Jeep issued an emissions recall in late 2006 to update the powertrain control module (PCM) software on certain 1996 - 1998 vehicles. As part of the recall, the catalytic converter will also be inspected for damage and replaced as necessary. To see if your vehicle is included in the recall you can visit the Jeep website (owners' section) that allows owners to input their VIN number and check the recalls on their vehicle.
Emissions Recall to Update PCM Software and Inspect the Catalytic Converter on Jeep Cherokee
Average mileage: 181,137 (130,000–235,000)
8 people reported this problem
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Took it in to the dealer, did the job for free, and fixed the noise that went with it.
Check engine light and code reading catalytic issue/failure. Issues with starting.
Catalystic converter rusted rattling
Failed Emissions test. Mechanic is replacing the PCM, a burnt engine coil, and the catalytic converter. $1700 repair job