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Unread 07-19-2013, 05:32 AM   #1
zedlecates
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Oil leak in 1996 Grand Cherokee Laredo

I just purchased a 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 4x4 with the 5.2 V8. The car seems to be running fine, however I started to notice something splattered on the bumper yesterday. I originally thought nothing of it and assumed it was something that splashed up from driving around. Today I noticed more of a splatter on the bumper (drivers side) and the splash continues up onto the hood. Upon further inspection I think I have an oil leak. I checked the level and it is way overfilled. The leak seems to be coming from a seal on a hose going to a device under the drivers side headlight. I don't know what it is and am unsure what to do. Can I simply undo the drain plug and let some out? Do I need to replace the seal on the hose? I'm broke and cant afford to take it to a mechanic yet. Please help. Thanks in advance...

-Zed LeCates

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Unread 07-19-2013, 08:01 AM   #2
Uniblurb
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Go ahead and pull the oil pan drain plug until you have the correct oil level. The device behind your front bumper is the charcoal canister which filters fuel vapors from the gas tank and then they're pulled into the intake by a vacuum line for the engine to burn. This system has nothing to do with oil so really doubt you have oil coming out of a line to it and may have just splashed onto it.

Once you're oil is at the correct level use an engine cleaner/hose it off and see if you can get a better idea where the oil is coming from. Could be a front oil pan seal where it's being slung up everywhere. Also did you check your power steering reservoir to make sure the leak isn't in that system?
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-Stalling ZJ? 12 things to check before replacing a sensor; the Dirty Dozen
-Crankshaft position sensor multimeter test. & video of testing.
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Unread 07-19-2013, 08:17 AM   #3
zedlecates
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You're right. The power steering reservoir is bone dry. Now I'm just wondering if it's something to do with the pump or just a problem with the seal on the hose. I wont damage the car if I drive it just to the gas station to put more fluid in will I?
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Unread 07-19-2013, 08:41 AM   #4
Uniblurb
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I wouldn't drive it with it bone dry or you may burn it up/destroy it. Keep in mind the pump itself is running in there w/o any type of lubrication. Sometimes the plastic return hose fitting/nipple on the outside of the reservoir will crack/break. There's also a rubber o-ring between the reservoir and pump itself which will go bad. But if you're slinging that much fluid around it very well could be the high pressure hose you can see in your photo. Lift it up and look for a hole worn in the rubber hose from rubbing against the steering box. Also check both ends of this hose/line where it attaches. Could be where the rubber hose is crimped onto the metal line which has failed.
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96 4.0 ZJ Laredo, 2004 4.7L WJ Limited, 93 4.0 XJ (spare), 96 4.0 XJ (son's)

-Stalling ZJ? 12 things to check before replacing a sensor; the Dirty Dozen
-Crankshaft position sensor multimeter test. & video of testing.
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Unread 07-19-2013, 09:14 AM   #5
Uniblurb
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Here are the OE part numbers for your 96 5.2 power steering hoses if you find one has gone bad/leaks. Often an auto parts store can use these as a cross reference if you don't buy OE/Mopar.

5208 8807 (pressure hose)
5208 7748 (return hose)

When buying power steering fluid you best buy a can of PB Blaster and start spraying it on those real rusted fittings on the top of the power steering box in case you need to disconnect one. Also not sure if the power steering pump has slung PS fluid all over your serpentine belt but if it has you most likely may need a new one so it doesn't slip. Could just try some type of spray cleaner for cleaning the belt, like brake cleaner on a rag, but watch for slippage and replace if it does. Good luck!
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96 4.0 ZJ Laredo, 2004 4.7L WJ Limited, 93 4.0 XJ (spare), 96 4.0 XJ (son's)

-Stalling ZJ? 12 things to check before replacing a sensor; the Dirty Dozen
-Crankshaft position sensor multimeter test. & video of testing.
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