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Jeep Grand Cherokee (1994 - 1999)

Last updated 25 April 2018

 
2

Buying Guide

Good

Slightly more room inside than Cherokee.

Bad

Still comparatively small inside. 

Old LHD 'special order' 5,216cc (212 bhp) and 5,899cc (237 bhp) V8s very American to drive. Isolate the driver from what's going on. 

Only do 13-26 mpg. V8 values have fallen heavily. 

Lack of crumple zones means it can be severely damaged by hard impacts at speeds as low as 5 mph. 

Joint 10th from Bottom with Chrysler Voyager in 144 car 2002 JD Power / What Car? Customer Satisfaction Survey of V and W reg cars. 

Chrysler Jeeps had highest warranty repair costs in 2003 Warranty Direct Reliability index (index 260.97 v/s lowest 31.93).

23rd from bottom out of 137 models in 2003 Top Gear survey.

Jeep bottom of Reliability Index again for 2004 combining high average cost of repair of £509.31 with high 43.75 failures per 100 Warranty Direct policies www.reliabilityindex.co.uk

Watch

Possible head problems with VM diesel. Make sure aircon blows cold. From mid 1990s on, month and year of manufacture were stamped on the tailgate hinges and are easily visible when open. 

Headlamp self-levelling motors cost £265 + VAT a side and are an MOT requirement. Spate of aircon evaporator failures at 2 to 4 years old. £1,000 job to put right. 162 reports in USA of automatic transmission changing from Park to Reverse unintentionally. Chrysler initially denied there was a problem.

Grumbling diff problem cured with Forté Diff & Gear Treatment especially listed for the Jeep Cherokee’s diff problem together with Valvoline Synpower GL 4/5 F/Synthetic Gear Oil. 

Automatic gearbox (type 42RE) is sensitive to auto transmission oil quality and frequency of change. Fragile if not run on recommended and more expensive Type 7176 ATF. Any delays in gear selection, flare between changes (engine revving) and excessive noise (sounding like a milk float) point to this. Check service record carefully. Transmission Control Module failure is not uncommon. Symptoms are lack of overdrive 4th and standing starts made in 2nd (not 1st) gear. Easy to check: overdrive light should go out after self-check when starting car. TCM is separate from engine ECU. Quadra-Trac: permanent four-wheel drive transmission with viscous coupling on centre differential. This is sensitive to any differences in tyre size/diameter amongst the 4 wheels (same goes for other permanent 4x4s with centre viscous coupling e.g. late model classic Range Rovers). Exhaust manifold cracked: another common problem on the 4.0 litre I-6, heard loudest when cold, solved in the medium term with removal, welding up the crack and refitting. Newer designs have a sliding joint to eliminate the build up of stress when heating up. Engine mountings broken: at least these are of a captive design so the engine is held in place to some extent even if the mounts are broken. Rumbling rear axle: many main dealers use synthetic axle oil as routine (which is normally required only when heavy towing). Any rumbling points to axle or diff bearings, or (more expensive) limited slip diff or crown wheel and pinion problems. Fragile trim: broken sun visor clips and fuel filler cap remote release are the most common problems.

Haynes manual is for US version.

29-06-2001: DaimlerChrysler Technical Service Bulletin (number 21-006-01) applicable to ALL vehicles equipped with Chrysler automatic transmissions (except 1999 and earlier minivans) states "A new transmission fluid (ATF+4 Type 9602) has been developed and is being used as factory fill for all vehicles with Chrysler automatic transmissions. Until now, vehicles originally filled with ATF+2 or ATF+3 were to be serviced with ATF+3. Effective immediately, it is recommended that all vehicles with Chrysler automatic transmissions (except for 1999 and earlier minivans) be serviced with ATF+4." 

Rear axle rumbling could simply be one of the rear wheel bearings, HOWEVER the rollers in these bearings run directly onto the half shaft so if they are worn then a new half shaft is often required (price in US = $450 each). 

Also front wheel bearings are only available as a "front hub and bearing" assembly (price in US = $280 each) and are therefore around ten times as much to replace as a similar Discovery or Range Rover wheel bearing. 

Don't rely on this information. But on the 4.0 straight six maybe fluctuating oil pressure may be nothing more than a failing diaphragm in the oil pressure guage sender.

25-6-2013: Agreement between Chrysler and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to strengthen the rear ends of Jeep Grand Cherokees built between 1993 and 2004 and 2002 to 2007 Jeep Libertys to reduce a fire risk after rear end impacts. Chrysler said it would voluntarily recall the vehicles for a visual inspection and, ‘if necessary,' strengthen the vehicles' rear ends to prevent fires after rear-end collisions. Dealers will strengthen any vehicle without either a factory-fitted trailer hitch or a hitch by Chrysler's approved after-market supplier, according to one person involved. In Britain, it means a recall for around 20,000 Jeep Cherokees and Grand Cherokees. "A statement from the British arm of Chrysler, the owner of Jeep, said: ‘Chrysler will conduct a voluntary campaign with respect to the vehicles in question that, in addition to a visual inspection of the vehicle, will, if necessary, provide an upgrade to the rear structure of the vehicle to better manage crash forces in low-speed impacts.' "

Recalls

1997: 2,536 cars recalled due to danger of fire from a short circuit in heated seat wiring.

February 2002: Recall in Germany (apparently worldwide) of 316,000 Grand Cherokees build 1993-1998 due to an automatic transmission problem.

August 2002: Euro recall of 15,000 Grand Cherokees built 1995 to 1999 to check for corrision in front brake discs that may lead discs to separate from hubs.

Official UK recall 19-08-2002. 23,146 UK cars affected. Discs to be replaced with new version if not already fitted.

29-11-2002: Debris can accumulate on exhaust manifold. 1,651 cars recalled to remove debris and install a manifold debris shield.

In June 2012, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration upgraded its investigation of a 2009 petition by the Center for Auto Safety asserting that 1993-2004 Grand Cherokees were susceptible to catching fire when struck from behind. The NHTSA upgraded its investigation into an Engineering Analysis, indicating its heightened concern.

25-6-2013: Agreement between Chrysler and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to strengthen the rear ends of Jeep Grand Cherokees built between 1993 and 2004 and 2002 to 2007 Jeep Libertys to reduce a fire risk after rear end impacts. Chrysler said it would voluntarily recall the vehicles for a visual inspection and, ‘if necessary,' strengthen the vehicles' rear ends to prevent fires after rear-end collisions. Dealers will strengthen any vehicle without either a factory-fitted trailer hitch or a hitch by Chrysler's approved after-market supplier, according to one person involved. In Britain, it means a recall for around 20,000 Jeep Cherokees and Grand Cherokees. "A statement from the British arm of Chrysler, the owner of Jeep, said: ‘Chrysler will conduct a voluntary campaign with respect to the vehicles in question that, in addition to a visual inspection of the vehicle, will, if necessary, provide an upgrade to the rear structure of the vehicle to better manage crash forces in low-speed impacts.' "

30-9-2014: R/2013/093: Jeep Grand Cherokee: If the vehicle is involved in a rear end collision, then it is possible that the fuel tank could be damaged. This can then result in a fuel leak, which if in the presence of an ignition source, then a vehicle fire could ensue. Build dates: 1-1-1992 to 217-10-1998. VINs: 1J4EX58SOTC140311 to 8Y4GZ78YGW1818306 and 1J4FK48102W196752 to 8Y4GL58K761111265

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