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Jeep Grand Cherokee



  • tloke1tloke1 Posts: 185
    Fanman8, I guess all I really want to see on the message boards is a more balanced assessment of the different vehicles out there when talking about "reliability" or fit and finish. It just seems that everyone really comes down so hard on Jeeps while at the same time sings the praises of the "imports". I have spent massive amounts of time during the past year or two reading various boards representing all of the different SUV manufacturers, and I have to say every single one of them has plenty of problems to discuss. In fact, Jeep is not even near the top of the list for most problems and annoyances noted.

    The rotor problem that the Jeeps have had is really inexcusable as it has gone on for so many years. I, like so many others cannot begin to fathom why DC has not solved this problem once and for all. And yes, even the brand new 2002 Jeeps have the same old crappy rotors. Unbelievable, really. Rotors aside, though, the new 2001 and 2002 models have indeed come a long way from the horrors of the 1999 model year. Like Olizer, I have not heard of trans or rear end problems.

    I recently spoke with a friend of mine who is the Service Manager at a major Ford dealer. I was telling him I got a new Jeep and joked about the fact that I would probably have to get the rotors replaced in a few months as it seemed to be a "Jeep problem". He said that no, it's not only Jeeps with cheap rotors, it's a lot of the SUVs out there that are using "car rotors" that were not designed for "trucks" and that I would not believe how many Explorer's come through his shop with the exact same problem - warped rotors. And yet, one hardly ever reads about rotor problems in anything but Jeeps.

    Fanman8, apology accepted...

    And Olizer, you are dead on here: "In summary - JGCs shouldn't be singled out; if you are going to criticize one; criticize all"!
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    Welcome aboard! We're glad you finally decided to come out of the shadows and join the discussion. I have a theory that we can learn a lot from lurkers if only they'd speak up!

    C'mon lurkers - hint hint!

  • anonymous02anonymous02 Posts: 1,538
    "#860 Jeep Reliabilty by milous

    Well I think I will step back from the controversy here and just say that I am a very pleased 2002 JGC owner."

    How can you comment on reliability? It is less than a year old. Come back in 2 or 3 years and tell us how reliable it is.

    THAT is why the 1997, 1998, 1999 opinions are important here.
  • anonymous02anonymous02 Posts: 1,538
    Thanks for that link.

    I wish Texas were a bit closer to Massachusetts.

    I also wish Jeep would bring back that car.

    I saw one once at the Cape with the fake woodgrain gone and real wood in it place put on with authentic brass screws! It was the coolest, classiest looking wagon/suv I have ever seen!
  • akanglakangl Posts: 3,650
    I recently purchased (in November) a 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo SE, 6-cyl, select trac. It had 49K on it when I bought it and had 2 previous owners, one was a lady who leased it for 3 years and the other was a guy who only owned it for 6 months (he traded it for a minivan, needed more room).

    I went to the Jeep dealer to pull service records on the Jeep......none found, in other words it had never been in for service. I have had zero problems with it and it appears the previous owners had zero problems with it too. It currently has 57K on it and I plan on keeping it until it hits at least 150K.

    I can't say for a minute that my Jeep isn't reliable, I love it. BTW, this is my second Jeep GC and its more reliable than my last one, although my 94 GC wasn't bad by any means, just a little leaky at times.
  • Does anyone know how to remove the factory cross bars on roofrack of the 2000 JGC? I have a Yakima system attached to the rails, but the factory crossbars are in the way. With my Explorer, I was able to loosen a couple of screws and slide them off, but I can't figure these out. I've seen other JGC's without the cross bars so there must be a way to get them off.
  • My '00 GCL Quadra-Drive V-8 is on the second fuel pump and needs a third due to faulty check valve. The valve let's fuel siphon back to the tank and thus there is no pressure at the injectors when you start the car. It will eventually start, but only after 20-30 seconds of cranking. Anyone else have this difficulty?

    I've also gone through 3 sets of pads and s 2est of rotors in 28k. Similar problem on my '97 Suburban, although '00 Tahoe was OK. Seems the rotors are just to small/thin and get excessively hot. As posted earlier, if the mfg's. would just spent 10 bucks more when specing the part, they'd save a ton in warranty costs.

    Otherwise, noisy, thirsty and rough riding, but goes anywhere and is the perfect size. Wouldn't buy another one, but not totally unhappy with the Jeep.
  • milousmilous Posts: 39
    There is a snap-on plastic cap at the rear end of each side rail. Just pry out on the sides of the caps and pull them off. The crossbars will then slide straight off the back. Here is a pic of the end cap which will give you a better idea of how it is attached:
  • When I referenced the thud, steering problem adjustments, balancing of tires, road noise louder than expected, uncomfortable seats they were problems one MDX owner had with his MDX that tloke brought here from an unhappy MDX owner and I was not talking about the Jeep Grand Cherokee with respect to those issues. You misunderstood that portion of my post. See post 866 where tloke discusses the MDX owner's problem in question.

    Tloke, you are right brake rotors are a problem with other auto manufacturers also. After some further research I am finding that poorly designed brake rotors (metal to thin) are warping and not just on Jeeps. I too beleive that it is inexcusable for Jeeps or any make for that matter to produce poor quality brake rotors year after year.
  • milousmilous Posts: 39
    "# 872 How can you comment on reliability? It is less than a year old. Come back in 2 or 3 years and tell us how reliable it is."

    I can comment on reliability for several reasons - I also owned a 2001 Grand Cherokee, I have family members/relatives with 1990's Jeeps, I have friends who own 2000 model and older Jeeps, and I have read, for years, thousands of posts on different message boards...

    "THAT is why the 1997, 1998, 1999 opinions are important here."

    Yes, they are important, but moreso if you are buying a particular year of vehicle and are checking out that model year. BUT one cannot look at reliability results from a 1999 model for example and assume that later models will have the same problems. Just because 1999 Jeeps were problematic does not mean that there will be similar unreliability on every model after that. Some issues, like the brake rotors are carried over from year to year and have not been solved, but other than that MOST of the other 1999 and earlier Jeep problems have been eliminated making the newer Jeep models JUST AS RELIABLE as other top SUV's out there - that's my point.
  • jrosasmcjrosasmc Posts: 1,711
    You want reliability and build quality? Buy a Volvo, and only those after '93. My '94 850 is so dependable it's not even funny. And yes, I find the fit and finish better than any Jeep product (no offense, I hope).
  • Joining the chat after a long haitus. Just bought a 2002 GJC and am looking forward to some nice on and off road drive time. Booted by Dodge 1500 4dr 4WD since I no longer needed that utility.

    Let me say this. I have talked to everyone including mechanics at various dealers that are close friends of mine. All vehicles have issues and for various reasons. I thought the GMC Envoy looked nice til a GM mechanic that works on them each day told me they were junk. The same I have heard of Explorers which I dare not even consider in the same class as a Jeep.

    My sister owns a Cherokee and has had it for 3 years (its a 99) without any problems including brakes and has 49K on it. Odd ? Perhaps.

    I spoke to a Jeep mechanic from a large local dealer who said - problems ??? sure, rotors and a/c before 1999.

    My point ? Everyone has an opinion and all vehicles have issues. Jeep makes a good on road and off road product and I believe whole heartedly that in lieu of posting more, I will do and play off road.

    I plan to check back over the next few years and will gladly report any problems I have.

    Now for my one question - why the hell did they get rid of cross bars on the roof racks ???
  • anonymous02anonymous02 Posts: 1,538
    The only things I could think of are big ones to manufacturers: gas mileage and lower cost.
  • Maybe they got rid of them for the same reason I'm trying to get mine off - they get in the way of those Yakima and Thule rack systems. Milous, thanks for the tip on how to remove mine. With the pictures, even I should be able to do that job.

    I got a faring for the roof rack and will be driving from NJ to ME next week with it. We'll see if that helps my terrible mileage and/or the wind noise.
  • Whats the MPG you are averaging that you feel is dismal ?
  • myersedmyersed Posts: 102
    Folks- I am new to the Jeep scene and this website and need help. Is there a "maintenance site" or possibly some specific individuals that can better respond to maintenance needs regarding the bushings on my 98 Grand Cherokee. I posted a note last week and received no reponse and assume it is because I may be in the wrong forum.

    I have specific questions regarding the inspection and replacement of the front 4x4 bushings for my vehicle.

    Please advise or contact me directly if you can help Ed I can also be reached at
  • Bought a 2002 JGC with V8 in December and have been very happy. It's both big and quick. Well...we brought it in for its first oil change and they tell us that the power steering pump is leaking and needs to be replaced. The service guys were great but I'm now a little nervous. I'll keep you posted.
  • bigorange30bigorange30 Posts: 1,091
    I would be alot nervous with all the problems I've seen with Chryslers. Its no wonder Daimer is screaming about how poorly Chrysler is doing in the US.
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,703
    posts, and, I have read a number of people compare the JGC with GMC Envoy, but not much comparison with 2002 Explorer...when you folks went SUV shopping, did anyone do an extended comparison with 2002 Explorer, and what did you like/dislike...I do not wish to begin a new comparison topic, just get some feedback from those who compared...I have been very impressed with the 2002 Explorer, much improved over the last model, and truly never noticed the JGC... suddenly, after noticing them on the highway, I thought I'd ask the "greatest panel of experts the world has ever seen"...your thoughts are appreciated...acceleration, handling, ride comfort, driver's seat support, sound system quality, how you feel after a long drive of 5-7 hours, visibility from driver's seat, braking ability (assuming rotors are functioning LOL), steering responsiveness, and any other parameter that comes to your mind...thanx
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,703
    parameters of comparison, including roominess, ease of entry/exit (do you need a ladder to get in, or can you easily step in like an Explorer), dashboard layout and ergonomics of dash switches, ease of tailgate use (easy to open/close and put groceries inside, or is a step ladder needed to reach inside), headroom (does your head hit the roof or ample clearance), height, length, width, and are the outside mirrors of adequate size for ample viewing, or did they cut corners with tiny mirrors (something that irks me a lot on passenger cars)...thanx again...
  • tloke1tloke1 Posts: 185
    I owned a '97 Explorer for 4 years. I then traded it in for the 2001 Explorer Sport. Both vehicles were excellent, just a couple minor problems that the dealer easily fixed. When news of the redesigned '02 model hit I was most interested. I started researching them right away and followed all the news from early on until they hit the showrooms. At that time I took a few for a test drive and was very close to ordering one. The only thing stopping me at the time were two of the delayed options that I wanted. Since I wasn't in a big hurry to get a new vehicle I decided to just wait until one hit the lots with the right options rather than order one. During the months ahead the Explorer ran into the recall problems and I began to question the build quality. I started looking at other SUV's and comparing them to the Explorer. The GM trio was just coming out so I looked at those. Some great features & options on them but didn't like the "bulgy" look. So I went back to considering the Explorer and drove one again. Here is what I found, in no particular order:

    1. The overall ride quality did not seem all that improved to me, but mainly because the seat was not very comfortable, too stiff. Going over bumps though was much quieter and softer than the '01 model.
    2. I absolutely hated the tilt wheel mechanism. It's like the import models with the 2-step awkward process and stiff lever. This may seem a trivial complaint but if you are in and out of your vehicle 10 or 20 times a day it's real annoying. One of the reasons I decided against the Explorer. Clunky and un-intuitive to say the least.
    3. The power seat controls are illogically located down near the floor, hard to reach and hard to operate. One of those quirks that you wonder how anyone could have been stupid enough to design. Didn't anyone at Ford ever sit in the car and ever try things out?
    4. The overall lack of quality and thought for the interior. You can really tell Ford cut corners on the redesign. Too basic and cheap looking, too much plastic. No innovative conveniences. You can tell that “Cost reduction was Job # 1.
    5. Blind spots from the "D" pillars, much wider than previous models.
    6. Third row seat flaw. The hot new feature Ford bragged so much about. Nice idea, poor engineering. Amazingly, the seats do not fold flat. I couldn't believe it. They stick up several inches and cannot be pushed down all the way! One salesman told me that I could just remove the seat like in minivans. Yeah, right. I looked at several more and all were the same. What moron signed off on that? Even one of the brochure pictures showed the seats perfectly flat! Since I couldn't find a model w/o the 3rd seat I was quickly leaning away from the Explorer.
    7. Tried to get used to the exterior looks and convince myself it was a nice looking vehicle. But too boxy and square. Ford did not put much time into the exterior design. One highlight though I did like was the rear cargo window/door design. Now that was creative! Nice low load level too.
    8. I had no problem with headroom or legroom at my 5’11 height. Getting in was easier than on my ’97. One of the options I was waiting for was the V8 so I only drove the V6. which was too weak to my liking.

    In summary of the Explorer, overall I kind of liked it but too many quirks and annoyances got in the way. The power seats, non-flat seats, cheap interior and tilt wheel did it in. Add to the fact that when I traded in my ’97 they really low-balled me saying that “Explorers are just too common”. That means the ‘02s will take a big hit too come trade-in time, especially since the model year is running 1-1/2 years. And, are the new models still prone to rollover problems??? I don't trust them. And I don't trust Ford products anymore. Jaques really messed things up and it will take Ford awhile to get out of their quality and design slump and build better vehicles. When they do, I might consider one again.

    Now onto the Jeep. After I took one for a test drive I fell in love. Awesome and comfortable ride. All of the controls were easy to use and thoughtfully laid out. Creature comforts everywhere. You could tell that the people designing this vehicle were true enthusiasts and into what they were doing. Quality fit and finish throughout. The Infinity sound system is awesome for a factory system. Visibility is no problem at all. Longest drive so far about 6 hours and was perfect all the way. No discomfort at all. Cruised at 60-100 mph and it was smooth as silk. Tons of power with the V8. This was one of the nicest vehicles I had ever driven and I was sold. I’m not worried about any problems that might arise, as you see by all the posts here and on other boards every company has problems but the new Jeeps have come a long way. As fun and exciting as this vehicle is to drive, I’ll take my chances. Go out and drive a Jeep Limited or an Overland and see what you think.
  • Interested in knowing what the differance in $ would be to trade my wifes 2000 w/17000 miles on it for a like 2002. 2000 in perfect condition.

    Saw previous post of veteran discount. Also in local paper mention was made of 'up to $1000 loyalty discount' Would appreciate any info on these or other 'hidden' discounts.

    Most important what do you think my differance cost would be to trade my 2000 for2002?
  • marsha7: I've owned 2 prior Jeeps (89 Cherokee Limited & 96 Grand Cherokee V8 4WD) and Fords, (no explorers, however). I just helped a family member purchase a Grand Cherokee and briefly looked at an 02 Explorer. I prefer the Jeep because, to me, it is sportier (doesn't feel as bulky, surprisingly nimble for the size & weight) and because, IMO, seems to have higher quality interior materials. This is the opinion of someone who doesn't have a wife, kids, or dogs to truck around.

    If you are looking at more of a people hauler, I would probably suggest waiting a month for the 03 Expedition for comparison. The pricing difference compared to the V8 explorers isn't signifcant, and you get a much larger, more comfortable vehicle.

    I noticed you are in Atlanta. If you decide on the Jeep, I highly recommend Jasper Jeep in Jasper. They are the original one price dealer, no haggles, and no tricks in the business office (They won't even sell extended warranties or credit life insurance). Great people, worth the drive.

    Greasykid: On the smart shopper board, there is a forum called "Real World Trade In Values". There are a few used car dealers who volunteer a lot of their time giving recent auction prices for trade values. Very helpful and often amusing advice. Suggest a re-post over there.
  • I am in the process of trying to decide whether to buy a 2002 Laredo Sport or a Chevy Trailblazer LS. Both priced out within $100 of each other. Does anyone have any suggestions on which vehicle I should purchase?

  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,703
    thank you both for the quick silly of me, considering recent history... possibility of rollover...I thought Ford widened the Explorer to reduce the chance of rollover, but I have never heard anything about JGC rollover problems...does the Grand Cherokee have a greater or lesser tendency to roll than the Explorer, or is any data available???...yes, I live in Atlanta, and thanx for the reco of Jasper Jeep...quite far away, but may be worth the trip..
  • Any SUV will have a higher rollover tendency than a sedan because of the higher center of gravity. Wouldn't base the decision between these two on that basis, but if so, it would be another reason to consider the Expedition over the Explorer, if you're leaning Ford.

    As for Jasper, I live SOUTH of the Airport, so Jasper was a little over an hour drive. Went on the recommendation of several friends, just to shut them up. I was extremely impressed. They were the #1 Jeep dealer in the country in the 70's and 80's, before Atlanta got so many Jeep dealers. You could probably save a few hundred dollars shopping their prices elsewhere, but they are the most laid back, no pressure (not low pressure but no pressure) guys in the business. Call ahead for an appointment if you're going on a Saturday, they're usually quite busy.
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,238
    Depends on what you want. They are both good choices, but I tend to think the Trailblazer wouldn't last long off the beaten path. I use a 4X4 for more than light snow so the nod goes to the GC in my book. Now my wife could get by with a trailblazer but she hates SUV's.

    The trailblazers I've driven were akward for me to get into because they had weird running boards. It seems to sit alot higher than the Jeep, but doesn't gain any ground clearance so not sure what's going on there. Feel kinda "fat" handling/steering wise as well. Like the motor, but it's still doesn't have the V8 ring to it. I like the new Tahoe better than the trailblazer because I figure if somethings going to sit high and drive fat it might as well BE big.
  • wlbrown9wlbrown9 Posts: 867
    Well, they had to come drag my '00 Laredo onto a carrier to take it to the repair shop Saturday afternoon. Wife called about noon..she was stuck at the gas pump a couple of miles from home...key would not turn in switch. Went down and with a few well placed taps on the steering column, it finally turned and started. When she got it home and turned it off, it locked up again. Called roadside assistance and they sent the hauler out. Local Chr/Jeep dealer service open until 5 pm Saturday. They did not have the ignition switch that needs replacing, but did loan me a 'demo' Neon since the rental agency they use was closed. Dealer is going to fix the dead driver side power window while it is in the shop.
    Almost 30,000 miles... rotors, power window, fuel pump repair...not too bad, though I did have to replace the rotors myself since previous 5 star dealer & DC would not replace. DC never responded after dealer blew me off.

    The '00 is still slightly better than the '99 I traded in on it. It needed 2 sets of rotors, 2 power window motors, rear end rebuilt due to whine, shift interlock replaced.

    I may break down and buy an extension to the warranty up through 4 years/75000 miles. The trade-in value is about $3000 less that it was on the '99 when I traded it in on the '99 with about the same mileage. I guess the $2000 or more drop in price they had last year has really shafted folks who bought them before...also, all the incentives are dropping the value of trade-ins.
  • I typically do not purchase Ford products based on various experiences of friends etc. I do not believe the Explorer to be off road capable and in my view this was not an option.

    Regarding rollover risk. This is typically avoidance related, and driver activity. I have seen many vehicle rollovers as a medic and firefighter and few have been with JGC. Many Explorers, Toyota P/U's. Wranglers, Isuzu Rodeos and the usual small SUV's. This could be for many reasons including the skill and/or carefulness with which the driver operates. Trust me you can flip anything.

    NY Paramedic
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,238
    paramedic backs up what a salvage yard operator once told me. He said he sees very few Grand Cherokees or Cherokees that have gone wheels up. Explorers by far the most according to him. I've seen several accidents where an Explorer was flipped over, and actually witnessed one. I don't think it was so much the truck as the driver. They were going 80mph in the rain and hydro'd staight to the median and flipped. Anything (cars including) can and will flip once you hit the median that fast. From what I've seen, Explorers win the award for "most incompentent drivers".

    I do believe that Firestone tires were blowing, although I think alot had to do with the Explorers pitiful 26psi recommended tire pressure. I don't think a tire blowing out should cause a vehicle to flip unless the driver did something stupid. Not going to say it CAN'T happen, but I think a blown tire and whipping the steering would quickly turn things upside down. Car and Driver did a test where they completely deflated a tire at all different speeds and the Explorer never exhibited any strange handling characteristics. Of course they didn't do anything stupid like whip the steering around.

    I can't figure out how or why they sell so many of the things as I think they are terrible.
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