2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee - Needs a head gasket and water pump - Is this the start of trouble?

My 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee needs to have the head gasket replaced and water pump. It is under 60,000 miles (59,400) but 5 1/2 years old. Jeep is not honoring the warrantee since it is over 5 years old. This is a very expensive repair. Any thoughts or advice? Is this common problem with Jeeps? Should I get rid of car? I’m wondering if more problems will appear.

What engine? they had a V6 and 2 V8’s and a diesel (but rare)

They have the right to end the warranty once it ends, no matter how close (yes it is frustrating), but sometimes the manufacture will help some with the price as long as you don’t go at them like an A hole, but you also have to be firm and persistence… Sometimes they will help just to make you go away and stop bothering them… lol

If they don’t cover it then you need to get some estimates from independent shop, they are normally cheaper and can offer different options (like used engine or reman with a great warranty on top of just replacing the failed gaskets)…

The damaged cylinder heads/gaskets are a result of overheating the engine. If only the water pump had been replaced before it led to the engine overheating. Often this damage can be mitigated.

Modern engines are constructed sort of like a two-layer cake. Top layer is cylinder head, which is bolted to bottom layer. Cylinder head gasket is in between. Engine frosting. Seems simple enough, might think replacing gasket shouldn’t be overly expensive. Problem is the cylinder head is like the engine’s Grand General Station. Almost everything in & out goes through cylinder head. So a lot of stuff has be be disconnected to replace that gasket, time consuming & exacting work. Requires highly trained, experienced mechanic.

Not from the posts I’ve seen here. You could make use of the forum search feature to see what others have posted here about their Jeeps, link upper right this page. It seems like the most common Jeep drivetrain problems discussed here have to do with electrical power distribution and sensors.

A CH gasket should last longer than 5 years, but they aren’t indestructible. They will easily fail if engine ever significantly overheats, or if cooling system maintenance is deferred or done incorrectly.

If you pretty much like your Grand Cherokee otherwise, and are comfortable with the risks associated with a 5 + year old vehicle, remember every part is 5 years old, imo your best bet is to have the head gasket repaired, and keep on driving your Jeep. Beyond that keep on top of the cooling system inspection & maintenance schedule, and get in the habit of monitoring the dashboard engine coolant temperature gauge. If you catch overheating incidents soon enough and stop the engine, you can often get away with just a minor repair.

OK , I know you meant Cylinder Head gasket but not everyone who comes here does . They just might wonder where a CH gasket is on their vehicle.

It took me a minute to figure out what OP was at 1st… ha ha


Was the car stopped immediately when it overheated? Usually the head gasket will survive that.

The car never over heated. Temperature gage was always closer to cold than hot. I only noticed a problem by smelling coolant.

Unfortunately the temp gauge can be a little misleading as it is possible it was not working correctly for many reasons, but also as the coolant level drops it makes it much harder for the ECT (engine coolant temp) sensor to read the temp correctly… Think of it like this, boil some water, now put your hand 12" over the boiling water, you will feel heat but nothing to bad, now slowly move your hand closer to the hot water, you will notice the water feeling hotter, the water is not getting hotter your hand is just closer to it now… (WARRANING: PLEASE don’t put our hand too close or in the boiling water IT WILL BURN YOU) lol… Same with the ECT it can possibly give you a false reading if coolant is not full to spec… Meaning if the water pump was leaking and the coolant got low enough you could have over heated it not knowing you did and pop goes the head gasket…

A head gasket can leak externally and not cause overheating if coolant doesn’t drop too low.

And if the coolant comes in contact with a hot engine component, it’ll cause a coolant smell.


Not always, I seen many 1st gen Taurus overheat and by the time you got pulled over and engine turned off you had already cracked the head(s)…

A head gasket can blow at least 6 different ways…

Compression leaks to crankcase…
Compression leaks between cylinders…
Compression leaks to coolant… (block test)
Blown coolant port to Oil port…
Blown Coolant port to outside…
Oil port blown to outside (as Tester mentioned)…

I’m not sure I agree with you here. You believe you have a blown headgasket and bad waterpump because you smelled coolant?

How much coolant have you lost? What is the rate of loss?

Are you overheating? Do you see coolant leaking from the water pump weep hole? If your water pump was bad, you would be overheating.

Did you have this looked at by a professional?

If you did, did you get a second opinion?

If it were me I would.

It’s a Jeep, things will only go downhill from here. I think the Jeep “beginner package” includes a AAA membership :rofl: :joy: :rofl:

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Did the shop explain how they determined that the head gaskets need replacement? If you are leaking coolant it might just be the water pump. They may be right but I’d want a thorough explanation of why head gasket and water pump replacement is needed. You might want a second opinion. You don’t say, but if this is a dealer I’d get an opinion from a good independent shop.

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What? Shop doesn’t recommend motor replacement?

My girlfriend had a car with a bad head gasket or something along those lines. It blew much of the coolant out the overflow and exhaust gasses were bubbling from the coolant reservoir if you had the cap off with it running. One thing was for sure… That coolant smelled like DEATH! It just smelled absolutely TERRIBLE with the exhaust gasses contaminating it. She got $1500 for a trade in which I thought was good considering this and other things were wrong with the car. I told her not to complain if she got $1000 or better so she was happy.

As for a Jeep, they are an investment to put it nicely. Many Jeeps have a saying in the back window along the lines of “JEEP = Just Empty Every Pocket”.

Pictures of the leaking head gasket and WP?

Investments make money. A 17 Jeep is not an investment because it just absorbs money.


Never buy a car as an investment. Buy a car to drive. That way, you’ll limit your
disappointment to only one area.” — Ray