18th Jun 2004, 08:41
Good review. I've had nearly the exact same problems with my 1997 Grand Cherokee Limited. I purchased my Jeep used, with about 36,000 miles on it. Three months later, I had to have the rear differential replaced. Fortunately, it was covered under warranty. I began researching the problem on the INTERNET and one very good explanation, backed up by my local auto repair center, is that Chrysler uses 2 different metal alloys in the rear diff and they are eating each other up.
18th Jan 2005, 14:21
I agree with this report 100%, I own a 1997 Grand Cherokee 4 litre, purchased new in May 97 at a cost of £32,000, and have had everything the same happen to me.
Bodywork looks reasonable now, considering the age and mileage, however I am shocked with the areas that are rusting, and it is obvious that certain areas never ever received any primer and top coat. For such an expensive luxury car, this is disgusting.
Under the rear seats, the seat brackets are rusting.
Under the bonnet (hood), many bolts are unplated and rusting badly, nameplates on front panel are dissolving.
Recently I reversed into a small post, bumper distorted, hammered it back level with a rubber mallet, slivers of steel sheeting fell from under car, part of mounting plate for bumper, never ever been painted... terrible.
Both diffs failed within 20000 miles, dealer replaced free of charge stating "they were supplied to the factory by a third party and not hardened properly".
Steering box replaced under warranty: 30000 miles.
Noticed temp gauge reading higher than normal, 55000 miles. New radiator cost £300 + VAT for replacement, core fins had rotted, like paper.
Crankshaft pulley replaced, it's rubber mounted and was wobbling (the adhesive had failed).
Recall on front discs replaced free of charge (risk of cracking).
Air conditioning failure, radiator inside car rotted despite annual recharge at £100, cost over £1100 to repair air conditioning.
Immobiliser prevents car starting if a mobile phone is near the driver's door. Removing the driver's door panel to disconnect white terminal block at least once a month cures this. Took 3 years to discover. SIMPLE CURE NOW IS TO LIFT THE BONNET AND PULL OUT RED 50 AMP FUSE, WAIT 10 SECS, THEN REFIT -- VOILA, CAR IMMOBILISER IS SWITCHED OFF. No need to drive with the door panel loose.
100,000 miles, excessive diff whining noise, cured by addition of friction reducer from Jeep main dealer.
100,000 miles, replacement of all four disc brake rotors, as they had warped.
105,000 miles, replacement of cat exhaust, was rattling, car broke down, dealer thought due to exhaust blocked by broken cat. £700 later, the car would still not run properly.
Symptoms: coughing and kickback, petrol igniting in inlet manifold.
All HT leads, distributor cap and rotor replaced, fault did not show up on dealer's computer.
Cause: STICKING VALVES, below 3200 RPM valves do not rotate to self clean, "Detox" fuel system cleaner added to petrol to decoke valves, it works, also run car on Shell Optimax; runs much better and gets more MPG. Ensure you thrash your vehicle in low gear now and again, say for 10 minutes continuous every week, say 15 miles on the motorway etc.
Put detox in every 3000 miles. This saves a £1400 head job.
The car has been serviced at each interval, regardless of cost.
Now on 142,000 miles and noticed a slight knocking in engine when cold, think valves or piston slap, uses no oil between services, in the shop now for a major service and investigation of the noise.
Engine oil & filter swap.
Transmission fluid and filter swap.
Transfer box fluid change.
Both diffs oil change + friction reducer to be added.
Coolant to be replaced.
New plugs, air filter.
Brake fluid swap.
Compared to other people, I think I have been lucky getting most problems in the early years sorted out under warranty, however, depreciation is steep. I was offered £4000 for the car with 55000 miles and only 3 years old as a part exchange for another Jeep. Now with 142000 miles, I suppose it's only worth £2000.
I like my Jeep, but would not buy another one. I have been told by the dealer mechanic that he prefers my model, as the newer ones also have many faults, and he considers they are much worse.
I shall persevere now with my old Jeep (May 97) and would rather spend £3000 on it over the next 2 years, than suffer £7000 depreciation a year on a replacement.
I shall keep my eye of the Japanese though; I think they are better, and hold their prices well also.
See WWW.JEEPSRUS.COM I think for spares in USA. Here in UK we are ripped off for sure.
14th Mar 2006, 22:47
I agree with all the comments posted. I have had both diffs changed, front disk replaced, auto transmission, blend motor on the airconditoner. This vehicle has done little off road work and has been serviced by a Jeep Dealer. It is a lovely car to drive, but the amount problems out weights this. Resale value is poor. I've decided to run it till it dies and sell it for scrap.
30th Jul 2006, 10:23
Severe knocking from the back end when pulling away from a stationary position following braking to stop the vehicle.. Knocking clears after several seconds accelerating.
7th Aug 2006, 15:26
1997 2.5td Ltd. Anyone else had problems with the drag link and main engine oil seal?
Totally agree with the comments on spares being overpriced... Drag link in the states is 48 pounds, from Chrysler Jeep it's 230 pounds.
Very few items available from the states for right hand drives as Chrysler Jeep has them all "under wraps".
Still, I love the ride from the beast though.
2nd Mar 2007, 01:58
I must say that I disagree with all of the other comments. My 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo has not had one single problem in the last 180,000 miles that I have driven it. I have done all of the basic services, like every 3,000 miles I will do my oil change. I am a very aggressive driver and I go of road a lot and really beat up my car and she still continues to go with no problems. There is no two cars that are exactly a like, so I guess I must of got the lucky Jeep because she has been good to me and I love her.
9th Apr 2007, 18:47
I have a 1996 Grand Cherokee Ltd. We named it Lemoney Snicket as it has been nothing, but a series of unfortunate events. It is in the shop right now, at this very moment. Every time we fix it, it requires something else. So far I have replaced the steering pump, the water pump, the seat memory module, the rear boot latch, and the steering box. The interior is beginning to fall apart right now as well. The various plastics and rubbers are shrinking. It odd though because it is a very nice looking and feeling car. We would not buy another.
Darren from North America (Land of the Emperor Bush)