Problems for specific Jeep Grand Cherokee years:
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Most reported 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee problems
Due to warped front brake rotors or variations in the thickness of the rotors, brake pulsations may develop. The best method to reduce pulsations is to use an "On the Car" brake lathe (as long as the rotors are suitable for turning). "On the Car" equipment can correct variations (or "runout") in the rotor surfaces because it also corrects variations in other components (e.g. the hub).
Leaks at the front and/or rear differential pinion seal and from the transfer case are common. Leakage from the transfer case normally occurs at the case-mating surfaces and require removal of the transfer case to reseal.
Electrical contacts in the tail lamp housing tend to break or melt, which can cause the brake lights to fail or work intermittently. Complete inspection of the tail light housing and bulbs is recommended before replacing any parts.
Loose or worn suspension and steering components can cause a wobble or shaking in the steering wheel. It may happen at a certain speed and subside as the vehicle accelerates through the range. Tire balance can contribute to this as well.
The AC/heater (HVAC) system may unexpectedly switch to the defrost mode when accelerating. This system is operated by engine vacuum and should be inspected for any vacuum leaks if this problem develops. There is also a revised vacuum check valve available to address this concern.
The AC evaporator drain commonly clogs and causes water to leak onto the passenger side floor. A sloshing noise may also be heard from the water inside the heater housing. Decaying organic debris in the housing may cause an odor. A service bulletin (TSB 24-06-96) was released; it describes how to clean the drain tube without removing the heater AC housing.
A ticking type noise may be noted from the engine area due to an exhaust manifold that has cracked where the pipes are welded; cracked manifolds should be replaced.
On 3.9L V6 and 5.9L V8 engines, the intake manifold gasket may leak and cause increased oil consumption and a spark knock during acceleration; the gasket should be replaced.
A broken seat heater element located in the seat cover may make the seat heater inoperative. The condition usually occurs in the seat bottom; two repair kits are needed for each seat.
External oil leaks from the valve cover gaskets, intake manifold gaskets (front or rear), and the rear crankshaft seal area are common. The rear main seal is an unlikely source. Normally, leaks in this area are from the bearing cap mating surfaces as well as the sealing surface between the oil pan and bearing cap.
On the 3.9L V6 and 5.2L V8 it is often misdiagnosed as a leaking oil filter gasket, the oil filter adapter can seep from between the adapter and engine block.
One the 3.9L V6 and 5.9L V8 the carbon buildup on the top of the piston is common. As the buildup increases with mileage and over time, symptoms may vary from light ticking, to ticking/hammering, to hammering/knocking noises. Fuel injector cleaner often solves the problem.
If a thumping or creaking noise is heard from the transmission tunnel area while driving over bumpy roads, a transfer case shifter repair kit is available which should correct this concern.