Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee engine life

My service advisor has told me that I should expect serious, not repairable engine failure at about 120,000 miles of my 4.7 liter V-8 in my 2001 Grand Cherokee made by Mercedes Benz. I love this car and the engine. I like the power, mileage, and the fact that it only turns 2400 rpm at 85 mph. Has anyone had experience with this engine? Thank you.

And just how does he know this ? Where is this service adviser employed ? You will most likely get some warning of engine failure before it happens such as high oil usage or engine noise .
Mileage , you miles per gallon ? I have never heard anyone pleased with the fuel mileage on a Grand Cherokee.

Thanks for your reply. Apparently his personal experience is with cars in the shop that he manages. His shop is a top rated shop and they have been very dependable. The Jeep gets 16 mpg in town and 20 to 23 mpg on the highway at 75 to 80 mph. We get better mileage in Wyoming and Montana because they do not add ethanol. So far, there are no warning noises and it does not burn oil. Compression is excellent. Dipstick stays constant between oil changes. Do you have experience with this engine at mileage over 120,000? I would love to keep the car for a few more years, but it’s current value is about $3500 and an engine is $4000. Would not make much sense to do that. Thanks again, Art

There’s nothing in/on your Cherokee designed or built by Mercedes.


And he only sees vehicles with problems and I really don’t think he knows what he is talking about.
If you are really worried find another shop and pay about 125.00 to have it looked at or just drive until it dies .

1 Like

That Jeep was built when Chrysler was owned by Daimler-Benz. Although some chassis and suspension designs were adapted to Chrysler products, The Chrysler Crossfire and Dodge Sprinter were the only Chrysler products that I can think of that used Mercedes engines.


I worked with 3 people who had the 4.7 in their Grand Cherokees. One with 285,000 miles, one with 345,000 miles and one with 180,000 miles that ended up being sold with 250,000 still running fine.

Don’t worry. Keep up with your maintenance. All is well.

1 Like

Thank you. That is the best info I have gotten so far. One reason I wanted to find out if there may be engine problems is that I am up for a periodic major maintenance and probably new brakes.


Thank you. So, it is probably a Chrysler engine. Have those always been dependable? Art

Best option for me is to continue to do faithful maintenance and then just keep driving it. It would pain me to have to give it up because of the power when you need it, smooth ride, and superb handling. Quadra-trak AWD has also been great. Thanks again for your input.

Can 'superb handling ’ and Grand Cherokee go in the same sentence ?


Nope, that is a lumbering vehicle.

1 Like

We get some posts here about that vehicle from time to time. It seems to have more reliability problems than the average vehicle. But on the other hand it isn’t the average vehicle. In any event you can read what other owners have said or complained about here by using the forum search feature. Icon upper right on this page. I wouldn’t be inclined to simply assume the engine is gonna cave at 120K miles though.

1 Like

Guess they just owned the company at the time and let Chrysler do their thing???

Guess I’ve been lucky. In 18 years, I have spent less that $3000 on repairs or replacements. Big one was the blenddoor on the dual climate control system–$1500.

There have been some timing chain problems with this engine but with 19 years of service how can you be disappointed? There are some regulars on this message board that boast about 10 years of service from a vehicle.

I agree with you, Grand Cherokees have a great ride and handle well comparatively.

The development of a vehicle generally takes 5 years, the second generation Grand Cherokee development was nearly complete when Mercedes and Chrysler merged.

I replaced many broken blend doors when I worked at a Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep dealer.

1 Like

If you aren’t having any problems now, consider yourself lucky, and drive on.

“Good” engines can fail just as suddenly as “bad” engines can last forever.

Keep up with oil changes and chances are you will be fine. As noted by @Nevada_545 noted, the engine has had higher than average problems with the timing chains, which are exacerbated by failure to change the oil frequently enough.

Ummmm… nope!

Here is something for the OP to consider:
If the service advisor is so clueless regarding the sourcing of the engine in the vehicles with which he deals on a daily basis, why would you want to take his word for… anything about this vehicle?

I strongly suspect this service advisor is making a blanket condemnation of the engines just because of seeing some low miles engine failures.
The safe bet on that is that more than likely those engines failed at low miles because of not changing the oil regularly or not raising the hood to check the motor oil level. Both of those things are part of an epidemic it seems.

1 Like