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1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo



  • You may think Jeep GrCh looks good and consider that some us unfortunate owners merely have "lemons" but the pervasiveness of our problems speaks loud and clear; the machine is a disaster waiting to happen. All the recalls, minor warranty items and now the front end thumping I have encountered are very frustrating when you consider the cost of such a vehicle; I expect more for my money. I am waiting for the right time to get RID of this BEAST before it really goes down the tube!!!!!!!!!
  • Thank you, thank you for all your stories about the '97 jeep. Not that I'm glad to see you in misery about your jeep, I was soooo frustrated with my jeep until I read the other notes. I loved the look of the jeep and the fact that I could go into 4 wheel drive very easily. What I didn't know when I bought mine brand spanking new was what a mechanical mess it is, I'm just so relieved I bought the extended warranty. In the three years of ownership I have had to have my tires replaced(within 6 months), rotated over 6 times (they thought this would take care of all my problems), cd and radio unit replaced twice, swaybar replaced, bumper replaced (the color doesn't match the rest of the car), air condition replaced, rear wiper motor replaced, all four door locks replaced, as well as transmission leaks, fuel leaks, and window replacement. As much as I like the look of the jeep, I will buy something else if I can get myself to sell this jeep in good conscience.
  • My 97 GC Laredo was purchased new and has had two rear differentials and one front in 31K. When the front failed it announced the failure with a severe vibration in the front end. The second rear diff. replacement took the car off the road for a month. I am fortunate that the other problems noted by several persons have not happened to this car but it will the last Jeep I purchase.
  • I bought my 97jgc used and was told they were great. Since I bought the jeep I have had an electrical problem with it. When you drive down the road the interior lights flash on and off. It makes me look like an idiot. Also the alarm will just go off in the middle of the night. I haven't had any mechanical problems with it yet but was wondering if anyone has experienced these electrical problems. Thanks
  • I am having a problem with the electrical system in my jeep. I have been blowing the fuse that controls my interior lights and back running lights. I brought the truck used in November and it has been back to the dealership 6 times. The dealership keeps telling me they can't duplicate the problem and it is getting very frustating having to keep taking the vehicle back. I have done no altering of this jeep and the dealership is stumped. I have had to tell the dealership that I am going to sue if they can not fix the vehicle. If you buy a used car know that you do have some rights. Most states recognize implied warranties. There is also no time limit on these types of warranties. If anyone has any electrical problem please contact me @
  • I bought American for the first time in my life and unfortunately probably my last.

    I bought a 1997 JGC brand new.

    Here are my complaints/problems:

    1. Replaced the front diff bearings
    2. Replaced the rear diff bearings
    3. Drivers arm rest cracking
    4. CD player works intermittently
    5. CURRENTLY in the shop for the following as yet to be determined but diagnosed as:
    PO743: Torque Converter Clutch Solenoid
    PO753: Transmission 3-4 Shift Solenoid
    PO463: Fuel level sending volts too high

    I like a few of the others I have read about bought the extended warrenty. The only one I have ever purchased in my life. The diffs did not cost me anything. We will wait and see what the latest thing costs.
  • Wow, I have been reading all of these posting and I am so amazed at the problems the new Jeeps have.
    I owned a 1991 Jeep Cherokee until it had 168,000
    miles on it, it never gave me a problem, just miles and miles of good journies. So I bought a
    1994 Grand Jeep Cherokee Laredo, I am currently at
    83,000 miles and still going strong-no problems.
    My first Jeep was so great, I insisted on a second. It sounds like the new models are not holding up. I heard a rumor Chrysler is going to stop production of the. I have been truly happy with both my Jeep Cherokees, but I don't own a
    1997-2000, these look like they have problems according to the posting boards.
  • deki80deki80 Posts: 3
    I have a 96 Jeep grand Cherokee limited 4.0, I have bought it with 49000 miles in February 99, and right now a I have 79000, NEVER had any problems drives strong, shifts pretty well, I mean only thing that I do is change engine oil every 2500 and differential oil every 10000, maybe the problem is that you are not taking care of your vehicle, so any car you buy you will have same problems, you can buy Porsche but if you are not taking care of it it will ride like h.., but I really love mine, looks really tough, rides beautifully, i take it to service for check every once in a while and that's it, and i will buy same one 96 jgchl with less miles some time soon, and it's really confortable
  • I am experiencing my first prob. I have a 97 GCL, I live in a cold area, and as I start out, at about 15 mph I am getting a "squealing or churping noise" from the engine, well, I belive so anyway. I know nothing about cars, so therefore I do not know. The dealer told me it could be the belt because as the engine warms, the sound disapears!! So, can anyone help me out?? I would greatly appreciate your help. Oh, also it does not do it when idleing, only when driving. Thanks guys.
  • pulp27pulp27 Posts: 1
    You guys are making me nervous. I bought my 97 JGC back in Sept. 97 and it has never once been in the shop for anything. Granted there are several little inconveniences such as the CD player only working when it's in the mood and the interior lights seem to have some sort of short. But I've had no mechanical problems, save the bad fuel-gauge sender unit that Jeep recalled. I was contemplating on buying another Jeep for my next purchase, after reading this I might reconsider.
  • lgalalgala Posts: 1
    Response to #35, my alarm goes off all the time without warning and has for the past year and half. It is in shop now. They cannot find the problem that makes the alarm sound when driving, but they did find: bad rear breaks, dirty air filter, bad spark plugs, bad steering box (x2), bad shift box. Plus I was told I need a total tune up at 31,000 miles and 3 years/5 months of ownership. Bought new. Last month I did ABS computer, CV boots, alarm, passanger seat broken (x5).It is a piece of doo doo and I plan to buy another GM asap. Lexus (Toyota) was a total electrical nightmare too.
  • sorbetsorbet Posts: 1
    Hmmm, you guys are freaking me out. I bought my jGCLaredo at the end of May last year and it's been great. Granted, I had to get new tires put on it, but that's my own silly fault for not paying closer attention when I bought it. Oops. Although, I will say my dash lights have flickered a few times. Sorry to hear about everyone's trouble with the truck, though. That's no good. \=
  • I wish i was more computer savvy when i bout my 97 jgc. Had i had access to forums like these i would have bought something else. I haven't had any major problems with my jeep but i did what every car owner should do such as making sure the oil is changed, tires rotated, tuned up....Unfortunately all of this was pointless as my Jeep just doesn't operate as smoothly as it did when i bought it. I dont expect perfection but for a truck thats only 4 years old i do expect a much smoother ride than what i have now. Not to mention the fact that my sunroof works only when it wants to. I'm curious if anyone else has has had a problem with their sunroof ? Anyway, in less than a month i'm trading in the jeep and buying a Lexus!
  • I am considering the purchase of a 1991 JCL, it has 180,000 miles...however, the owner put a Capitol engine in it 50,000 miles ago..i believe those are rebuilt engines as i dont believe you can get a new engine for this vehicle, the car has been very well taken care of, lots of new parts and equipment (CD, Keyless, Brush Guard), and a whole lot of tlc in terms of care, appearance and maintenance, the car has good curb appeal...any comments on the engine or otherwise...tks.
  • I purchased my 95 GCL used a few years back, it has been the best of times and the worst of times. Have had a problem since day one with shifting out of four wheel drive. After four trips to the service dept.(a dealership that specializes in Jeeps) and many $thousands later, the service writer had me ride with the mechanic to show me what I was doing wrong regarding shifting out of 4WD. The mechanic took me out behind the dealership where he proceeded to alternately shift from reverse to drive goosing it with each shift. After the 5th shift the jeep would finally shift back to 2wd.
    The mechanic said," see the problem is fixed." The only problem now is that I look kind of foolish in the parking garage trying leave rubber, in forward then reverse.
    On the other hand she pulls my boat great. Off road awesome. I live on a hill and I am always helping people to the top when conditions get messy. It's a much better off-road than on-road vehicle. Perhaps it's just my service dept.
  • I am very amazed at the amount of such upset individuals concerning their Jeeps.
    I just recently got my first used 97 Laredo 4.0 Jeep in Red, liked the color, liked the truck look, liked the fact it had a tow hitch and a CD player as well as power seats, seemed all original, no paint work, seemed to run fine, was actually surprisingly quick besides the need I have of it and the Killer Deal I was getting.
    My needs include skiing in the winter and fishing my bass boat in the summer, figured was the right truck.
    At a time not too long ago , I even owned a body shop so guess you may say I know cars very well.
    So I decided to go online and see what the owners such as yourselves have to say about a truck which was and still used for WAR purposes...... You may say should be reliable / Not comfortable..
    And well seems I have found many upset people, many people who would even be so upset that they would go out of their way and write out of almost what you may say is anger.
    As far as all problems described herein you people must understand first what kind of a vehicle you have, the purpose it serves, what is it intended for , where made and by who, as well as who currently maintains it , and I do mean the individual performing the service may be not well knowledgeable or ever worked on your specific problem therefore has a lack of knowledge.
    I have leased and never again a brand new special order Mercedes Benz, a six cylinder sport model all white, looked cool, seemed the perfect ride, noone had one, also all powers and leather which the jeep lacks hehe....
    But now my problems with the Mercedes I had are by far worse than anything I have read here so far, No Dealer could correct my very loud
    front banging noise in the suspension which was all completely replaced several times, now this is just one of the problems now in a Mercedes hmmm......... ????
    oh and was shipped from Germany
    Transmission problems, electrical problems, catalytic converter problems, 3 new radios, approximately 14 alignments done at dealer alone, engine once shut off for no reason while driving to dinner needed a tow, and there's more ofcourse,....
    All ended up as a termination of lease which we shall be in court for since they did not acknowledge the problems yet they repossessed the car from while I was sitting at a traffic light, Well was pulled out my very own car window by three tow truck drivers which surrounded me and held me pinned down on the cement highway while making sure their VIN numbers matched on my car ( while I had no idea what was going on, thank God I did not carry that day ) and all this for not making one payment after 2.5 years , yes lease was almost done
    They still don't acknowledge any wrong doings nor any problems that I have had with my car but what do I know I only owned a huge operation for a body shop and do have a stack of receipts from all the service done at their shops so I guess it was not a UFO sighting oh and a police report for the incident which occurred.
    So Ive had my Jeep now for 1 month and have had it to service to do an oil change and got quite a few modifications in performance for it to make stronger, look better and perform as it should, ofcourse not to mention be more suitable and reliable for all terrain conditions for my outdoor needs,,,
    Guess you may say is Im glad I got one Im enjoying it and am looking forward to my Bass Tournaments.
    Good Luck to the rest of you fellow Jeep owners !!!!!
    And now lets ask ourselves this......
    Since the two companies have merged what will happen now ?????
  • I had a 98 JGC Laredo with the 4L I6. Lots of TLC, maintenance by the book. Of course, the cylinder heads had to completely reworked at 20K miles...but it took three trips to the dealer (Willowdale Chrysler in Toronto) because they couldn't find their own behinds with both hands!

    Bottom line, the incomptent dealer support combined with the MAJOR mechanical problems with a supposedly bulletproof engine turned me off Jeep. I traded in the Jeep for a used 97 MB C230. I miss the cargo space and 4WD in the winter, but at least I'm not a daily visitor at the dealer's service lounge.
  • Hi! I posed a message about electrical problems I was experiencing with my Jeep. After 8 tries at the dealer I finally took my Jeep to an independent electrical shop. In less then a day I had the problem corrected. I had been experiencing a fuse blowing causing my interior lights to blow. The cause was a wire that had been routed against a brace and had worn. The shop told me this was a factory problem. I contacted the dealership and was even reimbursed for my repairs. Now I can say I am truly enjoying my Jeep. Please don't let a few messages discourage you from buying Jeep. I love mine. If you need any info on the electrical problem. email me at
  • My jeep( 40,000 mi) has been giving me itermittent problems starting since I got it, the battery is not the prob. but sometimes when the weather is cold or rainy and I dont use the car for about two days I have to jumpstart the car , its always started ; but for the first time after a heavy rainfall it didnt start.All the dash lights came out as if to start
    but the engine didnt crank and I didnt get the the usual low battery startup sound.I also coulnt jumpstart it.
    Is there a moisture problem with the jeeps that somehow affects the ignition(plugs, dist cap.) coupla days later I was able to jumpstart the car and it was fine( after the car dried out?)
    Ive never waited for the car to completely dry out, usually I just try to jumpstart it and its ok until the next time which can be in months or I drained the battery so this is the reason I end up jumpstarting it.
    My dealer always tells me the battery and everything is fine.
    Does anyone know what type of testing options
    there are for the charging system,and what it does?

    Oh did I mention Ive had to replace my actuator motors on all four car doors ( once on all four doors and 3 times on
    the drivers door). and I expect more

    For now I think my problems are minor(and I dont expect it to get better as the car gets more use.) considering what other people are experiencing.But if your considering jgc major or minor
    problems this is the risk you take and they will cause you inconvenience.

  • I just bought a Jeep Grand Cherokee Loredo from a dealership and have noticed the same problems others have had with the electrical system. Is this possibly a design flaw and maybe covered under some kind of warranty ?? Has anyone had success with getting it fixed, if so how ? Please send me email at
  • I have a 92 Laredo with 186k on it. It has done well with only a few repairs. I think the old ones must be better than the newer ones. This was a one owner with 80k when I bought it 6 years ago. The paint is not good, but everything else is good. Has been well maintained, but driven hard. Excellent off road ability, will go anywhere.
  • I'm looking at a 97 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4x4 and was looking for any help or advice on what to look for...bad or good. The Jeep i'm looking at has 44 or 47k miles on it...i've read some of the other messages about how some of you guys have had the jeep stall out on you..well today i was test driving the jeep i was interested in and it the rpm's drop very low for a minute then stalled out at a light. You should have seen how the car dealer that was with me reacted to that one. Any help about any problems i should look out for or have them check or have included in a warrenty I sure would like to know about.
  • I am glad that I found this site. I have had the same experiences of many of those who have posted their stories about the JGC. While in college, my parents bought me a Cherokee sport. It was great, but I started developing transmission problems at around 50,000 miles. I shrugged it off as Northeastern winters and low usage. In 1997 I purchased a new JGC with only six miles on it. Within six months I started experiencing a variety of problems.

    I replaced the battery three times in 1 year. I have been having a vibration in the front end of my car when accelerating at around 60 MPH. They have replaced oxygen sensors, reset computers and flushed the heating system several times. My AS light comes on and I had a problem with my engine overhearing.

    Within the last year, my AC developed a stuttering engine, which seems to be exacerbated when using the AC or heat. Four dealerships have not been able to come up with a problem. It jumps out of gear and violently jumps into a higher gear. It also appears that the gas mileage has decreased.

    I am utterly amazed that I have been told so often that there doesn't seem to be a problem. What are the mechanics doing? The only reason that I have kept my Jeep is because I still owe on it and would take a hit when trading it in. The only people willing to make a fair deal are other Jeep dealers, and I do not want another dip, I mean JEEP. I know at least four other people with the same problems.
  • dq1dq1 Posts: 44
    I wish I had found this site before leasing my 98 GCL. I've had it for 35 months and 47K miles and have had relatively few problems with the exception of having the brakes replaced twice (under warranty). Just today though, my A/C stopped cooling. I popped the hood and low and behold, the condensor had corroded to pieces. I called the dealer to get an estimate on repair and he said: condensor is $290, dryer is $214, about $50 for freon and $266 for labor. $870 with tax for A/C on a three year old Jeep! Anyway, can someone tell me why the dryer has to be replaced? Dealer said that whenever the system is opened up, the dryer has to be replaced. Is that true? I guess I should just be thankful I haven't seen the problems each of you has had, yet.
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    The receiver/dryer contains a dessicant to remove moisture from the system. Water tends to corrode things, and to freeze in valves and small orifices.
  • Just like gnturboguy and tami860, I have had some electrical issues with my 96 Jeep Grand Cherokee. My alarm started going off for no reason, and then the message center started telling me that my lift gate was open when it wasn't. Thankfully you can turn the dome light off when the lift gate is open, otherwise my interior lights would be on all of the time. The dealer has replaced the lift gate switch, but it wasn't fixed the problem. My alarm will still go off, and the message center still thinks the lift gate is open. Now if I lock the doors with the key (so that the alarm will not be armed) the dome lights will periodically turn on as if a door is being opened, and then they will turn themselves off. Also, just this evening, my message center completely reset itself when I was driving down the road. Now it just flashes with a time starting at midnight and the date 1 Jan. The dealer seems to think the only way to fix it would be to cut the wire at the message center, thus permanently shutting off any connection between it and the rear of the Jeep. If anyone knows what might be causing these problems; please HELP!!! send mail to
  • dq1dq1 Posts: 44
    Alcan, I posted #55 and I'm hoping you might be able to give me a bit more info. The condenser had corroded almost completely, about 90% of the surface area shows corrosion. It completely surrounds both of the metal tubes and most of the condenser body. Everything else in the A/C system looks immaculate. There is also no acid spillage from the battery and the engine compartment is clean. I paid the dealer to perform Chrysler's "Gold Certification Inspection" only ten months ago while I was still well with in the warranty. The inspection included checking the condenser for leaks. My question is, how long would it take for the condenser to completely corrode like this. My guess is it should have been pretty apparent during the inspection. I want to make a case to the service manager this Sat., so any advice/info. would be great.
  • Hi- I am interested in a used 1994 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 4dr 6.0, 2-wheel drive w/approx. 100k miles on it-it appears to be in very good condition! Upon seeing it and driving it- I really really like it but I have become skeptical upon reading these posts. Has anyone out there experienced any problems with a '94 model or heard of anyone who has? Jeeps are foreign to me-never really was interested until now and I know nothing about them-- I don't want to buy it and then have to pay more money to fix all the faults! PLEASE help! thanks!
  • kars3kars3 Posts: 1
    Go find boards on any vehicle and you will see posts about how bad the vehicle is. That is what drives most people to go to these boards. I have heard really bad things about many vehicles and many good things too.
    Toyota is supposed to be great but my uncles was turned in after 37 repairs in 6 months. He got a lemon law refund.
    My friends blazer made all kinds of crazy noises and frequented the service dept.
    My wifes mitshuibishi was a piece of junk.
    My neighbor offered me his bmw because he was sick of dealing with it.
    My friends wife's altima does great on a good day. He thought he was buying a worry free car for his wife.
    I won't even mention ford suv's and chrysler cars!
    It seems that some get good and some don't.
    I seem to be one of the lucky ones. 2 chevys, 1 mazda and 4 jeeps all over 200k miles on them. My current jeep recently went over 100k and has had only maintainence. I buy Jeeps now because I use them otherwise I would drive a more street bias vehicle.
  • My JGC has 93,000 miles on it and I've noticed that when it is cold outside (below 60) and I drive the car, it has trouble shifting from 2nd to 3rd until the engine warms up. It will miss shifting and the RPM dial will zoom up to 3 or 4 if I try to accelerate. I have to drive slowly til the engine warms up and then it will shift, although sometimes it does so in a herky-jerky way. We took it to a transmission "specialist" in our town who works on race cars and he had the gall to keep it for 4 weeks without doing anything to fix it. We're about to take it to the dealership which will certainly overcharge us so I'm wonde~~~~ if anyone else has had this problem.
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