1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee Problem Reports

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If the downstream (rear) oxygen sensor wiring harness contacts the propeller (drive) shaft, it can damage the oxygen sensor and the wiring harness for the sensor, and/or cause Check Engine Light illumination. The wiring harness should be repaired and secured away from propeller shaft.

When normal alignment practices do not bring components into the alignment specifications, offset upper ball joints are available.

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.

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.

"False" trouble codes may cause erroneous illumination of the Check Engine Light. Updating the PCM software can often correct this concern.

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.

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.

Jeep issued an emissions recall in late 2006 to update the powertrain control module (PCM) software on certain 1996 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.

If the fuel gauge operates intermittently, an update the powertrain control module (PCM) software may be needed.

On the 3.9L V6 and 5.9L V8 the engine oil leaks at the distributor can be misdiagnosed as leaks from the intake manifold seal, oil pan gasket, or rear crankshaft (rear main) seal. A revised distributor is available if oil is found inside the distributor.

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 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.

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.

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.