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Jeep Wrangler Maintenance and Repair Questions (1997 - 2006)



  • RE: 1992 Wrangler 4WD. My son just had a scary experience. As he was traveling ~35MPH, his right front wheel locked-up and spun the vehicle around the locked wheel, onto the right road shoulder. Fortunately, he was not going faster or he might have flipped. He said the only warning he had was a loud ‘clunk’ just before it locked up. After he collected himself, he tried to move the vehicle and heard the same ‘clunk’ again…he parked it.

    What I find suspicious is that the previous owner (vehicle purchased less than 30 days ago), supposedly replaced the front wheel bearings before turning it over to my son.

    Any experience and/or knowledge regarding this problem would be appreciated.
  • mblack3mblack3 Posts: 10
    I have this terrible odor in my jeep it seems to smell if the ac is not on you can smell it a little when the heat is on but its worse when nothing is on at all.
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    I've no idea what it is, but if it's not being blown in by the HVAC unit, then that narrows down where it is.

    Remove the carpets and let the Jeep air out. If the smell remains then remove the seats. If it's not the carpet or the seats, then tracking down the location of the smell using your nose should now be fairly easy.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    While you're waiting for a reply here you may want to browse through the messages in the archived discussion about mildew.

    tidester, host
  • mblack3mblack3 Posts: 10
    we've narrowed it down to something with the heater or ac not the carpets. its not a mildew smell it smells like vomit
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    we've narrowed it down to something with the heater or ac not the carpets.

    I guess that I misunderstood your earlier statement " seems to smell if the ac is not on...... you can smell it a little when the heat is on..... but its worse when nothing is on at all."

    If it is related the HVAC system then it either grew there, or was physically introduced i.e. someone threw up into it. If it contains vomit you'll have to clean it out (not fun), but if mould has grown inside the HVAC housing, maybe due to lack of use or a blocked condensate drain, then it can be treated with a antifungal/disinfecting spray. These vary in effectiveness depending on the type of mould and the frequency with which the A/C continues to be used. Why not get some advice from a local independent A/C specialist, as some of the sprays are designed to be injected through a hole drilled directly into a specific part of the housing.
  • mblack3mblack3 Posts: 10
    thank you someone told me they had the same problem with the smell and it was the ac evaperator.
  • mblack3mblack3 Posts: 10
    when i bought the jeep used the jack was missing.where is the jack stored while not in use under the hood or seat in need to buy on.
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    The original jack is normally stored under the rear of the passenger seat, with the accessories located on the inside of the passenger rocker panel. You could buy a small hydraulic bottle jack as a replacement.
  • ptrippptripp Posts: 3
    i have a 93 wrangler with auto transmission and a/c, about 110,000
    miles.  it's been sitting idle for quite a while, but the last few
    times i've driven it, i've noticed an intermittent 'clunking/clacking'
    noise coming from down by the passenger's side floor/dash.  it only
    happens while the heater is on.  if i turn the heater off, the noise
    stops, then comes back again when i turn the heater back on.

    anyone know what this is?

    thanks very much for your help.
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    Just to clarify, is this when the heater is on, or when the blower is on?
  • ptrippptripp Posts: 3
    it's when the heater is on. it doesn't seem to make a difference whether the fan is on or off, or on low, or on high. i can turn the fan off but the noise is still there. but if i turn the heater to 'off', the noise goes away.

    i really appreciate your time. thanks!
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    If the noise had varied at different blower levels it could have been caused by movement of the internal directional flaps, or even the fan blades making occasional contact.

    With that ruled out it only leaves the circulation of the coolant, though there is a very outside chance that it could be something expanding and contracting with the heat. I would guess that it could be either a partially blocked heater core, or that one (or both) of the heater coolant hoses has partially collapsed internally. Instead of coolant flowing smoothly through, pressure builds behind the blockage then pulses through.

    I'd treat it to a new pair of heater hoses, then using the new hoses, reverse flush the heater core with a garden hose.
  • it sounds exactly as you describe it - like pressure builds up and then there's the clunking sound as the coolant flows through again. thanks very much for your help.

    i'll replace the hoses and flush the heater core. when i'm finished, i'll let you know if that fixed it. i'm pretty confident it will.

    thanks again!
  • After driving at highway speed for about five miles the Jeep starts losing power and misses. If you stop and turn off engine then restart it will run fine for a few miles. Could this be fuel filter, fuel pump, or fuel pressure regulator problem. 1997 Jeep Wrangler 4.0
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    Could be, but it could be several other things as well. Has it set any codes?
  • No codes. Just got back from driving about ten miles and it is running fine. I think I have some trash in my tank and it is blocking my filter at times. I am going to pull my tank and clean it. Do you recommend changing fuel pump since I will have tank dropped and theJeep has 90k on it.
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    Do you recommend changing fuel pump since I will have tank dropped and theJeep has 90k on it.

    I guess it depends on the depth of your wallet! ;)

    Dropping the tank isn't particularly hard, but be careful disconnecting the wiring and the vent hose. The pump is more likely to be close to failure if you regularly run the tank to nearly empty before filling.
  • Hi folks!
    I have a 2002 wrangler with an automatic transmission. I have a problem stopping on icy roads--especialy when backing down or going forward on a hill. I try to go slowly and prepare, but I often have to shift into neutral to come to a complete stop. I love this jeep, but it's very frustrating to go through this every winter! thanks in advance for any help...
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    Torque converter engagment on the Wrangler is 'firm' compared to most other vehicles, and you are using the correct technique for coming to a complete stop in a low traction situation. It's exactly the same as stopping in the same situation with a manual transmission, you'd dip the clutch just before you came to a stop (which has the same effect on the driven wheels as selecting neutral).
  • Hi! We have a 2000 Jeep Cherokee Sport and have had problems with the heater not blowing hot/warm air for over a year now. We have flushed the system 4 times and changed the thermostat at least three times. The dealer replaced the heater core (it was under warranty) and there was still no heat. It would work for a couple of days and then blow only cold air again.

    My husband gave up on having heat but last month, the radiator blew and it also blew a gasket. When repairing the radiator and gasket, our mechanic checked the water pump and said that it needed replacing because it was completely worn. The total of this bill was close to $1300 and of course the warranty has expired because it is over 100k miles.

    My question is this: could a defective water pump have caused the problems with the heater, radiator, and gaskets? The dealer is telling us no and will not defray the cost of this work. Should we pursue this and/or call Jeep? Any recommendations? Please help!! Any suggestions would be much appreciated!

  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    Water pumps rarely wear in such a way as to reduce the circulation of coolant. They usually either leak, or the bearings fail. I suppose the impeller might fall off, but that would be a case of 'catastrophic failure' rather than 'worn'.

    It sounds more like this was all caused by a leaking head gasket that gradually went from bad to worse (assuming that it was the head gasket that blew).
  • I have just purchased a 1998 wrangler 4x4. It has an intermittent steering squeak when you turn the steering wheel. I have replaced the Power steering unit, checked fluids, etc. but the squeak seems to be coming inside or near the firewall. Has anyone had this problem? Can you help me solve this?

    Thanks, Andy
  • i have a 1998 wrangler 4 cly manual transmission and the clutch just went out any suggestions on a fair price to fix this ?
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    The steering wheel makes its connection to the steering gearbox via three shafts, each of which has either universal joints or support bearings, all of which can wear or seize. Have someone turn the wheel while you get up close to identify the exact location of the squeak.
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    It will vary according to the location and the size and type of shop, i.e. expect to pay more at city Jeep dealership than at a backwoods one-man shop.

    To establish a fair price in your area just call half a dozen shops. Make sure that the price includes a complete clutch (pressure plate, friction plate, release bearing), and have the transmission and t/c drained and refilled at the same time.
  • I have a 2002 Wrangler automatic. Just got it back from the shop and they don't have a clue what's wrong. It is running rough real bad. Has less than 13,000mi. someone please help. Darlene Garner
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    Just got it back from the shop and they don't have a clue what's wrong. It is running rough real bad.

    Darlene, it would help if you could define what you mean by "running rough real bad". Did it happen suddenly or did it develop gradually? Was any service or repair work done just beforehand?

    It's a little difficult to even attempt an answer without some detailed information. :confuse:
  • i will soon be starting my own Lemon Law case. My 2005 Wranler Sport goes back to the dealership tomorrow for the 4th time since Jan. it will be well over the 30 day maximum for attempted repairs after the latest stint at the dealership. can anyone out there provide me with any more info on how you went about getting a full refund? any advice, info, whatever will help. if you could, please reply at, as I check this regularly.
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