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1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo



  • I'm seriously considering buying a 98 Laredo, but I am a bit concerned about all of the negative comments about the JGC's. Is anyone really happy with their '98 Laredo? Also, does anyone know how I could find a good Jeep mechanic in LA?
  • Bought a 96 GCL about a year ago, had 70k miles.

    Main problem: the vehicle "surges" intermittently - very annoying, vehicle "rocks" side to side (when stopped), more importantly though is that it has resulted in very dangerous (entering traffic) stalling 3-4 times.

    Particulars: most noticeable when stopped w/engine running, see 330 rpm swing at worst, seems to "build up", does it in all gears R, D, N, L, does it in warm weather, cold weather, rain, no rain, engine warm, engine cold. Have replaced fuel pump (very expensive), Air Idle Speed Motor (Jeep dealer diagnosis), been tuned, etc.

    I, like others w/postings here, have other issues also, but thank God, these have not cost me...yet - 1) rear end makes a grinding noise but it has since I've owned it (one year/15k miles) & I haven't had anything go wrong; 2) sometimes get a "rock tumbler" sound from the driver's side rear after stopping & shutting off the engine, I think it's the fuel pump (replaced it once, hope it's not going bad again); 3) mysterious sound (sounds like a piece of styrofoam is being blown around an enclosed area, how strange is that description???) from the driver's side rear when traveling at high speed (75 mph) & it's windy outside; 4) put one of those bug shields on the front of the hood & the subsequent change of air flow & the sound it makes when hitting the windshield was enough to drive one crazy (am removing it this weekend).

    Any insight anyone has for any of these "issues" would be appreciated, but especially the surging problem, it really has me frustrated. Thanks.
  • jgc98jgc98 Posts: 1
    I just purchased a used 98 Grand Cherokee. I was wondering why I got it so cheep. Now I know, because of all the "standard" problems.

    The rear differential was making noise, had the bearings replaced. From what I understand is that Jeep wanted to save on weight and had part of the differential case made of aluminum which has a different heat dispersment than iron. So after driving the metal expands and contracts which causes the bearing to tighten up beyond the specifications and ultimately fail. Sounds like a design error and that Jeep is at fault. I think it should become a recall item. What needs to happen at Jeep before the company will recall a defective part?

    The AC lines are severely corroded (just like with message #55). These have not failed yet but I'm pretty sure that it will not be long before these lines start leaking.

    Transmission growl, after fixing the rear end noise, I now hear a growl from the transmission when coasting. Is this common, anybody else have similar problems?

    Wind noise: When driving on the freeway I hear the wind blowing in through the rear doors. Checked the seals and they look good. Anybody else noticing wind noise? What can be done to fix it?

    My milage is ~12mpg in town is this about average?
  • rkc440rkc440 Posts: 2
    For all of you who have been having problems with your alarm, or interior lights and liftgate, here is what they did to fix mine. The initial prognosis was a short, costly difficult to fix etc. But what it really turned out to be was a bad Body Controller. The part itself is about $180, but other than that, it was a fairly reasonable fix at my Jeep dealer, and everything seems to be fine. I hope that helps some people out there. RKC440
  • rcheung1rcheung1 Posts: 1
    I own a 93 JGC w/ only 118,000. I went to the jeep shop because car was shaking really bad. they told me that i needed a new engine. Has anyone else had trouble w/ there engine.
  • sfamnssfamns Posts: 2
    I own a 96 Grand Cherokee Laredo. Out of all of the cars I have owned, I've never had to replace or had problems with the catalytic converter. Took it to the dealership (thank goodness it was covered) and they did not put it on properly. Within two weeks later, the converter fell off while I was at work leaving to go to lunch. Needless to say, I was p-o'ed!!! The car is only 4 1/2 years old! Come on now!!!

    And the doggone brakes will never stop squeaking! I had new brakes front and back put on after I bought it (bought it used). And they still squeak! Isn't there something that can be done to stop this noise?

    And the a/c is a joke. It feels great if you are sitting up in the front, but try sitting in the back hoping to get air! Better bring a hand fan. Why did Jeep not put rear a/c vents in a big vehicle like this truck?? I felt so sorry for my kids last summer. They were sweating in the back seat while I was 'chillin' in the front. I'm now looking for something decent that has rear a/c and will not cost me a couple of knee caps in repairs.

    Anybody, any suggestions??
  • I noticed Rivergirl's comments about the transmission problems when cold. We have a '95 and are experiencing the same problems shifting when cold from 2nd to 3rd, and sometimes even 1st to 2nd. Once it is warm it's fine. Took it into AAMCO and they are telling us it will need to be rebuilt, about $1000 plus $289 if it needs a new torque converter. It has 84K miles on it. Seems kind of young, but they tell me it is within the average time for this repair and possibly a bit early. Bummer.
  • We had problems with our JGC '95 recently. The alarm kept going off when using the key to unlock the driver door. Electric windows would intermittently not work. Sometimes it would not start either. Finally....figured out it was the wiring harness in the driver side door. Mechanic said Jeep told him this was fairly notorious for this year. New harness and labor was about $300. Posted this because mechanic went through hell trying to find out what the problem was before finally calling Jeep.
  • jelly3jelly3 Posts: 1
    97 Jeep Grand Cherokee (Transmission 2-3 shift)My Jeep has a problem with shifting from 2nd to 3rd gear sometimes. It seems like it depends on the amount of throttle you are giving it at the time. I bought this vehicle used because the new ones are way too expensive. It had 79000 miles on it at the time. Now I have 93000 miles on it and it does seem to have more problems than the normal later model vehicle should have. And the problems are (1)Trans 2-3 shift sticks in 2nd gear (2)ABS light on (3)Check Engine Light on & off(4)Water leak on passenger side floor board in summer time.(5)Rear differential noise. (6)Road noise coming from rear doors. (7)Left rear power door lock won't unlock sometimes. (8)Had to replace water pump 5.2 liter V-8 engine. These are some of the problems with this vehicle but other than that I just love the comfort and power the my JGC has. I did learn how to check the computer codes on Chrysler cars,(without starting the vehicle) you turn the ignition on-off-on-off-on and the codes will flash on the odometer display. My Jeep has a code 12 and 21 and the 55 means end of codes.
  • bikybiky Posts: 20
    I see that everybody has been having this shifting problem with the transmission. Mine is a little different than those posted here recently. My JGC (97 Laredo 4.0L) hesitates to shift from 3rd to 4th. Sometimes when it does pick up the 4th, it'll not stay there for long and shift down to 3rd again. And it'll keep trying to go from 3rd to 4th and come back to 3rd again. This is so irritating that I've started driving with "overdrive off". Also, on the 3rd and 4th gear, if it's not trying to switch gears, the rpm keeps fluctuating by a few hundreds. This is irritating too, but I cant escape this.

    A year back when I was in Nashville, I had taken it to a few dealerships for repairs to this (almost 6-7 times). At first, they said that there's nothing wrong with the transmission. When I went again and again, they said "okay, we found out the problem, some cable in the transmission was faulty, it needed some adjustments". I happily started driving home and found no improvement (or maybe neglegible). The problem was still there. Then I took it for repairs a few more times and every time this same thing happened, they would adjust some cable and say it's alright now and it won't be any better.

    Sept 2000, I moved to Minneapolis. Took it to a dealership. They found the problem and fixed it. I was so happy that it's gone. Drove my jeep thru the winter without any kinda problem, but now this transmission problem has reappeared. This Jeep dealership charged me around $70 for adjusting some pressure cable, said it wasn't covered in the Chrysler Service Contract (Max Care) which I have till 60k miles. I dint dispute this charge with DC, 'coz I was happy at least my jeep drives fine. But now that it has started again, I dont want to spend money on fixing it. After all, why did I spend a grand on buying the Service Contract?

    Anyway, this is the story so far. I know many people have had this problem before (saw it on edmunds' townhall itself). Can someone explain what exactly is wrong and how it has to be fixed... permanently? If some part, such as torque converter and/or some cables, have to be changed, I'd like to tell the dealership to do that. I dont want my Jeep to have any problem when it goes out of that Service Contract period in Feb 2002.

    (I'm sure, the explaination/solution to this problem will benefit many.) Thanks in advance.
  • lhelllhell Posts: 1
    For the past 6 months I have a problem with the battery going dead. The vehicle is driven but once or twice a week. The factory security system is not armed, it is parked in the garage. Is anyone aware of a specific problem, with this year of jeep that the has been identified ? Thanks
  • longbow713longbow713 Posts: 6
    Wife and I have a 20' boat that weighs 4,500 (boat, motor, trailer, gas can be another 500+ lbs.). We are looking at a 98' grand cherokee laredo but I was wondering if anyone had comments. Anyone out there with a similar vehicle that tows a similar load? Any good or negative comments? Thank you, Jim and Mary.
  • I own a Jeep Grand Cherokee 1995 with 95,000 miles. I bought it used and leaky. So far I haven't had many problems other than repairing brakes and buying new tires. My most recent problem is figuring out why all 4 power windows don't work. I replaced the fuse and still no good. If any of you have any ideas on how to repair it, I am all ears. I have read that other owners have had the same problem but I haven't been able to find the answer on the net. For people looking to buy a Jeep, they are very popular. They look good, they are peppy, and comfortable. Maintenance is the key unless you are dealing with factory defects or an inept dealership. I think most Jeep owners have positive things to say about their cars and I accept the fact that Jeeps are a little expensive to maintain. One positive thing I see in all of my reading is that people don't b*tch about the engine that much. The I6 will just keep going if properly maintained. Any ideas about my power windows?
  • tkdjshtkdjsh Posts: 1
    I have been having a thumping noise upon stopping and starting in the rear of my 96 Jeep GC. My Jeep has 165,000 milies and is beginning to show some signs of deterioration mechanically, but still looks great on the outside and interior. Does anyone else have what sounds like something loose and smacking into something in the rear of the Jeep when you stop or start or hit a bump? THere is nothing at all in the rear of my vehicle so it's not something I have put in there...please help,,,it's annoying...Thanks.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,479
    Sounds like a loose exhaust pipe.

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  • ed_ph413ed_ph413 Posts: 17
    I have had only minor problems with 63,000 miles. Recently though I have had more of the shifting when cold problems mentioned in this board. There is also a metallic sound if I try to accelerate hared when cold. Has anyone had this? Otherwise, I would recommend this vehicle.
  • thwilkinsthwilkins Posts: 5
    I have a '95 JGC - Ltd with the V-8 engine. The engine was replaced at 30,000 miles under warranty. I was not the original owner. I now have 95,000 miles and am using 1 qt every 100 miles on the highway. The vehicle has had regular oil changes (3,000 - 4,000 miles). A compression check was o.k., no white smoke on desceleration. Black smoke on heavy acceleration. No drips under car when parked. Any suggestions? One mechanic recommended higher viscosity oil; went to 10W-40 and 20W-50 with no noticeable change in consumption. Car used primarily at highway speeds. Have had some of the regular problems, slow freon leak, replaced engine computer, replaced rotors, rear wheel bearing and differential gasket leak, radio display gone and half of buttons don't work on Infinity radio. I am thinking maybe the valve guides might be shot but am not sure.
  • Our '97 has 65,000 miles and we have spent $4500 in repairs in the last year and 9 months. The rotors have been redone TWICE, the O2 censor shorted, the evaporator went out, the U-joints and swaybar links had to be replaced, the transfer case keeps leaking, the left rear door won't unlock sometimes, and the latest was the rear differential went out. I called DC and complained and they paid for all the parts and the majority of the labor for the rear differntial. I love the Jeep, but can't afford this anymore. We didn't get the extended warranty. Anyone know, are the new ones any better? This will probably be our last Jeep.
  • Dear Daimler Chrysler:

    Your company should start bringing some standard of integrity to it's communications and business practices.

    BEFORE I bought my jeep I called your customer assistance and inquired about the BRAKE ROTOR WARPING problem being reported by 1999,2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee owners.
    One of your customer assistance "specialists" told me the problem had been fixed by a TSB that had the rotor replaced with a newly designed rotor to replace the weak one which was warping as early as 3000 miles.
    All I can say is thank God I didnt buy your 4 wheel drive model (It's got lots of problems too from what weve seen)
    My rotors warped on my 2000 JGC at 11,000 miles.
    There is no way I will buy MOPAR parts to fix my brakes because,in fact, your company hasn't redesigned the rotor!


    Why should I put another set of "Mopar" brake rotors on my jeep when they will fail between 3000 and 12000 miles? Why can't you build a better brake rotor?

    Another thing I don't like about your company is the fact that your dealers tried to sell me replacement brake pads (just the parts) at a ridiculous price of around $300 (front and rear)
    300 dollars for just brake pads is a little bit (no kidding) excessive.
    I ended up installing after market rotors and pads (Stillens) which are far superior to your Mopar junk and cost a hell of a lot less. Bottom line is, I walk with my money and you lose DC.

    Your company's relationship with it's customers and the public stinks.
    Your probably going to end up like Firestone/ bridgestone.
    DC lacks integrity, excellence, world class products and service.

    You can't build and fix cars until you first fix your companies "anti customer" practices.


    also...when I spoke with your customer assistance folks and a local dealership (Vacaville Jeep, Ca) both the service adviser and your people in Auburn Hills were the rudest and snottiest customer service people I've ever seen.
    I suppose this is "world class 5 star" treatment and service too!

  • 5.2L V-8, stalls & has otherwise low idle speed. Happened on a vacation in the mtns. of NC (Brevard). Very helpful tech. informed me that the unburned fuel/air in the intake manifold evaporates when the engine is turned off. "Varnish" thus builds up on the IAM (Inlet Air Motor) and makes the little "pintle" stick.

    It is easily fixed by using carb cleaner ("gumout") on the pintle every 2-3 months. DO NOT do this with a HOT engine!! Remove air intake, IAM pintle is within the throttle body joint with the low-profile air intake fitting that you just removed. This is at the rear side of the 6"-7" diameter opening under the air intake.

    Spray it good, work the pintle a few times with your fingers, put the air intake back on, and you're ready to go.

    NOTE: The tech's experience was not so much with JEEPS but with the Chrysler "318" (5.2L) V8. He said this 20-yr old engine design that all the techs know how to baby & tweak is being discontinued in favor of the new 4.7L.
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Just a precautionary note. Some throttle bodies have a coating on the inner bore which may be damaged by some aerosol carb cleaners. The procedure listed by mnoell above is generally good advice, but air intake/throttle body cleaner should be used rather than carb cleaner.
  • dms7dms7 Posts: 3
    I own a 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Last month my fuel gauge, while driving, moved from full to empty and the empty fuel light came on. About a minute later it went back to full and the light went off. I

    I did not think much of it until it happened 4 mores times. Sometimes it happens when I turn the car on. I noticed that my digital trip meter that tells me how far I can drive has the same problem.

    Has any one else had this problem? Does any one know what the problem is or how to fix it?

    Thanks in advance.
  • I have not had this problem with any of my Jeeps but I am trying to fix a similar problem in my daughter's 97 Neon. From checking the boards and books, all these DC gauges tend to feed back into the PCM or BCM (computer). Supposedly, a scan tool can be used by the dealer to check the operation of the gauges to confirm that they are OK. If it is not the gauge, it is probably a problem with the PCM. About the only thing you can check yourself is the fuse to be sure it is in tight. I tore my daughter's dash apart last weekend looking for a possible loose wire. Waste of time. There were no wires to speak of but just a lot of wiring harnesses factory wrapped and plug in connectors. The gauges are solid circuit. Upon inspection after removal, they looked just fine. Good luck.
  • There was a recall for the fuel level indicator on the 97 JGC. We had ours replaced and it has subsequently failed twice. It is at the dealer today being replaced... still covered by the recall. Take it to your local dealer for a replacement. And good luck.
This discussion has been closed.