Possible 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo/TSI Problems

I am thinking about buying a 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo/TSI from a friend next week. I just took a test drive and it drives okay EXCEPT for the follwing issues:

1. If the engine is not completely warmed up the car has a hard time fiding the correct gear…could this be a slipping transmission?

2. The care makes a “squeaking” sound if the steering column is turned significantly(I was getting out of a tight street parking spot and noticed it).

3. The lift gate in the back won’t stay up completely if it is REALLY hot. It is okay otherwise.

4. When the car was turned off, it “rattled” for 2 seconds and then was fine.

5. The back windshield wiper does not work (possible blown fuse?).

I think that is it. Thanks for the answers. About how much will it cost to repair the above things and can I do then myself? They want $1500.00 for the car. Is this a good price? They told me they have no worries about driving the car a long distance. Thanks again!

What engine, and how many miles?

  1. This sounds like transmission problems. Have they ever serviced the transmission? Chrysler recommended that the transmission fluid be changed every 30K miles. If they put in the wrong fluid, there could easily be some bad transmission problems (you ONLY use ATF+3 (or ATF+4) in these transmissions. Anything else will eventually damage the transmission. A rebuilt transmission will run in excess of $2500.

  2. Could be that the serpentine belt needs replacing.

  3. Simple replacement of the gas struts.

  4. Dieseling is not good. The engine should shut right down since it is fuel injected. This could be expensive to repair.

  5. Could be blown fuse (but find the cause), seized wiper motor, or bad rear hatch latch switch.

If it were me, I would pass on this one.

The price is considerably below what one of these are supposedly worth as trade-in in my area with 100,000 miles on the clock. However, I agree silvergc1’s comments. I would also pass on this.

I agree that you should pass on this vehicle. While some of the problems are not that serious, the potential $$ value of repairing/replacing the transmission and replacing valves that might have been damaged by the dieseling should be enough to send you walking from this deal.

If the present owner tolerated the dieseling for more than a few days without having the timing adjusted and/or doing other repairs to rectify this potentially damaging problem, then I would begin to wonder how he maintained the vehicle overall. He might be a friend, but you might not be familiar with his approach to maintenance, which seems to be…not good.