1990 Jeep Cherokee 4.0 liter, straight 6 cylinder


Biggest piece of unreliable junk I've ever seen or driven- I'll never own one again


Water pump stopped working- had to replace it.

Alternator stopped working- had to replace it.

Coolant reservoir broke. I replaced it with a new one THREE times.

The piece of junk overheated when climbing a moderately steep hill in the summer. You'd have to stop to let it cool, and then the coolant reservoir would spew out a bunch of coolant. Extra bottles of premixed coolant were fixtures in that Jeep.

Parking lights burned out twice.

Stabilization bar (front) broke.

4WD transfer case stopped working. This cost $1600 to repair.

Windshield leaked water at bottom and top onto the two front passengers' feet.

Distributor stopped working twice (first time: the cap had a crack in it; second time: different problem that I don't recall).

The oil filter was placed at such an angle that you could barely squeeze the filter wrench in. When you managed to get the wrench in place, you could only turn the thing about two degrees at a time- literally. So, taking the oil filter off took about fifteen minutes.

Rear wiper never worked.

ABS brakes malfunctioned several times.

Rear drum brakes didn't work properly. The star wheel mechanism did not self adjust as it was supposed to, and the brakes never tightened properly.

Engine died all the time (probably thanks to the lousy electrical system).

General Comments:

This piece of junk was better suited to rusting away in a lonely parking lot than to being driven around (on pavement or off-road).

If it was raining, I could never have the front wipers, the headlights, the radio, the heater or air conditioning, and the rear window defrost on at the same time. I could only run one or two at a time, or else the heap would die on me at a stoplight.

I had serious trouble with the ABS system, which resulted in greatly increased force required on the brake pedal and greatly increased stopping distance- VERY DANGEROUS. There was a safety recall for the ABS pump motor, so I took it to the dealer from which I bought this four-wheeled death machine. When I got it back, they said they cleaned a connector, said that this is what was needed to fix the safety recall issue, and took my recall notice. Six months to a year later, the same ABS problem came back. I took it to the same dealer, and this time they said that the ABS pump motor needed replacing and they wanted to charge me $600 to do it. I called Chrysler and described the situation. Chrysler took care of the problem for me. I would love to go on about this incident, but this review is only supposed to be about the vehicle. This little ABS story is nothing but true facts, though.

The seats were uncomfortable- HORRIBLE thigh support (I'm a normal-sized person).

An example of how cheesy and fake this vehicle is: On the steering wheel is a circular pattern of what looks like socket head bolts. This gives the impression that these bolts are holding the steering wheel on to the steering column. These are not real bolts. This is just a plastic ring molded into the shaped of socket head bolts and glued to the steering wheel. Someone please tell me what the point of this is. Does it serve to make the interior look "rough-and-ready" or something?

I seriously started trying to figure out how I could make money by having people pay to watch me destroy this heap of junk (what's more eye-catching: blowing it up, or running it off a cliff?)

Those stickers are correct- it IS a Jeep thing, and I DON'T understand.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 20th May, 2004

22nd May 2004, 07:39

I don't think this person knew how to take care of their Jeep. Considering it had 63,000 miles on it when you bought it, the previous owner could have, and sounds like they did, beat the crap out of it. Plus, it's a Jeep, not a sports car. You can't drive it like a sports car. And you don't need ABS. Yes it's nice to have in quick situations, but other than that, it's a pain. Learn how to drive an SUV, then complain.

1990 Jeep Cherokee Limited 4.0 I-6


My Little Atrocity


Okay, where do I start?

Let's start with the ignition process:

This lovely little vehicle had a bit of a starting problem. For some reason, every once in a while, my little baby just didn't feel like starting. I thought it could have been a few different problems, so I replaced both the alternator and the starter. Didn't work. Fortunately, I had a good friend who showed me that if I popped the hood and connected a little wire to the battery and a relay switch, it would jump-start the vehicle. There were many occasions where I would be able to experience this lovely adventure twice before even leaving the parking lot. Once, it died in the middle of a 'K-turn' on a busy road. It was an adrenaline pumping occasion to jump start my jeep in the face of oncoming danger.

Let's speak for a moment on the cooling system of the 1990 era jeep. It seems that the good people of the Chrysler Corporation set out to find the most inefficient means of cooling an engine, then placed that contraption under my hood. I had the joy of replacing the radiator, all the hoses, a coolant reservoir and water pump. In other words: the entire system. After all of this was completed, the system still decided to send my little red jeep to the grave by overheating yet again, thereby cracking the block and leaking antifreeze into the third cylinder. I was so happy to get the $100 dollars from the junkyard for it.

Oh yea, did I forget to mention the exhaust system? I had the pleasure of replacing ALL of that as well. It seems that the mounts to the system rusted right off the underbody of the jeep. Boy did I have fun dragging my exhaust assembly down the highway, with my motor sounding reminiscent of a 1940's era fighter plane.

I replaced the battery too; perhaps it was just the right time for a new one... or perhaps not.

Oh did I neglect to mention that all of this took place in less than a year? Yea, that's right.

General Comments:

For what its worth, I really did love the truck. I guess that's what made me so furious with its quick departure. There was no expense spared on the making of the vehicle. It had power seats, locks, windows, a sunroof, mirror tint, and keyless entry. Not bad for a vehicle made 13 years ago. (the keyless entry didn't work, but it would have been cool if it did)

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 2nd October, 2003

18th Dec 2003, 05:17

For a vehicle that is 13 years old, I would say that that is pretty darn good! You have to expect to fix something, particularly if it is a "wear item". All of the cooling system is a "wear item". Some rust is to be expected also.

7th Jan 2004, 12:05

The starting thing...

You turn the key and nothing happened, just like a dead battery? If so, the neutral start switch. A bargain at $250, available only at the dealer. Or $0.05 for a screw to ground out the switch. (just don't start when in gear)

15th Sep 2004, 11:35

The starting thing...

Mine is alittle different. With the jeep started the key will easily pull out of the ignition.

I had problems with coolant too. Got fixed when they found a leaky freeze plug (naturally in a place where they had to disconnect the tranny from the engine to get to it).

Its getting up there in years. Hate to have to get rid of it, but its just not worth the repair cost.

18th Oct 2007, 01:47

(the keyless entry didn't work, but it would have been cool if it did)

FYI the keyless entry was infrared. (Line of sight) They only worked close to the vehicle.

12th Feb 2012, 19:06

I have to disagree with the Passat comment. I have a 96 Passat TDI, that is possibly the worst car I ever had. My 1990 Jeep Cherokee is one of the best vehicles, and it has taken a pounding. In Belize, most of our streets are what you guys consider off road, and the Jeep is amazing. It's just a matter of how the vehicle was treated by the previous owner, because I know TDI's are amazing, that's why I bought one. I just got a bad deal with an abused car.