I just bought a 98 JGC 4WD Ltd this year. I've been pretty pleased until now. I noticed the "rumbling" from the passenger and rear sides and made my third trip to the dealer's service department to have it looked at today. The first time, I was told it was brake dust (my naivety allowed me to believe that). The second time, they replaced the rear rotors and worked on front brakes (at the dealer's expense) and told me the noise would subside in a couple weeks. This time, I find out that it's the rear differential (yikes). I've also noticed that the mirror memory is horrible, moody to say the least. I wish I'd done more research before purchasing. I was prepared for the poor gas mileage, but other issues continue to surface. I love the Infinity stereo system, but have noticed that the CD player sometimes rejects cd's with an error message on the display, only to play them at a later time.
I am concerned about some of the problems you've had... should I expect continued problems with the rear differential? And your seats had to be replaced? Wow!
Well after all the niggles and hassles with the dealer, my car has finally quietened down. The brakes have not caused any further problems.
The mirror memory is shot, the mid stage exhaust box has annoying rattle. I have decided that this car will now be used for what it was intended. Will ship it out to Africa, and treat all cosmetic happenings as irrelevant. I have come to the conclusion, that a high mileage secondhand Jeep is a better buy, as just about everything will have been replaced. They are now going for bargain prices second hand, and would be great to thrash in the Zambezi Valley.
I hired one in Zim, and apart from all the usual cosmetic failings, it still went very well with 160k on the clock.
That is what is important I suppose. But if they had sorted out all these faults at production, I have no doubt they would be the best selling 4x4 around. As it is you have to like it to keep it, it doesn't hold up under scrutiny.
Peter (JGC 97 40K miles)
I had all these problems on my 97 JGC (mirrors-twice, steering ball joints, rear axle, warped disks) but the garage fixed all, but the disks under warranty (the extended warranty is a must)!!! When the beast had 80K on the clock the front axle went noisy and leaked oil and at that point the dealer gave me a great deal on a new 4.7 V8 (to get rid of me I think).
No real problems with this 2000 model although I presently have vibration under braking diagnosed as warped front disks after only 33k of motorway driving. I am using the multitude of Internet complaints about disks to press for a contribution from Jeep.
I would still recommend the JGC, but get the extended warranty and keep on good terms with your local Customer Services Manager. Mine is the best dealer (MTB) I have ever come across including Audi (my last non-Jeep vehicle)
Folks who are having a rumble from the rear might try replacing the differential oil with a new synthetic variety. A few have tried it and saved much on replacing still serviceable parts.
I've had my rear differential / gears serviced about two yrs ago. Cost about $700 for new gear set and gear oil. Two years later (now), gears are worn again only this time noise is louder (a constant grinding). After going to about 4 shops they all told me my best bet is go get a used entire rear axle rather that rebuilding/replacing gears. Most cars, a rear axle from a salvage yard is only a couple of hundred dollars. But for this 98 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo-------$1200 used, and over $2000 new from the dealer. This is ridiculous. And that's only one of the 5 problems I am having now, which would be too lengthy to discuss now. If I could fix it cheap, I'd sell it right away, tired of the maintenance.
1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo problems-I bought my 1998 Jeep new and had problems similar to the ones yo mentioned. I took mine in under warranty to have the rear end noise checked and was told that it was normal. After my warranty ran out the rear end failed at highway speeds. I had perforformed regular maintenance and the rear end was checked only 3 months before. The dealership and Jeep would not repair it for free and I ended up paying $2000+ for a new rear end. After much research I found out that the original Dana Rear ends were inferior and most people replaced them immediately. If you're have a loud whirring noise in your rear end, be prepared to pay!!
Bought a 98 Grand Cherokee Ltd two years ago. Went for the extended service contract. Very glad I did.
What's been fixed:
Front differential. Front drive axles. Transmission. Transfer case. Brakes (twice).
Needs to be fixed:
Rear differential. Just about every gasket on it. Both front seats. Radio controls. Speakers. Transmission (again). Reverse light proximity sensor. Driver's side mirror. Cruise control.
For as long as I live, I will NEVER buy a Chrysler/Jeep product again. And I mean NEVER. Those people have absolutely NO idea what quality control means.
I have a 98 JGC. I loved it the first two years I had it. But even with the recommended service schedule I've replaced the rear axle twice, both front axle bearings, front differential, daytime running lights module (wires melted together so that lights would not go off, definitely a fire hazard, the smell was horrible), mirror memory is more of an annoyance than anything because you have to fix them everyday when I am the only person driving it. There's plenty more, but that's just what comes to mind. The rumbling sound is coming back to the front now so I think its time to dump it off and get a non-Jeep vehicle.
1998 JGC orvis bought at 5yrs old. After 12months rear axle exploded set fire to petrol tank, was told by insurance not insured. Bought second hand axle installed one week later front axle pinion collapsed, install all new bearings 20 miles later they also collapsed, bought second hand front axle installed, pinion also collapsed after 20 miles. Transmission company checked front axle set it up 20 miles later gone again at present running without front prop all OK, but don't know what to do or who to turn to next.
Good 4x4 though lovely ride.
I have a 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee purchased new. Love the car... hate the problems! We are getting ready to make the third repair to the rear end. The last repair lasted less than 6 mos. This is my third jeep. The first one we had only 2 years. The second one had too many problems to list here and now this third one has the recurring rear end issue. Can't afford to fix it...can't afford to get rid of it. We are very disappointed.