1998 GMC Jimmy Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the 1998 GMC Jimmy as reported by actual vehicle owners. We'll tell you what the problem is and what it'll take to fix it.

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18
Known Problems

The headlight switch used on the GMC Jimmy is known to fail through normal operation. Since the headlight switch is also integrated into the interior lights, a malfunctioning switch can cause issues with interior lights as well.

  • Symptoms of a failed headlight switch include:
  • Headlights and taillights failing to turn on or off
  • Interior lights flicker, or fail to turn on or off
  • Gauge cluster lighting off or flickering with headlights on
  • Parking light malfunctions  

This issue is well known with General Motors Trucks and SUVs, and is solved by testing and, if needed, replacing the headlight/dimmer switch. Bad grounding wires at the tail-lights, and dirty/corroded tow package wires can also lead to some of these issues. 

The Anti-lock brake system (ABS) control unit may fail internally causing the ABS warning light to illuminate.

The fuel pump may fail causing the engine to stall and not restart. Our technicians recommend replacing the fuel filter every 30,000 miles to help prevent undue strain on the fuel pump.

The power door locks may stop working in one or more doors due to a failed actuator. Replacement of the failed actuator should correct this concern.

A Loose or worn gas cap may cause Check Engine Light to illuminate.

Vehicles equipped whit a 4 speed automatic transmission may develop a harsh 1-2 shift and/or illumination of the Check Engine Light with code P1870 stored. This can be caused by wear of the bore for the TCC isolator and regulator valves in the valve body. This condition does not commonly occur until the transmission reaches normal operating temperature. If the valve body is worn, replacement will be necessary to correct this concern.

The distributor may develop internal faults. This can cause a rough running engine or stalling condition, the Check Engine Light may or may not illuminate. Our technicians tell us that the distributor should be overhauled or replaced to correct this concern.

The spark plugs should be replaced every 100,000 miles. Our technicians recommend replacing the spark plug wires also at this time.

The heater core under the right side of the dashboard may leak engine coolant which can puddle on the passenger front floor. The loss of coolant may cause an engine overheating condition. Our technicians tell us that removal of the dash board is necessary to replace the heater on these vehicles.

The electrical contacts in the ignition switch may fail and result in erratic instrument panel gauge operation or illumination of the Check Engine Light. A failed ignition switch will require replacement.

An oil leak may develop from the distributor o-ring seal requiring replacement of the seal.

Brake fluid can become dirty and may cause problems in the brake system; it should be flushed every 60,000 miles.

GM recommends replacing the engine coolant at 100,000 miles; however, our technicians tell us that the coolant may become contaminated and require a complete cooling system flush every 60,000 to 70,000 miles.

The transmission output shaft seal may leak transmission fluid. On 2WD models, this leak can cause the transmission mount to become oil soaked, which will require replacement of the mount along with the leak repair. On 4WD models, if this seal leaks, the fluid will leak into the transfer case, causing it to become overfull.

Our technicians highly recommend that the transmission is serviced every 30,000 miles to avoid problems and maintain optimal operating order.