1988 Jeep Cherokee Limited 4.0 straight 6 from North America


My truck's bigger than your truck


The starter/ignition pulley has broken.

Minor coolant system problems.

The headlamp switch has shorted out.

General Comments:

The '88 model Cherokee is rock solid.

It has the advantages of being a dependable work horse for any on-site contractor (plus it can tote your toys).

Yet it also serves well to make any teenage girl confident behind the wheel.

If you're an off road junkie, lookin' for kicks, or a concerned parent browsing for your child's first car, an 88' Jeep Cherokee won't let you down.

NOTE: 1988 was the last year GM owned Jeep.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th October, 2010

1988 Jeep Cherokee Chief 4.0L from North America


Not worth the money, find a newer or older year!!!


First the ignition coil gave up; it had a crack in its rubber epoxy coating on the underside that allowed moisture to penetrate the internal parts, thus causing it to malfunction.

Then the master cylinder for the clutch gave up, leaking on top of the fuse box! This was great, it fried all my fuses! Then the power booster for the braking gave out!

I replaced the booster & promptly replaced all brake lines, cylinders, & calipers.

Next was my left rear internal seal; I had both sides replaced.

The header gasket gave up, & the exhaust was shot; over $500 to fix that!

The biggest of all was the problem with the coolant overflow bottle, it kept exploding, I went through 4 bottles before I reverse engineered the problem! I had to get rid of it altogether! The closed coolant system was a complete failure, a very bad design indeed!

However, the hardest & most common problem, & the worst design Jeep had ever chose, had to be the 5 speed transmission they chose for the 1988, the slave cylinder gave up! All the u-joints shot! The clutch was very worn indeed!

Not to mention after all this, the under side of the body is rusting so badly it's no longer worth any money!

General Comments:

I love my Jeeps, but it takes one to know one! They both handled & drove great for years, but I think it's time for an upgrade! Though my 1988 Jeep truck is getting a complete rebuild with all newer equipment!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 20th September, 2010

21st Sep 2010, 17:18

Let's see, you buy a vehicle with 190K on it and then put another 90K on it, and you complain about having to do some maintenance?

11th Jan 2013, 01:35

I have two 1988 Cherokee's, one base trim, and the other a Laredo. Both have the 5-speed manual, and inline 6 4.0L engines, and both are incredibly reliable. They sit at 336,000 miles, and 113,000 miles. All you have to do is maintain them, and they go forever, and anywhere.

8th May 2014, 10:09

To avoid the bottle exploding, install a radiator from a 91 model and it has the tank to put coolant/water right into it. My 88 Cherokee has 243000 miles on it and still going strong.

22nd Feb 2015, 09:47

Just got my 88 Cherokee last month and it has a new water pump and new high temp thermostat, but the radiator overflow sometimes likes to spew coolant all over my bay. You say replacing the radiator with one from a 91 will fix this? Are there any modifications that will need to be done to accommodate this change?

1988 Jeep Cherokee Laredo 4.0 from North America


Smelly, dangerous, unreliable, cute if no rust


Worst problem is the stalling, which either happens unexpectedly, or with a sputtering. The fuel pump, filter, spark plugs and wires, air filter have all been replaced. Assumed the fuel pump was bad and have replaced it with two new ones, and still hear a very loud humming. The acceleration is difficult to impossible. Even in town driving is not attempted anymore.

All the fluids are quick to need filling.

Passenger side door locks intermittently, and won't open with the automatic locks, or manually until the vehicle chooses it wants to.

The passenger seat is stuck now at a 45 degree tilt, and can't find the problem when looking under the seat.

The tail lights keep going out.

The fan has been replaced.

There is a knocking sound that is horrific when in 4th gear. It happens without warning, and goes away when we take it out of 4th gear.

The cigarette lighter hasn't worked since I bought the vehicle.

There are a great deal on miles on the vehicle, which says something for the fact that it still runs, however much of the vehicle is a mystery.

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

Review Date: 25th March, 2010

26th Mar 2010, 08:15

It is 22 years old - the fact that it runs at all is amazing in itself.

27th Mar 2010, 04:12

How much did you pay for this? I suspect under $1K.

How many miles does it have on it? I suspect over 200K.

Who is doing the maintenance on it? Do they know what they are doing?

This is well known to be one of the most reliable engines made. If you don't want the vehicle, there may be quite a few others out there that might still be interested in it and you might even get your money back. Then you might be surprised to find that what you bought for the same money, as a replacement, won't be anywhere near as good.