Almost 100,000 and its falling apart on me

My '03 Jeep Grand Cherokee seems to be having an array of problems lately, I think they might be related. When I start it up on cold mornings it has a loud whining noise. The check gauges light comes on and shows the oil temp as being cold. After leaving it idle for a bit, I will go to drive it and the heater will shut itself off. Later in the day after the first cold start, the loud whining and check gauges light don’t happen again. But the heat shuts off every now and then. Is it all related? And what am I dealing with? ugh…

Could be your belt, could be your power steering pump.

If you know how to do it, you could pull off the belt before you start the car, and see if it still makes the noise. It it does make the noise, then you’re in a world of hurt. If it doesn’t, then you know its something that the belt turns.

My guess would be power steering pump, and the fact that the fluid probably has never been changed. There is typically a screen in the reservoir that gets clogged up with carbon over time. If you can suck out all the fluid, and scrub the screen clean, your pump will stop making noise.

My gf’s had a noisy pump on her PT Cruiser, and after we cleaned the screen in her power steering reservoir, her car became quiet on cold starts once again.


Pls clarify, “check gauges light” is a check engine light that goes on at cold start up and then goes off as you are driving, or is it on all the time?

Oil temperature gauge will show cold at cold start up. It isn’t warm.

Check your coolant level. Heat coming on and going away may mean coolant is low, or there may be an air pocket in the coolant and the system needs to be cleared of the air pocket.

It is not all related. The oil temp reads cold because, well, the oil is cold. What do you expect on a cold day? In bitterly cold temps, cars can make all kinds of strange sounds on startup. This may be normal. The manual for my old car says to expect a sound like this in below-zero temps.

When you say the heat “shuts off”, do you mean the fan shuts off, or the heat gets cold? There is a big difference in what the diagnosis could be.

You have some battery connections that need cleaning.

the check gauges light goes off as I start driving, although it could be as long as 30 minutes before it does so.

ok, forgive me. its not the oil temp, its the oil level ticker. And the fan stopped working. i don’t feel any heat when i put my hand on the vent. so i don’t know if its the fan or what.

Do you have climate control heating? Meaning you set it a certain temp. and the heat cycles on & off?

yes I do have climate controlled heating, but it is not on. I have the regular defrost on with the air flow level at high, heat level also at high, and nothing is happening. No fan moving.

It’s possible that it’s not switching out of c/c mode as it should be.