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1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee based on complaints from actual vehicle owners. We'll tell you what the problem is and what it'll take to fix it.

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28
Known Problems

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.

Failure in the blower motor power module (automatic temperature controls) or resistor block (manual AC) may cause the heater blower motor to work only on the high setting. The connector to the power module/resistor block is known to overheat (and sometimes melt). The connector or terminals should be replaced; a replacement connector is available.

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.

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.

Excessive gear noise can indicate differential bearing failures.

The power window motor commonly fails in the front and rear doors. This may require replacement of the complete window regulator assembly which will include the window motor.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.