1997 Jeep TJ SE 2.5L from North America


I love the jeep!


K... bought the car out of a lease.

Had to change both sway bar links. Cost about 80 bucks to change each one.

Panel vents didn't work except for window defroster, they wanted to open the whole jeep up and charge me by the hour. Then some nice mechanic knew about the problem and connected some hose under the hood and fixed it. Slipped him 10 bucks through a handshake to thank the guy.

Hmm, Changed front brake pads shortly after that.

The steering fluid always leaked. Finally got it repaired for just under 200 bucks and it's pretty good now.

The exhaust manifold bolts or something like that is a piece of crap and broke under warranty - was OK until shortly after the warranty expired and don't have the cash to fix it again.

There is a light bulb in the dash that goes out depending on the temperature. It's annoying, but I got used to it. I will probably look into one day.

Catalytic converter huge piece of crap. Broke twice under warranty. Decided to give midas a shot at is after that and then that became an even bigger headache. Took them a year of constant fixings - sometimes they charged me too - but they finally got it right.

The you joints for the front wheels are loose and about to break. That is what makes 4WD work on the front wheels. I haven't bothered to fix it yet because I don't rely on 4WD on a regular basis.

The light fixtures have a tendency to rust out - I have found that smothering the light bulb sockets with grease helps the problem.

The steering wheel does squeek in cold weather, but some wd40 down the steering column under the dash fixes the problem for a while.

Squeaking when I hit bumps is from the hood latch. Some wd40 and grease in there stops the squeaking.

Minor rusting on windshield hinges.

Once it was crazy cold outside, like ridiculously cold - I don't remember the exact temp. Anyway the check engine light came on and I got it checked out and it was nothing important - so I asked them not to fix it, and then after 2 or 3 days, the light just shut off.

A lot of the instrument cluster lights stopped working. 4wh, 4wl, ebrake.

Fuel gage is a little wonky sometimes. Anything under 1/8 of a tank is completely unreliable. Otherwise, most of the time it is somewhat reliable.

The seats are starting to crack, but I always have the top down and no doors, so the UV rays are probably gang banging the vinyl and making it crack.

Anyway - bottom line:

A lot of minor annoyances, but the vehicle has never left me stranded - this is especially impressive because I beat the hell out of it every day.

General Comments:

Overall a great machine and it is more reliable and fun and anything than I have ever wanted.

It is noisy and bumpy and not great on gas, but it is more fun and more worth the money than any other vehicle out there.

Take the doors off, get both tops, and get ready to have the most fun of your life.

Would I buy a jeep again? You bet.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th July, 2004

22nd Sep 2005, 16:57

After reading this particular write up, I had to respond. I have a 1997 TJ and I have had almost the identical problems. Rusted out bolts on exhaust manifold, replaced two catalytic converters, replaced O2 sensor twice, new radiator, new fuel pump, 2 new gas tanks with fuel sending indicators (some of these under warranty). I only have 130, 000 kms on it and I don't offroad often. I love my Jeep, but have never had to fix a vehicle so many times. The biggest headaches have been with the zippers on the soft top.

22nd Sep 2005, 18:48

I have a 97 TJ, I both it used in the summer of 2003, I replaced the radiator twice, i had my soft top repaired 3 times (zippers), now I have to repair the exhaust manifold and I have a knocking noise in the rear diff.

I love the jeep!

It's a money pit!

But I love it!

Oh I forgot, the gas!

Like they say:"it's a Jeep thing, you wouldn't understand"

27th Oct 2006, 13:46

I have a 97 Sahara (and this is to all who commented) the exhaust manifold is a known problem. The after market ones are superior to the original. I also had the problem with the vents not working. It sounds like something slams shut over the vent. I'd really like to know hoe to fix that. Please feel free to email me if anyone knows buck_facari@hotmail.com.

1997 Jeep TJ Sport V6 from North America


A cool looking vehicle with awful reliability


Catalytic converter broke at 40k.

Fuel pump went at 45k.

Suspension links and rear diff went at 50km.

Clutch went at 55km.

Master Cylinder went at 55km.

Paint peeling off rear exterior mirrors (Jeep would not replace these)

Water leaking into front and back of vehicle.

Transmission replaced.

Rear gear of transmission still "crunches" into place - I had it in 5 times for this and Chrysler told me that it was normal?!

Radio overheats after an hour and doesn't work.

Four wheel drive will not engage anymore.

General Comments:

Overall, this car was worse than the VW Golf I had before. This car was rated below average by consumers reports for reliability. But I ignored the report and purchased it anyway. It was the best car and most fun car I had ever had, but a year after I purchased it - the whole thing seemed to fall apart.

The acceleration is fierce - and will beat most cars from a standstill. I was able to hit 150km/hr in third gear - an accomplishment that most cars can't even match!

Even though this is by far the funnest vehicle I have ever bought - don't touch it! Don't take it offroad unless you want to pay for someone in a reliable Toyota Four-runner to haul you out!

One point to note is that the resale on these cars is amazing - I bought mine for $20k and sold it 2 years later for $15k on a trade in!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 7th October, 2003

17th Jan 2004, 07:16

OK, you bought it with 3200 miles on thew clock. You don't know what the previous owner did to it and how they treated it. If it's such a bad car (which it's not) they why is the resale value so high?

Jeep has one of, if not the best 4X4 system (s) ever. You just about can't beat it. Toyota and Nissan are just now starting to catch up. Sure they're Japp. cars and they're known for their reliability. if you treat a Jeep with respect, it will last you for ever. This means not driving it like a damn sports car. And as you say you got to 150 km/h in 3rd gear? You probably maxed out and caused serious engine damage. No wonder the converter went out, it's not meant to be taken up that high for that long. I'd love to see a 4-runner or an X-Terra go straight up a mountain with 2 ft of snow. They can't! They're mainly meant for everyday street driving and every once and a while offroad use. Jeeps can do both for ever and ever and ever with respect and care Only in a Jeep!!!