GC" having a hard shift from OD to 2nd gear with the cruise control and you are inclining a hill. The trans. drops to 3rd gear for a 1/2 second before dropping into 2nd for a couple of 2nds before going back to 3rd. It really gives you a jolt.
    We were told from the dealer that there is nothing they can do and it is part of the software program.
  • kkuligkkulig Posts: 150
    While most hard shifting problems can be corrected by reflashing the PCM, there isn't anything the dealer can do about this particular situation. They told you correctly.

    Reading between your lines leads me to suspect that you either have the I6 and are trying to tackle any hill and maintain too high of a speed while doing it, or you have the V8 and are trying to tackle a very steep hill at too high a speed.

    I'm going to guess your JGC has the I6 engine because the I6 (which is a good engine) is actually underpowered for the JGC... especially under the conditions you describe.

    How do I know this? A friend of mine and I took a trip to the Black Hills in SD in his I6-powered 94 JGC. Travelling I90 with cruise set, his JGC would downshift (sometimes even a double-downshift) on almost every gentle rise of the freeway across MN and SD. There are no hills here.

    In either case, you should not be doing this with the cruise control set if you now realize the engine doesn't have the power to climb this without downshifting itself. All your cruise control is doing here is seeing that engine speed is falling and it literally tromps down on the gas in an effort to try to maintain the speed you set. Almost any vehicle will operate this way under those conditions. Especially if your vehicle lacks the pulling torque of a V8 engine.

    Another good telltale of pushing a vehicle beyond its engine's power capability? No auto trans should be dropping two gears on a downshift because of a hill. Not even momentarily as you describe. But they can and will if you're doing this with the cruise control set.

    Next time you tackle this hill, try disengaging the cruise control and be a little more gentle with applying the throttle to maintain your speed. Your foot can control the smooth application of power better than the cruise control ever will. Yeah, you may lose a couple of mph in speed and your trans may still downshift. But the downshift won't be as harsh this way. And it'll definitely save you from potentially expensive engine, trans and drive train repairs from over-revving the engine because of a double downshift and the shock to the engine, trans and drive train because of the harshness of this kind of downshift.
  • mooshimooshi Posts: 1
    I purchased my '99 JGC Laredo in October 2001 from a private owner. He had all the paper work from all maintanence ever done...routine mileage checks, oil changes, etc. Recently the "check engine" light came on. I was told that the "brain" to the transmission needed to be replaced. The transmission slips between 2nd & 3rd gears and the car jerks and knocks so hard when engaging the gear shift (automatic) from park to drive you could get whiplash. My question is has anyone else had this problem and is it worth me getting fixed to the tune of some $1300.00 for parts and labor? All responses are welcome!!
  • I took my vehicle in to the dealer to fix what I thought was a typical alignment problem. I was told that I need to replace the ball joint on the front suspension, which was in perfect condition, because it cannot be adjusted. $400 later, the vehicle was still pulling to the right. And after loosing my top at the dealership, I was told by one of the service managers that this was a defect in the design of the GC 2000. Is this a bunch of bull or is this for real? Has anyone encountered this unacceptable explanation?
    I have to say that my experience with Jeep has been a disgusting one. I've been dealing with warped rotors, rough idling, and other problems and all I've been doing with this vehicle is driving it back and forth to work.
  • kkuligkkulig Posts: 150
    You may want to consider taking the vehicle to another dealer if this is the best your current dealer can tell you. Before you spend that kind of money, have the dealer reflash the PCM as I stated in #385. Trans shifting problems are primarily a PCM software issue, and quite common.

    The jerk/knock coming out of Park sounds more like a high rpm idle problem. Normal idle is between 500-600 rpm. If it's idling higher than that, you'll experience this when putting the trans into gear. That is also easily corrected.
  • i have noticed some problems on my 2000 grand cherokee laredo that everyone else is having.However I am having a problem that I have not seen anyone else have. I have the 4.0 inline six cylinder and the oil pressure gauge will be reading normal around 50lbs. and all of a sudden it will max out at 80lbs. It will continue to stay there until you cut the car off and when you crank it back up it will be normal again. I also have the pulling to the right and the front end alignment has been checked and said to be normal. I have brake rotor problem like everyone else. Anyone with oil pressure gauge problem please send me suggestions.
  • dmacedmace Posts: 7
    Hey John,
    My GC2000 had the same problem. I had it for maybe 2 weeks. They told me the same thing, only they replaced it at no cost to me. I also had it one week when the transmission went, so they gave me a new one. Oh and I also have a rubbing noise in my steering wheel. I wanted them to take my car back but they refused. What they did was buy me an extended warranty! I bought my GC new and I still have some problems with the transmission and the rubbing noise is like nails on a chalk board. I'd really like to trade it in on a Wrangler!
  • kkuligkkulig Posts: 150
    FRONT END ALIGNMENT - ADJUSTABLE / OFFSET BALL JOINTS

    Date: 08/20/99
    Bulletin # 021299
    Model year(s): 1999-2000

    Description: Front end alignment - adjustable / offset ball joints.

    Details: This bulletin involves installing offset ball joints to allow adjustments to camber, which were not previously possible on XJ, TJ and ZJ models and to camber and caster which were not possible on WJ models. This TSB releases new offset ball joints which provide the capability to make front-end alignment adjustments to camber and caster. Camber adjustments and caster adjustments on some models are fixed and built into the front axle. Caster adjustments could be made in the past on TJ, XJ and ZJ models. These parts are only to be used in situations where a slight lead or drift to one side of the road or another is occurring with no driver input or where a customer indicates that constant driver input is required to maintain straight ahead steering. These parts will not effect situations where a lead or drift condition is present only under braking.

    Parts required:
    05014876AA Ball joint - 0.5 degree
    05014877AA Ball joint - 1.0 degree
    05016972AA Ball joint - 2.5 degree

    ...This is related to your vehicle pulling to the right and your dealer telling you that alignment is within specs, which it technically would be if caster/camber adjustments can't be made with the original ball joints.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    NEW UPPER BALL JOINTS FOR CASTER AND CAMBER ADJUSTMENT

    Date: 9/02
    Bulletin # 0200102
    Model Year(s): 2001-2003

    Description: On the Grand Cherokee, neither castor nor camber can be adjusted. New offset upper ball joints are available for adjusting caster and camber angles.

    Details: Three new upper ball joints are available with different offsets: 0.5 degree, 1.0 degree and 1.5 degrees. One or two can be installed as needed to obtain correct alignment.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    STEERING WHEEL - POPPING/TICKING SOUND

    Date: 11/23/01
    Bulletin # 1900801
    Model year(s): 1999-2002

    Description: A pop/tick sound may be heard coming from the steering wheel area while the vehicle is in motion. The sound is associated with input from the road surface. It may be difficult to readily repeat the sound once it has occurred until additional road input is experienced, such as driving over an expansion strip.

    Details: This bulletin involves installing a shim package and a tilt head housing assembly in the steering column upper tilt head. This is a somewhat involved process that requires removal of steering wheel.

    Parts required:
    05083383AA Tilt Head Housing and Shim Package:
    04690461 Wave Washer
    06032364 Snap Ring
    05083384AA Shim
    05083385AA Miller Special Tool, Installer, Snap Ring
    05083729AA Tilt Head Housing Assembly
    04318031 Lock & Seal Adhesive
    04318070 Silicon Spray Lube

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    HONK-LIKE SOUND WHEN PERFORMING RIGHT TURNS AT LOW SPEED

    Date: 08/24/01
    Bulletin # 1900301A
    Model year(s): 1999-2001

    Description: THIS BULLETIN APPLIES TO ALL 1999 THROUGH 2001 MODEL YEAR GRAND CHEROKEE VEHICLES EQUIPPED WITH A NON-HYDRAULIC COOLING SYSTEM AND BUILT BEFORE MARCH 05, 2001. Some vehicles may exhibit a honk-like sound from the power steering system. This sound occurs most often during a right hand low speed turn, as would occur during parking lot maneuvers.

    Details: The revised steering hose(s) has been tuned to eliminate this condition.

    Parts required:
    52088452AD Hose, Pressure (4.0L)
    05080950AA Hose, Pressure (4.7L)
    05080951AA Hose, Return (4.7L)
    52088116AB Fitting, Pressure Hose - Quick Connect At Pump (4.7L)
    02448770 Clamp, Return Hose to Cooler (4.7L)
    04883077 Fluid, Power Steering (MS-5931 quart)
  • I am in the market for a 99 JGC. After a little research, I am hearing a good deal of info about problems (brakes, rotors, transmissions, power windows, vibrations and some others). Is it as bad as all that? Should I just give up on the JGC all together?
  • 89wrangler, the answer to your question all depends on who you talk to. I think a lot of owners of '99 JGC who vented on this site would tell you NO. In my own opinion I would not rule out entirely purchasing a second hand '99 JGC, not everyone made was a lemon. I would just be very cautious on the JGCs you look at and review thier repair history, making sure all the recall/warranty work was completed on the vehicle.

    It is too bad you were not looking a couple of months ago when I turned in a '99. It was the perfect second hand JGC that I would have seriously considered if I was looking to buy a '99. It was a fully loaded V8 Laredo with Quadra-Trac II in excellent condition. I did have problems that people have complained about on this site: warped front rotors(replaced three times), replaced drive shaft, replaced yokes, re-programed transmission, but no power window problems and everything was covered under waranty. In buying a '99 I would want to make sure such repairs had been done and at some point, expect to have to replace the rotors with good aftermaket replacements. In addition consider purchasing an extended waranty if you were to buy a second hand '99 JGC from a Jeep dealership.

    Despite that I had problems with my '99, the vehicle always ran great and I enjoyed driving it. I did not keep it because it was leased and the residual value was thousands of dollars above the blue book value, not making it at all economically practical to purchase. I took advatage of the early lease buyout and 0.0% financing buying a '02 JGC V8 Special Edition.

    My experience has only been with a V8 JGCs with Quadr-Trac II. I do have friends who own JGCs with the I6 and they seem to have had no problems except for maybe warped front rotors. Bottom line is if you are going to consider a '99 JGC, find out as much about the vehicle's service history as possible. If you are satisfied that there were no problems with the vehicle or they were taken care of, just be prepared to replace the front rotors at some stage down the road and basis you decission on that.

    Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
  • kkuligkkulig Posts: 150
    I agree with skijeep's post... I had a 99 and those were my experiences too. Not a big deal, but then I had the factory warranty to take care of this for me. I still thought it was a great vehicle. Before buying used, always check the vehicle's service history. And an extended warranty of some type is something to think about on any vehicle.

    The majority of problems you've heard about are primarily on the early production 99's (built prior to 4-99). Check the build date (located on the decal on the driver's door) and stay away from anything built up to this date.
  • I had a '98 JGC 5.2 Quadradrive that gave me a lot of problems.(brakes,many steering and suspension parts,ujoints,rear diff bearings,wheel bearings,power window module,O2 sensor,fuel sensor,fuel gauge sender etc etc)all within 100,000kms(62,000 miles) Most were covered by an extended warranty but continued trips to the dealer and being without a car for the day was a major pain.My point is that according to CU's report on repair frequency 98's were better than 99's!If this is true 99's must be a nightmare!
  • Sailor16 are you sure about having Quadradrive on your '98 JGC? I thought QD was introduced with the 1999 redesigned JGC?

    Again I would have to argue that not every JGC built has been a lemon as some JGC Town Hall contributors would like to lead you to believe. And I don't disagree that some unfortunate owners such as Sailor16, got stuck with a poorly built vehicles. During my experience with my '99 JGC all the waranty/recall work was performed during normal scheduled oil changes and only once did the dealership have to keep the vehicle overnight due to not finishing the replacement work in one day. I turned my '99 in with only 30,000 miles on it and despite the warped rotors and other problems, my overall satisfaction and enjoyment in driving the vehicle was the basis on why I purchased an '02 JGC V8 SE.

    So again I would say to anybody who maybe considering to buy a second hand '99 JGC, research the service history of the vehicle, try to find one built after 4/99 as kkulig suggested (I believe mine was built in 5/99) and lastly consider purchasing an extended waranty.
  • Maybe it was Quadratrac not Quadradrive. Anyway,the system that was always in 4WD with the only other option being 4lo(seemed to work fine in the snow). Maybe mine was a "Friday Afternoon" car but it sure loved the shop. Don't get me wrong,I still like a lot of things about the JGC .I just wish I could get one built by somebody other than Chrysler! When asked how I liked my Jeep I used to say,"It's a first class design built with second class workmanship and third class parts". I'm glad you had good luck with your's but given their overall reputation and their "dead last"ranking in CU's used SUV ratings I think I'd look at a lot of other used SUV's before a JGC
  • Hi ,
    I have just bought a second hand JGC 93K miles.
    I don't know much about the car, and it doesn't have a manual, but I will be getting one. I have some questions that some of you might be able to answer me :
    1) The overhead computer reads 6.6 mpg, avg eco, or 36 lt/100km. Surely this can't be the average fuel consumption, can it. I read it was in the worse case around 14 mpg , for this model. Can any body tell me, if there is a problem with the computer? can it be reset, or is this an indication of a serious problem with the car?

    2) The car idles a little rough and indicates 500 rev/min on idle, is this normal or not, can this be related to a possibble fuel consumption problem?

    3) The computer indicates that the rear lights are faulty, but they aren't, I was told that the sensor needed to be replaced. Is this difficult to do? Or do I need a shop to do it?

    4) The buttons for the passenger side window were missing when I got the car. The passenger window can't be opened from the driver door control. I tested new buttons on the passenger door, but the window didn't work either. Does this indicate that ther is a prbleme with the window opening engine, or can it be something else??

    5) On low speed right turns the car makes a grave , grounding sound? What can this be?

    Thanks a lot
    pandres2002
  • janzjanz Posts: 129
    Not all 1999 JGC's are lemons. Except for replacement of rotors with aftermarket parts, my 1999 JGC Laredo, V8, QD, QTII has been trouble free since the day I brought it home new. My build date is 5-99, I believe this has helped. Knock on wood, I have not had the problems that so many have had.

    It is truly amazing to me how many other options there are available today in mid-size SUV's that were not around in the summer of 1999 when I did my shopping and research. At the time, everything was either too small (Pathfinder/4 Runner) or too big for my slot in the garage and more expensive (Tahoe/Suburban).

    Would I buy another JGC? at this point I'd say without a doubt, but not before I did some research.
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