Fix or sell: 1995 Jeep Grand Cherokee

My 1995 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 4x4 has been a giant money vacuum. It has 118K miles, and here are a few of the repairs I’ve had to do in the last 3 yrs (not including maintenance like breaks, which have all been replaced as well).

computer sensor

front and rear differential

tie rod ends and bearings

engine mounts

timing belt

Now, the dealer says the exhaust manifold is cracked, the catalytic converter is failing, and the exhaust system is rusting through, to the tune of $1700, which I don’t have.

I keep thinking that at some point, I will run out of things to repair and it will cooperate. Am I being too optimistic?

If I sell this car, and only have about $1000 more to add to whatever I get, could I expect to get something that runs well, or would I just be starting the cycle over again?

Thanks for your advice.

You are likely to start the cycle all over again, given the small budget you’re talking about.

Your Jeep doesn’t have a timing belt, so I wonder if you have been taken advantage of by an unscrupulous mechanic, or you have simply made an error in terminology.

Without fixing the items you mention, I think finding a reasonable buyer will be hard. He will expect your pricing of the vehicle to be lowered by the approximate amount of required repairs. I don’t know what your total repair costs have been, but $1700 may be cheaper than buying someone else’s maintenance headache on the lower ended used car market.

None of those things are odd or unexpected on a 13 year old vehicle. (Well, maybe the differentials, but if it was abused – like many Jeeps are – they could go.) A cracked exhaust manifold can sometimes be repaired with JB Weld or the like. Anyway, an exhausted exhaust at 13 years (you don’t state mileage) is probably par for the course. Unless you know of more problems, I’d fix.

BTW I also agree with the other posters. Anyone buying the car would expect the price to be lowered to accomodate the known repair items, so you’ll pay for that new exhaust work anyway. And you probably won’t be able to buy much car for what you would get for yours.

First off, there is NO reason you should be taking this vehicle to the dealer. Independent garages are typically much cheaper and are at least as skilled, usually more, than the dealers. I agree with NYBo’s suspicions that some of the other repairs you’ve had were unnecessary. In this case, I find the diagnosis of a failing catalytic converter VERY suspicious. Unless it’s actually rusted through or physically damaged, it’s very rare for a converter to fail, plus if you do indeed have a manifold leak, that will very often trigger the same computer code as a failed catalytic converter.

Get yourself to a good indpendant mechanic to get the manifold leak checked out and a good independent exhaust shop (not a chain) to get an estimate on the rest of the exhaust system. I suspect it will be about a half to a third of what the dealer is quoting you. When a dealer does exhaust work, they have to order the actual from-the-factory pre-bent special parts, wheras an independant exhaust shop can make you an exhaust system out of the bulk components they have in stock that they get for super-cheap.

it’s a HUGE money pit,run for your life.


not going into details,but our dealer also has JEEPS(better known as HEEPS. lmao!

the cycle will NEVER end.

The repairs you have made in the past have nothing to do with the repairs you are making now or in the future.

After 13 years and 118K miles the exhaust system and cat are probably ready for replacement on just about any vehicle. The 4.0l engine exhaust manifold did have a problem with cracks that are addressed with a new design.

BTW, the owners manual states that the differentials (and transfer case) should be serviced at regular intervals. And that you should check the differential fluid if you have done any deep water crossings. If you haven’t kept up on this maintenance, you have only yourself to blame for the repairs.

You didn’t say which sensor. But they usually aren’t that expensive to replace. Which one was it?

As stated by others, there is no timing belt on this vehicle, it’s a chain. If, on the other hand, you are really refering to the serpentine belt, it should be replaced at 90K miles anyway (it’s a maintenance item, not a repair).

Engine mounts are rubber and do disintegrate over time. It’s not unreasonable to replace them after 10 years.

So, all said, it really hasn’t been that bad. The real question is: How do you use the vehicle? The GC is a great 4x4, and the 4.0l inline 6 is a solid performing engine with good low-end torque.

You won’t be able to get much in a used vehicle for the price you can sell a 13 year old car for + $1,000. You will still be looking at an old car with issues.