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Unread 12-12-2003, 09:15 AM   #1
WolfPup
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creaking front end

I have an '04 JGC laredo w/ 3800miles and it creaks in the front end when it gets colder than 50 deg F when I go over bumps at any speed. the sound gets louder and more frequent as it gets colder and when it gets below freezing, I can atually "feel" it.

any thoughts/ideas?

the dealer "can't reproduce" the problem. (firstly, I didn't know it was an actual problem. I thought it was a noise that sounded out of the ordinary. Secondly, I can reproduce it every day it is colder than 50 deg F outside. Thirdly, I haven't had a chance to bring it down to them when it was colder than 50 yet, so I can't rightly blame the dealer for not hearing it.

thanks in advance for your help!

this can't be normal, can it?


Last edited by WolfPup; 12-12-2003 at 09:30 AM..
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Unread 12-12-2003, 10:13 AM   #2
04JeepTJ
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I have the same problem on my 96 XJ. When it is between 40-50 degrees F and I go over some large bumps (like speed bumps) the front end make a rubbing noise. When it gets colder I can feel it rubbing/creaking.

Dealer can't reproduce it (I don't think they're trying). This only happens when the temp drops. One dealer replaced the bushings (???) but that didn't do anything.
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Unread 12-12-2003, 12:10 PM   #3
WolfPup
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check out this link. I just found it but don't know if it's my problem or not.

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f13/suspension-issues-61014/

let me know what ya'all think
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Unread 12-13-2003, 12:57 PM   #4
redrock4x4
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My 02 WJ has a lot of creaks which I'm not pleased about in the least bit, the seat heaters quit working, the memory seats don't work right, rear gate rattles, brakes have gone out twice in 12k miles, transmission shifts very poorly when cold and intermittently at other times. Thereís a whole ton of build quality complaints I have with the vehicle. Granted I am very picky with my vehicles and these are things a lot of others wouldnít complain about, but these are definitely problems and not things to be expected with the vehicle.

I can pretty well assure you the dealer won't give it much effort to reproduce the problem unless you go with them and point it out, and even in that case they may make up an excuse not to fix it and send you on your way. Case in point I complained about suspension noises on my Jeep and the dealer I took the vehicle to, John Mecham in Park City Utah, test drove the vehicle with the A/C on full blast, and the stereo up. It was more than clear they didnít care one bit about duplicating my concerns.

Anyhow it has gone to the dealership several times since I've had it and anything that's not entirely obvious (i.e. broken) when I take it in they have never found. I've given them very simple directions for how to duplicate the problems, and finally after taking it back repeatedly for the same problems last time they informed me that if they drove the vehicle a little more aggressively they could duplicate the problem, they are aware of it, but they feel it is not an issue under normal operating conditions and I am pushing the vehicle beyond what it's designed to do. This is not my first WJ, in fact including my close family weíve had 5 now, so Iím more than familiar with how they should drive. Arguing with the dealership did nothing, it was clear their stance was they didnít want to fix the vehicle and they were able to whip up excuses left and right that clearly assumed I had no clue of what I was talking about as they didnít make any sense whatsoever.

I even had 2 very simple, obvious problems which they made excuses for. My memory seats are malfunctioning and at this point Iím about to just pull the fuse for them, but I pointed out to the dealership every time you unlock the door w/ the key set the mirror moves and the seat moves, sometimes quite a bit. The driverís seat on exit also has a tendency to fold up and forward as far as possible, pushing me into the steering wheel if Iím not quick enough to get out (keeps me on my toes I guess), rather than moving back and making it easier to exit as it is supposed to. Every time I get into the vehicle my seats and mirrors are in a different position, and I have to manually re-adjust them. Their excuse for this was that you cannot expect the same response from an electrical device each time itís given an input, the response from the device will always be different. Now thatís something like saying if you push the ďFĒ key on your keyboard sometimes you may get an F out of your computer, sometimes you may get another letter and thatís to be accepted. This was clearly a lie, they must have been hoping I was completely mechanically incompetent and I would accept it as the truth. The second problem was even more obvious, my seat heater has quit working, period. No steps needed to duplicate the concern, it just doesnít work. I told them about this and I forget their excuse as I was too upset to listen to why they would not fix something that was clearly broken.

After my last visit it is 100% clear the dealership was lying to me. Good luck getting DC to fix anything on your Jeep unless you have parts mangled or hanging off the vehicle when you take it in. Iíve owned at least one Jeep vehicle for the past 6 years, and Iíve watched the quality of service go from what I felt was exceptional to way below par over that period of time. Iím sad to say I will not be purchasing another Jeep for use as a daily driven vehicle as you can get a lot better vehicle within the same price range. My WJ is for sale and is being replaced with a foreign make as the quality simply isnít there.

My 01 TJ, which is heavily modified and abused off road on a regular basis, is in better mechanical condition than my WJ which is an absolute shame. With what I put my TJ through I donít expect it to drive great on road, but it does. Iíve had very few problems with it and if I ever do encounter a problem itís something I fix because of how much Iíve modified it, and the lack of trust I have with dealership techís. Iím confident I could fix all the problems on my WJ and turn it into a wonderful vehicle if I spent the money to do so, but Iím not about to take on wrenching on a 3rd vehicle (we now have 2 TJís) which is brand new, completely stock, HAS to run every day, and is covered under warranty.

Did I mention my previous 01 WJ was bought back as a lemon as well?

Sorry for such the long rant, my point is good luck getting anything fixed. It is all par for the course according to the stance DC has recently taken.
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Unread 12-13-2003, 05:50 PM   #5
04JeepTJ
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Not sure it will help but when you get that survey you might want to let them know how poor the service was. I've heard that the service department gets dingged pretty badly.

You could also try to complain to DC.

Finally, I find that having your lawyer send them a letter may help. The last thing the dealership needs is to spend money on legal fees.

I know there may be no point in spending money for a lawyer but with me it gets to the point where I just want to let the business know that they're not going to get away with it. Its a matter of principle.
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Unread 12-13-2003, 07:15 PM   #6
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My '00 Grand Cherokee is making the same sound in front and, while I don't have any input on that matter, I do have smething to say about dealerships' efforts in diagnosing problems.

We have had the Jeep in several times for miscellaneous issues and EVERY time ( and I DO mean every time) I have to leave work and drive halfway across the city to take a tech out to show them the problem. These are all problems that occur on a daily basis, yet the dealership 'cannot duplicate' them.

It has gotten to the point that when I bring it in I tell them not to bother calling me to tell me that they can't reproduce it. I tell them to drive it until they do- I don't care if it takes a 10 mile test drive- that I can duplicate the problems every day under normal driving conditions.
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Unread 12-13-2003, 07:32 PM   #7
redrock4x4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 04JeepTJ
Not sure it will help but when you get that survey you might want to let them know how poor the service was. I've heard that the service department gets dingged pretty badly.

You could also try to complain to DC.

Finally, I find that having your lawyer send them a letter may help. The last thing the dealership needs is to spend money on legal fees.

I know there may be no point in spending money for a lawyer but with me it gets to the point where I just want to let the business know that they're not going to get away with it. Its a matter of principle.
LOL funny thing is I don't get surveys when I take it in to the dealership I mentioned above, I'd be certain to share my opinion if they sent one. I do receive the surveys from the other dealership here in town I've dealt with who was also pulling the same act, and I filled them out extremely poor and included a letter in there with my feelings of the service received.

The thing I worry about though is a lot of these changes seem to be coming down from the zone reps to the dealerships. IE WJ's are known for having poor brakes, they fail all the time and even with the brakes you get after the caliper upgrade TSB the rotors are still junk and warp very easily. On all of our other WJ's the rotors have been covered up until 36k miles, no questions asked. We went through 5 or 6 on one of them.

I did call DC regarding this and was told it was a standard policy the district zone reps had passed down to the service managers that they will only cover the rotors under warranty once, if/when they go bad again you're on your own. DC really didn't care in the least bit about my concerns, and it became clear this wasn't the dealership that was responsible for the lack of service or quality, but the whole company itself. I haven't called DC recently with the other problems that have cropped up, nor the BS excuses the dealership made, but I don't think they care in the least bit anymore. They certainly used to do a great job as I was a very happy Jeep owner from 97-02. They did take those surveys pretty seriously from what I had heard and it used to be rare to see a 5 Star dealership, but now every dealer around here is a 5 Star.

I had a service rep I'd dealt with for the past 5 years leave the local dealership as he said they were cutting back what they could cover under warranty way too much and he didn't like working somewhere where he felt like he was screwing over customers. He had worked there for quite some time so it wasn't an easy job for him to give up, but he didn't like where things were headed in the least bit.

This "unable to duplicate concern" crap is something most every Jeep dealership pulls it seems. In certain cases I can understand it, but I've spoke with a lot of people with very obvious problems and they get the same response. It makes me think there's some sort of policy in effect w/ DC where the service reps really have to purposely avoid admitting any fault with the vehicles. It's obviously not that they can't duplicate the concern it's that they don't want to fix the problem. I've dealt with 2 different 5 Star Dealers in my area and they both pull the same act, although I will say Larry Miller Auto Mall who I'm using now is better but I haven't approached them to try to have them fix my concerns on the WJ yet (I had my TJ there for some minor things when the warranty expired).

Just for kicks my mother has a 02 Nissan Pathfinder w/ 20k miles and her brakes were starting to cause a little shimmy when first applied at high speeds, so being familiar w/ the WJ brakes; I could tell the rotors were starting to warp. I told her next time she was at the dealership just to mention that the rotors were warped and they could duplicate it by going up to freeway speeds and tapping the brakes, and that it got worse when going downhill. She dropped it off and mentioned that to the service rep and 3 hours later they called to tell her they had installed new rotors free of charge. To the best of my knowledge brakes are only covered up to about 12k so this was after they had to cover them and the problem was so minor they could have easily refused it. I told her I honestly didn't expect them to give her new brakes, I was just curious to see how they treated her vs. how the Jeep dealership treats me. She also asked the service rep if they were able to duplicate the problem and was told they didn't even bother to try, it sounded like they were bad so they took her word for it and stood behind them. This used to be how the Jeep dealership treated me and was the only reason I was giving them my business.

I really worry about where Chrysler is headed ....
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Unread 12-13-2003, 07:36 PM   #8
redrock4x4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2Xtreme
These are all problems that occur on a daily basis, yet the dealership 'cannot duplicate' them.
EXACTLY, my rear suspension sounds like it's falling apart backing out of my driveway yet the dealership "cannot duplicate customer concern". Even when they were able to reproduce the problem by going through a dip at 5mph, they suggested I was pushing the vehicle beyond it's operating limits and I needed to slow down. I now back out of my drive way about 1/2 mile per hour and listen to the rear end creak the whole way . I find it very funny that Jeep now advertises these vehicles as "Trail Rated", yet I'm pushing the limits of my Jeep in my drive way.

There's just too much of a coincidence here that so many dealerships across the country seem to deny being able to reproduce common, every day problems.

Last edited by redrock4x4; 12-13-2003 at 07:39 PM..
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Unread 12-13-2003, 09:22 PM   #9
04JeepTJ
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I've been to many "5-Star" Jeep Stealerships. One in New Jersey where I got my XJ. A few in Des Moines, IA.. Kansas City, Pittsburgh, etc.. (on medical rotations)... and finally some in Houston, TX.

The first time I saw "5 Star" I thought it was really some sort of credential. I quickly realized it was just a marketing ploy. I got very different levels of service from both the Service department and the Sales department at the same stealership almost every time. It was a crapshoot.

I had my brakes replaced due to warped rotors at a 5 Star Stealership. I thought it was my fault for hauling a 1/4 filled uhaul trailer from Des Moines to Houston. A few months later I brought it in to the same Stealership for an oil change and they serviced the brakes for free (apparently a TSB). I didn't know anything about TSB's back then and thought they were doing me a favor. Now I realize that I should probably have asked for my money back since I paid for a brake job not to far in the past.

Needless to say the salespeople at the same Stealership are idiots - I emailed (via Jeep.com) and visited them regarding purchasing a 04 TJ. Total idiots. I swear they probably just paid some people standing around to be salespeople because they didn't have a clue about Wrangler's at all.
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Unread 12-13-2003, 09:26 PM   #10
04JeepTJ
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I've been to many "5-Star" Jeep Stealerships. One in New Jersey where I got my XJ. A few in Des Moines, IA.. Kansas City, Pittsburgh, etc.. (on medical rotations)... and finally some in Houston, TX.

The first time I saw "5 Star" I thought it was really some sort of credential. I quickly realized it was just a marketing ploy. I got very different levels of service from both the Service department and the Sales department at the same stealership almost every time. It was a crapshoot.

I had my brakes replaced due to warped rotors at a 5 Star Stealership. I thought it was my fault for hauling a 1/4 filled uhaul trailer from Des Moines to Houston. A few months later I brought it in to the same Stealership for an oil change and they serviced the brakes for free (apparently a TSB). I didn't know anything about TSB's back then and thought they were doing me a favor. Now I realize that I should probably have asked for my money back since I paid for a brake job not to far in the past.

Needless to say the salespeople at the same Stealership are idiots - I emailed (via Jeep.com) and visited them regarding purchasing a 04 TJ. Total idiots. I swear they probably just paid some people standing around to be salespeople because they didn't have a clue about Wrangler's at all.

Anyway, sorry to hear that you're having problems with your local Stealership. If you know they're not going to give you good service then make their lives a living hell. Write letters to your local lawpeople, the BBB, DC, and have your lawyer send them a letter. Put up a website with all of your bad luck with them and let them know the URL. If you smear their name and their reputation then maybe that might be worth it... for better or for worse..
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Unread 12-13-2003, 11:01 PM   #11
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I just got a call from the service dept asking if my issue was resolved when I brought it in, so I told her no it wasn't. I have to call back monday and set up a time for me to bring it back in and take them for a road test. I'll mention the trail rating of my vehicle and show them the video of the GC blazing up hill and over a bunch of fallen logs. then, I'm off to a speed bump @2-3mph for some creakin'. Hopefully, my point will be taken. Otherwise I'll just email DC and probably call some media relatives.

I'd just like to say that my friend at work got stuck in the snow with his Pathfinder. I didn't. he wants to trade in his now for a jeep, b/c mine still got me where I was going, even with the creak in the front and stock tires.

I'll let you all know what happens.
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Unread 12-14-2003, 06:18 AM   #12
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Havn't read all that is written here, but creaking suspentions: This is probably due to rubber bushings getting dry or cold. Polyurethane bushings will cure it. Noise at rear of car in bumps etc.: Have a look at the panhard bar. It can come loose, makes a lot of noise, and should not be too difficult to re-produce. Both problems are quite common. Think you need a better stealer.

I bought a 1996 GCL V8 in august. Full history from the dealer followed the car, all services, repairs and so on. Muffler was leaking, worn door hinge etc. The dealer had it all fixed before I picked the car up , with 6 months warranty of course. Now, after a couple of months, one of the rear shocks was leaking, and the VC was dead. The car spent one week at the dealer and came out with new VC, and they had fitted 2 off Koni 4X4 shocks (that is absolutely top quality). All of course f.o.c. And the attitude is "Yes Mr. Henriksen, no Mr. Henriksen, of course we will make it correct Mr. Henriksen". And so they do.. I feel sorry for you guys having to rely upon your Stealers.
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Unread 12-14-2003, 07:17 AM   #13
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They may be easy repairs, however I think they should install those poly bushings in the factory since it is a common problem.

out of curosity, where are the front end bushings I should be looking for? Can I put some WD40 on it and see if it clears up the noise so I can say that is the problem? Someone told me to have them check the motor mounts too? I was like, "Motor mounts? why those?"

I forgot to also mention this is my second vehicle from this dealer, and we've had a good experience in buying both times. the service from the first car is impecable, but the jeep isn't too satisfying since they couldn't find the problem. The first car is a Mazda that my wife wanted, against my wishes. It's too small, but it's a good car, really.

I bought the extended warranty on both vehicles, so they'll have to deal with me for a long, long time if they don't resolve it. I have plenty of time I can take off from work, and I'll basically live there if I have to until they fix it. I'll go so far as to request a "test drive" in a new GC and see if they can reproduce the sound in that one if they tell me "it's normal."
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Unread 12-14-2003, 10:55 AM   #14
Harald
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Where to look: That is all places where a bolt/bar can twist in a rubber bushing: Stabilisor, Upper/Lower control arms, Track Bar and so on. European and Jap. cars got rid of this problem in the 60'ies and 70'ies. Don't have this problem on my Jeep, but I do have it on my Taurus. In early days we used to spray squeaking front/end suspension with transmission fluid, just a little. Don't know why US cars still struggle with this, when the rest of the world dealt with it 30 years ago. Mazda and Toyota cars are the most reliable ever built. Toyota Carina is at the top. It just keeps on running (and rusting).

My reason for buying the Taurus was that I got it very cheap. This is the worst car Ford ever have built, and a reputation accordingly. But the specimen I have got just keeps on running. I know the tranny will fail in about 25K miles time. It was my wife that wanted the GCL, it's her car. We had an old Cherokee. One late freezing evening she came along one of our lonly country roads and slide into the ditch. Snowing like h****. In shear panic she pulled the 4WD handle and the Command Track instantly pulled the car back up on the road again. So her demand is: Good engine, automatic transmission and 4WD. I was in fact looking for a Subaru Forrester when the GCL came along. And the Subaru would have been 50% more expensive than the GCL.
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