1997 Jeep Wrangler Problems
RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the 1997 Jeep Wrangler based on complaints from actual vehicle owners. We'll tell you what the problem is and what it'll take to fix it.
Water can leak near the A-pillar, at the front edge of the driver and passenger side doors. An improved seal is available.
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.
Jeep issued a recall on the ignition switch because the switch could short-circuit in the presence of water or impurities.
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.
Jeep issued an emissions recall in late 2006 to update the powertrain control module (PCM) software on certain 1997 - 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.
If water leaks into the passenger compartment and under the passenger side carpet, an heating, ventilation and AC (HVAC) drain hose is available.
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.
Some models are susceptible to rear main oil seal failures in dirty or dusty conditions. As dirt and dust collect on the oil seal, the abrasion wears through the sealing surface. A spacer is used between the bell housing and engine that has a small slot in the 12 o'clock position. Filling this slot with RTV silicone and cleaning the seal area can help prevent damage to the seal.
When normal alignment practices do not bring components into the alignment specifications, offset upper ball joints are available.
The AC evaporator may freeze after extended use of the air conditioner. The output may feel low due to the restricted evaporator. Once the ice buildup melts, the AC operates normally. A revised low pressure cycling switch is available which may fix this concern.
The throttle body may accumulate an oily, black residue in the bore and on the throttle plate causing hard starting or possibly stalling when coming to a stop. The throttle body should be cleaned during regular maintenance but do not spray cleaners directly on or at the throttle position sensor (TPS) as this can damage the sensor.
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).