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Fixes for Jeep Grand Cherokee 1993 - 1998 (ZJ)

Vehicle:  1993-1998 (ZJ) Jeep Grand Cherokee with 4.0L engine, 1999-2004 (WJ) Jeep Grand Cherokee with 4.0L engine, 1997-2001 (XJ) Jeep Cherokee with 4.0L engine, 1997-2006 (TJ) Wrangler with 4.0L engine.

Concern:  Engine cranks but will not start. May have died while driving. Related symptoms: Fuel gauge shows 'empty', however the fuel tank is not empty. Volt gauge is all the way to the left (low), but the battery is not discharged.

Cause:  The CKP (crankshaft position) sensor is shorted internally. Turn the key off. Unplug the CKP sensor and retest for proper gauge operation.

Resolution:  Replace the CKP sensor to correct.

Details:  Scan tool will show 'no response' to PCM (engine computer). This is why the fuel gauge and volt gauge are inoperative. The PCM is not functioning, so the fuel and voltage data is not bussed to the instrument cluster. When the the CKP sensor shorts internally, the PCM will not function. The connector is located on the right side of the engine, near the rear of the engine block. The CKP sensor is located on the left side all the way in the back. Usually it must be replaced from under the vehicle. This is a fairly common problem.


Vehicle:  1993-2004 (ZJ) (WJ) Jeep Grand Cherokee with 4.0L engine.

Concern:  Check engine light (MIL) is on. Has P1281 engine is cold too long. No driveability symptoms. Engine is running normally.

Cause:  The thermostat is stuck open. The thermostat in many cases may come out in several pieces (falling apart).

Resolution:  Replace the thermostat and gasket and refill the cooling system.

Details:  The PCM (engine computer) performs a rationality test on the engine cooling system. It measures engine temperature vs. engine run time. If the engine warms up too slowly, P1281 will be set and the MIL will be on.


Vehicle:  All vehicles (ZJ) (LX) (XJ) (RS)

Concern:  No start. Engine cranks but does not start. Most likely the engine died while driving. The fuel gauge shows 1/8 of a tank.

Cause:  The fuel tank is totally empty. The fuel level sending unit is failing.

Resolution:  Replace the fuel level sending unit, or the entire fuel pump assembly. Add fuel.

Details:  Always start with the basics.


Vehicle:  1993-1998 (ZJ) Jeep Grand Cherokee

Concern:  DTC P0351 Ignition Coil Primary Circuit. Engine stalls at times.

Cause:  PCM (engine computer) failure. The ignition coil driver inside the the PCM is failing.

Resolution:  Replace the PCM.

Details:  -


Vehicle:  1993-1998 (ZJ) Jeep Grand Cherokee

Concern:  One or more power door locks are inoperative. Power locks make 'whirling' type noise.

Cause:  The power lock actuator is failing. The lock actuator is inside the door latch. The door latch is the part that physically latches the door closed. It is on the rear of the door.

Resolution:  Replace the latch to correct.

Details:  -


Vehicle:  1993-1998 (ZJ) Jeep Grand Cherokee

Concern:  Possible no start and/or check engine light. One or more blown fuses in power distribution center under the hood.

Cause:  Wiring is shorted to ground.

Resolution:  Repair wiring as needed.

Details:  Two places to inspect: (1) Check the downstream (rear) oxygen sensor: I have seen many cases where the wiring comes out of it's retainer and rubs on the driveshaft. (2) Inspect the wiring running down near the front of the intake manifold and close to the power steering pump (4.0L only). It is easy for this to be misrouted when the exhaust manifold is replaced. The wiring goes to the upstream (front) oxygen sensor. The wiring will melt and short out on the exhaust manifold if misrouted.


Vehicle:  This particular vehicle was my 1995 (ZJ) Jeep Grand Cherokee, but this applies to any vehicle with a fabric headliner.

Concern:  Headliner fabric is falling down. Looks terrible.

Cause:  Age/poor design

Resolution:  Here's how to fix this cheaply and with no special tools or equipment: Remove complete headliner from vehicle. Pull the fabric off. Clean the fuzzy stuff from the panel. I used compressed air to blow it off. Obtain (1) gallon of flat black (or whatever color you prefer) latex paint and a thick nap roller. Paint the headliner and allow it to dry for a day or two. Reinstall headliner.

Details:  My headliner looked so much better after painting it. Cost me about $25.00.


Vehicle:  1993-1998 (ZJ) Jeep Grand Cherokee with 5.2L engine.

Concern:  Oil leak from rear of engine. Makes a mess in the driveway where Jeep is parked.

Cause:  The engine rear main seal is leaking.

Resolution:  Here's a quick 'fix' that worked for me: Purchase two of those foil baking pans, size approximately 10" long, 5" wide, 4" deep. Put one pan inside the other, to make it double-strength. Fill pan about half way with kitty litter. Use black plastic tie straps to secure the pan to the trans cooler lines that run directly under where the oil is leaking.

Details:  The rear main seal is rather difficult to replace on 5.2L. If it is a slow leak, it may not be worth the effort/expense to repair. The catch-pan worked perfectly for me---no more mess in the driveway! Pan will have to be checked/cleaned out periodically.


Vehicle:  1993-1998 (ZJ) Jeep Grand Cherokee with 4.0L engine.

Concern:  Chirping noise from engine. Can hear noise at idle with hood up. Seems to be coming from the distributor.

Cause:  The distributor bushings are failing.

Resolution:  Replace the complete distributor to correct. Recommend dealer part.

Details:  There is a very specific procedure to install the distributor. Read the article <a href="view-article.do?articleid=72001">here</a>


Vehicle:  All vehicles. (JK)(ZJ)(CS)(JC)(TJ)(XJ)(PT)(KJ)(KK)(KA)(AN)(ND)(DR)(DS)(WJ)(WK)(XK)(LX)(LH)(FJ)(JR)(JS)(RT)(RS)(NS)

Concern:  The MIL (check engine light) is on. The scan tool reveals DTC P0601 PCM internal controller failure.

Cause:  The PCM (engine computer) has an internal fault.

Resolution:  Replace the PCM to correct.

Details:  This is an easy diagnosis. When P0601 is present, the solution is always to replace the PCM. There is no other possible cause. Normally the vehicle is still driveable.


Vehicle:  1993-1995 (ZJ) Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Concern:  Turn signals flash too fast. All bulbs appear OK. Could be one or both sides.

Cause:  Incorrect bulb type

Resolution:  Replace the front turn signal bulb with the correct bulb: 1295NA.

Details:  Any other bulb will result in fast-flashing turn signals.


Vehicle:  All Chrysler, Jeep, and Dodge vehicles. (JK)(ZJ)(CS)(JC)(TJ)(XJ)(PT)(KJ)(KK)(KA)(AN)(ND)(DR)(DS)(WJ)(WK)(XK)(LX)(LH)(FJ)(JR)(JS)(RT)(RS)(NS)

Concern:  Alternator failure. The alternator (generator) is not charging. Electrical problems.

Cause:  -

Resolution:  Hold on for a minute. Alternator failures are extremely rare on Chrysler, Jeep, and Dodge. You need to rule out the battery, wiring, and PCM first before replacing the alternator.

Details:  The alternator is controlled by the PCM (engine computer). Again, true alternator failure is very rare. In ten years as a dealer service dept tech, I have replaced maybe five alternators.


Vehicle:  1996-1998 (ZJ) Jeep Grand Cherokee. 1996-2000 (NS) Chrysler Town & Country, Dodge Caravan

Concern:  ABS light is on.

Cause:  The pump motor circuit is not working properly.

Resolution:  Use scan tool to check ABS codes - if code pump motor circuit not working properly is found replace ABS control module.

Details:  You will need reverse torx socket to remove abs module. do not remove entire hydraulic control unit as you then have to bleed entire brake system.


Vehicle:  1993-1995 (ZJ) Jeep Grand Cherokee

Concern:  The engine will not start due to the factory security system (alarm) has been triggered. The factory security system is honking the horn and the exterior lights (usually the headlights) are flashing. How is the system disarmed so the engine will start?

Cause:  There are two ways to disarm the system: 1) Press 'unlock' on the remote keyless entry fob. 2) Use the key in one of the exterior door locks.

Resolution:  Put the key in the driver door and turn it back and forth. Keep turning until the security system disarms. If this does not work, try the passenger door and/or the liftgate. More tips: Temporarily disable the horn by removing the horn relay in the underhood fusebox/power distribution center (PDC). The underside of the lid is labeled with relay locations. Disconnect the battery, turn the igniton key 'on', and then reconnect the battery. This works occasionally.

Details:  The exterior door lock key cylinders (3) have a disarm switch attached, inside the door. It is common for this switch to fail due to age/humidity/corrosion. Replace these switches as needed. The best solution is to obtain and program a remote keyless entry fob. Drastic solution: Remove the lower access panel inside the glove box. Unplug the security system module. Replace the powertrain control module. Now the security system is permanently disabled.


Vehicle:  1993-1995 (ZJ) Jeep Grand Cherokee

Concern:  How To Program a New Remote

Cause:  -

Resolution:  Up to 4 remotes can be programmed into receiver at any given time. <br> 1) Locate the receiver...look for a black half-sphere on the rear portion of the overhead console. <br> 2) Sit in driver seat and close door. All doors should be closed. 3) Open driver's door. Leave it open through the programming procedure. 4) Slide mechanical door lock lever to the LOCK position. DO NOT use the switch. 5) Insert ignition key and turn it to RUN position. DO NOT start the engine. Within 20 seconds, aim a remote at receiver dome and press and hold lock button until the power locks cycle. (When receiver accepts programming code the driver's door will unlock.) 6) Once the first remote has been programmed, additional remotes (up to 4) may be programmed into receiver. Within 20 seconds of the previous remote programming, move the mechanical door lock lever to LOCK position. Aim another remote at receiver dome and press LOCK button for at least 5 seconds. The door lock will cycle again. 7) To lock the programmed codes into the receiver, the ignition must be turned off and back on within 20 seconds after programming the last remote's code. At that time, all previous codes are erased from the module.

Details:  1993-1995 Grand Cherokees (ZJ) require a special remote that uses infared line-of-sight. This is why the remote must be aimed at the receiver dome. They are quite expensive. Check Ebay for better pricing. I have seen (1) case where the receiver was faulty.


Vehicle:  1993-1995 (ZJ) Jeep Grand Cherokee with automatic A/C (digital display)

Concern:  Interior fan for A/C and heater operates on 'high' only. Cannot control fan speed with the knob.

Cause:  The blower control resistor has failed.

Resolution:  Replace the blower control resistor.

Details:  It is located under the passenger side dash.


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