Jeep Steering Binding After Continuous Driving

Hello! I drive a '95 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo V8. Recently drove from Alaska to California, and am now preparing to drive California to Illinois. Somewhere around Redding, CA, my Jeep developed a weird problem. After roughly 2-3 hours of continuous freeway driving, the steering begins binding. This doesn’t happen on the gradual curves you find on the freeway, but sharper slow-speed turns in parking lots and at intersections cause it. Basically the front tires begin locking up, causing the entire Jeep to shudder. It gets worse the longer I hold the turn. If I park the Jeep for 20-30 minutes the problem goes away. I have no idea what it is, although the mechanic in Redding came up with some good theories. Doesn’t sound like a big deal, but I’d like to get it figured out before I get back on the road. Any ideas?

Do have the ability to place the AWD/4wd into 2wd if so equipped. It sounds like your center diff or transfer case may be binding up.

If you place in 2wd if possible and it goes away that is the culprit.

Can’t put it in 2wd. It’s all-time 4wd. Let’s say, hypothetically, it was the center differential or T-case binding up. How big a deal is that?

It is a pricier component $1000+ in your drivetrain. Have it checked out. Then again if it is servicable with a fluid change that can help too on occaison. Good luck.

To be sure, are your tires matched in size at least front and back?

Yep, tires are all the same. Nokian Vativas.

I guess I’ll try to find a trustworthy mechanic and see if I can get it figured out. Thanks for the insights.