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Jeep Wrangler Maintenance and Repair Questions (1997 - 2006)



  • I have an '02 Wrangler Sahara. My engine light will come on periodically and stay on for a day or so and then go back off. I have checked everything that I know to check as well as what the owner's manual say's (which is basically check the fuel cap), but nothing. I have noticed that while it is on it will slightly jerk occasionally while I'm driving, but other than that it appears to run fine. Any ideas what might be causing this?
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    Any ideas what might be causing this?

    It could be any number of things; Autozone will read the codes for free. Find out what they are and check back with us.
  • I just want to say that this is my first time using a forum and how much I appreciate the response. What you’ve said makes a lot of sense to me, and a few things you’ve mentioned are exactly what I and a couple of friends thought of. Again thank you for the professional advice.
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    Glad to be of help, though I've given you plenty to investigate. Please post back when you have a final solution.
  • cbeascbeas Posts: 14
    I have an '04 Sahara with dual tops. My wiper does the same thing with the hardtop. I didn't have that problem until I changed my spare tire to a 31" tire. I think it puts a little backward pressure against the brake light housing which causes it to come into contact with the wiper. I've thought about putting a washer or 2 beneath the brake light housing to raise it up a little and see if that helps. I just never think about it until I'm out driving in the rain. Let me know if you figure out a solution to yours. Once I put the washers on mine I'll post again to let you know if it worked.
  • If the 31s are pushing the brake light back you might try a wheel spacer.
    Sometimes cheep on ebay... rs-B_W0QQitemZ180063022643QQihZ008QQcategoryZ33749QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
    Woha this might be the longest link in the world.
    They come in pairs so you can use one on the JEEP and play tuff guy frizbee with the other.
  • We are the proud owners of a 2000 Jeep Wrangler TJ Sahara. It is the first time we have owned a jeep wrangler and really love it. Neither my wife and I have much knowledge of cars and we are a little worried that our jeep begins to make a reasonably loud noise, possibly caused by vibration at exactly 50mph, which tails off at 55mph but comes back again between 60mph and 70mph. Before we bought the jeep we had a complete car inspection and nothing wrong was found. The mechanic suggested getting the wheels balanced. We did this at Walmart, but the problem persists. Could Walmart have not done it correctly, or do we have another problem, or is this just how jeeps behave? Help, we love our jeep and want to know its not going to blow up any time soon!
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    No, this isn't how a Wrangler normally behaves. If WalMart had done a poor job of balancing the tires (and the tires are the cause of the problem), then the symptoms might have changed but they wouldn't remain the same.

    I would suggest that it might be a worn universal joint on the propeller shaft, but it's really hard to make an accurate guess at this distance. Why not have a mechanic ride with you so that you can point out the noise first hand?
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    Could Walmart have not done it correctly, or do we have another problem, or is this just how jeeps behave?

    Sounds like tire noise to me. The tires may be cupped or have some other odd wear pattern. FWIW, I also think that a competent inspection would have revealed the problem prior to purchase.
  • High speed shakes due to tire problems are pretty rare.
    Not as rare as a real mechanic at Wally World.
    Not impossible, just not the first place I would look.
    I would look into other drive line problems.
    There are eight universal joints on these little Jeeps. any one can cause this.
    Any other loose or worn drive line components ie. motor, transmission, transfer case momounts... Clutch pressure plate, throw-out bearing...wheel bearings...ect.
    Get a creeper, a light and a rag...crawl around under the Jeep...wiggle things an look for stuff that looks wrong.
    Get to know and love the dirty bits of you Jeep as much as the shiny parts.
    Good luck and Happy Jeepin'
  • Hi,

    Well with the very very limited car knowledge that I have (apologies), I have discovered that the vibration tone is altered if I just touch the 4wd lever, which suggests the vibration is coming in that direction. I am guessing the problem could be something as simple as the loosish lever vibrating against something, or is this a sign of a far scarier problem? I know this sounds like something that a mechanic needs to look at but I wanted some advice here to at least sound like I know what I am talkng about! (We had the wheel balance re-checked and all is fine)
  • thanks for the tip. I have discovered driving that by touching my hand to the 4wd commandtrac lever, the vibration alters in tone. Can this narrow the issue down to something or do I need to take this to a mechanic who knows what they are talking about? If you can at least throw me some possible reasons I can pretend to know what I am talking about! Sorry, my mechanical skills are not great. Could the vibration be something as simple as a wobbly command trac lever or something more scary?
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    I have discovered that the vibration tone is altered if I just touch the 4wd lever, which suggests the vibration is coming in that direction.

    As I suggested earlier, a worn propeller shaft joint could be indicated. The rear propshaft is connected to the transfer case, to which the 4WD selection lever is attached, though as you say it could just be a loose lever.

    Also, vibration problems of this nature often occur when a Jeep has been lifted. Has yours been modified in any way?
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    Mac, you thinking driveline vibes from a lift? Even a budget spacer boost could do that I guess. Each Jeep seems a bit different and it isn't unheard of...

  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    Mac, you thinking driveline vibes from a lift?

    It's a possibility. Even identically specified Jeeps can react differently to the same lift. Diagnosing odd vibrations over the internet is intuitive guesswork at best. There no substitute for seeing the vehicle and experiencing the problem, but doing it here requires starting with the obvious and working towards the less likely. :)
  • try checking the heater control valve and the blend doors in the heater box. hope this will fix your heat :)
  • Been using 4x4 mode a lot in the last week due to recent Colorado snow storms. I noticed yesterday that my Jeep is making a screeching noise - coming from the transfer case area. Makes the sound when the clutch is engaged. Doesn't make the sound when it's in neutral and clutch is out. Makes the sound when moving but it's worse when it's in gear, clutch engaged and idlining - like at a stop sign. Sounds kinda like a loose/screeching fan belt but not as bad. Any ideas? Bad news? Everything seems to work OK, including 4x4.
  • What's your driving style?
    My 2003 Wrangler started doing this as well...I had about 28,000 miles on it when it started bucking down the highway. It would generate various "misfire" codes and the stealership told me sparkplugs and $200 later I had new spark plugs an only moderate bucking down the highway. I too figured bad sensors, but did some more research and learned jeep published a TSB about carbon fouling (Why jeep mechanics don't know about this I don't know). It turned out it's my driving habit that caused it. I pretty much babied my Jeep and because of that carbon was building up on valves and sparkplugs. Improperly functioning valves can cause lots of the problems listed here. I fixed that problem by making a point to wind the engine out before shifting. This driving style is terrible to the gas mileage, but the engine has been running smooth ever since. The TSB says 3200 rpm is the speed at which the valves start to rotate, so rev it past that. Luckily, my problem wasn't that far gone and I was able to fix it just by that. You may be fouled up to the point you'll need to de-carbonize the engine with something like 'Sea Foam'.
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    That was a real blast from the past........ Sept '06!!! :surprise:

    Anyhow, if you check one of her later posts here, you'll see that she sold the Jeep before fixing it.

    I'm not sure what the TSB is you're referring to, could you quote the number, but you don't need to rev that high all the time. Just make sure to use higher revs now and again to allow the valves to reposition themselves, and to burn off any recent deposits. If you always like to drive gently at low revs you might also consider using a spark plug from a higher heat range.
  • Thanks in advance for any assistance! We have a 1999 Jeep Wrangler 4.0 L and after just a few seconds of running it will simply shut down. We have the Haynes Repair Manual and after reading it the problem seems to be from insufficient fuel flow. While consulting chapter 4 (fuel systems) we can't find any solutions. Not real crazy about taking it to the dealership just yet. I'm sure this isn't the first time this has happened.... It ran fine 3 days ago... Any ideas????
  • burntupburntup Posts: 64
    Most of the 99s have the Smart Key Immobilizer if it screws up the engine will start but shut down very quickly.
    If the keys chip is damaged or you are using a copy with out the chip the engine will shut down.
    If you have two keys try the other one.
    Good luck.
  • You are correct! We found out when Leeann went out and had no problem starting the jeep.... I spent nearly an hour out there looking at it earlier... I had a new key that we have never used before.... Of course she used the main key....
  • Hi Y'all!

    I have read all of the posts just to make sure this hasn't been covered, and I didn't see it, so here goes:

    I have a 2004 Wrangler X (6cyl) with 55K miles.

    For a bit now, it has had a big problem starting. Meaning that I put the key in the ignition press the clutch all the way to the floor, and pray. It tries really hard to start and takes about 7-10 seconds to actually start. When it does finally turn over and start it smells like gas. Kinda like in the old days when you would press the gas to start your car and it would flood the engine. Except I do know the difference between the gas and the clutch. I've taken it to my mechanic and he has hooked it up to all of the diagnostic units that he has, and can't find anything wrong.
    I really don't like the way I was treated the last time I went to my dealer for new lug nuts, so I would rather not hand over any cash to them what-so-ever.

    Also, this morning when it finally turned over and started the engine light was on, so I drove it the 50 miles to my mechanic, he told me there had been a misfire on cylinder 6, so he replaced the spark plugs (plus gave me an oil change since I would be due in 150 miles anyway)

    Sorry that this is so long but I'm kind of bummed. I love my Jeep. I put a lot of miles on it maybe that's the problem who knows.

    Any help would be fantastic! :blush:
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    One possibility is that you one or more leaking injectors. That will result in fuel dribbling into the cylinders after shutdown. When starting, the fuel system then has to re-pressurize and the flooded cylinders will be reluctant to fire, both of which will delay starting.
  • I'm having the same issue with my 97 Wrangler. I'm aware that the tranny fluid must be poured into the same hole that the tranny dipstick comes out of, but I suspect that at some point my dipsticks were switched. One is very close to the engine oil cap, but that one is much bigger than the other. Which dipstick hole do I use??
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    Do bear in mind that the post you're referring to concerned a manual transmission. Yours is an automatic and the dipstick is the one closest to the firewall. The tube is much larger in diameter than the one for the engine, and the dipstick itself is longer than the engine one. The handles on the dipsticks should also be marked as to application.
  • Hi all...just thought I'd vent and hopefully get some feedback about what happened this past week to el jeepo.

    Last week the engine was spewing cooland ALL over the place. It looked like Niagara coming from the block. I thought I was doomed and had cracked a head. The next day the mechanic called me up and told me it was the freeze plugs, which made me smile. Either way, he says he had to remove the intake and exhaust manifolds to cleanly get at the plugs in order to replace them ($320). Next we did the front axle seals ($220) and the differential service ($200). Add to that the $600 in new tires i bought last weekend and I'm up to $1300 for the week into my beloved jungle fighter...he is happy, and so am i. While I was at it, I asked my mechanic to throw in some fresh Mobil 1 and give the engine a good cleaning, inside and out. BTW, my mechanic's shop is soooo clean you can sit on the floor and have a sandwich...and feel comfortable enough to pick the loose shards of lettuce off the shop floor...and eat them. A real treat. Anyway, now that I've poured almost 2 grand into the jeep this month alone, I'm ready for a few more upgrades as well as maintenance items. Can anyone suggest other things I should be doing to the Jeep to keep it running as well as it has for the last 10 years (almost).

    1998 Jeep Sahara
    73,000 miles
    warn 8000 winch
    BFG AT 32x11.5R15 (and they fit nice!!!)
    Miami, FL (i.e. North Cuba) :P
  • I have a 1998 wrangler 4cyl 5 speed . at highway speed it just quit pulling in 5th gear all other gears are fine has any body else had this trouble. thanks
  • OK....have a situation here of which I would like opinions. I had 4 new tires put on my 1999 Jeep Wrangler. They are off-brand first off but they were free as I won them in a raffle. Jeep drive fine for a day or two then I started noticing a vibration when I reached speeds over 55. I thought maybe the tires were not balanced or threw a weight so had them rotated and balanced. Again drove good for a few days then the vibration cam back. Had one guy notice that around the white letters on all four tires that the side wall was not black but discolored. He said that this was a sign that the belts in the tires were broke. Because of the vibration I was wondering if this might be true but all four tires are showing the same discoloration. Like to know what might be causing the vibration? Prior to putting the tires on I had new shock installed and the Jeep drove fine. Could it be the cheap but free can I tell? Maybe the shocks have wore can I tell?
  • Free tires are not worth youe life.
    Take them off.
    Throw them away.

    Sounds like these tires have been over inflated.
    ...happens sometimes when the tires are being mounted.

    If the installer is having trouble seating the beads they might bump the air pressure inorder to force the bead into the groove on the rim.

    This excessive pressure can strech the tires and ruin them.

    Rims should always be cleaned before new tires are mounted. This is almost never done.

    If your tire man will not take this step have him remove the tires from the rims and let you clean them up and then let him mount and balance the tires.

    The lazy way around cleaning the rims is to seat them with higher pressure.

    Using starting fluid (diethyl ether and other things that go boom) is another way to ruin your tires.
    But that is another story.

    Are your new tires the same size as the old ones?
    Is the tread more aggresive?

    One way to check the tires for damage is to deflate them as it is easier to check sidewall damage on a deflated tire.

    Good luck rattle on.
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