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Jeep Grand Cherokee Maintenance and Repair



  • badwolfbadwolf Posts: 1
    To Tidester, I think you have done a commendable job in containing the cat fight on this board. You came through as being both fair and understanding. Although I don't know much about Jeep, heck, I don't even own one yet. But I know a little about computing. Your view of what a "thread" is (#327)is exactly the way it was envisioned in the old BBS world. You start with a top level general heading and everyone chimes in, what differentiates one msg apart from the other is the "subject line", and when a person responds, it becomes a "thread". In this sense, tigerwokie is correct about starting a 5.9 specific discussion. But he probably didn't realize this is a town hall type setting where everyone sees everything. Some system allows auto branching and builds on and thus encourages discussion exchange on an item of interest. If I see a heading/subject/title on say Jeep Cooking 101, then I would just move on. As a previous BBS board moderator, I have a few suggestions:
    1. Encourage your members to ask clarifying questions in a positive manner. No extensive QUOTTING, in fact your member conduct rules already stated that. This will for sure PO the other guy as you have said so yourself. The host needs to enforce this rule.
    2. Do not attack the person. I saw words like "childishness, politness, smart enough ..." which for sure will invite a nasty come back. This is the most difficult job for the moderator & hosts to show fairness and encourage a healthy discussion.
    3. This board is for sharing and everyone is entitled to his or her opinion. You don't have to comment on or respond to every issue. Life is too short, move on, forget it.

    In closing, tigerwokie was on the defensive but if you were to read every post from the beginning, he is the one that kept his cool. I hate to see him leave with his bad Jeep experiences as this is exactly the kind of information I was seeking. We are all mature adults to read through one's emotion.

    Sorry for the long post and hope I have not offended anyone out there.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    Thank you for the kind words and insightful advice!

    I do hope tigerwokie will reconsider and stick around. No one should feel compelled to leave over a minor dispute.

    SUVs; Aftermarket & Accessories
  • jaworthjaworth Posts: 1
    I bought this thing, a 6 cyl, selec-trac model, new in July of 99. Since then it has had numerous problems which you have all seen before - window regulators 4 times, fuel pump 3 times, drive shaft, hard start followed by check engine light with weather change and, of course, warped rotors. I fixed the rotor problem (after Chrysler refused to do anything after they replaced them once at 15K miles) by installing cross drilled rotors at approx 38K. Now at 48K I had a check engine light which I diagnosed, using OBD, the shop manual and the odometer readout to be a transmission output sensor. I was going to do it myself but made the mistake of bringing to the dealer because I also have an intermittent "hard reverse" situation with the transmission which I wanted addressed via one of the TSB's issued by Daimler-Chrysler (they said they did not see the problem and therefore could do nothing about it). I was charged approximately $35 for the sensor (reasonable) and 2 hours of labor for diagnosis and replacement. I don't know how long it should take to replace the sensor but it seemed a simple job in the shop manual. All together, the bill was $216. Daimler-Chrysler not only built a piece of junk to begin with but is making a lot of money ob repairs. I will NEVER buy another Jeep. I've had several Chrysler products in the past with great success but this one is truly garbage. My other car is a 99 Maxima which is like a fine wine - it get better with age.
  • This is 2002. Dealer repair rates are about $70/hour. The dealer gave you an estimate and YOU appoved it. You didn't provide enough information in your post to determine if you are angry and frustrated because 1)you felt cheated by the dealer or 2)you felt your vehicle no longer provided comfort, utility, and reliability.

    It appears that years of frustration with your '99 JGC have taken a toll and the last incident 'broke the camel's back'. That is understandable. I had lots of troubles with my '01, too. In fact, I bought a '02.

    While nobody has all the answers, the people on this forum are mostly Jeep owners who have experienced the same problems as you. If you have a SPECIFIC problem, someone will probably have a solution. Don't give up.
  • dkrhardydkrhardy Posts: 134
    Co-worker has a very nice '93 Grand Cherokee with 90,000 miles. Has had excellent service from the car, and has done all maint to ensure the car stays nice. HOWEVER - just recently he has found water in the rear passenger floor area. He dried it carefully, parked it in the garage and checked it several days later ... wet again. The seals around the doors look like new, there is no evidence of a hole/crack in the floorpan. It is water, not coolant from a bad hose or heater core. There does not seem to be any moisture around or near the doors either, and as I said it was parked in the garage so there was no chance for rain to have done this. There must be a leak and it is pooling someplace and leaking/wicking slowly into the rear passenger area. Anyone have any ideas?
  • kkuligkkulig Posts: 150
    This is probably a plugged AC drain tube, which allows water to back-up and leak into the interior of the car. This will generally get the carpeting wet in the passenger front footwell, but people have reported finding wet carpeting in the rear passenger footwell as well. Probably from the carpet's wicking action as you mentioned.

    The AC drain tube was kind of notorious for plugging up with debris on the earlier JGC's. I know there have been 2-3 TSB's issued over the years for this problem.

    I believe the AC drain tube can be found located inside the boxed section of frame on the passenger side of the engine compartment. It can be seen, or felt for, through one of the openings in the frame section. Your dealer should be well aware of this problem and know how to get to it if you don't want to mess with it. Either way, it's not a real big deal to fix.
  • dkrhardydkrhardy Posts: 134
    I'll pass that on, thanks. I saw the floor today and it is the rear passenger side and the front carpet "feels" dry. Strange, but we/he WILL look into the A/C drain line idea. There is a raised area between the front seats and the back so I wonder how it could wick over that thing .... but what do I know? Jeez, I drive an Intrepid R/T and SUV's are very foreign to me. Keep the ideas coming and we'll get it figured out soon.
  • Just wanted to pass on Thanks for the help in diagnosing the lock up on the 98 GC Ltd. with the Quadra Trac all-time 4WD. Much appreciated (even though the v-coupler isn't cheap). How about the fast idling problem (getting stuck at 1500 rpm) or the lunging after being shifted into Park but still idling. Any ideas? The fast idling is sure a pain!! Forever having to stomp on the brakes and hold it back. Hope you/someone can help with more ideas. MANY THANKS!!
  • kkuligkkulig Posts: 150

    I know that wet carpeting in the rear sounds awfully hard to believe, but other people have mentioned this happening as the result of a plugged AC drain line. The only explanation would be the wicking action of the carpet itself. But, you'd think the front would be wet also if it can make it into the rear. Who knows? It's just one more possibility to eliminate. Sorry I couldn't offer any other suggestions.


    I had the viscous coupler go out on my 93. The symptoms are pretty apparent when that happens. The other two problems... I'm at a loss as to what to tell you. You've already replaced the only two items I could think of that would cause this. It's obviously a control problem. What does your dealer say about the vehicle computer itself?

    You could also try running a TSB search at to see if anything sounds familiar to you. I'd assume your dealer has already checked into the TSB's, but who knows? That's about the only other thing I can think of for now. Good luck!
  • I'm about to by this car. It's red w/black molding, just like the one in the movie w/Kirt Russell. It's loaded w/leather and power everything including a Premium Sound stereo system w/CD. The owner was very honest and showed me all the maintenance/service records including the recalls for the 97 models, it was all taken care of. However, it looks like this high-maintenance car needs to be on a tight service schedule to keep it reliable. Is this normal for Jeeps? The car looks very clean and the report from came out clean. I've been always been a Jeep fun although I've never owned one before. I love this particular model and I actually already put down an offer and we'll be closing the deal soon. However, after all the problems I'm reading about, especially on the 99s and 01s models I'm getting scared. Can anyone with experience with the 97 models give me some advice before making a $10K mistake... Thank you!
  • I have a 99 Jeep Grand Cherokee Larado. Last week when I hit the brake pedal the A/C quit blowing, when I release the brake it comes back on, I can pump the brake and it starts and stops, I'm not crazy, But the guy that works on my vehicles thought I was untill I showed him. Twice it went off and took a few minutes to come back on. This started while I was pulling my boat home, now its getting worse. Any Ideas. I'm stumped, so is my Mechanic..
  • kkuligkkulig Posts: 150
    Several others out here have mentioned having this problem also. Let me see if I can repeat what I've seen posted...

    Your AC/heat system has a plenum box under the dash with the dash, defrost and floor vent ductwork connected to it. The box has a door (or doors?) that control which vents the airflow is directed to. It's controlled by a vacuum motor... which opens the door under vacuum, and closes it when vacuum drops, or is cut-off.

    I believe I read that the problem is with this vacuum motor failing to hold a proper vacuum. When you apply your vacuum-assisted brakes, there's a serious enough drop in vacuum that the motor can no longer hold the door open. It shuts and cuts off the airflow to your dash vents. You let off the brakes, the vacuum comes back up, the door opens and airflow resumes.

    This isn't an uncommon problem with the JGC. You may want to take this in to a dealer as I'm sure they know exactly what's causing this. There may also be a TSB out there if you want to check. That way, if you don't want to mess with taking it to a dealer, the guy who works on your vehicle can find/fix the problem easier. Go to "" to look for it.
  • sqibsqib Posts: 4
    Hi - What an experience - 10 days ago my 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited with 75,000 miles on it caught on fire while driving on the Highway. Yep - thats right - just cruising down the NJ Turnpike at 60 odd mph the car that I loved so much just caught on FIRE and was completely destroyed.

    It started in the engine compartment and by the time the Fire Department arrived it was too late. It was a charred shell. A truly traumatic experience!!!

    If ANYONE has heard of any such incidents please RESPOND. It is not abnormal for a 3 year old car of this type to do this and other drivers lives should not be at risk like this. My car was not recently touched by any mechanics so there was no malpractice on the part of any other mechanics.

    I intend on getting some answers from Chrysler and will take the time and effort - and $$ - to ensure that other lives are not at risk.

    In the meantime for all the rest of you - - - Go and BUY a Fire Extinguisher and put it in your car - its a small price to pay. Also there is a recall out on over 1 million Jeeps for a potential engine compartment fire in certain models - Recall # B-06. If you have not heard from Chrysler regarding this [just as I had not heard from them] call them with your VIN number and check if your car is part of the recall. Their tel. # is 800 853 1403.

    I look forward to hearing form anyone who can HELP. BE SAFE.

    Thanks - -
    ex-owner of a Grand Cherokee LTD.
  • kkuligkkulig Posts: 150
    That recall had nothing to do with fires caused by an electrical short or failure.

    Here's the recall...


    Recall Date: 04/15/2002

    NHTSA Campaign ID number: 02V104000
    Potential number of units affected: 1,115,322
    Manufactured: 06/1998 - 03/2002

    Owner notification start date: May, 2002

    Defect: Sport utility vehicles equipped with a 4.0L engine only. The design of the intake and exhaust manifolds could allow debris to accumulate at the #3 cylinder location.

    Consequence: This could result in a vehicle fire.

    Solution: Dealers will install a manifold shield to modify the air flow characteristics and to prevent the accumulation of debris in the area of the #3 cylinder.
  • It's nice to have people like yourself and others who post on this board. People who actually help with informative, TRUE, advice, instead of constant complaining. I had the debris shield installed on my manifold a couple months back. I found out about the recall online. Don't wait to be contacted, check the web for recalls on your vehicle about once a month. It's easy.
  • kkuligkkulig Posts: 150
    Thank you. And that's a very good suggestion about checking for TSB's and recalls on your own. Sometimes, the vehicle manufacturer can "lose track" of you. I've had that happen a couple of times myself.

    To all JGC owners... the web site is a very clear and informative site for info on the 99-current model years. It also has a pretty current listing of TSB's, recalls and links to other Jeep sites. Check it out!
  • The check engine light in my 97 Jeep came on shortly after I had the Jeep in for service for another problem (the Jeep would not start after sitting outside in very cold temperatures for 5 days - had it jumped and took to the dealer). The dealer found nothing wrong - it started right up for them. I left the dealer and within 5 minutes the Check Engine Light came on. Took the Jeep back to the dealer for the Check Engine Light. Paid the $185 diagnostic charge and the "fix" was replacement of upstream oxygen sensor. Then they reset service engine light and rechecked and retested system. I drove out of the dealership again and in less than 5 minutes the Check Engine Light came on again. Has anyone heard of this problem? Any idea what the fix is? THANKS.
  • My JGC engine's makes a horrible whining noise when it is started on cold mornings. It stays for about 5 minutes and goes away once the engine is warm. It make this sound whenever it drops below 50F. I have taken it to the shop multiple times only to be told no one has any idea what is causing it. It's so loud when it first gets going that it is quite embarrassing to drive. Any info or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
  • I presently turned 20K miles and it is in dealer for 2nd chk.eng.light problem.1st time it was a gear on my distributer that broke.Flat bed towing charge 25 miles to shop.2nd time was last week while on vacation in Maine(500 miles from home).Started engine in AM,chk.eng.light came on again and the transmission would always start
    in 2nd or 3rd gear. Found dealer next day but he was too busy to work on it.He had a serviceman put computer on it and he said it was starting out in "safe mode" cause of the problem.He said it was probably a transmission sensor or solenoid or cable running to it.I drove home the next day and have a rental car since.Parts on order!
  • kkuligkkulig Posts: 150
    What year is your JGC and what engine does it have?
  • I have a 2001 JGC with the 4Ltr 6 cylinder motor.
    Even though I've had 2 problems,I really like the JGC a lot.My milage stinks for a 6 cyl. On my trip to Maine I struggled to hit 21mpg and all the dealer suggested was to switch to another brand of gas.I had 3 Chevy Blazers prior to the JGC and there is no comparison,in many respects, between them.The JGC is head & shoulders better in all ways and I had my problems with the Blazers also.Front balljoints with oil changes and on the 1998 Blazer,4 whl drive problems,
    expensive problems!
  • jrosasmcjrosasmc Posts: 1,711
    Is changing the transfer-case fluid every so often on the Grand Cherokee essential to the vehicle's durability and wear factor? My father has a '97 Laredo and he thinks it's not necessary to change the fluid in the transfer case.
  • kkuligkkulig Posts: 150
    Yes, it is important to change the TC fluid. I believe under the Schedule II maintenance guide in the owner's manual, this should be done every 30K miles.

    They also recommend this interval for the transmission fluid and front/rear differential oil too.

    Doing all of this isn't cheap (one of the joys of owning a 4WD) but the alternative to not doing this is even more expensive.
  • My JGC 2001 8 cyl vehicle has the usual quirky jeep flaws but this model (my 3rd) does something new that the techs can't solve.

    # 1 cold starting with foot on the brake and with AC off I switch to Reverse to back up. For about 10 seconds there is no engagement of the gear then the force gradually builds.

    #2 Scary problem. Same scenario as above but only three times in 19,000 miles of use. Put vehicle into reverse and immediately there is a rapid acceleration that requires forceful application of the literally jumps backward out of the garage.

    Anyone else have this problem or heard of this? Appreciate any help.

  • kkuligkkulig Posts: 150
    There could be several things causing the transmission symptoms you describe.

    The first (and simplest) thing to have your dealer check is the software revision level of your Powertrain and/or Transmission Control Modules (PCM and TCM). Have them make sure they're at the latest version. These are constantly being updated by DC.

    The PCM and/or TCM software probably causes 95% of the idling and shifting-related transmission problems people complain about.

    I had similar, but not the exact symptoms you described. A reflash always seemed to take care of the transmission issues for me. I lost count of how many times I had my PCM reflashed on my 99. They were doing this almost every time I brought it in for an oil change. Now that I have an 02, I'm going to have them check for the latest software revision on a regular basis. I wouldn't be surprised if what I currently have isn't already out-of-date.

    Because you have a "learning" transmission, you'll notice different transmission shifting characteristics and "feel" immediately after having new software installed. This will last anywhere from 50-100 miles until the transmission relearns your driving habits. Have your dealer explain to you what you should expect to feel after a software upgrade, so you don't end up thinking they did something wrong.

    While having new software installed (only takes a few minutes to download into the PCM) may eliminate these problems, be aware that they may reappear several months or ?K miles down the road. That is the biggest quirk about these new transmissions and electronic control modules. At most, it's an irritation.

    Then again, it could be an internal mechanical transmission problem. But the software should always be considered suspect and checked first. Good luck!
  • Thanks for the discussion. I wasn't aware that there was a "learning curve" for the transmission use after flashing. I did have the PCM, TCM flashed twice or three times and it helped with the "clunk" in low gear transmission changes but not the sudden acceleration.

  • My JGC is a 93' with a V6. Any info is greatly appreciated!
  • I have the 10 disc CD changer and recently when I try changing from disc to disc I get error messages. Has anyone else experienced this problem? Is it something I could fix (i.e. cleaning the system?) or do I need to have the dealer look into it.
  • kkuligkkulig Posts: 150
    You didn't state whether this whine is something that can be heard outside the vehicle, or if it's something you're hearing inside the vehicle.

    I'm going to take a real WAG on this...

    Have your dealer check into TSB #210794A for the 93 model year. This is for a "shift cable buzz/whine transmitted into the instrument panel." I've only got this summary, so I can't determine if this fits your situation and the conditions when you experience it.
  • kkuligkkulig Posts: 150
    What kind of CD's do you have loaded into the changer? The normal pre-recorded albums, or do you burn your own?

    If you burn your own, you need to be carefull of what type of CD-R or CD-RW discs you use. Especially if the discs have the blue coating on the playing surface like a couple of brands do. The laser pickup has difficulty reading these kinds of discs and the head unit will display an error. Others have complained of this.
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