'96 Jeep Grand Cherokee-Laredo: check engine light


I just recently bought a Jeep Grand Cherokee for my teenage daughter and the check engine light came on. The car seems to be operating just fine. Can I still drive it to a mechanic without causing more damage? How do I find out if this car has the OBD II? I read on another website that this problem could be the result of a dipstick or gas cap not properly installed. Is this true and if so, what other simple things can I check before I call a tow truck?


if the light is ON, its ok to drive if its flashing dont move it.

you mention things to check. the gas cap and the radiator cap being on tight…do check for those things.

drive the car to autozone. they will read the codes for free. post the codes and the phrase back here. dont paraphrase, and dont generalize. copy the EXACT code and phrase and retype them here. you can get a whole lot if help if you give the codes.

also how many miles, and what maintenance has been done? this may be a simple reminder for scheduled maint too.


Thanks for the information. I will try autozone to get the codes. We bought it with a 140,000 miles and our mechanic looked at before we bought it and he said there was a lot of things that needed to be done but they were just maintenance things. We’ve had the car for 2 weeks and we got the ball joints replaced, front brake pads replaced/rotors turned(and hoses?), new 4 new tires. We now have over $5000 invested in this car so I am hoping this check engine problem is not a big one. Things the mechanic identified that we haven’t done yet(since my daughter is in college and she’s paying for all the repairs) include broken baffles on the muffler, coolant flush, some kind of transmission gasket is leaking into the transmission pan(?). I will try to go to autozone tomorrow morning. Thanks again for the info.


i personally think at 140,000 this vehicle may need a transmission service. jeeps are notorious for needing transmission work around this age. hopefully this was’nt used for off road much. if the transmission is shifting fine, when you have timeor $$ take it to a tranmission shop and have them look at it.

you dont need to replace “broken baffles” on the muffler. when the muffler needs replacing you will be notified by loud obnoxious noises coming from the muffler/tailpipe.

go to an airconditioning shop have then look at the radiator and ask them if it needs flushing, or is it just recommended?

the other stuff is sort of busy work.