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Jeep Wrangler Maintenance and Repair Questions (1997 - 2006)



  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    Something is very wrong either with your Jeep or the AutoScanner, because the '97, unlike later models, doesn't use the standard OBDII 'P' codes.

    The codes your '97 uses are all two digit ones; here's how to read them without a scanner.

    Turn the ignition key to the "On" position three times in succession (i.e., On, Off, On, Off, On), within five seconds

    The Malfunction Indicator (Check Engine) Lamp will flash the appropriate number of times to indicate the DTC number, with a short pause between the first and second digits (e.g., 2 flashes of the MIL, followed by a short pause, followed by 5 more flashes, indicates error code 25)

    The appropriate DTC will also be displayed in the odometer window
    All DTCs consist of 2 digits. If more than one DTC is stored in the PCM's memory, the procedure above will display all codes in succession. Regardless of how many codes are stored, Code 55 will always be the final code to be displayed. Code 55 indicates the "completion of the fault code display on the Check Engine lamp".
  • cjw42cjw42 Posts: 2
    I have a 04 jeep wrangler 6 cyl engine. After the engine warms up engine starts running rough and worse when you try to accelerate. I am not getting a check engine light.
  • jmchughjmchugh Posts: 1
    I need some help with my 2000 Jeep Wrangler Sahara. My blinker went completely out. I bought a new flasher switch but now find it may be located in the steering column. How do I take the column off to replace the switch? I have a bad back & neck so a little nervous. What type of tool?

    Any help would br greatly appreciated.
  • Hi

    The steering column cover comes apart like clam shells. There are phillips screws on the bottom and the two pieces seperate top and bottom to expose the connectors. I am assuming you are referring to the multifunction turn signal switch?? I recall that has 2 aor 3 large connectors and a couple of screws anchoring it. It should come apart easily. Caution: Be sure to disconnect the battery to avoid accidental deployment of the airbag since you will be working in the vicinity of the airbag componets. Good luck and I hope it goes well.
  • fedsfeds Posts: 3
    I tried using the MLF on my 97 Jeep Wrangler and three codes came up, Code 12, 51, and 55. What do these codes mean?
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    12: The power control module has recently been disconnected.

    51: O2 sensor is detecting a rich air/fuel mixture.

    55. Check engine light has been activated.

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • I'm unable to completely tighten my sway bar link at the top bolt as the bolt and nut spin together (looks like the entire top joint of sway bar link spins altogether). And now I can hear my sway bar moving up and down and clunking against the top bolts on both sway bar links depending on which way im turning. I'm afraid these links not being tight will cause damage to actual sway bar or other suspension components. Has anyone else encoutered problems when installing or removing sway bar links? Any suggestions? Thanks!
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    Just get rid of em and put on some aftermarket quick disconnects from Rubicon Express or JKS Manufacturing. I run the JKS and they are beefy, solid, and quiet.

  • The problem is when I try to unscrew the top nut from the bolt that protrudes out the top of the sway bar link it all spins as one piece, i've tried soaking in break away fluid but they're brand new OEM sway bar links, why is the nut and bolt spinning together?
  • Recently my Jeep's oil pressure gauge went to nothing and the engine started knocking. I pulled it over to find no oil (I check it fairly regularly and there have been no leaks that I can find anywhere - nothing in garage or parking spot at work). I put the required amout of oil in the engine and it immediately stopped the knocking (still no leaks either). I drove it a short distance to see what would happen. The oil pressure gauge which had gone back to normal started slowly dropping after about a half a mile. I pulled over and had it towed. The mechanic said there was all kinds of trash at the bottom of the oil pan and they cleaned the system out. The oil pressure is fine and the motor runs okay but when I start my Jeep now, there is a noticeable thud/thunk almost every time I start the engine. Also, there is an occasional rattle like sound when I idle but it's infrequent. Help!
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    Use some channel locks to keep the lower part from spinning. Being tight to remove is not uncommon, even on newer links.

  • smokie46smokie46 Posts: 4
    I took the door apart after I got it unlocked with a coat hanger. Took off the interior panel, pealed back the plastic sheeting and didn't find anything wrong. I locked the door and it wouldn't unlock again. Went through the whole process again, got it to unlock but still haven't figured it out yet. Guess I'll have to leave it unlocked.
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    If you have a soft top, that's the best thing to do anyway. It may save you some $$ if somebody decides they want in. Otherwise they'd slash your top.

    Do you have full or half doors? I have a factory service manual and can look and see what may be causing the issue. It SOUNDS like the actuator for the lock isn't attached properly.

  • myxjsmyxjs Posts: 3
    first i would start cheap, get ALL your wheels ballanced (about 10 dollars per wheel)
    then, if the problem persists, check your tie-rods
  • kc22610kc22610 Posts: 3
    I have a 2003 Rubicon. The other morning i was letting it warm up, after about 10mins i went back out to leave and i noticed black partial on the ground where the exhaust dampness was. After work i looked and it the black flake looking things were still there. Does anyone know what this is and does something need to be fixed? I recently had the oil changed and air filter checked but didn't need to be replaced.

  • I think you have a combination of water condensation and carbon built up in the exhaust system causing the black residue. If you have been driving short distances this will build up and come out of the exhaust as a black watery soot. It should not be anything to be concerned with. A longer drive should clear it all out
  • Thanks for the advice, decided to bring me Jeep to repair shop I trust to have them look it over, I was told the tires needed to be balanced, as you suggested. I was also told the tires I had were at the end of their life span, 50,000 miles was the recomended replacement time (I was at 52,000)...anyways the noise is gone, thank you for your advice.
  • I recently had my serpentine belt relaced at one of those oil change places (a major oil co.), it took them 45 minutes to replace and adjust the belt. Now the belt squeals every time I start the engine, which leads me to believe the belt is too loose. What steps are needed to adjust the tension because I won't bring it back there again.
    1999 Wrangler 4.0 5 speed noa/c.
  • I had the same problem on my 97 Wrangler w/w a 4.0. I am not sure if the 99 has an automatic tensioner. If it does I would replace it since the tension spring may be getting weak. My 97 DID NOT have an aotomatic tensioner and it had to be set manually and it was a bear to get it just right. My 05 Wrangler 4.0 is automatic and I havent had any belt problems. Hope it works out for you.
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    What steps are needed to adjust the tension because I won't bring it back there again.

    You should have a manual tensioner on a '99; it's positioned below the P/S pump.


    Slacken the bolt in the center of the idler pulley and adjust the belt using the long narrow bolt at 90 degrees to the axis of the pulley.
    Without a proper tension gauge a rough guide is to not quite be able to twist the belt to 90 degrees (using just your finger and thumb) in the middle of the run to the left of the P/S pulley.
    When the tension is correct retighten the pulley bolt and check the tension again, correct if necessary.
  • I have an 04' Jeep Wrangler with about 108K miles on it. Standard Transmission. This past summer I started to hear a whistling noise from the motor. It would stop when I would accelerate and start when I let off the gas pedal. I was told this was more than likely my throw out bearing (Already) going out...? If so, is there a cheap fix to quiet the whistling until it goes all the way out? I don't really have a ton of money to invest in this problem right now. Thanks.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 10,389
    It sounds to me like you have a vacuum leak- not a bad throw-out bearing.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport / 2014 M235i / 1999 Wrangler / 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2016 i3 REX/2009 Cooper Clubman Son's: 2009 328i

  • smokie46smokie46 Posts: 4
    It's been a while since I've been on this site...I took the door apart again, and decided to unhook the linkage between the key lock cylinder and the latch. It's only about 4 inches long. After doing that, I can lock the door (inside only) and unlock it (inside only) and it works the right way. Only problem is that I can't unlock it from the outside now, and thats ok with me.
  • I have a stock 1997 wrangler, everything is stock.. I cant keep sway bar pins in this thing.. Always breaking or shearing bolts.. Never experienced anything like this before and have no idea why this is happening.. Any ideas ??
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    Yep, lousy design. :) Either that or you're driving like Mario Andretti.

    Just get a good set of aftermarket sway bar end links like JKS's quicker disconnects and never look back. They make a version that works from 0" of lift up to 3" of lift and a version that works 4-6" of lift. So even if you lift up your TJ, these will grow with you. :)

  • skyking49skyking49 Posts: 112
    While I am sure that it would solve his problem, I am not as quick to advise him to buy new ones. If you can fix the problem yourself, (I couldn't) then by all means do it. I don't know about others here but I simply do not have money laying around to buy new stuff. I try to fix it or have a friend fix it and as a last resort..I buy whatever I need..within a very small budget.
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    I try to fix it or have a friend fix it and as a last resort..

    I agree with the sentiment wholeheartedly, but broken sway bar links aren't fixable and replacements aren't cheap.
    It's actually going to be less expensive to go with aftermarket disconnects than to keep replacing the OE parts.

    As to why he's breaking them I have no idea, except that constant extreme asymmetrical flexing of the sway bar will do it.
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    Buying 1 set of JKS links will be cheaper than buying multiple sets of OEM links. I don't know about you, but I don't like to buy something twice. I don't have the money to buy the same (flimsy) part more than once. Pay more for the initial investment and stop worrying about it - and get a better product. Now if the endlinks are free, go for it, but you are spending TIME now, which to me is even more valuable than money, doing the same repair multiple times. You pick.

    Only thing that makes sense to me on the situation is either:

    1. Somebody is offroading enough w/o disconnecting the end links.
    2. Sway bar may be bent enough that strain is placed on one of the endlinks. May be worth removing it entirely and examining it to see if it is bent with one side higher/lower than the other.

  • johnhewittjohnhewitt Posts: 1
    After starting up my '97 6 cyl wrangler for the first time in several weeks with a weak battery and after last use off road in snow and mud the engine idle speed is very high; above 2000 rpm.

    Throttle seems to be working, vacuum lines all seem to attached. Could there be an engine speed sensor obscured by dirt and if so where do I find it ?

    Thanks a million for your help.

  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    If the battery is now properly charged, disconnect it for five minutes to clear the secondary settings in the PCM.
    If not, disconnect the battery and fully charge it, then reinstall and you should be good to go.
    Your issue is not uncommon when starting with a low battery.
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