the shakes - 2001 Cherokee -
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Unread 12-29-2012, 09:21 AM   #1
Registered User
2001 XJ Cherokee 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Jersey, NJ
Posts: 3
the shakes - 2001 Cherokee

Cherokee 2001, about 92,000 miles.
The other day, I was driving on the highway for about 30 miles. I stopped to pay a toll, and when I started back up, the jeep began to shake. The steering was hard to control. I pulled off and parked it in a lot and let it sit. Started it up and it felt fine (no shaking when idling), but when I went to move it the steering was shaky. Had it towed to my mechanic, though he was gone by the time the jeep arrived. The next day, he started it up, took it for a ride and said it was driving smooth.

This is the 4th time this has happened. Two other times it was the same situation. Driving on a highway. everything was smooth and great, going about 65 miles per hour. Slowed down to pay a toll and when I accelerated, I heard a whomping sound (like a helicopter flying above?), the jeep started shaking and the steering was hard. At first I thought I was driving on the side of the highway, with on the speed grooves. I was not.

The first time, I let it sit, started it back up in about an hour and it was fine. The second time, I let it sit overnight, still shaky, so I had it towed.

Each time, I brought it to the mechanic, and had some needed work done ... a complete engine tune up, serviced pvc system, a front brake job, bell housing, stabilizer links ...

I have used 2 different mechanics, depending on where the jeep broke down. Both are reliable and trustworthy ... one has a cherokee himself ... but neither of them have experienced the shaking and tight steering ... so it must go away on its own. It has been happening about every 3 months ...

I read up on the "death wobble" and I do not think that is what it is. I did not hit a bump, and it doesn't feel like the jeep is going to fall apart.

Any ideas? suggestions? My mechanic is away, so he will be putting it on the lift next week. We are all a bit stumped on what it could be.
It is a great jeep, and other than this ... it has been running great.

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Unread 12-29-2012, 12:41 PM   #2
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1997 XJ Cherokee 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 216
Have you bought your Jeep flower lately? Maybe she is jealous of another. Just kidding. If it was only in the steering then I would say its your power steering somehow. Check your pulley to make sure its tight and not slipping. The power steering going in and out can have that effect. It sounds a bit different than what I have seen but check anyways.
97 Cherokee sport 4WD w/ 4.0
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Unread 12-29-2012, 03:50 PM   #3
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2001 XJ Cherokee 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Jersey, NJ
Posts: 3
will do ... thanks for the advice!
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Unread 12-29-2012, 05:15 PM   #4
Real Jeeps have dents.
CJ7-Tim's Avatar
2000 XJ Cherokee 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: out in the garage - Minneapolis, Minnesota
Posts: 22,435
Is the Check Engine Light on ?

Was the suspension/ steering shaking back and forth, or was the engine misfiring and cause the whole Jeep to shudder ? What is a helicopter sound ? Do you mean the engine was backfiring ? Was the power steering off for a while and back on later, or was it off and on in time to the shudder ? Since the power steering pump would not be running when the engine isn't running one might suspect that you have a issues with a sensor that gets overheated, or possibly a fuel pump issue.

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2001 , accelerating , cherokee , front end shake , steering

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