I'm not sure what type of vehicles you drive, or will be considering in the future.
A bit of advice if I may - Do not buy a Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited.
Attached are photos of my 1997 Orvis Edition that has only 59,000 miles - far too new to have failures such as this.
What led me to investigate having this looked at was a constant metal on metal grinding type noise coming from the rear of the vehicle. The rear brake system was inspected and deemed to be in good shape.
The amount of damage? $2000.00.
Not good news for a vehicle that stickered close to $40,000.00.
The replacement parts will include two axle shafts ($500 ea), outer axle bearing and seals and all differential bearings and seals.
For those of you familiar with automotive terminology, look closely for pitting on the shiny surfaces of the axle spindle and on the bearing race (held by my father's hand). The pitting is a result of bearing failure.
If you perform a search on GOOGLE using key words, "Grand Cherokee, rear axle" you will find testimony from hundreds of Jeep owners that have suffered the same misery and CHRYSLER CORPORATION refuses to accept any blame for this poor design.
Over the weekend I happened to purchase a copy of Consumer Reports Buying Guide for 2003. This book gives negative ratings to 1994-2000 Jeep Grand Cherokees. I guess I found out why all too late.
As was explained to me, this also effects full size DODGE pick up trucks. The problem is just a bad rear axle design. Too much flex causes premature wear on bearing surfaces.
The selling dealer told me that there is no known issue with Jeep Grand Cherokees and rear axle failures. Yesterday I telephoned Chrysler Customer Assistance and quite frankly they could care less.
If you know of anyone that drives a JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE, you may wish to forward this message and advice them to get rid of it before their vehicle experiences failures.
Just a friendly F.Y.I., choose your selections wisely.
I will never have another Chrysler product in my driveway ever again.
(Photos available upon request - firstname.lastname@example.org)