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What questions should ask before buying a used JGC?

morgan47morgan47 Posts: 3
edited March 2014 in Jeep
I am looking at a used 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo Sport Utility Vehicle, 4WD, V8 5.2 Liter Engine. It has 191,000 miles, automatic transmission, tow package, lots of extras. Interior and exterior in good shape. What questions should I ask? For the last hour I have been trying to weed through all the forum discussions about problems with this year and model. The owner is driving it right now and even towed a trailer with the Jeep to haul brush this week. The asking price is $2,900. says the FMV for a private seller is $2,795.


  • kh75kh75 Posts: 4
    I am on my third Jeep. My first was a 1990 Cherokee Sport and I currently have a 94 Grand Cherokee Laredo and a 99 Grand Cherokee Limited.

    We seem to run into the same repair problems on each one.

    Check the Front and rear differentials for leaks as well as the transfer case. Ask if they have ever been rebuilt.

    Also ask about the transmission, when you drive it pay attention for any slipping. Ask if the Cam or Crankshaft sensors have been recently replaced. These tend to go bad quite often and the vehicle will either have difficulties starting, will stall while running or just not start at all. We have had to replace numerous sensors on our Jeeps and they average between $50 and $100 each(for the ones we have had to replace)

    Jeeps tend to go through Brakes and tires quickly. We found the ceramic brake pads last a lot longer.

    Ask if the fuel pump or water pump have been replaced(these went bad on all three of our Jeeps) They are known for having cylinder misfires.

    They will run forever but tend to require a lot of mantaince. Our 94 had around 46000 miles on it and it now has close to 200000 miles and we are just getting ready to trade it in. My 99 had 86000 when we bought it, has been rearended twice and has 146000 and we just towed a car trailer and car from NY to Indiana and back last month with no problems. We have towed trailers with all of them and have even exceeded the towing capacity(though I don't recommend doing that)

    Uhaul would not even rent us a car hauler because they insisted the Jeep could not handle the weight of the trailer and car.

    Before you buy just be prepared to maintain it. They will run forever if you take the time to do the upkeep. The price it decent, but they would not get anywhere near that under normal trade in circumstances(we are trading ours in under the cash for cars program for $3500) you might want to offer a little less.

    We have looked at and driven every SUV that is comparable in ability and price and we cannot seem to find anything else that can tow this much and includes the luxury options that you can get in the jeeps.
  • morgan47morgan47 Posts: 3
    Wow. I cannot thank you enough for your thorough reply. You have amazing knowledge of Jeeps! I am now concerned about buying the Jeep I talked about. My current income can handle normal maintenence but not a major breakdown of a vehicle. A Jeep has been my mosted trusted vehicle beside a Ford F350 I once owned. I leased a Commander for awhile. Talk about fun to drive and play in, especially in snow that no one else can get through except a plow!

    I will see how the owner handles negotiation. If he does not want to come down, I will just let it go.

    Thanks again. You are an impressive person when it comes to auto mechanics!
  • kh75kh75 Posts: 4
    We have owned Jeeps for over 10 years and even though they can require a lot of maintenance. I have never had any major mechanical problems. THe engines run forever. Its the little things that can nickel and dime you to death, but they can take the abuse too, We use our Jeep for everything from pulling concrete out of the ground, to removing tree stumps and even pulling an F250 out of a ditch. Anytime someone tells us a jeep cannot do it, we have proved them wrong and it keeps on running.

    My big concern is the mileage on the one you are interested in. I bought all three of mine between 50,000 and 100,000 miles on them and I traded in the first one just before 200,000, the second one is getting traded in now at 190,000 and the newest one my wife still drives when she is not driving our mustang GT. We will most likely trade that one in for a newer one next year.

    We have looked at almost every SUV out there in the last year. Especially when gas started getting so expensive. We wanted something with better Gas mileage and fully loaded which we can find no problem, but most of them cannot tow like a jeep.

    Good luck in your search and remember there are a ton of Jeeps on the road so if this one does not work out you will be able to find another one in just as good condition possibly with less mileage for the same price.
  • morgan47morgan47 Posts: 3


    Thank you for the repsonse to my question. Mileage is a good concern to have because I want to make sure I can drive it long enough to at least pay for the purchase price. I was not concerned about the mileage only if the Jeep had been maintained well & had all issues addressed mechanically. I have owned and driven other vehicles well past 250,000 but I was the one maintaining them. Usually I drive until a major accident takes the vehicle out of comission for good & then I sell it for parts.

    I will keep looking at Jeeps, like you said, if this Jeep is not a wise purchase.
This discussion has been closed.