By September 3, 20087 Comments Read More →

1994 Jeep Grand Cherokee Noise On Turns

Reader Question
Hi Austin,

Just wanted to know your opinion on a problem I’m having. I currently own a ’94 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo and its been a worthy on and off-road vehicle.

Lately I’ve been noticing the Jeep “lugging” when I turn the wheel 3/4 to a full turn. Its usually more evident when I’m coming into my driveway or pulling into a parking stall. When backing out of a space, I don’t notice the lugging. Could this be a problem with my front axle?

Hope to here from you soon,

Hi there Jon,

I think what I would first do would be to clean your throttle body. This should be part of your routine maintenance anyway, and a dirty throttle body causes all kinds of low speed/idle complaints.

It’s pretty simple and fast to do and any fast lube place should be able to do it for you while you wait. We charge $80 in my shop. If nothing else, you should notice a much smoother idle and faster starts.

Here is more info on the throttle body

Throttle Body Cleaning


Austin Davis

Hello again Austin,

I recently just changed my oil and cleaned my throttle body as you suggested. The Jeep does start faster and idles much smoother but it hasn’t improved the problem.

I have noticed that the lugging and jerking on a 3/4 to full turn does get better during cooler weather though. Someone suggested that my tie rods are shot, someone else said to just replace the front axle and swap one for one from a jeep in a salvage yard. What’s your opinion on what I should do?

Also on another note… my friend has an older Jeep like mine (not so sure if its a ’94 or what), but his jeep has some drive train noise he can’t get rid of. = How do you suggest he fix this problem?

Many Thanks,


Hello again Jon,

I am still under the assumption that this is an engine driveability issue not a suspension or steering linkage issue….do you concur? I also do not think this is a safety issue or an issue that SHOULD require spending lots of time and money trying to solve, or at least from what you have told me in email.

To me, this still sounds like a low idle or a rough idle issue with the engine. When you turn the wheel hard to one side at slow or low speeds you are lugging or straining the engine slightly.

If the engine idle is too low, the computer will try to increase the idle speed during this load time to prevent the engine from stalling. I am assuming you feel this sudden increase in idle speed and that is producing the jerking sensation.

Some vehicles have a Power Steering low pressure switch that is located in the high pressure Power Steering hose. This switch increases the engine idle speed when the power steering load is too high…usually during low speed turns or when parking. I am not sure if your vehicle is equipped with one of these or not, but would be worth a look.

So, cleaning the throttle body and increasing the base idle would be the first place to start. Do you have a Tachometer? Is the engine idle speed to low with your foot on the brake, A/C on and engine running in Drive?

I would expect it to idle at about 800+ RPM in this situation. If you are less than 800, maybe you can get a fast lube place to try and manually increase the base idle speed for you slightly and see if that helps. Other than that, I can only suggest you have a mechanic drive this vehicle with you and see if they have any ideas.

On your friends vehicle….these older Jeeps are just noisy, especially in the drive line and tire tread. I would make sure the rear end and transmission has plenty of fluid in them and I would inspect the u-joints and tires for wear. I would say that 90% of the time with drive line complaints a unevenly worn tire is the culprit.

Try moving the rear tires to the front and see if the noise changes, and if it does he might need new tires to quiet the noise. SUV type vehicles really need to have the tires rotated and balanced every 10K miles or so to prevent uneven noisy tire wear.

Austin Davis

Posted in: Front End Problems

7 Comments on "1994 Jeep Grand Cherokee Noise On Turns"

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  1. JenniferMcdermott says:

    I have 94 jeep grand cherokee larado new starter,new alternator,new batterry. My truck will shut off while drivin and sit between 10 min to 5 hrs. Some days it wont start at all. And if drivin at a higher speed if I hit a bump it rattles and shakes and I lose control. Any ideas

    • Austin says:

      For the starting/dying issue I would look at the crankshaft position sensor first, if the engine will crank over and over but not start. Next thing I would do is check the fuel pump and fuel pressure at the engine. Crankshaft positions sensors are a known failure on these vehicles.

      On the loss of control issue, if you have a steering damper shock in the front of the vehicle, I would be suspect of it being worn out. Its just a shock absorber mounted horizontally (not vertically like the other shocks) and its kinda under the radiator area under the vehicle. This is also known as a steering stabilizer shock.

  2. Shawn says:


    Sounds like you’ve witnessed this Viscous Coupler issue before. I have the same problem mentioned in this e-mail thread with my 94 GC Laredo. I had a few questions to verify this is the issue. If I remove the the transfer case drive shaft to front wheels would that eliminate the wheel hop? Figured if problem is eliminated that it would point me to transfer case as possible problem area as a simple check. Second, do you have to brake open the transfer case to change the coupler or is it accessible from outside the case?

    I can pick up a transfer case for $80, but wanted to verify it is the problem before going that route. Any other checks that I can make to confirm VC is problem?

    Thanks for insight!


  3. Dave says:

    It’s the viscous coupler in the transfer case. The VC is part of the all wheel drive system that allows the front and rear wheels to travel at different speeds.
    The part itself is 300 dollars and can be done by the average shade tree machanic at home. The only trouble part is getting the snap rings off, make sure you have a good set of snap ring pliers.

  4. Mike says:

    I have a 94 grand cherokee, and when i turn my wheels i get wheel hop and drag, now its doing it in reverse also, any suggestions.
    Thanks Mike

    • Austin says:

      I would get a front end alignment and go from their. Could be out of alignment or some other front end problem or wear which should show up when performing an alignment.

  5. Ryan says:


    I am literally having the same problem. When it is cold out side i rarely have the problem. As soon as I drive on the highway for a while and go to turn 3/4 to full turn like in a driveway or something like that, it would lugg around. I fixed the cv shaft on my 94 jeep grand cherokee laredo. But its still not fixed. When I took it to get fixed, they said if the cv shaft it was my differential. I am going to get it looked at very soon. Hope this helps because it sounds like the same as mine.

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