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1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo

schambers2schambers2 Posts: 1
edited March 2014 in Jeep
I own a 1997 Grand Cherokee that I have had in the
repair shop twice now in which the dealership has
completely removed the dash to try to find a water
leak which I believe is coming from the air
conditioning system. It only occurs in the summer
when system is in use water stands in the
floorboard almost constantly. Dealer has supposedly
caulked cracks and replaced the drain system,


  • csiejackcsiejack Posts: 1
    Tell the dealer to remove the cowl panel and caulk along the entire lower seal. It was never sealed. Tell your dealer that they DID get a notice from Jeep on how to fix this problem!!!
  • easterreasterr Posts: 1
    I have a 1997 Jeep Cherokee - Loreado that seems to have a grinding noise in the rear end when the car is moving. I purchased the car from someone who lived in the mountains and the car needs new rotars. I am wondering if the rear breaks may need work or there is something going on with the trans. Any help you can provide before I take it to a dealer is greatly appreciated.
  • naddra1naddra1 Posts: 1
    I have a 1998 JGC - Laredo and had a similar 'grinding noise'. It turned out to be the rear differential. Have that checked out!
  • 3dogs3dogs Posts: 4
    What is the general opinion owners of 1997 JGCs? Would you still buy it if you had the chance? I owned a 1988 Laredo and loved it. Trying to decide if I should jump on a 1997 JGC a friend is selling.
  • tmac45tmac45 Posts: 1
  • 3dogs3dogs Posts: 4
    You guys are scaring me into a Toyota.
    Water leaks, warped rotors and failing differentials.
    Still curious though with all you know today, would you buy it again.
    I felt that way after 138K miles on my 88 which by the way is still going strong and the favorite vehicle of my friend that bought it from me.
    I never had problems like those you are describing.
  • anonymousanonymous Posts: 314
    Before running to the Toyota's, I'd check the postings there as well. As far as my Jeep....

    It's my wife's car and she won't let me sell it. I need it to pull my boat, so for me and the Jeep it's a love hate relationship.

    I've had the rotor problems. They were recently replaced under the recall. I had to pay for new pads. No big deal... That has been the only major problem. Knock on wood. It's a wonderful utility vehicle. Pulls my boat like a champ.

    When the work was done, I asked the front counter service rep. if the new rotors would fix the problem with the warping. He didn't know and wasn't given any information from DC whether it would or not. Hmmm... Not a warm and fuzzy.

    See if you can that 88 back. :-)
  • mnyoungmnyoung Posts: 5
    I was considering the purchase of a GC in the near future to replace my 95 Dakota. I've also got an '00 Durango. Naturally, I've checked sites on both of those vehicles and I noticed that the problems that have been mentioned here are similar. The Durango is notorious for the rear diff going out by 20K and I know 4 people who own 95 Dakotas. Not one of them has a gas gauge that works. One guy told me he has fixed it 4 times. I just thought you guys might like to know that Grand Cherokee owners are not alone in these annoying problems from DC.
  • I recently purchased a 1997 Jeep GC Laredo. I took it to Colorado for a week, and it perfromed perfrectly. It has 46,000 miles on it now and runs like new, or maybe even better with the K&N air filter, Bosch Platinum +4 Spark plugs, and Summit Racing turbo muffler.

    My girlfriend has a 1995 GC Laredo. It has over 80k on it and hasn't had any problems. I love the Jeeps and would recommend one to anyone looking for an SUV.

    The key to long life of the vehicle is proper care and maintainence.
  • nannygnannyg Posts: 1
    I love my Grand Jeep Cherokee but I too have experienced the same problems as listed by other owners. I have had pools of water on my floor under my feet. Had to give up my vehicle for two days for repairs. Only owned it two weeks then. Had to have the brakes replaced at 23,000 at cost of 700.00. Wrote to complain, got me nowhere. Had noise in rear end for some time but vehicles checks & sevice did not produce any concerns. At 71,000 klm I brought this noise to dealer's attention. I now am without my vehicle again and the rear brakes as well as the differenital gears have failed costing me 1700.00. Warranty is up at 60,000, even though this problem was noticable for some time.
    Will I buy again.?...NO..... I am going back to Toyota. Had a 4Runner previously, no major problems and only replaced brakes and tires at 75,000 klm. Vehicle is still running....

    Hope this helps some unsuspecting buyer...
  • bikybiky Posts: 20
    This is the first time I'm posting a message here. I have a 1997 JGC Laredo, I-6. It is really a great vehicle. It's got all the luxury and drives quite smooth (at least used to). When I bought it in Aug 1999, with 30k miles, I did not know what all features it has. Only thing I knew is that I liked the looks too much. The nickelled front grill is simply too good. Now my JGC has 42k miles. My personal view is that the 2000 model is not that appealing with its round-ish finish. But anyway... I'm a proud owner of this machine. The JGC is a perfect vehicle... well almost !

    I like the vehicle so much that I hate to say anything bad about it. But, now I think, I should discuss it.

    Initially it had the problem of pulsating brakes. When I took it for the major service at 30k, the service people said it needs new front brake pads. Don't remember how much it costed me, but it's not covered under warranty.

    Then there was a problem with the overhead display buttons. The SKIP button would not work most of the times. Had that replaced under warranty.

    Then just before 36k, I took extended warranty till 60k miles. I think that's a very wise decision I made. After a few days, I started feeling some vibration at the speed of around 65mph. Above 70mph, there were no vibration. I thought it's not a big problem, but within a few days the vibrations started increasing. I had to take it for repairs again. This time there was something wrong with the driveshaft. They replaced the shaft or some joints.

    Next was the problem with the ABS indicator. It used to come up at least once every day. When u restart the engine, it used to go off. Some ABS controller unit had to be changed.

    Then came the problem which the JGC is known for... the transmission. It started with frequent fluctuations of the engine rpm. It used to go up and down a few hundred rpms with the same amount of gas pressed and going on a an even road. This also happened when the cruise control is set. This problem started a long time back, and whenever I used to show it the service people, they said nothing's wrong. I've taken it to them at least 5 times. Initially, it used to happen only at speeds around 60mph, but then it started happening even at lower speeds, around 40mph. This a very irritating feeling, u feel that the vehicle is suddenly pushed and the next moment u feel it's pulled slow.

    The story continues... The above problem aggrevated and now the vehicle hesitates to pick the top gear. Sometimes, when it does pick the top gear, it would immediately shift down to 3rd. And there are times now when I'm driving at 70mph at more than 3000 rpm. I'd taken this for repairs, now it's slightly better, but it's still far from normal.

    And the newest problem I have is not as bad as the others. It's just that the AC is not so effective as it used to be when I bought it. The cooling effect has reduced. Sometime back, I got the front rotor changed under the recall. But the brakes still make noise while starting and stopping. Don't know if that's normal.

    I like the Jeep very much. But there had been so many problems with it. Luckily most of these repairs have not costed me any money. I'm so glad that I'd bought the extended warranty/service contract. Now, I'm so fed up with this I sometime think of trading this vehicle for a Pathfinder, even though I like the looks of this more than any other SUV on the road today.

    What I wanted to know... is everybody facing similar kinda problems with their JGC? Also tell me about the lemon law in tennessee. What is it exacly?
  • carlg2carlg2 Posts: 1
    I bought my 96 Grand Cherokee last year with around 45K miles. I use it to drive to work and tow my boat (occassionally). I like the body style and its pretty comfortable. But it seems to be falling apart.

    For one thing, the electronics are flaky. The stereo works sometimes. The windows and rear wiper work most of the time. For another, all four inside door panels are peeling off - very strange.

    But the biggest problem is the "Check Engine" light. The last two times I towed my boat on the highway, this light came on after about 100 miles. When it did, my mileage went from 14 mpg to around 6. The engine would run rough and black smoke would periodically belch from the exhaust, especially when I would slow down. Both times when this happened, I took it to a mechanic (one Jeep, one independant) and they couldn't find anything wrong (despite the codes stored in the onboard computer). So they reset the Check Engine light and sent me on my way. It seemed like after the engine cooled down it would behave itself (sometimes for the rest of the trip).

    And also something underneath (suspiciously near the transmission) rattles when I start it up. And the rear end makes noises too.

    Anyway, I was just curious if anyone else has seen anything similar? And, no, I wouldn't buy another Jeep.
  • drk3drk3 Posts: 2
    96 jeeps are know to have a problem with peeling door panels, I just glued mine. The rattle when you start up might be the cat converter and should still be covered under the emission warranty
  • This Letter pretty mcuh summarizes my Grand Cherokee experience.

    Chrysler.......Never Again....unless I want a cool looking car

    Dear Jeep:

    In May of 96 I purchased a Jeep Grand Cherokee to escape the maintenance cost associated with my two older vehicles and to own just one vehicle instead of two. I chose the Grand Cherokee because of the following:

    It was a vehicle that seemed to be designed for what it was supposed to be. Not a compromise (i.e. truck chassis)

    A very smooth ride

    Good Power

    Decent Styling and interior conveniences

    Very good handling in poor road conditions

    Good reputation or so I thought

    And most importantly since it was new I should have relatively little concern with major repairs. I thought that since I was the sole owner and caretaker that I would have much better chance of preventing problems by having the proper maintenance correctly performed from the beginning of the service life of the vehicle.

    For the first year and a half the above reasons were all true. Beginning in October of 1997 it all seemed to change. Prior to this time the only noticeable problems/defects were the interior panels, which started peeling.

    Since October of 1997 the following repairs have had to be performed.

    Shock absorber mount coming completely loose - vehicle was towed

    All Door panels had to be replaced

    Black exterior plastic faded - no fix

    Door lock solenoids and switches failed and had to be replaced

    Engine temperature sensor failure along with getting occasional black smoke

    Air Conditioning compressor failed - In the middle of the summer

    Air Conditioning hose failed - One year later

    Water pump failed

    Thermostat housing leaking and replaced

    Battery failed (3 years old)

    Rear differential bearings failed

    Rear differential bearings failed again

    Front differential failed replaced ring and pinion

    Front differential failed replaced ring and pinion again

    Front differential failed again - unit was entirely rebuilt

    I am presently experiencing the following:

    Popping sound when backing and turning or moving forward and turning.

    Loose bracket rattle sound when the vehicle shifts from 2nd to 3rd gear

    Brakes always squeal - no fix

    The vehicle has not been off road, ever; nor has it been abused. The most severe duty it has seen was towing a medium sized trailer for about 1500 miles.

    It seems ridiculous to have experienced so many systems/mechanical failures in the last 2 and 1/2 years. Thank God I did purchase an extended warranty! I imagine the repair tab that you have footed thus far must be nearing the $8,000 mark!

    In almost all cases the parts and labor have been covered under the warranty minus the following:

    My TIME!

    My $50 copay, plus whatever minor item the service advisor can convince me isn't covered under warranty.

    Scheduling and car rentals and wondering whether they would be on time, available and covered.

    Getting a car that was half the size of my jeep.

    And just the stress , frustration and suspense of wondering when I wilI get stuck for a $1500 repair bill for parts that really should last much longer than the ones on my Jeep have. I have never ever had a vehicle that needed a differential repair! Furthermore, all of those cars were used with much higher mileage.

    Maintenance and repair costs are anticipated when owing a vehicle. They just shouldn't be so high.

    Who knows what will happen next? The transmission? The timing chain? Well…Its time for me to stop living in denial and get a different vehicle. Something that is reliable. Perhaps a Japanese vehicle might do fine but the size factor and the fact that after working at Japanese Car company… I'd rather sell my soul ……. than own another Japanese car.

    After reading this letter and realizing what a poor deal I have received if you feel so inclined please send over a dealer and have them purchase the vehicle for fair market RETAIL value. I would then suggest that you let the local "FORD EXPLORERS" club "test" the vehicle (ha ha), or you could take it to the Chysler proving grounds and use it as a frustration venting tool.

    Sick and tired of the mechanical systems on my Jeep,
  • bubba69bubba69 Posts: 1
    My jeep has 38,000 miles and as of last week it would not start. I took it to a local garage and had the fuel pump replaced. Three days later the jeep would not start. The garage replaced the fuel pump again. One day later it would not start again. This time he told me that some kind of black alge was in the tank and that he soaked the tamk in bleach for two days but he also said that I will need to replace the tank soon because it is impossable to kill this myterious alge. Has anybody heard of such a problem. P.S. by the time this is posted my jeep probably will not start again!!!!!!!!
  • We used to own a 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo. The car was great. We never had any problems, except for the Brake rotor recall. Otherwise, it was an excellent car. There were never andy mechanical problems. The lease was up in 1998 and it had 48000 miles on it. We hated to see it go. I would recomend a Grand Cherokee to anyone who is in the market.

    We just bought a 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo. I hope it is just like the 96 we had.
  • I have a '98 JGC laredo, and bought it about two years ago, used. I have had numerous problems with it, and unfortunately did not buy the extended warranty. Just to name a few: leaking problems in the front floorboard due to the a/c, rear differential, rear main seal leak, replaced power steering pump, and now the rear end is making a loud noise so I have to take it back in. It hasn't been driven rough or anything, so it seems ridiculus to me. I can't wait to get rid of it and I will never consider buying a jeep again. If you buy one definitely get a warranty on it!

  • Where to begin. I bought a old 89 pioneer sport with 150,000 miles. I spent about $1500 to get it up to snuff. I drove that Jeep from the Eastern Shore of Maryland to Arizona and back, then to Yellowstone, Colorado, and back. When I sold the 89 I had 195,000 miles and it was still running great. I sold it for $2,900.

    Bought the 97GC with 31k, I have had the airconditioning serviced every year. They cannot find the leak (89 - Air still working at 195k). Best anwser for the rotor warping is replacing the rotors with some better quality rotors. My transfer case started leaking. The dealership replaced the whole transfer case. Funny thing is now the Full-Time will not always come out of Part-Time. I dont mean to pick on all mechanics, but, some simple follow through and checking your work would be a plus. The power stearing pump has also been replaced. My advice is to by the warrenty. The vehicles are expencive to by and fix.
  • many jeeps will not start because the crank sensor is bad, also you got to check the ignition switch and the neutral switch
  • jdel30jdel30 Posts: 1
    Bought it new in April 97...within the first 6000 miles, a new rear end, new left front axle, 4 each cd players, rear wiper motor, door lock motor, new drivers seat frame (electric gear grinding, new battery within 18 months, new oxy sensor, three new plug wires...spark knock using 89 octane. And now it is 2000 and I have an "unexplained clunking noise while shift gears at low speeds" (Dealer could not find problem). And yes....the road noise as explained by the dealer, which is actually the rear end falling out again!

    My advice to anyone Japanese! I am going to in 4 months providing this lemon doest turn into lemonade and leave me stranded again before hand!

  • I bought 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo two months ago. But I found a problem. Beside the front wheel, the ball was extracted from a pin, about three inches, which seems to be connected to front axle. I don't know what it is called. How do I have to do? My warranty period has already been over. And what is "brake rotor recall"? I will wait for your help. Thank you.
  • And my advice to all those considering a JGC-DON'T! Repair costs have amounted to over $4,000 in the last year alone. Just had the rear differential rebuilt, previously brake rotars were replaced; fuel system repaired, you name it, I've done it. The "herd of crickets" sound coming from my front end is a mystery to the dealer and the whole thing shakes when I accelerate over 45mph.

    The only thing it's good for is driving in the snow. The 4-wheel drive system is better than most, but if it doesn't run, what good is it?

    Buy a Toyota.
  • In reading post number 15 I thought they were talking about my Jeep. My advise to any potential Chrysler customers is the same as post 24 - DON'T DO IT - Get a FORD or anything else. If you have to buy a Chrysler get the extended warranty and if you can afford it a spare car to use while your Jeep is at the shop. Also DO NOT expect Chrysler to do ANYTHING for you. Expect to pay for the same repair multiple times and expect to pay for many "No problem founds" even when there is a problem. Do not expect ANY customer Service - Do expect a LOT of GRIEF and FRUSTRATION.

    My 97 Jeep is on its 6th rear differential and 3rd front differential. Chrysler won't do anything for us - they act as though this is a normal maintenance item - every 15K - replace your differential (although I can't find this in my handbook).

    The sad thing is the differential is not the only problem. We've had to replace the evaporater - oxygen sensor - misc transmission parts - steering dampener - front power door locks - radio - fuel sensor - rear rocker arm bearings ( post 15 - this is probably what is making the popping sound when you go into reverse - Jeep kept saying this was normal until it did it at the dealership and the salesman thought he had been shot when I backed up). We just got our Junk I mean Jeep back from the shop and although they replaced the front and rear differentials we are still getting the whinning noise from the front end.

    One of the newest features of our Jeep is that it hesitates when making left hand turns if the fuel tank is 1/4 full or less - (Of course Jeep says "no problem found" - It must be one of those "Jeep Things".) Anyone else have this problem????? I love our other New feature - a nice chirping noise from the front dash. My daughter thinks there are crickets in the glove box.

    DO yourself a favor and avoid Chrysler and Jeep Things . JEEP ( Just expect expensive problems)
  • I can definitely relate to most of the posts I'm reading. I own a 97 JGC and am currently plagued by a strange chirping/squeeky sound. This sound seems to get worse in cold weather. When I turn, the car makes a popping sound. I've averaged around $500 in repairs over the last three months. I have always bought American cars. I think it's important. My patience, though, is wearing thin as the costs associated with repair for this vehicle mount up. What happened to quality American vehicles?
  • mgparmgpar Posts: 1
    I'm thinking of buying a 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo with 90,000 miles. Is this a good Idea?
  • In April '00 I bought a used 97 JGC Laredo with 42K on the odometer. Since then it has been in the shop 3 times for:

    Check Engine Light - Bad oxygen sensor.
    Coolant leak - replaced radiator and rebuilt water pump.
    Rear end whine - replaced rear diff bearings.
    A/C problems - kinked hose.
    Haunted windshield wipers - dirty contacts
    Weak battery.

    Me and the extended warranty has shelled out over $2600 in repairs and rental cars.

    Two weeks ago the rear end whine returned and an engine oil leak has developed, so trip #4 to the shop. It has been in the shop now for over a week, waiting for a new rear axle housing. Unfortunately, that part is on national back-order. God only knows what this will cost the extended warranty company, and there is no word yet on the oil leak.

    Did I mention that the vehicle has only 57K miles on it, or that I have religiously maintained it?

    Once I get it back, I think I will start shopping for something new, definitely something non-Jeep. Considering that Daimler-Chrysler is laying off, I would think they would want to keep all of the customers they could.

  • HI,, I bought a 1997 Jeep Larado, and its seems to me that the atena does not go down -- Is is safe to run this car though a car wash??

    Thanks in advance
  • I have a 94 Jeep Grand Cherokee with a towing package. Under the dash is a blue cable (supposedly for the brake controller)
    does the blue cable feed into the controller or does it connect controller and plug in the rear. Can't seem to find the blue cable
    come out anywhere in the back to connect to the plug.
    Anyone out there to help me figure out what is what?
  • Ok, the whining noise is normal from the front axle (I'm pretty sure)(Four wheel drive anyone) and I'm sorry that so many of you are having problems. But that does not mean that Jeep sucks. Just a handful of you are experiencing problems; think of all those extremely content owners who don't say anything on this page but absolutely love the Jeep, including me. And trust me, no other car manufacturer offers so many options for such a price (I've got a Laredo that's got everything and then some that a Limited does
    ). Plus, you all know it looks good. But it really is a good car, despite some of your rare Lemons. Good luck
  • I own a GrChr Laredo with 40K and have had a very frustrating ownership. I have an extended warranty on it which is probably the smartest thing I have ever done. Have owned another Chryler product and if you want to keep your retirement account safe you HAVE to buy yourself some protection from these money-sucking beasts!!!!!!!
    The GrCh is making a thumping sound from the front end which the exact nature and source have not been determined. The differential has been checked, the front wheels and suspension are ok, brakes ok. tires and alignment new, and now the transfer case is the suspect in this saga. The 4wd is trying to kick in and once it is put in manually it won't come out even though it has physically been disengaged and the dash readout says it is not in 4wd...anyone else have this problem? Once this thumping goes away I will be finding a new home for this beast and going back to a Honda CRV to match my Civic. I am now willing to give up some of the sweet amenities of the Jeep for financial security and peace of mind from these constant noises and trips to the car shop.
This discussion has been closed.