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Jeep Grand Cherokee Maintenance and Repair



  • Charging the battery ended the problem.
  • kkuligkkulig Posts: 150
    Glad to hear that worked out for you! If it happens again in the near future, it's probably a sign that your battery has a bad cell(s) and needs to be replaced. That sure is cheaper than having the dealer find/fix the problem for you. ;0)
  • steve279steve279 Posts: 7
    Two items I've noticed in regard to the GC. The first is warped rotors. Have your tech lube the caliper slide pins every 5k miles with a good anti seize compound BEFORE THE ROTORS ARE WARPED!!. The slide pins will have to be removed from the calipers in order to accomplish this task. A Torx fitting is needed to remove the slide pins. The lube the factory puts on doesn't stand up to high temperatures and it causes the slide pins to gall. Then as the caliper can't move (it should be able to "float" back and forth about 1/8 inch) the outside pad makes constant contact with the rotor thereby over heating the rotor and causing it to warp. Re lubing should only take 15 or 20 minutes once the vehicle is in the air. Have the tech ensure that the slide pin boots are intact as well. If the boots have deteriorated, have them replaced.

    BTW, the JGC is not the only vehicle with this problem. Many GM cars have the same problem and the same solution.

    As for the rear end noise, if you hear an oscillating noise coming from the rear, especially under load (like going up a hill) but you don't hear it while on a flat surface with reduced load, believe it or not it MAY just be the exhaust note, i.e. the way the exhaust sounds. There's no fix short of a re - engineered exhaust system. But then again, with an oscillating exhaust note, there's really no mechanical problem either.

    Hope it helps!!
  • kkuligkkulig Posts: 150
    The tip on keeping the caliper slide pins lubricated may be a good one... but at best, it will only delay the inevitable warpage. These things warp so fast that you shouldn't have to worry about any parts having time to corrode and become difficult to disassemble.

    It doesn't matter what you do to try and prevent this from happening when the rotor material itself is of poor quality. That's the REAL problem with OEM brake rotors today.

    As we all know, braking is done by friction... which also generates heat. There's no escaping this. If the material can't stand the heat then you're out of luck. At best, you can learn better braking habits that will cut down on excessive rotor heat but you can't prevent this simple law of physics from occuring.

    At today's shop labor rates, are you sure you want your service tech spending 15-20 minutes every 5K miles doing this? And then still have to pay for new rotors when they eventually warp anyway? Save your money and spend it on any decent set of aftermarket rotors when the time comes. It will probably be the last set of rotors you buy.
  • wlbrown9wlbrown9 Posts: 867
    Wonder if that is why the new TSB calls for replacment of rotors AND calipers? (I replaced mine with aftermarket rotors for less than $100 from a major auto parts chain...they have NOT warped! That was less than the dealership quoted to turn the warped rotors since they were over the 12,000 brake warranty!)


    Date: 5/13/02

    Bulletin # 0500302 (supercedes 0500501 Dated Sep 14, 2001)

    Model Year(s): 1999-2002 (models built May 11, 2002 and prior)

    Description: Brake roughness or pedal pulsation when the brakes are applied. The customer may experience a vibration of the steering wheel, floor, seat, instrument panel, or a minor pedal pulsation (brake roughness) under light to moderate pedal application. The condition may be caused by excessive thickness variation of the brake rotor surface.

    Details: This bulletin involves the replacement of both front brake rotors and caliper assemblies.

    Parts required:

    52098672 Rotor

    05093174AA Caliper kit (2 calipers, pads and retaining bolts)

  • janzjanz Posts: 129
    $300 for new rotors for my 1999 JGC about a year ago?
  • We had the problem recur and the battery was dead. The car was on the boat ramp with the trailer attached. After a jump, we took the car to an auto place and had a new battery installed. The alternator tested as normal. That worked overnight, but it's dead again. It seems the problem is something that causes batteries to drain.
  • steve279steve279 Posts: 7
    I agree that it is disappointing to have the rotors warp, especially on a new vehicle. But cast iron is cast iron and that's what is used to make brake rotors. The stuff that comes on the vehicle meets the same spec as standard aftermarket rotors.

    I replaced my rotors with Bendix rotors from Advanced Auto. Had to use a hammer to knock the old rotors off of the hub as heat had caused them to rust to the hub. But more importantly, I found that the slide pin lube had melted away causing the galling I mentioned the last time.

    Point being, it's the lack of back and forth movement that causes the contact that causes the heat that causes the rotors to warp. Maintaining free movement is the ONLY thing that will keep the rotors from over heating and warping. It's a pain in the backside but it is far cheaper than replacing rotors constantly or taking a hit on a trade for a different vehicle.

    Once the vehicle is in the air, use a Torx T45 (check #) to remove the pins. Remove one at time, re lube and re install. Use a good anti seize compound for lube. If you have a favorite garage, ask the tech to do the work every other oil change. It's really no more difficult that turning a bolt out of a threaded hole. The caliper DOES NOT have to be removed to do this work.

    After both pins are re - lubed, ensure that the caliper moves by manually pushing and pulling it back and forth. Should move 1/16 to 1/8 inch. Don't forget to add anti seize compound to the threads of the pins.

    This "fix" works... I had the same problem of warped rotors on my 89 Grand Prix and that's what solved the problem.
  • We had the problem recur and the battery was dead. The car was on the boat ramp with the trailer attached. After a jump, we took the car to an auto place and had a new battery installed. The alternator tested as normal. That worked overnight, but it's dead again. It seems the problem is something that causes batteries to drain.
  • kkuligkkulig Posts: 150

    "I agree that it is disappointing to have the rotors warp, especially on a new vehicle. But cast iron is cast iron and that's what is used to make brake rotors. The stuff that comes on the vehicle meets the same spec as standard aftermarket rotors."

    Steve279... it's obvious that OEM rotors DO NOT meet the same spec as aftermarket rotors, or vice-versa. If that was true, we wouldn't be having all those problems with the OEM rotors in the first place, and we wouldn't be solving our OEM rotor problems once and for all by going with aftermarket rotors. All cast iron isn't created equal. And generally, OEM parts are held to a higher quality standard than aftermarket replacement parts. But that's not happening here. The fact of the matter is that OEM rotors use cheaper material in order for the supplier to meet the automaker's demand to reduce cost. That's purely business in today's economy.

    I also politely disagree with your theory that keeping the caliper pins lubed to allow free caliper movement is the ONLY thing that will keep the rotors from overheating and warping. It may help reduce the total effect, but I feel that learning and using proper braking techniques will go a lot further to reduce this problem. Notice that I say "reduce the problem"... there's no way to eliminate it entirely.

    If you or anyone else feels better about lubing these pins, then by all means do so. Me? I don't have the time, inclination or money to spend on something that at best is only going to prolong the inevitable. As I said before, that money would be better spent solving the problem once and for all with a decent set of aftermarket rotors. That's just my 2 cents worth.
  • kkuligkkulig Posts: 150
    Sounds like you've got a pretty significant short or live circuit somewhere if it can drain a brand new battery overnight. Good luck with finding this problem. If it's any consolation, at least you know that a new or decent battery will solve the spinning gauge/blinking light problem.
  • wlbrown9wlbrown9 Posts: 867
    Did you have the work done at a Jeep/DC dealer? If so, I would either open a case with the dealership or directly with DC asking for a refund and reference this new TSB... If they honor the TSB, you might get the new calipers out of the deal as well.

    If you had the work done elsewhere maybe after being rejected by a 5 star dealership and/or DC and have some documentation of that, I would also ask for at least a portion of that back, plus replacement of the calipers perhaps as well.
  • wlbrown9wlbrown9 Posts: 867
    If indeed DC designed, produced and delivered several hundred thousand 'defective' brake systems, then they should replace them...

    '99 JGCL first rotors warped at 4,500 miles
    '99 JGCL second set warped at about 21,000 miles

    '00 JGCL first rotors warped at 14,000 miles.
    '00 JGCL aftermarket from AZ $100, self installed
    still good at 35,000+ miles.

    Small sample, but I have been convinced of the manufacturer's problem for a long time. Service manager at 5 star dealer refused to replace at 14,000 miles. I asked him about the pallet behind the dealership with at least 50 sets of 'used' rotors piled on, but he was not willing to consider any remedy other than to 'turn the rotors at owner's expense' for more than I paid for the replacement rotors. Then he wondered why I gave the dealership low scores on the service survey form. Plus, neither DC or the dealership ever responded to my request to put the rejection in writing...I opened a case with DC and all they did was forward it to the dealership who then followed up by phone. I am considering asking DC to reopen the case and will re-install the warped rotors if I can basically get a complete front end brake job out of the TSB for my trouble.
  • janzjanz Posts: 129
    Yes, I did to to the closest Jeep/DC 5 star dealership because I knew there had been brake/rotor problems and wanted to keep the documentation of service clean. They kind of acknowledged the problem when told me they'd used parts from a different mfg. and I should not experience the warping again, which I haven't to date.

    This occurred after, but not too long after, the 12,000 rotor warranty expired. In you opinion, would this matter? Do you think I could still try to appeal?

    Thanks in advance for your info. I do appreciate it. janz
  • wlbrown9wlbrown9 Posts: 867
    All I know about the TSB is what is posted on that one site:

    Model Year(s): 1999-2002 (models built May 11, 2002 and prior)

    Another user here sent me an e-mail...he has subscribed to Alldata for Jeep GC TSBs...they have not updated yet and it is not on the NHTSB site either. Maybe the dealer would show you the complete TSB if you show up with the basic info..not sure. I have seen comments from other folks that have had rotors replaced after the 12,000 miles, so a lot of that is up to the dealer's warranty rep.

    BUT, since this apparently covers ALL JGC built in '99, '00, '01 & '02, I doubt they could expect some of the early ones to be less than 12,000 or (forget if it was 12 or 36 months) for the brake warranty exclusion. To me DEFECTIVE means DEFECTIVE! If I wanted to do weekly maintenance on a vehicle, I would probably get one that would qualify as an antique or special purpose vehicle. IMHO, a modern, standard use vehicle listing for $30,000 should not require that type of maintenance to keep it going.
  • eenglisheenglish Posts: 22
    Alldata did come up with the complete TSB.

    Most of the info other than what wlbrown9 posted relates to the details of the repair.

    Under policy

    Reimbursable within the provisions of the warranty

    I'm not sure whether this means 12,000 miles. To me it seems that if a repair was done and then the repair TSB was superceded by another method to fix the problem then they should fix it right.

    There seems to be a lot of flexibility as to how the dealers cover the warranty. I'm on my third set of rotors (now warped), but they did replace them beyond the 12,000 mile limit.

    I don't have the exact numbers with me but I think it was:

    15,000 - rotors
    20,000 - pads and rotors
    24,000 - "new improved" pads and rotors

    All these were covered under warranty. I think what was instrumental on getting it covered was bringing in the specific TSBs describing the repairs required. The reason they covered the last repair was that the TSB I brought in said that they were supposed to replace the pads with one's that had sticky backing (supposed to pull the pads off between braking) and they didn't.
    They then replaced the pads and put on new rotors.

    I plan on going back and trying to get them fixed again using the latest TSB, since they didn't do the "final, right" fix.

    I have an extended warranty that covers calipers so I shouldn't have problems if I use the extended warranty. However, I was hoping to not use it since my son is using the Jeep and I don't want to transfer the warranty to him if I don't have to (only one transfer) in case I want sell it and use the warranty as a selling point.
  • augirl1augirl1 Posts: 3
    This just happened to me today. Its so weird b/c all the gauges just spin, even when the key is not in the ignition. I was beginning to panic and thinking that it was going to be a huge problem. I'm relieved to know that it may only be a dead battery. Thanks!
  • gmanichgmanich Posts: 3
    That's me counting my blessings. I've had my brakes serviced ONCE in my '99, and that was at 30k miles. Even at that point the rotors weren't too bad, but the mild pulsating was starting to bother me. I guess they all don't leave the factory in equal condition. I was thinking of spinning the wheel and buying an '02. Maybe I should just keep the '99 since it has been good to me.
  • kkuligkkulig Posts: 150
    The 02 will be good to you too. :o)
  • When the battery is weak it quickly becomes dead because it has to spin all of those needles. Mine was spinning with the key out too. You can keep the battery good overnight by charging it and disconnecting it. If a new or charged battery doesn't work, do what I did. Take the car to the shop. We're still waiting for the diagnosis.
  • mday2mday2 Posts: 4
    I am in the market for a used suv. I came across a 98 GC 5.9 limited. Do these vehicles have any problems that any of you are aware of? This car does have high mileage, but they are obviously highway miles. The last two cars I have owned turned out to be serious lemons. I do not want to get burnt again. If anyone has any input, it would be much appreciated.
  • kkuligkkulig Posts: 150
    Can't really speak for the 5.9L, but I had a 98 Ltd go back under the lemon law for some serious drivetrain vibrations.

    There are potential cooling issues with the 5.9L in a JGC. I believe it has the same radiator capacity as the 5.2L engine... which is not good. To compensate, they put the louvres in the hood to aid airflow through the engine compartment. I know from my 98 owner's manual that there were quite a few towing restrictions placed on the 5.9L's because of "cooling issues." Reading this left me with the impression that it wouldn't take much to get one of these to overheat. Funny how they never pointed any of this out in their catalogs/brochures in the 98 model year.

    Anyway, you really need to take a look at the vehicle's service history and compare this to known TSB's for this year and model to determine what's been fixed and what potential problems remain.

    Even though the high mileage is "obviously" highway miles, the fact remains that there's a lot of miles on the vehicle and you need to look at possible maintenance issues and costs. Just changing trans, transfer case and front/rear diff oils and fluids (recommended every 30K) can run you several hundred bucks... it's not a cheap service.

    Your call I guess...
  • mday2mday2 Posts: 4
    After reading these posts, there are obviously issues with these jeeps. I definately need to get the info on service records before anything else. There are quite a bit of miles, 144000 to be exact, so this may be somthing to definately pass up. Thanks for the input.
  • bigorange30bigorange30 Posts: 1,091
    He didn't mention the possiblity of rotor warping that many of these JGC's have. I have a friend that has a 2000 that gets the rotors replaced when she gets the oil changed (every 4K miles).
  • augirl1augirl1 Posts: 3
    I got a new battery for my car, and so far so good. Please post the diagnosis for your problem when you find out, as this may really help if this new battery does not solve my problem. Thanks!!!
  • Hello, ya'll! I found this forum very informative, and this is my first post here.

    I have a 1994 JGC 5.2L V-8 Limited with 102K trouble free miles. Now, a low pitch/frequency growling noise occurs with vibration when moving at 58 to 65 mph from the front end area independent of turning or moving in straight direction. The noise and vibration are worst at about 62 mph with accelerator only slightly depressed. Noise and vibration goes away completely during coasting or hard acceleration, or at any other speed.

    My mechanic checked the wheel bearings, drive shaft, CV joints/boots, pinion oil seal, front axles, front differential, universal joint, motor mounts, and other possible sources. He found no obvious problems with them. The transmission, and both front and rear differential services were completed recently with appropriate fluids/oil. My mechanic thinks that the vibration and noise may be coming from the TRANSFER CASE.

    What do all of you think? What do you think I should do next? Any input would be greatly appreciated!

  • kkuligkkulig Posts: 150
    There are many things that can cause that noise. It's also difficult to isolate where the noise is actually coming from. Your mechanic may be right that it's in the transfer case but I seem to recall that this was more of a differential ring and pinion problem. When he serviced your diff's, did he closely examine the ring and pinion for unusual signs of wear?

    I know DC issued several TSB's over the years regarding this problem. Either stop at your dealer and inquire about them, or you can get a brief TSB description by searching either the NHTSB or AllData web sites. If nothing else, that should point you in the right direction.
  • kkuligkkulig Posts: 150
    "He didn't mention the possiblity of rotor warping that many of these JGC's have. I have a friend that has a 2000 that gets the rotors replaced when she gets the oil changed (every 4K miles)."

    You're right, I didn't. The brake rotor issue has been addressed a thousand times here already. I'm sure mday2 is intelligent enough to already have picked this up. Why continue flogging a dead horse?

    I feel very sorry for your friend if she's having her rotors replaced every 4K when she changes her oil. Apparently, she isn't intelligent enough to figure out that replacing the OEM rotors with MOPAR replacement rotors doesn't solve the problem... it just starts the same problem all over from the beginning.

    Brake rotors aren't a big issue, even on the JGC's. Simply replace them once and for all with any decent set of aftermarket rotors (for half the cost of MOPAR rotors) and quit worrying about it. Deal with the problem and get on with life... it's too short to worry about the small-potato stuff. Now if she's your friend, and you're a reasonably knowledgeable person, why aren't you pointing this out to her? It doesn't sound to me like you have.

    If a person wants to walk away from a JGC because of the "horror stories" on brake rotors, then they're walking away from one of the best SUV's out there. If they're that particular, I don't think they'll be happy with any SUV.

    "It's a Jeep thing"... you wouldn't understand. :o)
  • bigorange30bigorange30 Posts: 1,091
    But why should she have to? There are many SUVs (and other kinds of vehicles) out there that don't have these kinds of problems. I have a Mustang GT with 115 K miles that have rotors that have never been turned.
  • Thank you for your prompt response!

    My mechanic is a good personal friend of mine, who is also an ASE certified mechanic with many years of experience. He owns an independent auto service center, and currently employs several other mechanics. I trust his honesty, experience and skill.

    He told me that he was not able to find any unusual signs of wear with ring and pinion when he was servicing the differentials by opening it up and cleaning the magnets last week.

    Today, I dropped my Jeep at a reputable independent transmission shop, which my mechanic friend referred me to. So far, three technicians have examined my Jeep, and they can all replicate the growling noise and vibration from the front end. They are not sure if the noise and vibration is coming from the transfer case. Now, they are all baffled, and can not seem to precisely locate where the source of the problem is.

    Both my mechanic and the transmission shop technicians had access to the official DC Technical Service Manuals and JGC TSBs. Hmmm...truly puzzling...
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